Wild Orchid Bistro and their gluten free options - Canmore, AB

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We always love it when our readers write in a review for us.  Here is a guest blog post by Cassie from a visit she had to Wild Orchid Bistro in Canmore

If nothing else, I would have given this place 5 stars due to the fact that the menu is 100% Gluten Free. As a celiac, this is basically impossible to find so it was a major treat to know that ANYTHING I ordered was going to be safe to eat.

We started with the Scallop Tempura which was pretty good. Maybe not worth the $12 however keeping in mind that I never get to eat that stuff, I wasn't too picky to pay the higher price. For someone like my husband, without food allergies, this was a little steep for what you get. It was cooked nicely though!For the main, we ordered 4 different rolls. (*Keep in mind they did not offer RAW fish sushi)

  1. Crunchy Salmon Roll - Odd texture with the crunchiness but surprisingly delicious! The salmon is slightly cooked but honestly, I think that made it better, bringing out the flavour. Really loved this one - very fusion!!  ;)
  2. Caterpillar Roll - Very yummy roll with a mild flavour. Especially loved the fresh avocado covering the rolls. 
  3. Atlantic Lobster Roll - If I had to rate between the other rolls, this was probably my least favorite (however still good) due to the cold shredded veggies with the lobster. Flavours didn't combine good enough to make a fantastic flavour though. 
  4. Dynamite Roll - LOVED this one. I can almost never eat Tempura but this tasted sooo good and even my husband (again, no food allergies) felt this tasted like something 'normal' and really like it. Flavours were really nice!

For dessert, I ordered the Coconut Creme Brulee, which I was elated to order because it was also Dairy Free! It tasted really good but I will say that I was a little disappointed because they didn't have the crunchy sugar top (which to me, is a MUST with creme brulee). It was mostly like pudding with some toasted coconut on top. Still tasted good, but not for $8 honestly. Presentation was very well done but price was too steep.

Husband ordered Sticky Toffee Pudding which was good too. For 'health conscious' people, this was great as the menu even says something about being less sweet and a healthier option. I mean, it's still a cake dessert with syrup and ice cream but I think it's just made with 'less sugar' than normal.

Atmosphere was nice, server was good. I would say it was a win for me as a Celiac. Just keep in mind, it is a little more pricey and it is a FUSION restaurant so it's not the classic raw fish sushi type of place.

Only 4 stars due to the price and minor taste dislikes.

I'd recommend giving it a try!

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Gluten Free Options at Freshii

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I was recently invited to Freshii on Rice Howard Way to try out their gluten free options.

If you are not familiar with Freshii, it is a salad bar.  But I'd probably be doing a disservice to call it just a salad bar, because they have rice bowls and wraps.

Obviously not everything on the menu is gluten free, but each location should have a print off of their nutritional guide for you to flip through.

That will list what items contain gluten.  Freshii also has their allergen guide posted online with their menu in pdf.

 The allergen guide only indicated that there were a couple ready made salad and rice bowls that were gluten free.  But thats okay.  Because as you see above, you can make your own!  And you can make sure it is gluten free.  I tried the Mediterranean and added chicken.  The serving portion is quite decent for a salad.  I was worried about not being filled up eating a salad for dinner, but I was pretty full.

The salad came with olives, roasted red pepper, feta, red onion, feta tomato and lots of yum!  As I said I added chicken, because every salad starts off vegetarian, then you can add your protein after if you want.

Hope you try it!  Be sure to let them know you need it to be gluten free, and ensure they take the proper precautions to avoid any cross contamination.

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Pita Pit now carrying Gluten Free Pita's

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Participating Pita Pits are now carrying gluten free pita.  I first received the information from the owner of the Jasper Ave. Pita Pit location and posted it to Facebook.  Scott gave us some good insight on their disclaimer and the product information.

First things first, the pita it seld is made by Aidan's.  Never heard of them before this, but they are a Canadian company located in Toronto.  Yay Pita Pit, finding a locally sourced gluten free pita!

Umm can't tell the difference eh?

So what sauces and toppings to avoid?
  • BBQ Rib
  • Gyros
  • Buffalo Chicken
  • Sausage (breakfast pitas)
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • And the cookies.
Recipes and ingredients are always changing, so always check if any more toppings or sauces are still gluten free or if maybe a new BBQ sauce was chosen that is gluten free.

Pita Pit's disclaimer is like every other, not recommended for Celiac' because of working conditions of the environment.  Scott had this comment on Facebook about their process, how they try to avoid cross contamination and why he still worries about cross contamination
Just to clarify that we do try do everything we can to stop cross contamination but sadly there is lots of regular pitas around and we can't guarantee it. 
What we do though in order to try our best is change gloves before pulling the pita out of the bag and then place the gluten free pita on one of our papers we wrap the pitas with. We also don't put the pita in the steamer (unless requested) since other regular pitas have been in there. The pita then stays the new wrap paper as it moves across our front table and when at the end we then place it on another new paper to wrap it up.
Scott does go on to say that his wife has a gluten sensitivity and has successfully had their pita's.  Basically to me it sounds like this location over others will understand the harms of cross contamination.

Let us know if you try this!

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Gluten Free Brewmasters Dinner at Craft Beer Market

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The other night, I was privileged enough to attend the Gluten Free Brewmasters Dinner at Craft Beer Market downtown Edmonton . It was excellent! We were seated at a table with all of the Brewmasters and we learned so much about the making of Gluten Free Beer.

For example, there are some companies that make their regular beer and then use enzymes or even separation methods to remove the gluten produced by the barley malt. While other companies opt to use rice malt instead and then produce a gluten free beer. According to the information provided at the event, each of the beers we sampled were able to register at most as less than 10 ppm which enables them to be gluten free.

Here is a visual of the menu and Gluten Free Beer sampling we enjoyed that evening along with some pictures of the food (yum!)

Chicken and Waffles & Brunehaut White

Jamaican Patty & Glutenberg American Pale Ale

Crispy BBQ Short Ribs & Glutenberg India Pale Ale

Forgot to get a picture of dessert but this is the dessert beer (Le Messagere Berry Ale)
To be completely honest,even in my pre gluten free years I was never much of a beer drinker, so unlike others it is not really something that I miss. That being said, I was amazed to hear about the processes and efforts required to provide the Gluten Free community with such a variety of Gluten Free Beer options. I recall when I was first diagnosed Celiac I simply assumed that this meant no more beer for me...ever! I was gravely mistaken and good thing! There are so many different Gluten Free beers out there...just ready to be enjoyed on a hot summers day.

Enjoy the beer and drink responsibly, both for physical safety as well as gluten related safety.

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