Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August long weekend ... festival city and more ...

Well I really do admire bloggers that can get on and update post regularly - I look at other blogs and I sometimes get lost in all you can do and share on a blog ... really it could be a full time job!  ha ha - sigh maybe one day I can turn my passion of health, gluten free life, good eating and love of life and where I live and turn it into something ... for now I work a full time job, live between two homes and kitchens, and just have the drive to get this all going.

I love my city and the fact that it comes alive with it's festivals - especially all the activities during the late spring to early fall months - a weekend with two of my favorite events just passed us by - The Taste of Edmonton and Heritage Days -

I was cautiously optimistic in attending Taste of Edmonton this year - An event where a taste of a generous handful of restaurants prepare two or three small dishes for the public to basically "sample" what they are about - It was exciting in the fact that the Taste Of Edmonton had a celiac approved menu - that was posted on line that you could print off before you even attended the event - there seemed to be a good sampling of different dishes so we were prepared to give it a try.

Side note: (It does make it a little more tricky as we are also lactose intolerant - sometimes frustrating that more restaurants do not have a wider span of knowledge on celiac disease or the fact that a lot of people who have celiac disease or even a severe gluten intolerance often have lactose intolerance as well - in my case I was so hoping that once my villa was restored and my intestines on the way to health from gluten damage - that I would once again be able to tolerate dairy / lactose - no such luck.)

We did notice (we went on the last day of this event) that there were booths that though originally on the list that they had celiac friendly dishes - had crossed this out, I can imagine with the cross contamination issue being so high at an event like this - there were some that decided that the risk was too great and took their items off.  

Restaurants and the dishes we tried:

Zinc - Alberta Beef Petit Tender w/Blue Cheese Potatoes - The beef was extremely tender and very tasty - and the Blue cheese potatoes a very nice accompaniment - this dish was a fair size for the cost and was so delicious we went back for seconds.  :)

It's All Greek to Me - Chicken Souvlaki - Simple meat on a stick (without the break accompaniment of course) - tasty.

That's Aroma! - both their items on the menu were listed as celiac friendly - Chicken Satay and Garlic Tomato Salad - we just tried the Chicken Satay (left the garlic for another day ;)  It was very tasty and I am looking to give this restaurant a visit soon - I also heard that they run the odd gluten free cooking class out of the Sorrentino's restaurant groups - I would love to give this a try one day.

The Canadian Brewhouse - Steak Bites - these were delicious - another go back and get another helping - spiced to perfection and tender, looked to be a very popular addition by the line up.

Taste of Ukraine - Cabbage Rolls (Holubtsi) - we had them plain without the sour cream and bacon offered - which she understood as soon as we said celiac - and they were ok.  I am not sure as a celiac how much we could eat at the actual restaurant, but I intend to check it out, being a Ukrainian girl.  :)

Lit Italian Wine Bar - Again both the items on the menu were celiac friendly - Basil stuffed Bocconcini w/ Prosciutto Wrap and the Seared Galliano Crusted Ahi Tuna Salad -  We tried the Ahi Tuna Salad and really enjoyed it - a mixed organic greens with a delightful light and tasty dressing and the Tuna was seared and spiced just right - enjoyed this dish.  Looking at their site - another restaurant I am putting down to try soon, always a good sign when you see gluten free this and that right on the main menu online.

Enjoyed the opportunity to take part in the Taste of Edmonton - and it was good to see the restaurants that made the effort to accommodate therefore encouraging to us to put their establishments on our list of restaurants to research and give them our business.

Heritage Days - was a bit more difficult - we did try a few things from different cultural booths - it is a lot more confusing and a bit of a try and dare situation - you are really taking a risk in eating there - I think maybe some more research would be better for next year, but then again I think the cross contamination risk is very high at this event.

Will post pictures of the dishes at the Taste of Edmonton soon - but for now - I think the foray into gluten free eating at this event a tentative success, and looking forward to next year and maybe taking in a few more dishes.  :)

Cheers :)

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