4 things we learned about eating gluten free in Mexico

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We recently traveled to Mexico.  This was not our first trip to Mexico by any means. It was not even our first time travelling outside of Canada seeking gluten free eats.  But this trip seemed a bit different.  Eating at resorts in generally can be a daunting task.  Food at resorts is always hit and miss.  Then through in the curve ball of eating with a dietary restriction in a buffet situation with a potential language barrier.  Oy!

We left the Crown Paradise Club in Puerto Vallarta a little wiser.  Here are 4 things we learned about eating gluten free in Mexico that we needed to be reminded about.

1. Buffets can be messy, but there is always a chef to speak to

Buffets can be messy and scary for cross contamination.  We were reminded by the Crown Paradise Club Facebook page that there is always a chef to speak with to prepare you something off menu:

2. A la carte specialty restaurants can lead to more gluten free options than the buffet

Once we got a hang of the reservation system for the resorts specialty restaurants, we ate their for all of our dinners. It allowed for easy customization of the meals and a safer space to reduce chance of cross contamination since there was not a buffet.

3. Don't be afraid to ask, you are not being a trouble maker

Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself.  Not just for a gluten free meal, but for a tasty gluten free meal.  You don't know what they can do until you start to ask questions.  There were a couple of times at the specialty restaurants they offered up dishes with no sauce.  I expect better than that when you pay money to stay at a resort.  So we asked them to prepare a different sauces to go with the meal, which ended up to be a simple garlic butter sauce which pairs well with lots of foods.  There is one time they actually sought out a gluten free pasta to make a dish for Amanda as well.

4. Crowd sourcing works

Don't be afraid to ask your friends on social media for tips and advice.  We did!  And a lot of you responded.  Thank you so much for that!  We are always learning.  Check out some of the comments in the Facebook post below and add your own tips!

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Dollarama continues to deliver gluten free snacks

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I am not going to lie, Dollarama is one of my favourite places to shop in general.  I get lost in all the knick knacks tat can be found.  Sometimes really poor quality, sometimes good quality.

The City Centre Dollarama in downtown Edmonton was closed for a year as the mall went through renovations and the Dollarama had to be relocated and rebuilt to make way for expanded underground parking.

I missed it.  And when it finally re-opened, I was there on day 1!

What people may not often know is that there is a good variety of gluten free snacks available at Dollarama.  Just check out these quick finds while doing a quick run through:

Junior mints labelled gluten free and nut free (top left corner)

Doritos labelled gluten free, on back of package:

Lay's Stax Original, certified gluten free by the Canadian Celiac Association:

Rice Vermicelli Bowls labelled gluten free (see bottom left label), beef and chicken.

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Gluten Free at Pannizza in West Edmonton Mall

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We were at West Edmonton Mall recently and while munching on some lunch I noticed on an advertisement and then on the back wall of Pannipizza that they had a gluten free pizza option.

That prompted me to ask some questions about what the options were.  So what I was told is that they have a gluten free crust available.  See below:

I asked about cross contamination, and obviously like all restaurants there is not guarantee.  So then I asked about procedures.  This is what they have in place to try and reduce risk:
  1. They have pans and trays for gluten free to go through the conveyor belt system
  2. All but on topping is gluten free
  3. They have a separate sauce and ladle for gluten free pizzas ready
  4. They do not have separate containers for each topping. 

There is a extra $2 charge for gluten free crusts.

I know the separate sauce and ladle is a big deal for a lot of people as the ladle is typically used to spread the sauce around on the crust.  So to have a separate sauce and ladle which comes in direct contact of crusts really does help.

We have not tried their pizza yet, but let us know if you have!

Pannizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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We went to Britts Fish and Chips for gluten free Fish & Chips

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It has been a while since we went to Britts.  Infact, we first wrote about Britts way back in 2011!  We binged going there for a while and then suddenly stopped for no real reason.

During this summer, we tried going to the new Grandin Fish & Chips when it opened downtown.  But it was busy and couldn't get in.  We heard they have great Fish & Chips as well.

Well for whatever reason we craved some fish and chips and didn't want to risk Gandin being too busy, so decided to revisit Britts.  We tried to recall the last time we went, we thought maybe sometime in late 2012, or early 2013.

Not much has changed.  Except that they really are promoting their gluten free batter.  They have a large sign outside on the streets, and other signs in store.

They can basically deep fry anything in a dedicated fryer except for some of the obvious gluten items.  The extra sides that they recommend that are gluten free are the mashed peas, coleslaw and curry sauce.

We ordered The Works that fed way more than our family of four.

There are two locations in Edmonton.  One Downtown in Oliver and one South in Argyle.  Both have dedicated fryers!

Brit's Fish and Chips Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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