Monday, July 25, 2011

Boston Pizza and the GF Pizza

I decided to take the kids out for pizza yesterday after a hard afternoon of wall climbing at Vertically Inclined - so decided to try the West Edmonton Location of the Boston Pizza once again.  I have had a few shaky experiences there with their new "gluten free" menu and the service, but when I did try this location out it was when they were very new at offering this - so thought as it has been some time now I would once again try.  The kids all can eat gluten and not have the ill effects of it, so finding a place that could accommodate us all sometimes can be a challenge.  It was also mid afternoon on a Sunday so the restaurant was pretty quiet and not busy - the best time to try it out again I believe.

Their gluten free menu is a bit basic - but they have a small offering of salads and entrees to choose from - but they have gluten free pizza!  They use the Kinnikinnick crusts for their pizza, and then add toppings that are gluten free, on the menu you have a decent choice of about 12 pizzas and toppings that you can either mix or order one of their favorites.  I selected the Great White North pizza - gluten free - at this location they only have the one size - which would be the individual size - definitely filling for one person - at a cost of $9.90 so a couple dollars more than the individual I ordered for one of the kids.  And it was good - not a wow factor though and definitely like a pizza you could make at home - but good to have somewhere to go if you all want to have a pizza together and you have a mixed group.

Seriously though I haven't seen the menu at other Boston Pizza restaurants - so I don't know if this changes as to location but I have a few comments on the menu and it's presentation.  Quite use to the plain sheet of paper - this one is laminated so of course any changes to it would require new menus to be run, or as in this West Edmonton location and menu that was scribbled all over - and not of things added to the menu - but of items taken OFF the menu (I guess the new recipe for the wings has now taken them off the entire menu) so this was done by crossing them out in pen) and writing the short explanation on the side, as well as there were two (I believe) other things on the pizza and entree bit also messily penned out.  It was quite disappointing - and had I not had three hungry kids with me that I promised pizza too, I really doubt I would have eaten there as that menu did not give any confidence as to the quality of the service there.  There is definitely a risk at eating a restaurant chains that make changes to "accommodate" a gluten free celiac friendly menu ~ and in truth it is a huge challenge to find ones that are dedicated to serving "all" their patrons equally.

And though I think I did pretty well - and didn't feel any huge ill effects from the menu this go around, I do believe it was largely due to the fact that I went at a time where they weren't busy, would I go when they are busy and trust that I would not be made ill, no ... this location has not given me any reassurances that they truly know what it means to serve to the gluten free population.  So thumbs up for not getting ill, and having a pizza somewhere other than my kitchen (which tasted like it came from my kitchen) but thumbs down for this location to inspire any confidence that this chain location knows how to service a patron with special dietary needs, and all that is included - especially that shoddy ugly menu.

Boston Pizza
17002 90th Avenue Map.e41dcdd
Edmonton, AB

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