Old Spaghetti Factory: Gluten Free Pasta in Downtown New West

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Before I found out I couldn’t have gluten, one of my favourite meals was a heaping plate of rich, flavourful pasta, washed down with a pint of beer. Spaghetti, rotini, penne, it was all good! When my diagnosis put an end to that, I started experimenting at home. But I’m a lazy chef, and missed having someone else make pasta for me. I didn’t have to miss it for long! The Old Spaghetti Factory has gluten free options that have resurrected my love of pasta-filled nights out.

Gluten Free Options at Old Spaghetti Factory:

The green salad: This might seem like an obvious one, but lots of restaurants hide gluten in salads with things like croutons and dressings that contain gluten. At Old Spaghetti Factory, the ranch, 1000 island, and house-made Italian dressings are gluten free. The Italian dressing is tangy and bold, so I highly recommend it!

The pasta: The gluten free pasta option is corn penne, cooked slightly al dente. I’m a fan of corn pasta, because it tends to be lighter and less chewy than many rice pastas. This pasta can be ordered with the following gluten free sauces:

  • Marinara
  • Mushroom sauce
  • Mizithra cheese
  • Cheesy baked tomato chicken pasta
  • Seafood alfredo
  • Red Thai curry
  • Seafood marinara
  • Pesto

I usually get the “Manager’s Favourite,” which is two different sauces over a plate of pasta. My most-ordered combination is mushroom sauce and mizithra cheese. The button mushrooms are tender, and the mizithra cheese is salty and rich. If I’m feeling a bit fancy, my other go-to gluten free dish is the red Thai curry with chicken or prawns.

The grilled meat: If you’re in the mood for something hot off the grill, Old Spaghetti Factory has that covered too. They offer steak or lemon garlic chicken breast. Just make sure to specify it’s the gluten free option, because both come served on a bed of pasta.

The ice cream: You’re never too old to enjoy ice cream! Old Spaghetti Factory’s signature spumoni is gluten free, so go ahead and indulge.

The drinks: Although beer is an off-limits menu item, they have an extensive array of beverages that are safe for thirsty gluten intolerant people.

What to Watch Out For:

The soup: All the meals include either soup or salad as a starter, but the soup is not gluten free. Stick with the green salad to be safe.

The caesar salad: It might be tempting to order a caesar salad without croutons as a starter, but unfortunately, the caesar dressing is also not gluten free.

The meat sauce: Both the regular meat sauce and the spicy meat sauce contain gluten. If you’re feeling carnivorous, I recommend ordering chicken pasta.

The free bread: Each table is served a loaf of warm sourdough bread with butter. It looks delicious, it smells delicious, but it’s absolutely 100% not gluten free! I just enjoy it vicariously through my table mates.

The Service:

No matter how many times I’ve gone to Old Spaghetti Factory, I never cease to be impressed at how careful the staff is when it comes to gluten free. They always verify that gluten free requests are due to an allergy, and let you know if the gluten free dish will take longer than their normal service time. Once, the manager even came out to assure me that they would take every precaution to avoid cross contamination! This level of care ensures I’ll always be back for more.

The Restaurant:

In some ways, stepping into the Old Spaghetti Factory is like stepping back in time. This is especially appropriate in New Westminster, with its abundance of heritage buildings and status as the oldest city in Western Canada. Stained glass, polished wood, and deep red carpets create an atmosphere of cozy antiquity. If you’re lucky, your table might even be located in the refurbished trolley car in the middle of the restaurant!

Old Spaghetti Factory is known for their all-inclusive meals. When the menu says “It’s all included,” they mean it. The price of the pasta includes a salad starter, your main course, ice cream for dessert, and tea or coffee. (As well as bread for your gluten-eating companions.) It’s great value for gluten free people on a budget.

The Verdict:

The Old Spaghetti Factory is a fun, casual place to enjoy a consistently good gluten free meal. They have gluten free options to suit a wide variety of tastes, they’re careful and knowledgeable, and you’ll always leave full and satisfied.

Happy spaghetti 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.

The Spud Shack: Gluten Free Goodness in New Westminster Station

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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 Service:

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.

The Restaurant:

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!

The Verdict:

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.

Welcome to Gluten Free New Westminster!

I don’t know about you, but I hate going to a restaurant that’s been advertised as having gluten free options, only to find that the only thing I can eat is a salad without dressing, or (prepare yourself) fish tacos without the fish and tortillas. (Yes, this is actually something that happened.) Gluten free dining should be something to look forward to, not an exercise in frustration and hunger. Knowing your options ahead of time can help you avoid the disappointment of quasi-tacos, and enjoy the foodie scene.

My mission is to find the best gluten free food in New Westminster, and to let you know about it! This blog is the place for the freshest, most delicious gluten free eats New West has to offer. You’ll find reviews, suggestions, and specific details on each eatery’s options.

Happy nomming!