Celiac Scene Investigation – Restaurant Round Up 2016!

celiac-scene-investigation-copy The Celiac Scene follows up on the feedback we receive from gluten-free diners across Vancouver Island (good and not-so-good).  We reach out to the restaurant involved to commend their efforts, or to support them in refining their ingredient sourcing, cross-contact prevention or their overall gluten-free protocol.

Communication is the most important ingredient to a successful gluten-free relationship. When diners seeking celiac-friendly options and their attending chefs and servers are able to collaborate on what is required – and what can be reasonably delivered – there is every chance for a safe and delicious meal!

Scroll down for the loose ends we’ve just tied up for 2016. The news is good!

10-acres-bistro 10 Acres Bistro Commons & Kitchen – a grass roots report from a celiac diner prompted The Celiac Scene to issue a social media caution that 10 Acre’s chef and servers were advising celiac diners that gluten is ‘destroyed’ by the high heat of a deep fryer. 

10 Acres PR Liaison Shannon Kowalko responded, 

  • “Good morning, I wanted to message you directly to let you know how sorry we are that our main cook working on the the day that The Celiac Scene was contacted, was misinformed about the preparation of fried foods. Sadly, that misinformation was passed on to the diner, through our server.  The misconception about deep fryers ‘being able to destroy gluten’ has been addressed with all staff. Going forward, servers will fully inform diners who identify their need for a gluten-free meal that our deep-fryers are used to cook gluten items. We remain committed to serving as many celiac-friendly food options as possible at all three of our locations. Once again, we are truly sorry that this situation occurred.” 

Apology Accepted! Confidence Restored! 

Big Wheel BurgerBig Wheel Burger opens up an even better 2nd location in Saanich!

  • Location #1 in Cook Street Village enjoys a solid reputation with gluten-free diners for their dedicated deep-fryer and careful protocol!
  • The second Big Wheel location is nestled next to Starbucks at the Gateway Village, kitty corner from uptown mall.
  • Why better? Gluten-free ‘Big Crunch Chicken Burger’ is available every day at this location.
  • See Scene map

Join us as we Dare to Dine at Big Wheel Burger – Friday, January 13, 2017 at 6pm

famoso-gluten-free-pizza-victoria Famoso’s Neopolitan Pizzeria – Fellow celiacs reached out to The Scene to report that they had been enjoying safe and delicious gluten-free pizzas at Famoso’s on Pandora in downtown Victoria. This I had to see for myself!

The Celiac Scene visited the restaurant in person and spoke to Louis, the manager on shift. He took the time to carefully outline their practices, starting and ending with the proviso that their restaurant handles wheat. Fair enough.

  • every morning, staff prepare the day’s supply of gluten-free crusts.
  • the crusts have been tested to contain < 20 ppm, conforming to Health Canada’s safety standard
  • gluten-free orders are prepared at a dedicated station in the kitchen, removed from the main preparation area
  • gluten-free ingredients are stored in dedicated bins and used exclusively for gluten-free orders
  • gluten-free orders are cooked in a physically divided oven to ensure that there is no contact with regular orders
  • Famoso’s also serves gluten-free pasta, cooked in a dedicated pot, strained with a dedicated colander. Identified sauces are gluten free.
  • See Scene map

Join us as we Dare to Dine at Famoso’s – Sunday, January 29, 2017 at 4pm

oak-bay-seafoodCowichan Bay Seafood – NOW Oak Bay Seafood!!

  • famous for its gluten-free fish and chips at their location in the Hudson
  • moved to 2024 Oak Bay Avenue (take-out only)
  • See Scene map

johns-place-victoriaJohn’s Place – we received reports that this wildly popular, gluten-centric breakfast destination is finally catering to the gluten free with waffles and toast – cooked on dedicated appliances! All true!

  • an in-person restaurant visit with Hilary had her digging through coolers to confirm the safety of their deli meats
  • John’s in-house Hollandaise sauce is made with gluten-free soy sauce (not worcestireshire)
  • almost any meal can now be adapted to gluten free
  • See Scene map

Seeking Celiac Feedback!

  • Il Covo Trattoria – If you have dined here – please contact [email protected] with your comments.
  • If you have had a great gluten-free dining experience – or not – please be in touch! Your input keeps this resource safe and delicious!

BONUS! Island Farms Finally Commits to Gluten-Free Desserts

  • with the usual proviso, “while we employ good manufacturing processes to reduce all chances of cross-contamination, we cannot 100% guarantee that no cross-contamination occurs during ingredient storage,” we have a list at last! Proceed according to your best judgement.

Where We Dine – All the Time


Thank you to everyone who supports this resource with their gluten-free feedback.  It keeps our listing safe and interesting! If you find yourself venturing into unchartered celiac waters, take along this handy tool kit of gluten-free questions – How to Order a Gluten-Free Meal – then keep us posted on the results!

Wishing You a Happy and Healthy Gluten-Free New Year!