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.
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!
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.
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.
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.