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.

13 comments:

lynne said...

Yikes -- but I agree. When we moved here last summer, we drove across the country and found that the smaller the town, the trickier it was to find food. I subsisted on "green salads" (which I hate) and omelettes, as well as McDonald's fries. Sad. I know I could never live in a smaller city; I'd never be able to go out to eat!

lynne said...

Brian, since you mentioned Greek -- any decent Greek places downtown? I've found that most of the places I've been to (mostly on the Danforth) marinate all of the meat in chicken broth and cook the rice in chicken broth, which may or may not be safe (and they haven't been able to tell me.) It is too bad, because Greek food without the broth should be fine.

Brian said...

I guess I'm not 100% sure of any Greek places. I have eaten at some places on the Danforth, and the issue of chicken stock has never come up. I guess that's my fault for not asking enough questions. I'll have to inquire further next time and report back.

lynne said...

The broth issue caught me off-guard, too. I went to one Greek place in Vancouver for years -- which had excellent food -- and then found out that everything was marinated in the broth and it was used for cooking the rice. They let me look at the big container the stock came in and, sure enough, wheat flour was an ingredient. Now, I'd never reacted to their food (and I was pretty sensitive at the time) so I don't know how big a deal this is, but I try to avoid it when I can because I know there is some damage being done even when I don't react. I've found most Greek places do use stock as marinade so have just generally stopped eating at them, much to my dismay, because they usually can't tell you whether or not wheat flour is in the stock.

Oddly enough, it seems that some restaurants (including Milestones, which was long a favourite place for me to eat b/c the staff is very aware of food allegies) now marinate their vegetables in chicken stock, which may or may not contain wheat. Last time I was there the waitress warned me of that and they were very good about getting me a "safe" meal, although choices were very limited. Just one more thing to be aware of.

KimS said...

Thank you for the invite. I made it! :)

Oh Brian, I am very sorry for you experience in London. It is true enough though.

There is a place called Jubilee Cafe that is a gf bakery. I have posted it in the restaurant section of cancelthatglutenorder and will post the link here for the next time you go.

They are pricey (as gf food always is) but they do have lots of *delicious* stuff.

http://www.jubileekafe.com/Splash.htm

Also, if you can get to (in London) a Zehr's or Loeb's, they (usually - the one one Southdale doesn't, last time I looked) have gf sections where you can get cereal and snack bars and stuff.

Next time you are in the area, let me know and I'll tell you if I've got anything else that will 'pay' off for you in the London/Sarnia area.

Anonymous said...

Sorry you had such a difficult time here in London! I know exactly what you went through! So many times I mention gluten only to be met with a look like I'm speaking alien! If your in town again Kims is right on about Jubilee Cafe. It's a great option. Also for a safe and tasty lunch or dinner try The Outback Steakhouse on Wellington Road. I've also heard that Ben Than Restaurant is very knowledgeable about Celiac. (I'm actually going there tonight to try it out). Best of luck!

Brian said...

Those are good suggestions, if I ever go back. Thanks.

joanne said...

Thanks for the Jubilee Kafe tip. I was recently in London for a few days and was happy to have discovered them via this blog. Compared to similar celiac baked goods in Kitchener/Waterloo (where I live) and Toronto (where I often work) I found the prices are a bit lower and the portions are generous.

While at Jubilee, I spoke to the owners about London restaurants (the owner has three Celiac children). The owner and one of her daughters recommended 'Under the Volcano'. It's a Mexican restaurant on Picadilli. My husband and I ate there while visiting London and were very pleased. They have a separate celiac menu and the staff are knowledgeable. When our waitress didn't know the answer to one of our questions she happily checked with the kitchen. Even the free tortilla chips and salsa that come before the meal are safe to eat.

Joanne

Jay said...

I live in London and my cousin has Celiac disease. Loblaws and Real Canadian Superstore both carry gluten-free products and ingredients in a special section of the store. They even have frozen bread products that are gluten-free. I bake for her for xmas, and also prepare dishes she can eat for family get-togethers, so it's nice to have a few places around to buy ingredients. (That's how I found this site ... searching for some new recipes for this holiday season)

Brian said...

Jay, That's useful info, if I ever go back. Thanks.

Kate said...

Try a new bakery in London that has gluten free baked goods.
Organic Works Bakery is on the corner of Talbot and Bathurst streets, 278 Talbot Street.

Karen said...

I have been to Organics Works Bakery. They have a gluten free line. The whole bakeshop is nut milk and egg free!

Anonymous said...

You should also hit up a few other places - Bertoldis on Richmond has a celiac menu, as does Under the Volcano (mexican), and many of the chain restaurants are getting with the program. More and more restaurants in London are getting with the program - I still get the odd person who puts a side of bread on my gluten-free order. The Keg has good servers who will make sure your food is safe, Mongolian Grill will clean the grill for you, and use clean utensils, and will tell you what sauces are GF. Ben Than is great... London has lots of options!