Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I just had a disappointing experience with Noah's (the one at 322 Bloor Street). We purchased gluten-free sandwich buns made by Nature's Own on December 13th. They were reduced from $5.49 to $3.99 with a best before date of December 14. At home, we realized that they were moldy. Noah's refused to give a refund, claiming that they may have become moldy overnight.

Oh, and the package states that the bread must be refrigerated: Noah's did not do this.

I spend lots of money at Noah's and I have to say that I am really disappointed with them. I can't believe that they are willing to lose a customer over $4.00.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

My recent trip to London Ontario made me thankful that I live in a large city. It's like I was speaking Greek to the waitress at the restaurant. She said that she had no idea if there was gluten in the side dish I asked about, and added that "neither would they" as she pointed towards the kitchen. No offense to any Londoners reading this, but it seemed so behind. I failed to find any food that I could be certain about for lunch the next day. The conference planners provided a "buffet" composed entirely of sandwiches. I hit the streets and managed only to find potato chips. Even the phad thai was bad news. I am glad to be back.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

ok, WICKED grocery shopping tonight. Fiesta Farms on essex at christie has tons of gluten-free stuff. it has alot of tinkyada's pastas. i got some lasagne noodles! and bunch of other pastas. they also have way more gluten free cereals than noahs and strictly bulk. as well, they have at least 10 different kinds of cookies (extremely important!!) and they have a very large supply of thai kitchen stuff. they also have alot of bobs mills flours and other flour stuff. it seemed like everywhere i turned, there was another gluten free product. i'm so excited~! they also have alot of organic vegetables, which if you remember what carrots used to taste like, and the wood stumps they call carrots now, you can revisit the ye olde carrot by getting organic ones. the only drag about fiesta is having to see all the stuff i can't eat now, that i may have some sentimental attachment to. also, they have rice bread but it's not gluten free. (what's the point!)and other than that, i couldn't find any bread.
it's also tricky when they say wheat free, and then you read malt on the ingredients!!! the nerve.
but i'm learnin, and quick!
i had my biopsy on monday. the gastrodoctorguy, who i love, said that i should go gluten free regardless of the results because clearly i can't take gluten. i'm supposed to call him next week for results.
i have house guests this weekend, and they want to eat out alot so i'll be reporting on my activities afterwards!!
ok cookie time now..

Friday, November 19, 2004

today i went to bulk barn at eastern & leslie to buy some gluten free pastas. while i was there i found some kingsmill gf bread and thought i'd try it. ugh. it was the yuck.
someone told me about this stuff called chebe that they raved about and i found it on the web, but i'm just wondering if there's anywhere in toronto that i can get it. and also if there's actually a good tasty bread out there. i wish ace bakery would make some gluten free bread! (as long as it still tasted like their baguettes)
on monday i'm having an endoscopy. tommorrow i start the prep. (woohoo fun weekend!) i'm in my last hours of eating wheat. i'm sad and excited at the same time. no more crumpets but no more feeling horrible...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

whoops, i first posted this in my blog instead of here. anyway, i made some muffins tonight using potato flour and maseca corn flour. they were...sandy. i'm new to gf stuff so it's a new adventure in fun and frustration.
i'm still supposed to eat wheat until november 22nd when i have an endoscopy/biopsy scheduled, but after that will be a whole new world to me.
i can't even imagine what it would have been like to have celiac disease before the internet.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Finding gluten-free Thai food isn't as easy as I had thought it would be. I have had good success with Real Thailand (on Bloor), finding that virtually everything is wheat-free/gluten-free, if I was given correct information. Recently, I have been encountering problems.

At Salad King (listed on my page), I have found the staff to be extremely knowledgeable. They know, for instance, that oyster sauce contains wheat. I wonder how many other restaurants are aware of that? And, they have modified certain menu items to suit my needs. However, very little is gluten-free, even the curries, which contain wheat.

During a recent trip to New York, I went to a Thai restaurant on Broadway, and they advised me to not eat anything. All meat was marinated in soy sauce, flour was used in curries, and they weren't even sure if the noodles were made of rice.

A week ago, on my way to the Ambient Ping, I ate a Thai Chilis on Queen. I had a really excellent red curry. Everything else was off limits, mostly because of soy sauce. I had a similar experience at The One Thai on Yonge Street a while back.

By the way, you can post your own messages (just like this one) for others to read and comment on. Just send me a message, and I will send out a Blogger invitation.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Dominion

I made inquiries at a downtown Toronto Dominion salad bar about ingredients. The counter help were no help, so I emailed the head office. Someone replied to say that every deli has a binder with all ingredients. Armed with this information, I headed to a different downtown Dominion and was greeted by the same reply. I was referred to the deli manager, who eventually dug out a huge binder filled with all sorts of details.

It took some time for her to find the proper page (the salads are grouped by manufacturer). I found useful information. The trouble is, it would be a pain to have to go through this procedure on every visit. I wonder why that information is not posted on the web, or is made more easily available. I can't really see myself bothering in the future.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Debu Saha's Biryani House
I recently made a return visit to Biryani House, my first since the move to its
new location (25 Wellesley Street). My impression is that there is very little
wheat used. In any event (as with previous visits), I was able to get a
gluten-free meal. I think that the food is excellent.

Update (April 30, 2008): I have heard that this restaurant is under new management, and I have not made a return trip, so I have no idea if the menu has changed.

Monday, July 12, 2004

El Palenque (653 St. Clair Avenue West) has been listed on my page for some time. Recently, I went back, and I have to say that I really didn't think it was that good. Aside from the fact that the food wasn't hot, it just didn't seem that good. Maybe it was just a bad day. The patio was full, at least.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

La Messagère Gluten-Free Beer

I finally got to try La Messagère gluten-free beer, since it is now available in several LCBO locations in Ontario. The first taste was surprising. I was unable to determine if it was any good. It has been years since I had beer, and I sort of forgot what it is supposed to taste like. I had to make a beer drinker try it. It got a positive review.
After two bottles, I can say that I think I like it.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Spring Rolls

My two recent visits to Spring Rolls has really highlighted the problems with dining out. I visited the location at 693 Yonge Street a few weeks ago and had what I thought was a good experience. The server spoke with kitchen staff and told me that there were lots of things I could eat. I chose Pad Thai.

More recently, I dined at the new Atrium on Bay location. This time, I was told that almost everything was off limits. There is wheat in the curry, Pad Thai, anything with szechuan sauce or tomato paste, and I was even told that the rice noodles may contain wheat. I guess the good news is that they happily modified a dish and used garlic sauce instead of the standard sauce. What a difference a few blocks make.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

GF beer at the LCBO

A few locations are selling 6 packs of La Messagère gluten-free beer. A six pack costs $16.95. The product code is LCBO 682880. According to the LCBO website, it is avilable here:

2 COOPER STREET
QUEENS QUAY & YONGE
(416) 864-6777
quantity: 24

10 SCRIVENER SQUARE
YONGE & SUMMERHILL
(416) 922-0403
quantity: 16

1941 YONGE STREET
YONGE & DAVISVILLE
(416) 483-8622
quantity: 16

337 SPADINA AVENUE
SPADINA & DUNDAS
(416) 597-0145
quantity: 8

595 BAY STREET
YONGE & DUNDAS (ATRIUM ON BAY)
(416) 979-9978
quantity: 4

Selected LCBO outlets in Etobicoke, Scarborough, and North York also carry this product. You can search www.lcbo.com for a store in your area.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Smoke-free!

At last, all bars are now smoke-free. Restaurants were made smoke-free some time ago, and now we can breathe easier in bars.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Bellini's Ristorante

Bellini's Ristorante (bellinis@interlog.com, 101 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, Canada
Telephone: (416) 929-9111, Fax: (416) 929-6887, www.bellinisristorante.com)

Bellini's is an upscale restaurant in Yorkville. Bono, Elton John, Tom Cruise, and Madonna have all been spotted there. Entrees range from $17 to $35 (pasta is cheaper). Our waiter didn't seem to know what gluten was, but he was able to obtain good information from the chef. Bellini's has a fine wine list, ranging from $30 to $300+.

I thought that the food was excellent.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Fox & Fiddle

Last night, I went for the first time at the Fox and Fiddle at 535 Danforth Ave. (416.462.9830) between Pape and Chester stations. I recommend this place.

I was told which items are gluten-free, those that can be made to be gluten-free (like a steak sandwich without the bun, etc.), and those that are custom. For the first time in years, I have wings and fish & chips. They have a dedicated deep fryer, and make a gluten-free batter with GF flour and cider, rather than wheat and beer. I think I will be going back.

Friday, April 16, 2004

New York

I just got back from a few days in New York City. Among other things, we attended a wedding in the Empire State Building. That was cool, but the lightening prevented us from going out onto the observation deck. It rained every day, but the last. In fact, the best weather we had occurred during the taxi ride to LaGuardia.

This was my third trip to Manhattan, and I have had good luck at most restaurants each time.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Boston

I'm back. If you are planning to travel to Boston, check out Legal Sea Foods. People were right to recommend this place. My server was knowledgeable about gluten and ensured that my meal was free of it.

I had a very good meal at the Union Oyster House, the oldest restaurant in America. I had no trouble getting a gluten-free meal there.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Boston

That was good timing. Someone poisted a summary of GF friendly Boston restaurants on the Celiac Listserv. I am heading to Boston on Friday. Suggestions were:

*Palm steakhouse in Dartmouth.
*Legal seafoods
*Outback Steakhouse-has a GF menu
*Naked Fish-near Faneuil Hall
*Blue Room in Cambridge
*Blue Ginger-Chefs son is GF
*Casablanca in Harvard Square
*Spries- downtown Boston
*Jake and Earls Bar-B-Cue in Waltham GF menu made by a nutritionist at
Childrens Hospital
*Union Oyster House
*Capital Grille
*Elephant Walk
*PF Changs

Other posters have previously suggested Boston Market Restaurant, Tantawan, Pho Pasteur, Brown Sugar, Mr. Sushi, and Chef Chow.

I'll let you know how it went.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Niagara Falls

We were recently in Niagara Falls (Ontario) and had a good experience at Monticello Restaurant and Wine Bar. Our server has a nephew with Celiac Disease, and so she was able to give me good information on the food. She also double checked with the kitchen.

Monday, March 08, 2004

cancelthatglutenorder is a recently-created Yahoo! Group that hopes "to create a place where people can find Canadian gluten free lists to help them get started (and keep up) and discuss their gluten free lifestyle. Come on in and have some laughs. It's tough at first but gets easier with practise... like everything that matters in life. Some things are serious but once in a while you've got to stop and chuckle. Open to ideas about what might be helpful to each other."

Monday, February 23, 2004

Gluten-Free Beer (again)

I forgot about this one:

www.ramapovalleybrewery.com

I have no idea if it will be available in Toronto.

(I changed the comments service to Blogger from Haloscan and I lost this comment. Here is one for this post: "I recently tried the gluten free beer from Ramapo Valley and found it to be exceedingly sweet. It does have a wonderful aroma, good carbonation and slight hoppy flavor. It is disappointing that it was brewed to be so sweet.
Edwin Thaves | Email | 03.04.04 - 10:49 am"

Friday, February 20, 2004

Another Cool Blog

Celiac Chicks: The cool resource guide to a hip and healthy celiac lifestyle.
Hemp Pizza!

Toronto's first gourmet Hemp pizza is available at Runyx (108 Dundas Street West, near the Eaton Centre; 416.593.1118).

"Made from hemp grain, this nutty-tasting dark coloured flour contains a whopping 40 per cent protein and 18 per cent dietary fibre. Completely natural and with no preservatives, Hemp grain is grown in Ontario without any pesticides or herbicides, while Hempola flour is genetically modified organism (GMO) and gluten-free." (from http://www.canadafreepress.com/Pubs/runyx.htm)

I'll be adding this restaurant to my page soon.
Nothing There

InfoToronto has a restaurant category for Gluten-free:

http://infotoronto.com/fooddining/docs/find_a_restaurant.asp

But, there are no listings. Same goes for its Banquet Hall listings:

http://infotoronto.com/fooddining_banquet/docs/find_a_banquet_hall.asp

I suppose that it is encouraging to see the category.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Gluten-Free Empowerment Celiac Sisters

"Chicagoland Celiac Chick reviews restuarants, manufactured foods, health food stores and shares her gluten-free baking, diet, empowerment, and temptation experiences."

This is cool.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Swiss Chalet

Bad news. Swiss Chalet has made changes to part of its menu. There is now wheat in the rice. The online allergens document has been updated to reflect this change. It is disappointing. It's not that Swiss Chalet was ever a top restaurant, but it is OK. This reduces choices a bit.

Greg's Ice Cream

I removed Greg's Ice Cream from my Gluten Free Toronto site. Before I gave up all dairy products, I had good experiences there. I recently received an email from someone who had the opposite experience. In fact, the server told them it would be best if they left. At least Baskin-Robbins is still a good choice, and they offer one dairy-free, gluten-free choice, in addition to lots of gluten-free ice cream.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

A recent Finnish study of 3,654 kids, ages 7 to 16, found that 1 in 99 children have Celiac Disease. The Mayo Clinic has recently reported that the incidence is much higher than previously thought. These results support the University of Maryland's earlier conclusion that 1 in 150 Americans have Celiac Disease. Hopefully, doctors will start to take the disease seriously.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Elixir has closed

Elixir

A couple of months ago, I had a good experience at Elixir, a Persian restaurant in the Annex (522 Bloor West; 416-597-2915). It was clear to me that there were several possibilities on the menu (unless you are vegetarian, perhaps), but I made sure to ask questions. The chef sent the waitress back to ask even more questions about my dietary restrictions. The food is excellent.

Eye Magazine has a review from 2002.

Elixir has also been reviewed positively in Now Magazine.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Beer

Good news. As some of us have heard, La Baluchon Brewery is now manufacturing a gluten-free beer. The LCBO told me that it would cost nearly $90 to import a case of 24 bottles. I just received an email from La Baluchon saying that some LCBO stores will carry this beer within three months.

From La Baluchon's website: "La Messagère is here to spread the good news! Enthusiasts of gluten-free products will be delighted to learn of the availability of North America's first gluten-free beer, brewed from rice and buckwheat."

Incidentally, an American company is in the final stages of launching a gluten-free beer. See Bard's Tale Beer for more information.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Hi there,

If you have Celiac Disease and you live in and around Toronto, please consider posting to this blog. Just send me an email (glutenfreetoronto@yahoo.ca) gftoronto@gmail.com and I will send you an invitation to be a member. I think it would be great if I can get contributions from as many people as possible.

Brian

http://www.ryerson.ca/~bcameron/gft/