BLU Martini – Kingston, ON; Dedicated Fryer

BLU Martini – Kingston, ON; Dedicated Fryer

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178 Ontario St, Kingston, ON K7L 2Y8
Phone: (613) 766-8880
https://www.blumartini.ca

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thanks for reading friends,

Erin xo

Fruition Berry Farm – 29th Birthday

Fruition Berry Farm – 29th Birthday

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In honour of my 29th birthday last Thursday, we checked out Fruition Berry Farm, located just off the 401 & hwy 15 in Kington, ON.

A great place to take your family, spouse, or even take your friends. The farm is quite large, with lots of picking to be done. At $11 per large container, that’s quite the steal for local, fresh, in season strawberries. There is also a $1 charge if you need a basket. I got a really awesome travel tripod for my birthday from my boyfriend (he’s always supporting the blogging dream I have) we were finally able to get my first official YouTube Vlog completed.

They take debit and cash, there is also a small barbecue food stand thats serving Hot dogs, burgers, etc as well as drinks. However, there are no Gluten Free options so be sure to eat ahead of time or bring some snacks (try not to snack on the berries even though I’m guilty of it a couple times haha) and definitely stay hydrated. It was about 30 degrees with a very extreme humidity level that day so it wound up being a pretty quick trip but overall it was very fun and great to get outside exploring. Since then I have made a delicious Strawberry Vanilla cake and it was amazing.

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So, with all that being said, here is my very first official Youtube Vlog! I hope you enjoy, please hit the subscribe button and leave your comments, suggestions, feedbacks, etc! I’m definitely doing a lot more vlogging this summer so stay tuned.

xo, Erin
erin@glitzandgf.com

Mesa Fresca- Kingston, ON

Mesa Fresca- Kingston, ON

http://www.mesafresca.ca
​Call 613 389 6372
1347-2 Gardiners Road
​Kingston, ON K7P 0L8

Open 7 Days a Week
Monday-Saturday From 11:00 A.M. until 11:00 P.M.
Sundays 11:00 A.M. until 9:00 P.M.
Reservations recommended

Mesa Fresca is a brand new Latin Mexican inspired restaurant located in the West End of Kingston, ON.

I was lucky enough to be asked to review the Gluten Free menu options from the owners Alison and Andrew. Mesa Fresca takes the term locally sourced to a completely different meaning. The Bar tops, tables and the beautiful barn door decor are all sourced from a farm nearby. The barn door is pictured in a few of my photos and it makes for a really great backdrop for photos.

All of their meat is sourced locally and their produce when they can get it. Many alcohol options are from local breweries and wineries and they also have a large selection of hot sauces for those who like to kick their tacos up a notch. A few other amazing facts before I get to the food stuff — They use Masa Corn flour, the real, authentic stuff which is completely gluten free. They offer Vegan options and the menu is 99% Gluten Free.

The owners believe strongly in giving back to the local community as well as to help business owners worldwide. They have partnered with KIVA: Loans That change Lives and Loving Spoonful Kingston. Two different reasons, but both equally as amazing for them to even consider doing. KIVA is a not for profit agency that specializes in small loans for businesses and individuals around the world.  These interest free loans go to change the lives of those who might not otherwise be capable of starting and sustaining meaningful businesses for themselves.
At Mesa Fresca, they have committed 10 cents from every taco sold to help fund some of these loans.  Once those loans are paid back, the full repayment value will then be reassigned as a donation to Loving Spoonful here in Kingston, Ontario.

GLUTEN FREE PROTOCOLS

Currently there is not a dedicated fryer, but they do know the importance of it and are committed to eventually trying and getting the fryer issue resolved.  In the fryer they are currently frying the nacho chips, french fries, and the Fluatas. The Fluatas are breaded with wheat flour which is why the fryer is not safe. Otherwise, eventually when they do get the fryer dedicated we will be able to have the nachos and french fries. They keep their prep area very clean, and only grill the corn shells on their own part of the grill, all the Gluten Free buns are kept separate from the regular hamburger buns. They use O’Doughs buns for the burger bun options.

THE FOOD

Tacos. These come with 2 per order (portion size is very generous!) and the corn tortillas are made fresh. I had the Pollo, Jack Fruit, and Fish Tacos. Hands down my favourite was the Fish Tacos which surprised me as I’m not a huge fish lover. The Fish was seared cod amazingly prepared and it had a great coleslaw to add a great crunch along with fresh Pineapple pico de gallo. This Pineapple Pico De Gallo was out of this world, with a bit of heat, but worked so well together. The flavours were so elevated and this was a really delicious option I would suggest to everyone (especially if you’re not a fish person-  I promise you won’t be disappointed!). The Jack Fruit tacos included Vegan cheese also which was very flavourful. For you Vegan folks this is a hit and definitely will satisfy your Taco craving. Jack Fruit is a fruit that tastes just like pulled pork, sweet and smoky, super easy to enjoy especially knowing how clean it is being a vegan option. Sometimes when I know my body is run down I try to eat more vegan based meals to give my body a chance to cleanse and reset in a gentle way and these Tacos are top on my list during those times. The Pollo taco is baja buffalo chicken breast, house made fresh to order guacamole, salsa fresca as well as lime crema. The chicken was so fresh and full of flavour. I really enjoyed each taco for different reasons and I can’t explain enough how awesome it is to be able to taste the freshness in the food I was eating. It’s a very true sentiment that preparing fresh foods makes all the difference and Andrew & Allison really take this seriously.

I also tried two different salads which Alison created herself. The Peruvian salad is both GF and Vegan, so again Vegans can enjoy a complete meal here and not have to worry. Speaks volumes for the owners and how much they care in trying to accommodate everyone who walks through the door. The Peruvian salad is topped with Sweet Potatoes,   quinoa, toasted pepitas, queso fresco, and a house made cider vinaigrette dressing. The flavours are very elevated and mesh so well together to create am amazing burst of flavour in each bite. The Ensalada De La Case is a GF & Dairy free salad with leafy greens, picked red onion, roasted red peppers and the same dressing. I certainly enjoyed The Peruvian best as I love sweet potatoes and having a warm salad on a cold day is really a treat.

Overall this place is absolutely fantastic, super accommodating, and has so many options for everyone. They are some genuinely amazing people who love what they are doing and really try to go the extra mile to make a huge difference in what they offer everyone. They put their heart and soul into their food and I believe it truly shows and comes through in the taste, presentation, and service at Mesa Fresca. I want to thank both Alison and Andrew for their generosity and hospitality during my visit. They were very open to learning more about living a GF life and how they can further extend on their gluten free offerings.

**This meal was provided to me for the nature of this review, but all opinions and feedback are solely my own** 

#VisitKingston

#VisitKingston

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Last weekend I went to visit some family in Kingston, so I figured why not do a couple of reviews while I’m in town. It worked out really well, and I got to see a bunch of the city and enjoy some delicious eats at the same time.

A bit of background for those of you who are new to following me, I was born and raised in Kingston, and moved out to Whitby about 13 or so years ago. My family is out there, and my parents recently retired and made the move back. This city is a tourist spot for so many reasons. Not only is there always fun events going on downtown, but there is so much food to eat, and so many Gluten Free options.

I hope to cover them all here for you, as well as a few tourist things that are options. When it comes to Travelling, it is so important to find somewhere with plenty of entertainment and things to do, as well as have a variety of dining choices so no one gets bored. Kingston really delivers on the food front, when I started doing my research I found so many options, and was super impressed with the amount of places that knew what the word Celiac means, as well as understood it to the fullest extent.

One thing I do sadly regret is not stopping at The Big Apple located in Colborne, on my drive… I heard they have excellent pies and crumbles. Next time, thats for sure!
So fast forward the two hour drive from Whitby, to Kingston.
First stop was to head for brunch at Windmills Cafe & Catering.

WINDMILLS CAFE
Right downtown on Princess Street they even offer an outdoor patio to eat and watch the hustle and bustle of tourists and Kingstonian’s venture through the downtown core. I have eaten at Windmills last summer, and they are super careful with Cross Contamination. I suggest calling ahead, asking to speak to the manager in charge and advising of your requirements for eating. Making a reservation is good, as they are a very busy brunch spot. I ordered the French Toast and Eggs Benedict. The French Toast is actually a Cranberry/Raisin bread, which is made specifically for Windmills by a local bakery The Silly Yak (more on that bakery soon…..). I truly love that they all work together because its even more hometown friendly in my opinion. They use all separate toasters, pots & pans, etc. All of their sauces are Gluten Free, and their menu is very clearly marked with all kinds of options for Gluten Free. Overall this place is certainly Celiac Safe, just ensure to tell them your needs so they can properly take care of you.

THE SILLY YAK
Oh my goodness. The Silly Yak is the only 100% GF Bakery in Kingston. I popped in as its actually close to my parents house, which is great and super convenient. Located just off the 401 on Midland Ave, this small bakery boasts some of the best treats I’ve ever had. I got a Brownie with Vanilla Icing, probably one of the most moist (say that three times fast!) brownies I’ve ever had. It was so delicious, I definitely regret not buying more. I got a Nanaimo bar as well; something I love about this one is there is a small amount of coconut in the base, which is my kind of taste. I hate shredded coconut, but when it goes with a dish as long as it is in moderation I love it. So that was great. I also got some delicious peach tarts, and a regular butter tart. It was a great stop- worthwhile for anyone who is even travelling through to make a quick stop as it is in a convenient location.

AQUA TERRA
Last stop on this trip was Aqua Terra. It is located in the Delta Hotel right downtown overlooking Confederation Park, and all the beautiful sights that Kingston offers. This place is a bit hard to find because it is right inside Delta Hotel so we had a bit of a hard time actually locating it, but after walking around we figured it out eventually.
I had pre-booked this one, and spoken to Rose ahead of time to notify of what I was hoping to do, and to give any information ahead of time. Upon getting there, there was a slight mixup in the reservation but that was quickly sorted out. Next up the chef came out, we spoke to him to figure out what was GF and not. I have to say most of the menu is safe, just inform them ahead of time of if you’re celiac or not. They do NOT have a dedicated fryer so keep that in mind my Celiac Friends. We were essentially brought out small tasters of the entire menu, all of which were phenomenal. Everything is so fresh, and you can taste just how high quality these ingredients are. The main course was a delicious Fresh Fish of the Day— Halibut with a Cabbage side. This was 100% the best fish I have ever eaten. I generally only like my fish in tuna form, or in sushi. But this piece was literally melt in your mouth, can’t get enough. It was so filling, nutritious, and that really was the cherry on top. It did not have a “fishy” taste, but yet just buttery, light, and airy. My cousin, who is NOT GF in any way, but is on the Weight Watchers plan was able to come dine with me, and she said it was mostly within per points. So thats really great as well for those on any diet essentially. The photos do not do this food justice. Scallops, Shrimps, and Duck Confit- this is on a much higher caliber than any of the other main stream Fine Dining experiences available.

Overall this was a fantastic trip. I will be back in a few weeks to try out a few other places (Atomica, Harpers Burger Bar, Chez Piggy, etc) and to take my nephew to Fort Fright for his 10th Birthday. Its always fun to go home and visit with family and take advantage of all that my hometown has to offer!

Info below for contacts at these places if you’d like to make a reservation and get information ahead of booking.

Windmills Cafe & Catering:
184 Princess St
Kingston, ON K7L 1B1
P: 613-544-3948

info@windmills-cafe.com

Aqua Terra:
1 Johnson Street
Kingston, Ontario
P: 613- 549-6243
Reservations: Contact Ani Tuijtel atuijtel@aquaterrakingston.com to advise her of your requirements and she can get you set up

#IinKingston
#VisitKingston

This post was sponsored by Windmills Cafe, and Aqua Terra – All photos & opinions are mine.