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Author Topic: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)  (Read 7334 times)

Offline Alison

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2017, 05:08:48 pm »
And your friend tried so hard to! An unfortunate accident. I hope your wife is feeling better now!
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Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #46 on: February 15, 2017, 06:20:53 am »
And your friend tried so hard to! An unfortunate accident. I hope your wife is feeling better now!
Thank you - apparently, she had a very uncomfortable couple of days - far worse than she expected for such a small slip.  We haven't told our friend quite how bad - she already feels sooooo guilty!

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2017, 06:29:34 am »
Last night we decided to be really romantic with a meal out. For some time we had known that Our Plaice in Halesowen does GF fish 'n' chips on Monday and Tuesday evenings.  Time to give it a go...

...or not.  The website details recommended calling ahead by about 15 minutes to order (fair enough).  Just as we were leaving the house - knowing it would take a good 15 mins in the traffic - my wife called with our order.  She was told: "we don't do gluten free on Tuesdays".  That's not what the site says.  The conversation was short: the 'boss' wasn't in to speak to and they have not been serving GF fare on Tuesday evenings since Christmas.  Well, that is still not what the website says 6 weeks later!  Needless to say, my wife is not a happy bunny.  She wants to submit a Trip Advisor report and fully intends to call Our Plaice back to speak to someone about miscommunication.

We went to Chiquitos instead...

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2017, 03:26:39 pm »
OK, so recent dining experiences:
 
Chiquitos, Castlegate, Dudley - we found them a little on the pricey side, particularly for drinks, but they have a good GF selection for their diners.  There's a dedicated GF menu available (usually at the table, but quickly provided if not) with a choice that makes the GF diner feel they are not scratching around for some second rate offering.  The staff were friendly and helpful.  There seemed to be a sensible staffing level so that tables don't wait longer than necessary to be served.
 
It's family friendly and has a good atmosphere. Check that you are not sitting under a music speaker and conversation is easy without recourse to raising your voices.  Been twice this year, admittedly the second time we were armed with a voucher worth a tenner.
 
Wildmoor Oak, nr Bromsgrove - this is a pub that has gained a reputation for good quality and value food which includes a Caribbean selection.  We are planning our third visit of the year shortly.  There are several changing real ales available, the wine is not too expensive and the food is varied and enjoyable.
 
My wife was very impressed to find that GF is not a problem, even to the extent that she can have decent quality GF fish and chips there.  They can even provide GF vinegar.  So far we are pleased with this reasonably accessible GF eatery (I just wish I didn't have to drive!)
 
The Magpie, Whitby - My wife is staying in Whitby for a few days, courtesy of Shearings.  As usual, I did a lot of research ahead of this holiday and, as usual, a tiny proportion of that effort has been used.  However, the Magpie was mentioned as a GF provider and included in my guide.  Feedback so far is: "Menu is marked up GF. They have a separate GF frier, GF vinegar, GF mushy peas and tartare sauce, GF bread too. The meal came with a GF flag and the conversation we heard at the next table indicated they do dairy free too. Staff know what they are doing." Result!
 

I will be asking for review and comments regarding the other establishments she frequented in due course.  Watch this space...

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2017, 04:17:52 pm »
...well, as it turns out, The Magpie was the only place of GF note my wife and her friend dined at on their trip to North Yorks.  Despite me researching York and Pickering as well as Whitby, they gave a 'thumbs' up to Bella Italia in York and didn't arrive in Pickering until after lunch anyway!  Ah well.  Oh, I must not discount the Shearings hotel experience: I am told that the Royal Hotel, Whitby, was "typical Shearings".  I take this to mean clean, comfortable and a fading class establishment that has seen its prime.  That said, the Royal Hotel has a fine location and Shearings seem only go there out of main season - I assume it is otherwise fully booked.  I am informed that, as usual, they got the GF dining right: nothing to shout about, but at least there were no uncomfortable problems caused.

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2017, 04:22:22 pm »
Finally, for now, a word about the weekend:

The Spring Hill, Penn nr Wolverhampton – We descended upon this establishment (dining pub) for Mothers’ Day; a table of fourteen!  I have to say that they coped with us quite well on such an occasion.  I think the food arrived within a reasonable period of time, without too much delay between first and last diner getting their meal.  I am not aware of any mistakes and this most especially refers to the gluten free meal for my wife.  We agreed that it might be worth visiting again when they are less busy, just to see if the overall experience might improve and, to be honest, there was nothing actually wrong but there was just an impression that on such a busy occasion we didn’t get the best they could offer.

The standard menu comes with a large ‘G’ against any of their dishes that have “Gluten  free  available,  please  check  when  ordering”.  Looking at the standard starters, I see just one item available to GF diners, but it’s tough if you happen also to be allergic to seafood since it happens to be mussels!  The mains offer greater choice: I count 8-9 that offer a GF plate. A quick browse of the desserts on offer suggests maybe two items: the fruit plate and possibly the Forest Fruit Pavlova (but better to ask what goes into it!)  There are also ‘specials’, which would certainly require questions of the serving/kitchen staff.  So, not bad if all you want is a main course, but restricted otherwise.  Maybe they are willing and able to adapt more on request?

The standard mains range from under a tenner up to under fifteen for a 16oz steak.  Add sides and toppings at an extra cost if you like.  Specials are available and also don’t seem to top fifteen quid.  There’s a kids’ menu too.
As a quick snapshot of the bar, I purchased a bottle of wine (not the cheapest) and a pint of real ale for less than eighteen quid.  None of the wines cost more than twenty, if I recall correctly.  There were three different real ales available.

The staff were helpful and approachable despite the Mothers’ Day rush.  Because we were a large party they took orders at the table - normally you go up to the bar to order with your table number.

Yes, certainly worth considering a return visit when there are fewer of us.  If you are in the area, don’t discount it as an option.

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2017, 12:46:30 pm »
Last night we took another batch of parents out for Mother's Day.  This time we returned to the Kingswinford Beefeater.  Result?  Happy smiles all round.  We generally try to avoid The Day itself as service and food quality never seem quite the same in crowded eateries.  So, a quieter Tuesday evening worked out well.  We arrived to find the allergen folder already on our table and got prompt, attentive service throughout.  There was one slip-up: my wife got the chunky chips rather than the thinner fries she had requested (quickly attended to) and, as usual, she really enjoyed a steak with chips without ill-effect at this reliable establishment.

Five of us enjoyed two prawn cocktail starters, five mains (2 fish & chips from the cheaper daytime menu), and drinks - we couldn't fit in desserts.  There were two bottles of wine using reward vouchers that knocked almost 24 squids off the drinks bill.  I didn't know until last night that if you redeem your wine vouchers (currently worth 11.49 each) against a superior bottle rather than the house wine, you just pay the difference.

We had a very pleasant meal, thank you.

Incidentally, on a completely separate tack: we heartily recommend the Co-op's GF Tiffin - yummy!

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2017, 01:02:17 pm »
I almost forgot...

...I was meaning to say that my wife and I have been enjoying the cook-in sauces from Aldi.  Few may realise that a lot of the Aldi ranges are actually gluten free as standard, without any fanfare and silly price hike.  We have tried some of the curry products with chicken portions - not bad at all.  I must try to remember to note which ones.

See for more:-

https://cdn.aldi-digital.co.uk/tuwjzs9kbnk@YxtAMrTwYkHgxIc.pdf

Bon appetite!

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2017, 01:00:45 pm »
This last weekend we returned to The Greyhound in Penn, nr Wolverhampton.  For our sins we had not been since a very warm and sunny Saturday lunchtime in August 2016.  It is a favourite of the outlaws who rate it highly and, to be fair, our last visit was a good one.

Expecting a 'but'?  Not a bit of it: we had a very pleasant Saturday lunch this time, too.  Rume, the restaurant manager, was always on hand to attend to customers, preferring to be in the thick of it.  He ensured that my wife could order with confidence and enjoy her meal.  The menu is clearly marked with GF options, but Rume mentioned that other items might be modified too.  The menu has a good range of dishes from traditional to more imaginative and with something for most pockets.  The outlaws enjoyed a cheese and onion sandwich and a beef sandwich - healthy portions themselves.  My wife had a cajun chicken dish and I had the crispy bacon black pudding and Stilton salad (huge!)  These were washed down with a couple of bottles of a nice USA Merlot, at least one G&T and a Shropshire Gold ale for me (under 4% ABV).

The atmosphere was pleasant - they don't pack customers in - and noise levels sensible.  A nearby table was celebrating their youngest's 1st birthday, complete with cake, balloons and round of "Happy Birthday"

We look forward to our next weekend lunch there (maybe it will be someone else's turn to drive :D ).

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #54 on: May 16, 2017, 12:32:25 pm »
Our disappointment at what occurred during the recent meal was conveyed via email by my wife's father to Linden House and a response soon followed.  It was one of those messages you read knowing full well that the apology lacks complete sincerity, being full of references to 'our usual high standards' and reasons why it wasn't really their fault. I don't think it is appropriate to belabour the issue and go into detail, but suffice it to say that when I find courage to show my wife, I doubt she will be eating there again!
Well, how about that?  Toward the end of April we returned to Linden House, Wolverhampton, for a British Legion St George's Day lunch.  A certain degree of trepidation was involved following our previous experience, but we felt obliged to attend due my wife's father being the BL organiser for the event.  However, on this occasion they got it right!  We had a decent meal without any dramas and any ill-effect.  Between the venue and the British Legion the arrangements for attendees' meals were improved such that each diner and his/her choice and dietary requirements, where relevant, were clearly identified.  The gluten free meal worked out well.  Hurrah! :)

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #55 on: August 04, 2017, 02:00:53 pm »
In Oban, Scotland, we tried a couple of places when not out on a tour.  My wife brought with her a stock of items suitable for lunchtime snacks and added a few more from shops whilst in the area.  However, for one evening meal and one lunch we did eat out properly.

Oban Bay Fish & Chip Restaurant:  I had researched the town before we travelled so I knew that this establishment was known to be good as a GF friendly eatery.  There were some very promising recent reviews of the GF fish and chips so we had to try it.  On arrival we were immediately warned that the GF option would take about 15 minutes (only reasonable as it takes time to prepare a fresh batch whether you are eating in or sharing with the seagulls).

We both enjoyed haddock and chips as a sit down meal - mine was standard and my wife's was obviously GF, although she regretted ordering the large one!  The standard meal comes with bread & butter (I believe GF was available) and a hot or soft drink.  We found our meals to be good value and the service was polite and helpful.  If there is any drawback it's that the restaurant is not licensed.

However, just to prove that no-one gets it right every time, after my wife had recommended the place to her fellow coeliac traveler in the hotel, the poor lady did have an uncomfortable night after enjoying her own fish and chip supper!  Most embarrassing!

Cuan Mor:  not on my radar as coeliac friendly, I had seen the mixed reviews of this smart establishment, located just a few doors down from the above fish & chip emporium.  My wife decided to pop in one day as we explored the town and discovered that they do have GF options.  We decided to have lunch there when she was informed they do homemade GF burgers.  Eating off the sub seven quid lunchtime menu we were underwhelmed.  The burger meal arrived as two small over-cooked offerings that were less than impressive.  No unfortunate side-effects, but the meal itself was a let-down.  Having spoken with the staff to voice our disappointment they kind of rallied by deducting not the dish in question but the eighteen quid bottle of wine from the bill.  Go figure!  Anyway, it is possible that other GF items on the menu are good, but do approach with caution.

Of course, as an alternative, you can always try JDW's Corryvreckan or the handful of other Oban outlets that do GF fare.

Slainte!

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #56 on: August 29, 2017, 12:48:14 pm »
We paid a return visit to the Wildmoor Oak, Catshill nr Bromsgrove, at the weekend. It was Saturday lunchtime and not overly busy. They have recently introduced a lunchtime menu that follows the same formula as many other places: a limited selection of options for a special, lower price.  Unfortunately, to my wife's disappointment there was not a single GF item on it.  Not only that, but there was no adaptation possible.  The lady who seemed to be in charge was rather off-hand when asked about the lack of GF fare on the lunch menu, patently not interested in seeing what could be done.  The waitress was much more interested and did make inquiries of the kitchen, but to no avail

That said, my wife was able to enjoy the larger GF fish 'n' chips while my mother ate the fish goujons that my wife had hoped for (strange they can offer GF battered fish fillets but not goujons!)  My dad ploughed his way through a large Barnsley Chop off the specials board and I did my best to finish a very generous portion of a Caribbean dish (rundown roast veg).

We all enjoyed the food even if we couldn't all finish it!

Afterward the chef came out to visit the tables.  When the subject of GF choice was raised he honestly said he had not realised and would be looking into that aspect of the new menu.  He seemed receptive and genuinely keen to get our opinion.  I think we will return to check up on progress.

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #57 on: September 26, 2017, 12:53:17 pm »
For anyone in the Stourbridge area of the West Midlands here are a couple of decidedly contrasting possibilities...

...aside from the usually reliable JD Wetherspoons' The Chequers at the end of the High Street, there are also the following that are worth a try.  Both very different but conveniently close-by.

The French Connection bistro on Coventry Street: a long-standing family run establishment that grew out of their love affair with France and its cuisine - it's been there for years!  Last year my wife and I ate there one Saturday lunchtime and, due to the service and food, returned for a repeat experience last weekend.  It's not cheap but we certainly enjoyed our meals.  They do mark up menus with V and GF but not consistently so - it's worth checking if an item not marked is actually GF or can be prepared that way.  My wife was disappointed to see the pork dish she fancied was not marked as GF, but I recommended she ask...lo and behold, it was!  They have a very reasonable set menu for lunchtimes but some menu items can be pricey (£27 for a steak!)  Worth a look. http://www.frenchconnectionbistro.co.uk/

At the end of the same street is the Duke William pub, part of the small Craddock's chain.  They have several ales on tap for the real ale fans (though nothing GF as far as I am aware).  However, though we were not eating there, we noticed that their popular range of pies now include 2-3 that are GF - a recent development.  It's a nice place for a weekend afternoon drink, with friendly staff and clientele.  They have various events on from time to time.  Have a look at their site if visiting the area: http://www.craddocksbrewery.com/

I think we will be back, but which to choose? :-\

Offline Silly Yak Wrangler

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Re: Gluten Related Experiences Good and Bad (not just Restaurants)
« Reply #58 on: October 24, 2017, 01:13:12 pm »
Travelling to and From mid Cornwall from the West Midlands in mid October, I chose Topsham, near Exeter as a break point for Saturday lunch.  Several eateries were suggested by Tripadvisor, all in the town itself. It's a long story but we ended up eating at the Lord Nelson pub rather than the planned Pig & Pallet (which looked very promising on paper).  Suffice it to say that parking in Topsham is not easy!  Fortunately, the Lord Nelson not only has a patrons' only car park, but are able to look after gluten free diners at very sensible prices.  We liked the place enough to return there for an evening meal as we journeyed homeward.  It won't win any GF dining awards but does cover the basics, including chips, and they are very friendly and helpful.

I'll give the Penhale Round, Brewers Fayre, attached to the Premier Inn near Newquay a report when we have eaten there a second time.  We found the Blue Anchor Inn, about 10 minutes walk away in Fraddon, to be similar in standard to the Lord Nelson.  Worth checking if you stay locally.