Earls Kitchen + Bar Restaurants Step Up to the Gluten-Free Plate

Earl's Kitchen logoDining out has never been better for celiacs but in some ways, they’ve become more complicated.

With proffered menus that read like legal documents, how can we be sure we will survive, let alone enjoy the meal we are about to order?

The answer is transparency. 
Earls Kitchen + Bar Restaurant is proof of that.

A great gluten-free experience is a collaboration between a celiac, chef, server and in this case,  a corporation. This was put to the test when a Victoria celiac complained of feeling unwell after dining at our local Earl’s Kitchen + Bar. ‘Maureen’ followed up with Earls’ staff who promptly went into high gear to find out how her ‘Gluten-Aware’ meal could have been cross-contaminated with gluten.


From servers to chefs to site managers, all levels went into high gear to re-vet ingredients, examine kitchen protocol and see exactly how gluten-free orders are communicated from diner to staff and vice versa.

Bingo! Not only did they identify two potential points of cross-contamination, all staff were notified from the top down. They shared the fullness of their investigation with Maureen along with the steps that they would take to minimize or prevent the possibility of it happening again.

I popped by the restaurant in person a few days later to follow up with the manager and was very satisified that all was in hand.

That’s when I asked the next question.

Could Earls guarantee that this problem was not occurring at their other 66 North American locations? And if so, would the same corrective action be implemented franchise-wide? This was the question I subsequently posed to Cam Armstrong, Regional Chef, Operations, Pacific Northwest Region in our one-hour telephone conversation.

Cam went to work and brought the Victoria experience to the attention of corporate headquarters from the president, executive chef right on down to the website design team. A few weeks later, Cam shared that what had been discovered in Victoria – and the gluten-free fix – was being implemented at all Earls’ locations in Canada and the United States.

As proof, Earl’s has allowed the Celiac Scene to share the following copy of  their Staff Training Manual as it pertains to ‘Handling Allergies.’ That is the kind of transparency that gluten-free diners want – and deserve.

Earl's Staff Training

  • A special thank you to Cam Armstrong who his understanding and eagerness to leap into action on all of our behalves. The Celiac Scene commends Earls Kitchen + Bar for their unprecedented decision to share that information with the community that needs – and deserves – to know. 

Have a look at what gluten-free diners can safely enjoy at Earl’s everywhere by choosing a location and clicking on their ‘Gluten Aware with Some Modifications from Our Kitchen’  link. earls.ca • Instagram • Facebook • Twitter

In Victoria

  • Cajun Chicken
    • Blackened double breast of chicken, garlic butter, warm potato salad, coleslaw
  • Santa Fe Chicken Salad17
    • Blackened chicken, feta, avocado, black beans, dates, in peanut lime vinaigrette

To Share

  • Baja Fish Tacos
    • Two corn tortillas with crispy battered cod, jalapeno pineapple salsa, cabbage slaw, avocado crema
  • Chicken Pibil Tacos
    • Two tacos filled with slow roasted achiote chicken, queso blanco, avocado, cilantro, fresh cut salsa, corn tortillas
  • Yam Fries
    • With garlic aioli

Soups and Salads

  • Field Greens
    • Apples, feta, spiced candied pecans, in a champagne vinaigrette
  • Santa Fe Chicken Salad
    • Blackened chicken, feta, avocado, black beans, dates, in peanut lime vinaigrette
  • Warm Kale Salad
    • Black kale, baby potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, cranberries and toasted almonds, in brown butter vinaigrette with grilled chicken

Main Plates

  • 6oz Creekstone Farms Steak Frites
    • Yukon gold fries
  • 6oz Creekstone Farms Top Sirloin
    • Garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables
  • 8oz Creekstone Farms Top Sirloin
    • Garlic mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables
  • Cajun Chicken
    • Blackened double breast of chicken, garlic butter, warm potato salad, coleslaw
  • Fish + Chips
    • Crispy battered cod, house tartar, coleslaw
  • Tacos
    • Served with Yukon Gold Fries
    • opt for yam or garlic fries/soup or salad
  • Baja Fish Tacos
    • Two corn tortillas with crispy battered cod, jalapeno pineapple salsa, cabbage slaw, avocado crema
  • Chicken Pibil Tacos
    • Two tacos filled with slow roasted achiote chicken, queso blanco, avocado, cilantro, fresh cut salsa, corn tortillas

Desserts

  • Coconut Cake
    • Lemon curd, shaved pineapple, white chocolate mousse, mint, icing sugar

The onus is always on celiac and gluten-free diners to clearly identify their needs and ask any and all questions to determine for themselves whether it is safe to partake at any restaurant. See How to Order a Gluten-Free Meal.