Our friends at Skip the Dishes wanted the message out – there’s lots of restaurants on the website now with gluten-free options. On a snowy, chilly evening, there was nothing the four of us wanted more than to help get that message out by ordering in.
Three celiacs and a dedicated gluten-free blogger sat in the living room, perusing the options. Skip the Dishes allows you to filter by “gluten free” or by “gluten friendly” – for example, Heaven Artisan GF, the 100% gluten-free restaurant on 17th Avenue, is one of the only options under “gluten free” whereas there are lots of options under “gluten friendly”. You’ll be taking the same kinds of risks you usually take when you eat out, with the difference being that here you can write notes and reminders for the staff.
So what should we land on, we ravenous celiacs who were getting hungrier by the minute? We discussed and discarded option after option – after all, we don’t order in every day. Let’s make it special. And then we landed on Jimmy’s A&A, and both Craig and I threw our arms into the air in the touchdown signal. When we were young, undiagnosed and foolish, donairs were our late-snack of choice on our way home from the bars on frigid Edmonton evenings – ducking into the brightly lit donair stands while we waited for busses or taxis and licking sweet sauce off our fingers on the way home. Jimmy’s has a section on their menu called “pita to salad” – chicken shawarma, beef donairs, and veggie falafel without the pita. So my mom, Craig, and I painstakingly built our salads – chicken with garlic sauce for Mom plus vegetables, beef donair with sweet sauce for Craig plus vegetables, and a combo with garlic sauce for me (with just lettuce and tomato, because it was my special dinner and I could be picky). Dad opted for a regular combo donair, with pita. We also ordered a starter plate of dolmata, or stuffed grape leaves – a family favourite.
We took ample advantage of the notes sections to implore the restaurant to be very careful with cross-contamination, paid online, and settled in to wait for our dinner. (We particularly enjoyed the feature on the website where we could watch where our food was and where our courier was coming from to fetch it!) About half an hour later, we got a phone call from the restaurant – the beef donair and the sweet sauce aren’t gluten-free. Would we like chicken shawarma and garlic instead? Well, we’d always been shawarma fans, too, using them to warm up our insides while trying not to freeze on Whyte Avenue. Shawarma sounded lovely.
The food arrived within an hour from ordering and we fell to it. The chicken shawarma salads were dressed generously, but not soggy, and were the pleasing amount of garlicky that let us believe we could ward off vampires for days. The dolmata were excellent – not soggy or tough, just chewy enough to really enjoy – and were particularly delicious dipped in garlic sauce. The only disappointment was that, although we’d hugely appreciated the phone call from the restaurant to make sure our meals would arrive totally gluten-free, they’d also made Dad’s regular donair into a shawarma salad. But even his was so delicious that once he’d grumbled for a few minutes about missing his pita bread, he declaimed enthusiastically about the brilliance of our dinner decisions.
The conscientiousness of the staff at Jimmy’s A&A in making sure our meal was totally safe was the cherry on top – everything was fresh, delicious and mouthwateringly Mediterranean. And of course, the best part was we hadn’t had to do more than lift a finger to the website to have it appear at our door.
Want to try SkiptheDishes.com for yourself? Use this voucher code for 10% off your meal between now and March 31: BLOG108fe616
Even better? We want to give YOU $50 in Skip Credit to order yourself a delicious meal! All you need to do is comment on this blog and tell us what you think you’d like to try. A winner will be drawn on Thursday, February 23rd!
Disclosure: This meal was paid for by SkiptheDishes.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.