Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Tutti Frutti

Let's talk about frozen yogurt for a moment.

I have always been an ice cream kind of gal. I love a big bowl of creamy frozen milk, and it was a staple growing up. It's kind of hard now, because dairy makes me so sick and I just don't think that bowl of frozen deliciousness is worth it. I occasionally buy dairy-free ice creams, but they always let me down.

The other problem I have with ice cream is when it comes to a last-minute date. Our old house was a block away from a cute little ice cream shop, so in the summer, hubby and I would walk the dog down and take a little "date" out of our day to enjoy some ice cream.

Well, that's great. And I love it, but again, I don't love feeling sick afterwards.

Now, our new house is a few blocks away from Tutti Frutti (and by few, I mean a few too many to walk). Several times since we've moved, my husband and I have driven over and enjoyed some time together there.

If you've never been to Tutti Frutti before, they usually have ten or so different flavours of frozen yogurt, and you grab a bowl and fill with as much of whatever flavour you like. Then they have a topping bar, and you can put anything from sprinkles to cookies to candies to fruit on top of your fro-yo. And then you pay by the weight.

Every time I've been, they have two dairy-free flavours, usually one soy-based ice cream, and one fruit sorbet. I usually get a little of each, and while I can't enjoy any of the toppings, my husband does. (It's buffet style. Having one dish of cookies means I can't touch anything on there. And then the sprinkles and carmel sauce are iffy, so I just enjoy my plain dairy-free dessert.)

I love it. I get to enjoy my pseudo-ice cream, my husband gets to enjoy his completely-overloaded-frozen-yogurt and we get to spend a little time together.

If you're in the mood for a sugar coma, or if you're looking to go out and enjoy dairy-free dessert, check out Tutti Fruitt!

Tutti Frutti on Urbanspoon

Monday, 6 October 2014

Panago Pizza

Ordering in pizza is hard, as a celiac. Most pizza places carry a gluten-free crust, but their contamination policies vary, and it's hard to say whether it'll be safe or not. However, because ordering in pizza is the most convenient, simple, and tasty dinner ever, I keep doing it, despite the risks. When we lived in Moose Jaw, we tried a couple of different places, and I always tried each place more than once. But if it made me sick more than once, I gave up and moved on to another place. There was only one place I could consistently eat without getting sick, and my husband didn't like their pizza. So ordering in pizza was actually quite the ordeal.

On the day that we moved to Saskatoon, we had several people helping us unload, and we were all hungry, so I went online and ordered in some pizza.

I picked Panago, on a whim, and I don't know if I'll ever try anywhere else ever again.

Their online ordering system is smooth, straight-forward and very customizable.

They do have a gluten-free crust, which I think is bigger than most places, but it's been awhile since I ordered in pizza, so don't quote me on that. The best part though, is that you can select Daiya dairy-free cheese to top your pizza with!

So I ordered in a gluten-free, dairy-free pizza with all the toppings I wanted (they have a list of gluten-free toppings, so you're sure) and I didn't get sick at all! There wasn't any dairy to upset my stomach, and I didn't get glutened! We've ordered it in three times now, and I've had the same success.

My husband wants to keep trying other places that we didn't have in Moose Jaw, but they don't have dairy-free cheese, so I'm reluctant. Haha.

I realize most of my friends who don't have dietary restrictions prefer other places, but if you are worried about either gluten or dairy, I would highly recommend Panago.  

Panago Pizza on Urbanspoon

Friday, 3 October 2014

London Jack's Fish & Chips in Regina

Inconveniently, I fell in love with a restaurant in Regina, shortly after I moved to Saskatoon. I don't know the next time I'll be in Regina, but I promise whenever that is, I will be eating at London Jack's Authentic British Fish & Chips. As their name might suggest, they specialize in authentic fish & chips, and everything deep-fried.

Wait. Why is a celiac going to a restaurant that deep fries everything? Well, because not only do they have gluten-free flour and batter, they have a dedicated gluten-free deep frier. What? That's right! Dedicated gluten-free fish and chips. Deep-fried, just like everybody else!

They have a very small restaurant, with an order counter and three small tables. The deep friers are behind the counter, and you can watch the cooks work while you wait for your take-out (unless one of the tables happens to be open). I did watch, because I'm paranoid, and I noticed that they have a whole bunch of green utensils, and anything that's green only gets used for gluten-free orders. I don't even need to tell them it's an allergy, they treat it like one anyways.

I was blown away, and super excited.

Hubby and I went to this restaurant a couple weeks ago when we were in Regina. We had a hard time finding it, but I was determined. When we got there, I scoped it out, and asked a bunch of questions, and when I was satisfied that I could really, truly have battered fish and french fries, I ordered just that! Hubby ordered the same, but with regular batter, and we sat down to wait.

One small thing that amazed me was when the next guy walked up and ordered some fish, and the server asked "Gluten-free or regular?" Gluten-free isn't a side choice there, on a seperate menu that you have to know about. It's right up there with everything else they serve. Their menu is just a laminated piece of paper on the counter, and the items on the menu are all either in black or green font. The green items are ones that are gluten-free. So I don't have to check if I can have the deep-fried pickles. I just have to select a green item. How awesome is that?

On top of being awesomely gluten-free friendly, they also make the most amazing fish and chips I've ever had. Seriously. I'm not a fish and chips kind of person, but this was the best I've ever had. They also serve deep-fried pickles, mars bars or cola. Yeah, cola. We got some deep-fried Dr Pepper for dessert. It was awesome.

I would highly reccomend this place whether or not you eat gluten-free. I would, however, suggest planning for takeout. But other than their small storefront, there is not a bad thing I could say about this place. So check it out, as soon as you can!

London Jack's Authentic British Fish and Chips on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Opa! of Greece in Saskatoon

Eating out for lunch is a wee bit difficult, because I work in an industrial area, and there aren't very many restaurants close enough to make it there and back in an hour, and even less of them have gluten-free options.

But when my friend asks if I want to make a lunch date, how can I say no?

I had recently eaten at the best GF places in the area, so I did some UrbanSpoon research, and suggested Opa!

The North Industrial location opened recently, within the last month I think. As such, there weren't very many reviews on UrbanSpoon, but they were rated gluten-free friendly, and the company's website had a small, limited gluten-free menu posted.

The lunch hour was crazy busy, with a line all the way back to the door from the moment I walked in until I left to go back to work. When I got to the front of the line, I told the girl that I had a gluten allergy. She immediatly pulled out a gluten-free menu, and I quickly ordered off of that. I also asked if she could make note that it was an allergy, and she enthusiastically nodded and pushed a bunch of buttons.

I ordered a small greek salad, a lamb souvlaki and a chicken souvlaki. Since my friend ordered before me, when she was called up to select what went on her wrap, I followed to watch how they made my food.

The girl at the counter (a different girl from the till) handled my friend's pita, touching the wrap itself with her gloves, and after handing it off, she pulled out a plate and spooned some salad onto it. I was bothered that she didn't change her gloves, but I didn't want to be that person so I didn't say anything, until a piece of lettuce fell off the plate onto the crumby counter and she picked it up with her gloves and put it back on my plate.

I stepped forward. "Is that the greek salad?"


"Could you actually change your gloves?"


"It's an allergy. Could you change your gloves?"

She looked the the slip of paper in front of her that I knew had my order on it and rolled her eyes. "You want me to remake this?" She looked a little indignant, and I felt bad, but I nodded. She tossed the small salad in the garbage, and slowly changed her gloves. Then she went through the same process of spooning out my salad and added two skewers of meat on top.

A couple more things bothered me, but I let them drop.

First of all, she didn't wipe down the counter or use a fresh spoon. Two small things that would make a big difference to me. Second, while spooning out my second salad, she asked her coworker to start making the next pita (since, you know, changing her gloves really put her back...).

So here are my problems with this restaurant... They have a gluten-free menu, and the girl at the till understood and seemed positive about an allergy, so I was hopeful. I thought that if she is knowledgeable and helpful, surely I'll be fine, right? Wrong. The people making the food have clearly not been trained on how to handle an allergy, which I would expect from a restaurant that rates itself as gluten-free friendly on UrbanSpoon.

I mean, sure. It's not 100% gluten-free and I'm taking a risk, and blah blah blah, but a business needs to train their food handlers on how to handle an allergy. What if it was an anaphylactic allergy like garlic or nuts? Would she have taken it seriously? Honestly, I doubt it. And that's a major health concern.

Oh, and I got sick. Yep, changing her gloves wasn't enough. I have my headache, fogginess, stomach pains and all the other wonderful symptoms that go along with accidentally consuming gluten. I'm sad, but I don't think I'll be able to go back to Opa! again.

However, my friend thouroughly enjoyed her pita/wrap thing, and the restaurant was clean, quick and delicious. If you eat gluten-free because of a preference, or if you don't care to eat gluten-free, I would reccomend this place. However, if you have an allergy of any sorts, I wouldn't bother going here. If you absolutely have to, maybe call ahead and ask about their allergy procedures...

Opa! of Greece on Urbanspoon