This past Labour Day long weekend, I was downtown just walking around enjoying the hustle and bustle of Queens & SLC Move in weekend. We decided to go checkout the Market and just do some people watching, taking in the sights and smells of downtown. While down there we had remembered that BLU Martini had Gluten Free fish & Chips, and so we decided to go check them out and find out how gluten free they actually were.
Contrary to my fears, they have a dedicated fryer. Life changing. We immediately decided to share lunch and enjoy a drink on the patio. I got a virgin margarita and we dove right into the menu. We were advised everything on the menu can be adjusted to be gluten free, but they also advised their menu is basically all gluten free, they have some bread to dip with some of the meals but that bread is kept and prepped in a totally separate area of the kitchen. They really seem to know the process for keeping things celiac safe. We decided on the Fish & Chips, and the Coconut shrimp as our appetizer. The Coconut shrimp had a pineapple curry dip which was fantastic. They were hot, sweet and the perfect amount of crunchy goodness.
The Fish & Chips. OH MY GOSH. Beyond to die for. The coleslaw that came with it was extremely spicy so it was the black sheep on the plate, but my boyfriend ate it as I can’t handle spice. The fish had a batter that seemed to be some sort of corn flake type cereal and a rice flour blend. It worked well, I’d say skip the huge chunks of cereal but the rice flour blend was so tasty. Also the fries were amazing obviously, but I’m also a fry freak so any chance I get to eat fries I certainly take. The french fries were seasoned perfectly, as was the tartar sauce.
The menu is super easy to read, next time I’ll be getting the chicken fingers and french fries, and more than likely even more. The menu items are clearly marked with a green GF – but they can adjust all the menu items to be gluten free. Overall this place is definitely Celiac Safe, however please always advise your server of your requirements as this was my experience only and yours will be different. I have done the foot work and asked these questions but things change frequently so I always leave a disclaimer to be your own advocate and only order what you feel is safe based on the information you have at the time of ordering.
I am here to give you a list of my favourite items I purchase from Amazon for packing lunches for back to school or even work. Lunches can be SO difficult, so I hope the items I post here you are able to enjoy and also find great use out of, and hopefully help with having stress free lunch packing. Further to that, on most of the items I am posting they are significantly cheaper than most retail stores, and the convenience of having them ship right to your door, plus you can even set up Subscribe & Save if you want to “Set it and forget it!”
Amazon Prime also gets you free 2 day shipping, which is worth its weight in GOLD. If you haven’t you can get a free month membership and also university & college students get a reduced rate or free in some areas (Subject to your location). So without making you wait any longer, click below to see my favourite Lunch and On The Go items.
***Also including a link to GF Stickers- that way you can put the stickers on your childs lunch bag and or containers/drink holders, etc ***
Happy Shopping friends and best of luck with BTS for yourself, your family & kiddos!
THE BEAN SPROUT IS A FRIENDLY, NEIGHBOURHOOD CHINESE MINI BUFFET RESTAURANT IN NORTH YORK SINCE 2009. THEIR SPECIALIZED MENU HAS BEEN CRAFTED FROM YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND PERFECTING FLAVOURS EVERYONE KNOWS AND LOVES.
MR. MARK CHEN STARTED WITH A GLUTEN FREE BUFFET DUE TO HIS SONS MANY FOOD ALLERGIES. HIS SON ACTUALLY HAS A WHEAT ALLERGY WHICH IS MORE SEVERE THAN CELIAC DISEASE EVEN. THEY TOTALLY TAKE ALL PRECAUTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO CREATING THIS BUFFET TO MAKE IT A GREAT EXPERIENCE (ONE US GF FOLKS DON’T OFTEN GET).
I WAS ABLE TO CHECK OUT THE GLUTEN FREE BUFFET, BUT THEY ALSO DO THE BUFFET TO GO, AND THEY ALSO HAVE GLUTEN FREE TAKEOUT, CATERING, AND A FREEZER FULL OF GLUTEN FREE ITEMS TO TAKE HOME. I TOOK HOME THE BBQ PORK BUNS & CHICKEN DUMPLINGS. WILL POST THOSE ONCE I MAKE THEM!
THE BUFFET WAS YOUR TYPICAL CHINESE BUFFET ITEMS. CHICKEN BALLS, VEGETABLE FRIED RICE, PUMPKIN CHICKEN, VEGGIE TEMPURA, LEMON CHICKEN, BLACK PEPPERED BEEF, SWEET & SOUR PORK, SPICY THAI CHICKEN, BATTERED FISH FILLET. ALL WAS ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. THIS WAS MY FIRST TIME DIVING INTO “DEEP FRIED” IN A VERY LONG TIME. I THINK I MAY HAVE PUT MY DIGESTIVE SYSTEM INTO OVERDRIVE HERE WITH ALL THE DEEP FRIED, SALTY, HEAVENLY GOODNESS. MY EYES WERE WIDE AS I WAS LOADING MY PLATE UP WITH LEMON CHICKEN, CHICKEN BALLS, VEGETABLE FRIED RICE AND LOTS OF SWEET & SOUR SAUCE. TRUTHFULLY, YOU COULD NOT TASTE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REGULAR CHINESE BUFFET, AND WHAT MR. CHEN HAS CREATED IN HIS BUFFET. WITH MULTIPLE DELICIOUS OPTIONS, AS WELL AS BEING ABLE TO ENJOY THE BUFFET AS TAKEOUT IF YOU’RE IN A RUSH AS WELL.
A FEW POINTERS, ALWAYS CALL AHEAD & MAKE A RESERVATION. THE ESTABLISHMENT IS SMALL SO RESERVATIONS ARE CERTAINLY SUGGESTED. IT WON’T TAKE A TON OF TIME TO SCARF DOWN ALL THE BUFFET OPTIONS, BUT TO AVOID ANY WAITING (ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE LITTLE ONES) DEFINITELY MAKE A RESERVATION.
FOR THIS ONE, YOU DON’T EVEN NEED TO ASK THE TYPICAL QUESTIONS. THE GLUTEN FREE BUFFET IS 100% SAFE, THEY CLEAN THE ENTIRE KITCHEN OF PRIOR GLUTEN, AND, AS MR. CHEN SAID HE “LOCKS AWAY THE GLUTEN IN THE BACK ROOM”. IF THAT’S NOT PROMISING, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS! THEY TRULY WANT EVERYONE TO ENJOY THE FOOD, EXPERIENCE, AND REALLY GO ABOVE AND BEYOND TO GIVE US GLUTEN FREE PEOPLE A FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE.
THE RESORT —
I was invited by Couples Resort to come for Valentines Day weekend with my sweetheart. This resort is about a 3 hour drive from Whitby. It is a beautiful drive with absolutely no traffic. Lots of trees, and such a stunning landscape to experience. It’s certainly not one of those bothersome drives that becomes painful, as it is just taking in the beauty that our province provides us.
Upon entering the resort, we checked in at the front desk. Mary met us with a friendly smile, and gave us all the information we need to explore the resort (and surrounding areas). There is so much to do while staying here, but the great part is just staying put in your room is just as satisfying. We were able to get a great balance of exploring the outdoors, and enjoying the comfort of our room.
On site is a spa where you can receive a variety of treatments (RMT Massage, Mani/Pedi, Body treatments), there is a solarium with a nice small gym and dry sauna, some shorter walking trails, as well as the Gallery.
We got ourselves checked in, checked out the dining room (I didn’t even have to tell them – they already had “Celiac” noted! Huge boost of confidence there!), and then went to unpack and see our room.
The room is beyond any expectation I had imagined. In your washroom you have a European Shower which has a sauna in it. A large closet to hang your jackets, dresses, and store your luggage. There is a small kitchen with a Keurig to brew coffee in the morning, a sink, as well as a microwave and mini fridge. One really great thing is the drinking water is right from Algonqiun— very clean and refreshing. I made sure to drink tons of water while here, there is something about water right from your backyard that fills my hippie soul with happiness! A wood fireplace awaits, and is situated directly in front of the King Size bed. A TV which includes Shaw Satellite TV service as well as Netlflix. A comfy large couch, and your own balcony which has a personal hot tub for your and your honey to enjoy in private. Oh, and did I mention the gigantic whirlpool bath tub right beside the King Size bed? Oh yes. It is pure luxury and bliss. I have never felt like such a princess and so relaxed than staying at Couples Resort. We stayed in the Reubens room, which boasts 10ft ceilings, and is just about 1000 sq ft. With all that this room has to offer, you may never want to leave it! There is really no negatives to this place! The few suggestions I would have as a Celiac Diner is that for room service, It would be nice to have a little “GF” sticker, or marker, on the lids as our first night we ordered room service but had trouble identifying whose was whose as we ordered a few of the same items. Same with breakfast, a little difficult to decipher, and some of us who require a Gluten Free diet sometimes need that extra bit of confidence. I also found that after using the Sauna I wanted something a little more than water to drink, but there was no vending machine, or access to any juice or anything outside of dining hours. The rooms are beautiful decorated and the renovations they have done are top notch. The decor is outstanding and really adds to the amazing vibe this room has. All of the furniture is carefully hand crafted, and the wallpaper to match.
When it comes to dining, this place has it down pat. Everyone is fully understanding of what “Celiac Disease” is, means, and what it requires. You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing you will not be looked at funny or asked “is this gluten?” while staying here. You just advise while booking any dietary restrictions and they know about it the entire time you are staying.
For breakfast I had a Gluten Free Waffle, Omelette, and the Couples Retreat breakfast (eggs, bacon, toast, and hash browns). Let me tell you it has been a long time since I have had a waffle and these puppies were fluffy, sweet, and so filling. Perfect meal before venturing out into the cold to enjoy all this resort has to offer. Each morning it was a good variety of protein, carbs, and fresh fruit to enjoy.
For dinner the first night I had the 10oz New York Strip Steak, which came with fresh, crunchy green beans, and Double Smoke Bacon Confit potatoes. The steak was grilled exactly as I asked and it was seasoned wonderfully. All of the flavours and sauces complimented each portion that made up the meal. For starters I had Citrus Prawns, and Pork Belly the first night, and an Artisan Duck Salad, with Honey Tomato soup the next night. Again, everything is so fresh tasting, extremely colourful, and packed with flavour. It has been a long time since I have had Tomato soup so that was a real treat for me! I had a delicious Buccatini Carbonara, with Gluten Free Penne instead of the Spaghetti. It was served with a thick, creamy Black Pepper, Egg & Creamy Parmesan Sauce, as well as packed with Double Smoked Bacon. My taste buds were on overload! Normally I don’t allow myself much dairy, but it was well worth it on this vacation to indulge and enjoy all that this menu has to offer! They have Vegetarian options as well, for those of you that eat Vegetarian. They offer multiple desserts- I had the Gluten Free Chocolate Cake, the Creme Brûlée, and the Chocolate Ganache Tower. All so tasty and filling. For someone like me who tends to skip dessert, I was all in at Couples Resort! I indulged and it was worth it.
Over all I was super impressed with this vacation. It is the perfect place to visit for a getaway where you need some quality time. The whole package is here— and you won’t leave feeling disappointed, or hungry. It is a beautiful drive, in a beautiful part of Ontario. I will absolutely be returning, and would highly suggest this spot to anyone who wants to have some alone time to relax and be romanced!