There’s nothing quite like biting into a hot, perfectly-salted fry that delivers just the right amount of crunch. But since restaurants sometimes coat their fries in batter, or cook their fries in the same oil that has been used for cooking gluten-containing foods, this experience is denied to many gluten free food lovers.
Thanks to The Spud Shack Fry Co., local gluten free fry seekers need look no further than New Westminster Station for delicious, crispy, Belgian-style fries.
Gluten Free Options at Spud Shack:
The fries: The fries, called “frites,” are gluten free. They’re also fried in gluten free oil (ie: oil that has not been contaminated with gluten from other sources), which means that cross contamination won’t happen in the deep fryer.
The dipping sauces: All of the sauces, from truffle mayonnaise to curry ketchup, are gluten free. For a bit of a kick, I recommend the sriracha mayonnaise.
The buns: If you’re in the mood for a sandwich or burger, they offer gluten free buns. If you prefer a lettuce wrap, they can provide that too! Just make sure to double check with the staff that the patties and condiments are all gluten free. I recommend the Cajun Chicken Sandwich on a gluten free bun.
The drinks: Spud Shack is known for their selection of craft beer, but for the gluten intolerant, they have a selection of cider, wine, and even gluten free beer! If you’re not into alcohol, there’s a variety of soda to slake your thirst.
What to Watch Out For:
The gravy: Unfortunately, the gravy is not gluten free (although it is vegetarian). If I’m in the mood for fancy fries, I usually order the “Baked” Potato poutine without gravy, and a dipping sauce on the side (which I drizzle onto the fries). All of their poutine can be ordered sans gravy, but watch out for other gluten-containing ingredients, like breaded chicken or crispy wontons. I highly recommend asking the staff about gluten free modifications to the poutine.
The beer batter: The Fish ‘n’ Frites has a beer batter coating on the fish. Generally, batter is an obvious NOPE for gluten free people, and the addition of beer to the batter makes it a double nope. But finding gluten free fish and chips is difficult at the best of times, and for a restaurant that’s not specifically gluten free, Spud Shack offers quite a few options. So we’ll let them “off the hook.” (Groan)
The staff at Spud Shack are extremely knowledgeable about gluten free meals and modifications. All you have to do is ask! Although the restaurant is not a fully gluten free environment, I’ve observed that the staff are always very careful when preparing my food. They usually verify that gluten free requests are due to an allergy, and take precautions to avoid contamination. And (this is a big one) they never make me feel like an inconvenience because of my dietary requirements. The service is always friendly and fast.
On your first visit to the Spud Shack, the main thing you might notice is that the tables have holes in them. Although the holes may look like drink holders, they’re not. (I almost lost a beverage learning this the hard way.) They’re actually a handy spot to put your cone of fresh frites! The space is lofty, modern, and unique, with lots of wood, mirrors, and even a gargoyle or two lurking in the corners. If you enjoy watching the trains whiz past and the bustle of people on the platforms, choose a seat near the window. For a quieter meal, get cozy at the round table near the back.
Their set-up is pretty simple. You order and pay for your food and drinks at the front, receive your drinks immediately from a friendly staff member, choose a table, and relax. They’ll call you when your food is ready. Then, all you have to do is enjoy your delicious, gluten free meal!
Despite the lack of gluten free gravy for the poutine, Spud Shack offers an abundance of gluten free options for casual dining. Their fries are perfectly crisp and delicious, their staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and the restaurant itself is convenient and cool.
Happy gluten free dining!
If this is your business and your gluten free options have changed, please let me know! My goal is to provide the most up to date information on New Westminster’s gluten free choices.