It’s Friday night, it’s been a long week, and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking but you don’t know where to get a GF meal. Maybe you’re visiting Central Alberta and you have no idea where you can go to find good, safe gluten free food. Or perhaps you’re planning a group get together and someone in your party has celiac disease.
Here is a list of some of gf and me’s favorite and not-so-favorite places to dine out in and around Red Deer, Alberta. Entries are listed alphabetically and offer a brief description, menu suggestions, and links to more information.
**NEW** Browns Social House
Unit 125 – 31 Clearview Market Way
Lunch and Dinner $$
Browns Social House has a gluten free menu and appears to be very aware of the needs of people who are gluten intolerant. While the gf menu is on the smaller side, it includes a number of different types of dishes including appetizers and the food is fantastic. Try the appetizer ribs or the gf social bowls.
Cowpatti’s Dinner Theatre
Lacombe Golf and Country Club
Dinner Theatre $$$
They only offer a couple of shows a year, but Cowpatti’s at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club offers a great mostly gluten free buffet. Yes, I said buffet which often means that if you are gluten free the meal is off limits because of possible cross contamination between dishes. Cowpatti’s, however, offers a prime rib buffet that is almost entirely gluten free. The only items that are not GF are the dinner rolls and Yorkshire pudding and these were placed at the end of the buffet line to avoid accidental crumb loss.
The prime rib really is some of the best we’ve ever had. The only thing that would make Cowpatti’s better would be the addition of a gluten free dessert choice. But hey, Geoff just went back and had another slice of prime rib.
Oh, and the acting is good too.
2111 Gaetz Avenue
Lunch and Dinner $$
Be careful here. Earls in Red Deer has a gluten free menu but the wait staff does not seem all that informed about celiac disease and gluten free protocol. Once Geoff was given a salad with croutons and once his buffalo chicken sandwich came on their regular ciabatta bun. Thinking it looked too good to be true, he asked the server if the bun was gluten free, and the server assured him that it was. It was only after he’d eaten some that the manager appeared at the table and said the bun was not GF.
3630 50 Avenue
Mexican Cuisine $$
Las Palmeras has always been Geoff’s favorite local restaurant. In fact, after he was diagnosed with celiac disease, he chose to go here for his “last meal out” before going gluten free. Funny thing, when we talked to the owner, we found out that Geoff’s favorite dishes were already gluten free!
Las Palmeras makes their food from scratch from family recipes. The owner and most of the staff can help you choose gluten free items from their menu. Our all-time favorites are the chicken enchiladas and the tequila chicken. The free chips and salsa are also GF.
Unfortunately, they have no dedicated deep fryer so things like their chicken wings are off limits.
6608 Orr Drive
Lunch and Dinner $$
South Western, Steaks, Chicken
Mohave Grill has one of the largest gluten free menus that we have seen in the city. We have eaten there many times and the staff always seems to be very knowledgeable. Some of Geoff’s favorites are the garlic shrimp appetizer, the fajitas, and the tequilla chicken. The roasted potatoes with chipotle mayo are awesome too!
One Eleven Grill
108 5304 43 Street
Lunch and Dinner $$$
Steaks, Ribs, Salads
We love the atmosphere at One Eleven and the food is great too. You can’t tell from the menu on their website but all gluten free menu items are clearly labeled on their menu and there are quite a few. However, they do ask that if you need a gluten free meal, to tell your server in order to make sure your food is prepared appropriately—a good practice anywhere!
NOTE: They do not have a dedicated gf deep fryer so items like dry ribs that may be labelled gf are open to contamination.
TIP: Live Jazz twice a week. Check their website. And it’s a good idea to make reservations here. They are usually very busy.
Phil’s Pancake House
4312 49 Avenue
Breakfast and Brunch $
No website available
Breakfast out can be difficult when you’re gluten free. Phil’s is one of the more popular breakfast eateries in Red Deer and has added a number of gluten free options to their menu. They now offer gluten free waffles, crepes, and breads (white, brown and raisin). They also have a separate preparation area for gluten free orders and a separate toaster. Our favorites here are the fruit plate and the bacon, eggs, and hash browns with gluten free raisin bread. The gf waffle is also amazing – large, light, and fluffy!
5018 45 Street
Seasonal Canadian Cuisine $$$
Red Stone is our favorite place to go when we feel like splurging a little. It’s a bit pricey, but the food and the service are very good, and they are very knowledgeable about preparing and serving gluten free meals. The menu is seasonal so we don’t really have recommendations, but we can tell you that they will modify most recipes to make them GF. They even have a gluten free chocolate torte for dessert that is to die for!
** UPDATED** Tony Romas
5250 22 Street Unit 50
Ribs, Chicken, Steaks, Salads $$
This is where we usually go for family dinners. The prices are reasonable and the menu has something for almost everyone. They have a special gluten free menu with quite a few items and many of their sauces are GF. They also seem very aware of cross contamination. The wait staff’s response when Geoff has told them he has celiac disease is almost always that they will make sure the chef is aware and knows to clean the grill etc.
Try the chicken and ribs with baked potato. They do not have a dedicated deep fryer so French fries are not an option and if memory serves the rice pilaf is NOT gluten free.
They have added a gf flatbread appetizer that is really, really good! And now also have a gf beer on the menu – Mongozo. If you like pilsner, you’ll love it.
Stay tuned for more reviews of local GF eats!
Have you had a really great experience at a Red Deer restaurant? Tell us about it in the reply box below.
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