Me-n-Ed’s: Gluten Free Pizza Delivered to your Door

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There’s nothing quite like a hot, thin-crust pizza topped with bubbling cheese and loads of your favourite toppings. When I went gluten free, I mourned the loss of restaurant pizza. Making gluten free pizza at home with crust that was closer to cardboard than food was just not the same. Although Me-n-Ed’s is technically in Burnaby, they’re less than a 15 minute drive from downtown New West, and will also deliver fresh, delicious gluten free pizza right to your door!

Gluten Free Options at Me-n-Ed’s:

The crust: Me-n-Ed’s does gluten free pizza crust right! It’s thin and light, tastes great, and bears absolutely no resemblance to cardboard. It only comes in one size, but I’ve found that the 10″ crust is more than enough to feed me for two meals.

The sauces: Not in the mood for marinara? No problem! The pesto, sun-dried tomato pesto, and garlic and herb pizza sauces are also gluten free.

The toppings: Most of the pizza toppings are safe for gluten free pizza lovers. You can choose up to four of the following gluten free toppings on any one pizza:

  • Italian sausage
  • pepperoni
  • roast chicken
  • shrimp
  • anchovies
  • smoked salmon
  • bacon
  • pineapple
  • olives (green and black)
  • jalapenos
  • green peppers
  • banana peppers
  • artichokes
  • mushrooms
  • broccoli
  • onions (red and white)
  • tomatoes
  • spinach
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • feta cheese
  • garlic

The nachos: The nachos at Me-n-Ed’s are mountainous. More than once, I’ve seen a platter of nachos be delivered to an unsuspecting diner, and have watched their eyes widen as they contemplate the impossibility of eating it all. Just make sure to let the server know you’re gluten free.

The salads: Me-n-Ed’s offers a variety of salads, but watch out for things like croutons, garlic bread, and teriyaki chicken. It’s also a good idea to verify with the server which dressings are gluten free.

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Bacon and pineapple gluten free pizza

What to Watch Out For:

The meats: Although Me-n-Ed’s offers a variety of gluten free meat toppings, the ham, capicollo, ground beef, and salami are not gluten free.

The bread: The “Starters” menu includes a variety of different breads. Unfortunately, these are not gluten free.

The specialty pizzas: Since the gluten free pizzas are limited to a maximum of four toppings, the specialty pizzas can’t be done on a gluten free crust. However, you can pick up to four ingredients to closely replicate one of the specialties.

The sandwiches: Me-n-Ed’s has subs and paninis, but these are also not gluten free.

The Service:

Me-n-Ed’s is proud of the quality of their gluten free ingredients. Not satisfied with the first gluten free crust they offered, they worked until they found one that was perfect. All of the staff are quite knowledgeable about gluten free options and modifications. The gluten free pizzas are cooked in a separate oven to avoid cross contamination, but the open-concept kitchen means that contamination could still occur. The gluten free pizzas take a little bit longer in the oven to achieve the right amount of bubbly, crispy goodness, and the staff members always make sure to let you know. If you don’t feel like going out, the delivery service is just as awesome as the restaurant service.

The Restaurant:

Me-n-Ed’s is a casual, family-friendly place that can also accommodate large groups. When you first walk in, you can see the pizza chefs twirling crusts and building delicious culinary creations. It’s a “seat yourself” concept, so all you have to do is choose an empty table and wait for one of the friendly servers. The Burnaby Me-n-Ed’s shares a parking lot with the McDonald’s next door, so it can get pretty busy. Fortunately, its proximity to Kingsway means that there are several bus routes nearby. If a meal out is not on the menu, delivery is free!

The Verdict:

Gluten free pizza that tastes like cardboard is a thing of the past! Me-n-Ed’s pizza is fresh, light, loaded with delicious toppings, and has just the right amount of bubbly cheese. Get it on the go, or stop by and say hi.

Happy pizza twirling!

 

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.

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Re-up BBQ: Gluten Free Southern Barbecue on the Banks of the Fraser

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When you step into the River Market on the Quay in New Westminster, the first thing you’ll likely notice is the delectable aroma of smoked meat in the air. That delicious scent comes from Re-up BBQ, on the “Hungry Floor.” Serving up smoky Southern barbecue, Re-up is a great place to grab some comfort food while exploring the Quay. The best part? Most of their fare is gluten free!

Gluten Free Options at Re-up:

The ribs: Who can resist a rack of perfectly smoked “stick to your ribs” ribs? Huge, meaty, and flavourful, the ribs at Re-up are sure to satisfy any barbecue lover! Enjoy a half-rack for a filling meal, or a whole rack for an epic barbecue feast.

The pulled pork: Pulled pork is always a favourite with me, and fortunately, it’s gluten free. Choose 1/3 lb, 1/2 lb, or a full pound of deliciousness!

The brisket: Cooked low and slow, flavourful and satisfying, the brisket also comes in quantities of 1/3 lb, 1/2 lb, or 1 lb.

The chili: The black bean and corn chili is hearty and gluten free. Try it topped with a fried egg, or add smoked bacon.

The potato salad: The potato salad is rich and creamy, and especially wonderful when paired with the ribs.

The coleslaw: Tangy, refreshing, and crunchy, the coleslaw is 100% gluten free!

The chili cheese fries: Although the fries are gluten free, they’re fried in the same deep fryer as gluten-containing ingredients. This means that cross contamination is possible, and might affect people with moderate to severe Celiac disease.

The pit beans: A southern barbecue classic, the pit beans make a  great gluten free addition to any meal.

The drinks: The sweet tea at Re-up is exactly what sweet tea should be, and is made in house! The ginger beer packs a bite, and is extremely refreshing. They also offer homemade cola and lemon soda to slake your thirst.

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Half-rack of ribs and potato salad

What to Watch Out For:

The biscuits: Although buttermilk biscuits are another Southern classic, they’re not gluten free.

The gravy: The gravy is rich and thick, but unfortunately, not gluten free.

The buns: The buns used to make Re-up’s sandwiches are not gluten free. However, you can still enjoy the sandwich fillings as part of a barbecue platter!

The chicken batter: The batter on the fried chicken is made with flour, so it’s not gluten free. If you’re craving chicken though, they can do the chicken sans batter.

The Service:

I had my first visit to Re-up recently, and I was absolutely impressed by their service. The staff member asked if I was Celiac, so he could explain that the fryer was used for gluten-containing ingredients. He then went through the menu, explaining what was not gluten free, and helped me choose the best options for my barbecue platter. He did it all with a smile, and seemed genuinely passionate about the quality of the gluten free options they had. Good service can make or break a restaurant experience, especially for gluten free diners, and the service at Re-up made me excited to go back.

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Southern sweet tea and ginger beer

The Restaurant:

Re-up serves its delectable barbecue in the food court of the River Market. You can get your meal to go and enjoy it on the Quay, or grab a seat in the bustling “Hungry Floor” and enjoy the sights and sounds of the River Market. Re-up knows that you can’t rush a good thing, so the food takes about 15 minutes to prepare. To make sure you’re not stuck in a hungry crowd waiting for your food, they give you a buzzer that beeps and flashes when your meal is ready. So, you’re free to either sit and sip your sweet tea, or explore the market.

Currently, Re-up is running on summer hours, which means that it’s open from 10 AM to 7 PM every day of the week. It’s an especially popular place on sunny weekends, so it’s a good idea to be prepared for a bit of a line. If you don’t want to wait, you can call ahead to place your take-out order.

The Verdict:

Re-up brings authentic, slow-cooked barbecue to New West. It’s a great place to get top notch gluten free comfort food, and a perfect addition to sunny days on the Quay. Make sure to stock up on napkins for your barbecued feast!

Happy finger licking!

 

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.

Browns Socialhouse: Gluten Free Dining in Historic Sapperton

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One of my favourite things to do is to relax with friends and enjoy delicious pub-style food. Cheese-laden nachos, juicy burgers, perfectly cooked chicken wings, and flavourful pizza are the ingredients for an epic get together. Fortunately, elegant gluten free pub food is close to home! Browns Socialhouse in The Brewery District provides an abundance of fresh gluten free choices.

Gluten Free Options at Browns:

The pizza: Both the margherita pizza and the Biltmore 2.0 are gluten free. The margherita pizza is light and fresh, with house-made tomato sauce and a sprinkling of fragrant basil. The Biltmore 2.0 is rich and decadent, with large shrimp, garlic cream, and fresh pesto. The gluten free pizza crust is thin, light, crispy, and so good I had to double check that they’d given me the correct pizza!

The pub burger: This juicy burger is topped with smoked bacon and havarti, and served on a gluten free bun.

The spicy chicken sandwich: To me, this sandwich is the epitome of everything good. It has tender grilled chicken, bacon, jack cheese, and chili mayo to give it a bit of a kick. It’s also served on a gluten free bun. The regular version of this sandwich has crispy chicken, so be sure to request the gluten free version.

The bowls: Browns offers two different gluten free rice bowls to satisfy your carb cravings. The grilled chicken bowl and potato-crusted cod bowl are both served on a bed of almond rice, and come with the signature Cowgirl Salad.

The fries: Although the fries are gluten free, they’re cooked in the same deep fryer as gluten-containing ingredients. This means cross-contamination is possible, so proceed with caution. The online menu doesn’t mention this possibility, but the physical Gluten Friendly menu in the restaurant does. If you don’t want to risk it, you can substitute a salad for fries.

The fish and chips: Yes, you read that right! Browns has gluten free fish and chips. Just make sure to order the gluten free version, in case any modifications are necessary. Since both the fish and chips are fried, this is also a “proceed with caution” dish.

The nachos: I’m a self-described “nacho monster,” and I always enjoy the nachos at Browns. The chips go into the same fryer as gluten-containing ingredients, so be aware that cross contamination could occur.

The chicken wings: Hot wings are a pub food mainstay, and Browns does them with Frank’s Red Hot. This dish also requires caution, since they’re cooked in the communal fryer.

The kale salad: I’m generally not a fan of kale, but this salad is loaded with vegetables, quinoa, mint, and almonds. The regular version of this salad includes wheat berry, so make sure to order the gluten free version.

The chicken salad: The grilled chicken Cowgirl and grilled chicken caesar are both gluten free, and topped with fresh and flavourful dressings.

The shrimp sushi roll: This is the gluten free version of their dynamite roll. It’s served with plain shrimp instead of tempura, and includes gluten free soy sauce.

What to Watch Out For:

The tacos: Browns offers a variety of tacos, but the tortillas are not gluten free.

The veggie burger: Like many veggie burgers, the one at Browns is not gluten free. It also comes with a sweet soy glaze, which contains gluten.

The blackened chicken: The blackened chicken is not gluten free, but grilled chicken can be substituted in many dishes instead.

The spicy fennel sausage and bacon pizza: Sausage and bacon may be tempting, but unfortunately, this is the one pizza that cannot be made gluten free.

The barbecue sauce: Condiments can be tricky for gluten free diners, since they’re a likely place for hidden gluten. The barbecue sauce at Browns is not gluten free, but many of their other sauces are.

The Service:

Browns works hard to make sure that gluten free diners are well fed and provided with information on potential cross contamination. On my last visit, the server made sure to verify that my request was due to an allergy, so they could take extra precautions in the kitchen. She also asked if I had any other allergies that they should know about.

A separate “Gluten Friendly” menu is available, and it clearly lists all of the gluten free options, as well as the items that might be contaminated in the deep fryer. Just ask one of the staff members for the menu!

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Sapperton

The Restaurant:

Browns is conveniently located in The Brewery District, which is a planned neighbourhood of residences, shops, and office space in Sapperton. It’s close by the Sapperton SkyTrain station, and just a quick drive from Highway 1. It’s a comfortable, contemporary space with a large patio. Lots of wood, leather, and brickwork give it an opulent feel. It’s open until either 11 PM or 12 AM every night of the week, so it’s a great place to grab a late-night snack.

The Verdict:

If you’re looking for elegant pub-style food, then Browns is the place to go. They offer a good, solid range of gluten free options, and careful, knowledgeable service.

Happy munching!

 

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.

Columbia Street Sandwich Company: Gluten Free Goodies in the Heart of Downtown

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One of the things I missed most when I went gluten free was a nice sandwich. Toasted bread, loads of fresh toppings, juicy turkey, that sort of thing. I tried making sandwiches at home, but many brands of gluten free bread didn’t quite come up to the mark. They either tasted like cardboard, or the slices were the size of a playing card, or it was prohibitively expensive. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a very lazy chef, and convincing myself to chop up a mountain of veggies just for a sandwich was an exercise in futility. Thanks to Samantha and Melissa at Columbia Street Sandwich Company, my dream of a perfect gluten free sandwich has been realized.

Gluten Free Options at Columbia Sandwich:

The sandwiches: They are proud of their gluten free sandwiches, and with good reason. They tested ten different kinds of bread before finding the perfect slice. The result is gluten free bread that tastes good, toasts well, and is a decent size. The turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich is delectable and filling. They also offer vegetarian options, and classics like the BLT. Every sandwich comes with a mountain of fresh toppings.

The soup: They try to offer a gluten free soup option every day. The turkey quinoa soup is loaded with turkey, vegetables, and quinoa, and reminds me of the epic soups that used to come from our Thanksgiving turkeys. They go through two whole roast turkeys every day, and often make soup from the leftovers.

The baked goods: If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Columbia Sandwich will definitely satisfy your cravings with their gluten free baked goods. On a recent visit, I tried both their peanut butter cookie and pumpkin chocolate loaf. The cookie was light and chewy, and reminded me of after school snacks in my childhood. The pumpkin chocolate loaf was moist, full of chocolate chips, and not overly spiced. Despite trying to save room for the rest of my meal, I devoured the whole thing. Their gluten free treats are very popular, and often sell out quickly.

The snacks and sides: They keep snacks and side dishes in a little cooler by the cash register, and try to always have a gluten free option available. When I was there last, they had fruit bowls. Sometimes they have veggies and hummus. Whatever the gluten free option, it’s always fresh and prepared in-house.

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Gluten free turkey bacon avocado sandwich

What to Watch Out For:

The toaster: They don’t have a separate toaster for gluten free bread, so if you’d like your sandwich toasted, the bread will go through the same toaster as gluten-containing bread. They’re very good about letting you know, so you can decide if you’d like to take the risk.

The breakfast bagels: Unfortunately, finding a good, affordable gluten free bagel is even more difficult than finding decent gluten free bread. The bagels are not gluten free, but the breakfast toppings can be served on gluten free bread.

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Gluten free peanut butter cookie

The Service:

The service at Columbia Sandwich can be summed up in one word: amazing. Early on, Samantha and Melissa realized the need for good gluten free options, and have really stepped up to make it happen. The best part is that unlike many restaurants, they don’t charge extra for gluten free! They don’t believe that people should be penalized for having dietary restrictions, so the price of a cookie is the price of a cookie, whether it’s gluten free or not.

The friendly service and welcoming atmosphere means they have a lot of regular customers, and know them by name.

The kitchen is not a 100% gluten free environment, but they understand the risk of cross contamination, and are more than willing to answer any questions about their processes. Everything except the gluten free bread is made in-house, and has that fresh, homemade flavour.

The Restaurant:

As you might have guessed, Columbia Street Sandwich Company is located right on Columbia Street, in the heart of downtown New West. The restaurant itself is quite small, with a few tables and a bar near the window. It’s bright and cozy, and exemplifies the close-knit community spirit of New Westminster. Because of its excellent food and convenient location, it can get very busy around lunch time. If you want to avoid the rush, go early and request your meal to go! Recently, they opened a second location at 428 Columbia Street called Columbia Street Eats. This location focuses on non-sandwich lunch items. It’s also a small space, but bright and welcoming.

The Verdict:

Gluten free lunchers rejoice! The perfect gluten free sandwich does exist, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Columbia Street Sandwich Company is a great place for a friendly chat along with your meal, or a convenient place to get wonderful homemade food on the run.

Happy sandwiching!

 

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.