restaurant Reviews

Thursday

D-LUXE Burger: Review




Disney Springs

Owned and operated by Disney, you can find D-LUXE Burger in Disney Springs. Though you may want to grab a map to help locate it. The complex is large and can easily require a full day to tour. Side tip - Go early in the morning and avoid the evenings if your not one for crowds.

Formerly known as Downtown Disney, the entertainment destination has transformed into a not to be missed dining and shopping mecca. 


Disney Springs
Order Area




D-LUXE Burger is a Quick Service restaurant and currently participates in the Disney Dining Plan program. Keep in mind, that participating restaurants are updated and sometimes changed out yearly. The vibe inside the restaurant is pretty chill and laid back. It's actually bigger than it looks on the outside as well.


Gluten-Free Options 




Disney Springs



As we were on the dining plan, I was able to get the regular fries as a snack credit. If you are paying out of pocket, the regular fries will set you back about $4.99 and the large,  about $7.49.

The fries are gluten-free, hand cut and fried in a dedicated fryer. I would say they are similar in texture to the ones you would find at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. 


I could not get enough of them. Seriously, the fries alone are worth the trip to Disney Springs! Even though they were a "snack" portion, the size was enough to fill me up. 

The fries come with your choice of SIX complimentary dipping sauces...and they're all gluten-free! I tried all of them and WOW are they ever good!

  • chipotle mayo
  • curry ketchup
  • 3 mustard honey
  • garlic ranch
  • buffalo blue cheese
  • horseradish sauce

Although I haven't tried it, you can also order a gluten-free burger with either a gluten-free bun or lettuce wrap. This is definitely on my list for next time though!



Disney Springs


Things can get a little messy so, you will no doubt appreciate the paper towel rolls located on each table. I also loved that no rush atmosphere. We really took our time, enjoyed the food and just soaked up the vibe.



Have you visited D-LUXE Burger? Share your thoughts below!



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.

Wednesday

Stuttering John's - Gluten Free Review





A little while ago hubby told me about Stuttering John's and asked if I would like to have dinner there. I have to admit that I was skeptical at first for a couple of reasons. One being that I have an extremely hard time trusting the Gluten Freeness of a place I've never been to before and two, the location of the restaurant is in the heart of downtown Oshawa which usually isn't my first choice for an outing.

Putting both issues aside, we ended up going to Stuttering John's for dinner. 

I'm
Glad
We 
Did!

Once inside the restaurant, the grunginess of downtown Shwa disappears. I shouldn't be so harsh. There IS a lot of greatness in the area... unfortunately it can become muddled with the not so greatness that comes along with any downtown area. With more places like this, Oshawa's downtown will be a great place for an outing. The GM Centre is in walking distance if you're in the mood for a sporting event or even a concert. Generals games are always exciting!

 Not only is the atmosphere inside Stuttering John's warm and inviting, it feels like you're just hanging out at a friend's. Cheesy sounding I know, but it's so true! The restaurant is set up with a variety of booths, bar seating and a lounge inspired area with couches and armchairs.They even utilize the beautiful artwork of a local artist.


The food was such a change from the norm for me. It was out of this world. I had the Smokin Brisket. Minus the bun as they did not have any GF ones at the time. As you can see from the first photo, portions are generous! The meat was tender, juicy and FULL of flavour!

We  went back a second time for dinner recently and I was informed that they have Gluten Free buns! I chose to enjoy something that I haven't been able to order in years - Smoken Clubhouse. I had the same side salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. The Gluten Free buns are sourced from Cocoa and Joe's in Oshawa and Oh Em Gee were they ever wonderful! I'm sad that I did not have my camera with me for this meal because it was just as awesome as the first time around.

  • Service is friendly and fast
  • They do Gluten Free right
  • It's a great place for the whole family to chow down
  • Prices are super affordable
  • They have evening entertainment ranging from Comedy Night to Live Music and Karaoke
  • Variety on the kids menu
  • Relaxed atmosphere
  • They air playoff games on big tvs... GO LEAFS GO!


One thing that would make my meal here complete - Gluten Free Dessert. Nothing like an ooey gooey brownie after dinner. *Hint Hint* ;)

Visit Stuttering John's website
Like them on Facebook and
Follow them on Twitter


Something super cool to think about- Stuttering John's was contacted by the folks at Food Networks You Gotta Eat Here. Help make sure that they are chosen for the show by emailing: ygeh.tips@gmail.com


*As always when dining out, please verify with your server that your dietary needs can and will be accommodated. 







Monday

Review: Petro's Chili & Chips

West Town Mall, Knoxville Tennessee

This was our first major stop on our drive to Walt Disney World. We left at 7:00pm on a Friday night and arrived in Knoxville around 9:30am Saturday morning. Not bad I say! Our original plan was to get a hotel in this beautiful city and then take on some shopping. 

After checking out the Knoxville Welcome Center we discovered that there was a major football game this particular weekend which resulted in price surges and Zero availability at local hotels.

Clearly being Canadian  and a Leafs fan (Go Leafs Go!) prevented me from planning ahead for this one. I knew football was popular in America, but I didn't realize how big College football was. The team spirit was pretty fantastic! All over Tennessee, everyone was covered in Orange Jerseys, Hats, Jackets  and face paint. Even cars had the giant signature orange "T" decal.  We saw the odd Florida fan in the mix as well

This brings us back to West Town Mall. After giving up on a hotel, we decided to take a break for some lunch and stretch our legs. I had prepared myself for more disappointment, this time in the food department. I was ready to go back to the car to dig something out of the cooler.

 Boy was I pleasantly surprised!!! 


I saw a baked potato on this menu and figured I better check it out! The guy working was awesome. After my usually needed speech about Gluten Free, he told me his grandmother is Celiac too and that all the Gluten Free items on the menu are indicated by with the letters "GF" in a red circle. 



My mom and I split the nachos and baked potato. It was soo good and it felt great to get some food with real substance into our tummies. There's only so much you can pack in a cooler without fear of it going bad. Especially in the Gluten Free department. So this was great! Really great. 



I would recommend visiting this mall to anyone making their way through Knoxville. It's very spacious and really pretty! The shopping opportunities are endless. Stores like Brookstone, Belk, and JC Penny were pleasant deviations from the norm for us. Is my Canadian showing yet?

Another plus is the kids play area that we discovered. It's in the center of the mall with a soft padded floor and lots of seating for moms and dads. Lincoln had such a great time running around here! He definitely deserved this play time after being such a great sport during our 14-hour drive.

After some time at the mall, we ended up driving a few more hours more and spent the night in a Comfort Suite just passed the Georgia border for under $100.00 US. Hubby was the sole driver so he gets the trooper award! Not only was he alert and happy, he dealt with the crazy hectic I-75 drivers and traffic backup, splendidly. I should note that he slept a good 9 hours the night before the trip, got up for a little bit and then went back to bed for another 5 hours. Probably the most sleep he has ever gotten.  


The West Town Mall is located at 7600 KINGSTON PIKE, KNOXVILLE, TN 37919-5600





Thursday

Chuck E. Cheese Does Gluten-free the Right Way


Chuck E. Cheese now offers Gluten Free Pizza and Gluten Free chocolate cupcakes! Hurrah because they do it the right way! Watch the video to see why I'm so excited...

This should be a learning tool for any company that wishes to incorporate Gluten Free items on to their menu. Way to go Chuck E. Cheese!


Visit chuckecheese.com/new-glutenfree-offerings for more details regarding Gluten Free items, availability and their prices.

Monday

Casey's Bar and Grill to offer Gluten Free Menu

Yesterday my friend Jax X of  Gluten-Free Ontario posted that Casey's Bar and Grill   will be offering  a Gluten Free Menu. What a way to kick off the Summer! Right now the locations are limited to 14 select Casey's in Ontario. Hopefully as they gain business, they will expand the GF menu to more locations.



I have run into difficulties in the past while dining at restaurants that offer a Gluten Free menu. So this time I did my homework and e-mailed Casey's to find out how much care and concern there will be regarding this menu. A day after writing to Casey's I received the e-mail message below. While it is unfortunate that the Oshawa location has decided NOT to offer this menu and "may not ever offer it if they don't feel they can meet the requirements to do so ". I can understand that they may be nervous about implementing a menu that requires such great care. I appreciate that they are not willing to serve GF food they cannot be proud of. Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Not at all. Its a shame that they are not willing to make some effort here. 

Please be advised that the locations offering a GF menu cannot guarantee that there will be no cross contamination.They are taking the right step in educating all staff members though.

http://www.caseysbarandgrill.com/


Hi Sandra,
Thank you for your email.  We are very excited that we are able to offer a Gluten Free menu to our guests as we fully appreciate how difficult it must be for someone with Celiac Disease to find meal solutions that meet their needs. 
The stores that offer the Gluten Free menu do have a dedicated fryer that only handles the Gluten free food items and we have provided education to all our store managers, chefs and staff on what Celiac Disease is and what standards they need to maintain to effectively deliver a Gluten Free menu.  That being said, we cannot guarantee that cross-contamination may not occur but we will take every effort to prevent it. 
At this point the Gluten Free menu is an optional menu that the stores can carry if they feel they can properly deliver the menu to the standards we have set.  Oshawa has decided not to carry this menu and they may not ever offer it if they don't feel they can meet the requirements to do so.  However, you can visit one of our other locations that does carry the menu which includes:
-Brampton (Bovaird & Orion Gate locations)
-Brantford
-Dundas & Jarvis
-Toronto Front St.
-Gloucester
-Guelph
-Kapuskasing
-Kitchener (Sunrise & Victoria locations)
-Milton
-Newmarket
-North Bay
-Sudbury
Thank you,
Karen Gutteridge
KAREN GUTTERIDGEPRIME RESTAURANTS INC.BRAND MANAGER CASEY'S GRILL• BAR (905) 568-0000EXT. 20210 KINGSBRIDGE GARDEN CIRCLE, SUITE 600, MISSISSAUGA ON, L5R 3K6

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