Copper Branch Restaurant Review

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More and more Copper Branch restaurants have been popping up around the city. This chain of vegan fast food restaurants can make almost anything on their menu gluten-free. While there is a risk of cross-contamination it is a much better bet than almost any other fast food options and much healthier as well. All of their menu is focused on whole foods and delicious vegan staples such as 4 veggie burger options (with an option for a gluten-free bun). I  have had the bowls on past visits and they were great.  This past week I had the vegan poutine with mushroom sauce and the Einstein Smoothie which was delicious and verrry filling. My friend tried the chilli and enjoyed it as well.

I have only visited the Bishop location but they now have 7 locations on the Island and 1 in Brossard. The Bishop location is very nicely decorated and is a great place to sit and enjoy your meal, not a typical fast food environment. This is definitely a good bet for a gluten-free smoothie or a quick and healthy meal on the go.

http://copperbranch.ca/

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Le Point Sans G Restaurant Review

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Le Point Sans G, the only completely gluten-free food truck in Montreal, now has a small location on Papineau serving casual brunch, lunch and some delicious desserts. I love the food truck and was happy to discover that the owner had also opened a permanent location to serve her delicious food throughout the year. I didn’t take many pictures but our brunch was delicious. I had eggs, corn bread and an avocado, cucumber & tomato salsa. My boyfriend had the assiette cabane a sucre, which included everything and more of what should be on a traditional cabane a sucre plate. I always get very excited when I can try everything on the table.

We highly enjoyed our meal and the owner is incredibly welcoming. The space is tight and very casual so it isn’t a place to go with a group but it’s a great place to drop by for a delicious cookie or a great meal. Try all the cookies, they are amazing. The owner is very conscious of intolerances and other allergies as well.

https://www.facebook.com/Le-point-sans-g-373260342795161/

Le Point Sans G

6680 Papineau

514-641-7768

Eggs with corn bread

Eggs with corn bread

 

Gluten-Free Product Review: So Delicious Cookie Dough Ice Cream

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I rarely eat something and think I must blog it but this So Delicious Cookie Dough Coconut Milk Ice Cream is that good. I picked it up at the store to serve in a few days when my vegan BFF comes for dinner and I fear there may be none left. As someone who has not eaten cookie dough ice cream since the early 2000’s this was a “is this real moment”. It was doubly amazing since I have been avoiding eating too much dairy. Yes, you can have dairy & gluten-free ice cream that is incredibly delicious.

Try it for yourself. And be warned, just because it is gluten-free and vegan does not mean it is healthy. It is definitely a treat. A delicious treat you should try. I spent a lot of my childhood secretly picking through my ice cream for the perfect chunk of cookie dough and apparently I haven’t grown up at all 😉

PS- I also love So Delicious Ice Cream Bars and other Coconut Milk Ice Creams

http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/coconut-milk-frozen-desserts

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Zero 8 Restaurant Review

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

Zero 8 has just re-opened in a new location in Rosemont near my apartment and I decided to try it out last month. To be honest this allergen-free restaurant, formerly on St Denis, wasn’t at it’s best when it closed its last location. So in trying the new location I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well it turns out it is okay. My boyfriend who can eat anywhere wouldn’t go back and I probably won’t unless I am with another person with celiac disease or a serious allergy. I will also note that my boyfriend is not so picky and likes almost everything.

Zero8 has always been a hard place to go with someone with no allergies since it doesn’t serve anything with any of the 8 most common allergens, which includes dairy, nuts, soy and fish. With so many ingredients missing it isn’t the best for people without allergies and the price is quite high. The appetizer above was $10. In total our bill was over $70 with two mains and one appetizer and no drinks or dessert. That would be fine for a special dinner but the food wasn’t amazing, and 70$ without alcohol and tip is quite expensive for on a student budget.

Overall I highly recommend this restaurant if you have a loved one with a severe allergy as the food is decent, the service was good and overall it’s a cute place. But I won’t be taking any of my non-gluten-free friends here for dinner anytime soon since this wasn’t the first time my plus one was not so impressed at this restaurant. I do feel bad writing this as I really want to support local gluten-free restaurants but I think more can be done to cater to a range of needs with more variety and fresh and affordable options.

http://www.zero8.com/

Accommodates gluten-free:  Yes

Price: $$$

Gluten-free menu: Yes

Duck poutine

Duck poutine

Saint Sushi

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Saint Sushi on Duluth, just steps from the corner of St Denis in the Plateau, is a great place for affordable and delicious sushi and most importantly they completely understand gluten-free, can make most of their rolls GF and make sure to clean the work surface and provide GF soy sauce. I have eaten here several times in the past few months and definitely recommend it.

It is pretty casual and gets pretty busy so make sure to make a reservation if you can, especially if you are more than 2 people. They don’t serve alcohol but you won’t miss it with all the delicious sushi and fun ambiance. There is a tasting menu or a la carte options. Most of their rolls are original rolls that you can’t find most places. Their staff is super friendly, relaxed and always welcoming.

Saint Sushi Bar

Accommodates gluten-free:  Yes

Price: $$

Gluten-free menu: No

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I’m back for more gluten-free adventures in 2016

Always prepared...

Always prepared…

I have been MIA for a few months since I returned to full-time studies in my second language while working and trying to maintain a normal life. Surprise, surprise, I haven’t had time to post. I will try to be better this year and continue to share my gluten-free challenges, triumphs and experiences in Montreal and beyond.

Having such a packed schedule and many 12 hour days has been a real challenge in regards to preparation. I quickly realized that by not eating or not eating any healthy food for a few days I would not have a very effective semester so I had to learn to plan in advance,  which is the reality of being gluten-free. I had to at least twice a week prepare some real food, like lasagna or a big stir fry etc. and make some smoothies and oatmeal to grab on the go. There are very few places I trust for gluten-free pick-up and none of them were on my route between school and work so I had to adapt if I wasn’t going to live on just granola bars and coffee.

This past year was a great learning experience and a blessing. I got gluten poisoned several times, mainly when traveling, but it’s all part of the journey. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year full of lots of love and delicious gluten-free meals. I am off to New York for a belated Birthday trip and will keep you posted about all the great places I find!

Tips on Hosting a Gluten-Free Brunch

Gluten-Free Brunch

This summer I hosted two brunches with some of my favourite people at my new apartment. I find brunches are a great options as they are quite easy to prepare and I find them to be a more relaxing form of entertaining. My number one tip when hosting any event, whether it is a brunch or cocktail,  is to keep everything gluten-free when possible as it minimizes stress and any risk of cross-contamination. When everything is GF I can fully relax and enjoy brunch. I like to take advantage of an opportunity to break bread with friends (GF bread of course) without having to be anxious about what has touched my eggs. Gluten-free food and great company makes for the perfect get-together in my books.

The last brunch I hosted had gluten-free pastries from Le Marquis, egg muffins with cheese, fruit, smoked salmon, bacon, cheeses, coffee, tea, fresh juices and of course mimosas.

Here is a link to an easy egg muffin recipe http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/egg-muffins-clinton-kelly. These egg muffins are fool proof and you can add anything you have on hand like veggies and cheeses. They are also a good option as a snack or light meal during the week.

Gluten-free brunch

gluten-free egg muffins

Gluten-free brunch

Full list of Gluten-Free Restaurants in Montreal

Arepa from Areperas du Plateau

Arepa from Areperas du Plateau

I have been meaning to put together a list of all my go-to gluten-free places to eat in Montreal. I will keep adding new places I find and make it available on my home page. I’m also open to suggestions. This list is in no way comprehensive but aims to list all the 100% GF options and some of the safer bets among ‘regular’ restaurants.

Here it is: Where to Eat Gluten-Free in Montreal

Where to Eat Gluten-Free in Montreal

Here are a few of my favorite places in and around Montreal to eat safe. This list is in no way exhaustive but only includes places where I have had a safe gluten-free experience. Restaurants can change so unless it is 100% GF always call first and ask if they have gluten-free options and always make sure to identify your allergy to your server if you are at a regular restaurant that just caters to gluten-free. There is a trend for some restaurants to mark items as GF on their menu when they really may not be (especially fried food).

100% Gluten-Free Restaurants

There are not many…

Crudessence: Vegan, raw and delicious. This is a great bet for smoothies, kale chips, lasagna and desserts.

3 locations (in the city), $$

http://www.crudessence.com/fr/services/nos-restaurants-et-comptoirs-sante

Arepera Du Plateau: This casual restaurant in the heart of the Plateau serves traditional Venezuelan food and is 100% GF. Try one of their delicious arepas with their amazing sauces. My favorite is cheese and avocado.

Plateau, $

http://www.arepera.ca

Ottavios: Not 100% GF but has a 100% GF kitchen and even has dedicated plates and utensils. It is also BYOB and is great option for an affordable family dinner with lots of options for celiacs and non-celiacs.

3 locations (all a little but outside of the city), $$

http://www.ottavio.ca

La crêperie du marché: Casual crêpe stand in Jean Talon market that only uses gluten-free flours to make all their crêpes. They have both savoury and sweet options.

Little Italy, $

http://www.creperiedumarche.com/

Le point sans g: This food truck is open during the summer months and is 100% GF.

$

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Le-point-sans-g/373260342795161

100% Gluten-Free Bakeries

Baked to Go: This is my favorite GF bread in the city. Their petits pains and bagels are great. It is rare to find a GF bread you can use to make a delicious sandwich 2 days after buying without toasting the bread.

Plateau or you can order online, $

http://baked2go.ca

Le Marquis Sans Gluten: This is the only traditional bakery I have ever been to that is 100% GF. I highly recommend this place for cakes and pastries. They have a 2 display cases filled with amazing pastries and cakes, one case with only dairy free options. I didn’t think I would ever get to have gluten-free éclairs and tarts. They also carry sandwiches, breads and croissants!

Villeray, $-$$

http://www.boulangerielemarquis.com

Cookie Stephanie: This little shop in the Old Port has delicious cupcakes, mini cakes and brownies. They have even started making grilled cheeses.

Old Port, $

http://www.cookiestefanie.com/index.php/en/

Patisserie Petit Lapin: All their products are gluten-free and allergen-free.

Westmount, $-$$

http://patisseriepetitlapin.com/en/

Mi & Stu: Also dairy free and peanut free they carry delicious products including delicious challah bread. I would recommend calling in advance if you have a specific order.

Mile End, $-$$

http://www.miandstu.com/pains.html

Louise Sans Gluten: This completely gluten-free grocery store and bakery in Dorval is a celiacs dream. Lots of hard to find GF products and fresh baked goodies like donuts and baguettes.

Dorval, $-$$

http://louisesansgluten.com

‘Normal’ Restaurants the GFBFF loves 

These are regular restaurants so there is always a risk of cross contamination but all of these places have been great at accommodating gluten-free. Always make sure to ask questions and make sure the server knows you are celiac.

Toqué: They are great at accommodating a GF diet and the food is delicious. I highly recommend it and it’s definitely one of the best restaurants in Montreal. It is expensive but well worth it (the lunch menu is more affordable).

Old Port, $$$+

http://www.restaurant-toque.com/en

Pastaga: Pastaga is a great bet for a nice dinner. Most of the items on their changing menu are already or can be adapted to be GF.

Little Italy, $$$

http://www.pastaga.ca

Aux Vivres: One of my favorites for delicious vegetarian food. They have lots of salad and bowl options.

Plateau, $-$$

https://auxvivres.com/en/menus

Vin Papillon: The few times I have eaten at this trendy wine bar many of the options were GF and most were easily adapted by removing an ingredient. The food was great and fresh with their great wine selection.

Little Burgundy, $$

http://vinpapillon.com

La Prunelle: A smaller French BYOB that has several gluten-free options and is always happy to make substitutions to make something gluten-free.

Plateau, $$-$$$

http://www.restaurantlaprunelle.com/

I have reviewed a few other places but these are the top places I would 100% recommend.

$=Cheap

$$=Medium Priced

$$$=Expensive

Crêpe sucrée- with berries and whipped cream from la crêperie du marché

Crêpe sucrée- with berries and whipped cream from la crêperie du marché

Salad at Toqué

Salad at Toqué

Mussels at Ottavio's

Mussels at Ottavio’s

Gluten-Free 5-à-7 at Balsam Inn

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I recently tried Balsam Inn, right beside Dominion Square Tavern, and had a great GF experience. I was there with friends for after work drinks and we sat outside on the terrace right near Peel street. The cocktails, food, service and atmosphere were great. Since we were there for cocktails we just ordered the side olives and bocconcini with tomato. Several options on the menu were gluten-free as is and many of the other options could be adapted. The waitress was very attentive in making sure my cocktail and food was gluten-free.

I definitely recommend Balsam Inn if you are right downtown and looking for a cute place for a drink and a bite to eat. As this is a regular restaurant there are risks of cross contamination so always make sure to tell your server.

http://www.lebalsaminn.com/

Accommodates gluten-free:  Yes

Price: $$

Gluten-free menu: No

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A Gluten-Free Food Truck & The Monthly Food Truck Event

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The first Friday of every month May through October about 40 food trucks converge outside the Olympic Stadium. Happily one of the trucks, Le point sans g, is 100% gluten-free. This was great for me as my boyfriend could try out a few of the trucks with lots of gluten and I could eat 100% safe. I’m sure a few of the trucks had some gluten-free options, but there could be issues with cross contamination.

I had a chicken poutine that was good but definitely not a poutine in my books. It would be better described as delicious french fries topped with shredded chicken, light gravy, mozzarella, tomatoes and crema. I also got two chocolate cookies which were delicious. The food truck can be found on other days all over the city. You can check out their Facebook page to see where they are. The food is good, safe and not too over priced surprisingly.

I would highly recommend checking this event out, especially if you have a friend/partner that loves food trucks or loves trying lots of different foods at once. There were lots of people but most of the lines were around 10 minutes long except for a few trucks. There are also beer and wine tents if you’re thirsty. It’s really an event for everyone. Even the vegans and celiacs thanks to two separate trucks that cater to each.

Here is an article about the monthly event at the Olympic Stadium:

http://www.shutupandeat.ca/2015/04/27/2015-montreal-food-truck-seasons-starts-this-friday/

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