Monday

Review: Boatwright's Dining Hall

Located in the picturesque Port Orleans Riverside resort, Boatwright's Dining Hall is a southern gem waiting to be discovered. The resort theming brilliantly mimics the bayou. It's a peaceful escape from the intense action of park touring. With top notch landscaping that is both relaxing and mesmerizing, it's easy to sit back and enjoy the lush surroundings. 

In all fairness, having vacationed here twice, I have a deep fondness for Port Orleans Riverside. No matter how long we stay, it never seems to be a long enough visit in this treasure of a resort.


Alligator Bayou
Aligator Bayou Rooms


Although Boatwright's is only open for dinner, it never seems to be overflowing with patrons. That's not a bad thing and part of what makes the experience so charming. Sure, peak times are loud and bustling, but it in no way feels crowded or rushed.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Boatwright's Dining Hall

After being seated our waitress promptly greeted us. She was kind, patient and funny - a real delight! Boatwright's now has allergy menus, which simplifies things nicely! Though we were given the option to have the Chef come out before we ordered. As I'm Celiac and my little guy was recently diagnosed with Lactose Intolerance, I opted for a visit from the Chef. This enabled us to ensure both dietary restrictions were understood and would be accommodated.


Boatwright's Dining Room



The gluten-free rolls used by Boatwright's (and many other Disney restaurants) are made by Deanna's Gluten-Free. As they are both dairy and gluten-free, my son and I were brought a basket-full to share. Together we agreed that they are pretty remarkable and outrageously good. They were soft, not crumbly and heated to perfection. I just wish they were available in Canada.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Deanna's Gluten-Free Rolls


I decided to go with the Voodoo Chicken and Waffles for dinner. Having read positive reviews on this dish beforehand, I was mighty excited! Guess what? It lived up to my expectations and then some! The chicken was mouthwateringly good - crispy, juicy and seasoned well. The waffles were great as always. I'm a big fan of Disney waffles and you can get enjoy them at most Disney-owned properties, which is great. 

What the below photo doesn't convey is just how big the portion size is. Though you can probably only see one, there are two big pieces of chicken on that plate. I actually ended up sharing some with my family! They loved it just as much as I did.


Boatwright's Dining Hall
 Voodoo Chicken and Waffles



Dinner was followed by a round of dessert. The butterscotch creme brulee I was presented with was marvelous! How a dessert can be both light and decadent, I've no idea but Boatwright's pulls it off nicely. Needless to say, I wasted no time polishing off this beauty of a treat.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Butterscotch Creme Brulee

Overall I was thoroughly impressed with our dining experience. Everyone we encountered was happy and helpful. The ambiance of Boatwright's is just so darn warm and inviting. And of course, the food, which everyone at our table collectively agreed was terrific.


Have you dined at Boatwright's Dining Hall? Tell me about your experience below!



Saturday

5 Must Try Gluten-Free Eats In The GTA

Anyone living with Celiac knows all too well the importance of finding gluten-free eats that are prepared safely. This means actively avoiding places which give the whole "dietary restrictions are a swear word" vibe. If you're a planner like me, you have a repertoire of go-to places which happily provide safe and yummy food.

Below you will find a few of my favorite digs in the GTA (aka greater Toronto area). *As always, please go over your dietary needs with the restaurant staff to ensure your safety, every visit. If you feel that your needs are not being met, please make a decision to keep yourself safe.

Schooner Fish and Chips


Schooner's is a small but mighty shop located in Oshawa, Ontario. It's a little slice of deep fried heaven and everything a family run establishment should be. Simply saying that they understand Celiac doesn't give them enough credit. They have separate fryers and a designated kitchen area for gluten-free items. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and understanding of Celiac disease.

Not a fan of food that swims? No problem! Schooner's is much more than a fish and chip shop. The gluten-free menu will satisfy your deep fried indulgence needs.



  • Onion Rings
  • Coleslaw
  • Chicken Fingers
  • Cheese Balls
  • Poutine
  • Mini Donuts



Schooner's gluten-free onion rings

Hero Burger


Everyone needs a go-to burger place and for me, Hero Burger is just that. The gluten-free burger combinations are endless and clearly displayed. Stating your dietary restrictions upon ordering, ensures staff will follow allergy protocol, which includes fresh gloves and a separate toasting area for gluten-free buns. Cool fact -those gluten-free buns are care of Toronto's very own O'Doughs. Rounding things off nicely, Hero Burger uses Halal beef and many non-GMO ingredients. They also offer a gluten-free vegetarian burger.


Gluten-free Hero Burger



The Dirty Bird


I really had no idea how incredibly delicious chicken and waffles could be until I visited Dirty Bird. It's off the charts amazing and maybe a little addicting. Think melt in your mouth juicy mingled with crispy perfection.

Their chicken is ALWAYS gluten-free and they have an upgrade for gluten-free waffles. Dirty Bird has a dedicated gluten-free waffle iron that ONLY cooks gluten-free waffles, so it never touches any regular waffles. If you are looking for sides, the coleslaw, ‘tato salad and fries are also all Gluten-free. It's worth noting that the fryer is completely gluten-free. That being said, The “Dirty Fries” do contain french fried onions which are NOT GF, so if you wanted to order that as an option please let the staff know to exclude the french fried onions to keep them safe for you.




Dirty Bird Gluten-Free Chicken & Waffles


Lone Star


Lone Star has long been one of my go-to spots. The staff is well versed in special dietary needs and always eager to please. The fajita meal with gluten-free corn torts and lettuce wraps is fantastic. It really hits the spot. My most recent visit (February 2017) provided an impressive surprise - a gluten-free menu. Another positive change is that a chef manager now brings out gluten-free meals separately. The staff has always been pleasant and knowledgeable in my experience.

Gluten-free fajita meal

The Keg


I can't get enough of the iceberg wedge salad with oven roasted chicken breast. Portioning is impressively generous so you may be taking some home with you. Definitely not a bad thing! The star of the show is dessert. It's not often a dessert menu includes gluten-free options. The Keg offers a scrumptiously indulgent creme brulee that will leave you wanting more.

The Keg takes food allergies and sensitivities very seriously and has strict guidelines and procedures in place to ensure no cross contamination occurs. Just one look at their gluten-free menu will inspire you to visit.

As an extra precaution, if you plan to dine at a Keg location, please ensure you mention any food restrictions to the server, who can inform the Manager on duty. The manager will then oversee the preparation of the meal and bring it out to you.




Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee at the Keg


If you have any local favorites I'd love to hear them! Feel free to share below.

Monday

Sprinkles Cupcakes

We need to talk about Sprinkles Cupcakes


You probably know the name from Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" where Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson is a judge. Full disclosure, I love the show and watch it regularly. Who doesn't love a good cupcake competition?!


If you are not familiar with Sprinkles Cupcakes, they can be found in a handful of States. Currently, only one gluten-free cupcake is available on their menu, but it's a start, right? They also have a nifty little rewards program which is full of perks. Think of them as a thank-you gift for being a loyal customer. My favorite perk? Definitely the free cupcake on your birthday. Being in Orlando the week of my birthday allowed me to take advantage of that perk. 

As always when I try a new to me gluten-free item, I do so with little expectation. This allows for even more excitement when something is wonderful. It also makes the experience less disappointing when letdowns are going on.


Sprinkles Gets Gluten-Free Right


 Sprinkles keeps the gluten-free red velvet cupcakes behind the counter and out of the display case to avoid cross contamination. That's getting gluten-free right and taking it seriously! Be aware that they do make a non-gluten-free red velvet cupcake as well. That being said the gluten-free red velvet is easily noted by the red "G" on top of the frosting. Sprinkles is on a roll with their safety measures.




Taste Test


To say that I am a fan is simply not enough. I've had my fair share of tasty gluten-free cupcakes and the gluten-free red velvet takes the top spot. It's pretty darn dreamy. You should probably drop everything and head to your nearest location. It's. That. Good. Hopefully, we will get a Toronto location in the future. Until then a girl can dream!

The cupcake is moist, pillowy and decadent. Imagine a heavenly cupcake that is sweet, but no overly so. Topping things off is the most gorgeous frosting. As a frosting nerd and self-appointed connoisseur of the stuff, I am smitten with it. Brilliantly creamy with a zip of tang, it's a major delight. 




Keep Up With Sprinkles


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