ALLERGY ALERT (egg, wheat) – Undeclared egg and wheat in various Newfoundland Chocolate Company brand chocolates

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Newfoundland Chocolate Company are warning people with allergies to egg or wheat not to consume the Newfoundland Chocolate Company brand chocolates described below. The affected products contain egg and wheat which are not declared on the label.

The manufacturer, Newfoundland Chocolate Company, St. John’s, NL is voluntarily recalling the affected products from the marketplace.

These products have been distributed in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, and may have been distributed nationally.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency notice is here.

 

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Restaurant Amaranto

5974 Monkland, Montréal, QC H4A 1H1
514-510-1225
Open Tuesday to Thursday 5pm to 9pm, Friday and Saturday, 5pm to 10pm.

Yesterday I returned with friends to Restaurant Amaranto.  I’ve been there once before – earlier this year I think.  I remembered liking it and finally had the opporunity to go back there.

Amaronto is an inexpensive Mexican restaurant in the basement of a building with an unassuming storefront on Monkland Avenue. It is one of those places that is easy to miss if you are not looking for it.  However, it is best not to miss it – it is definitely worth finding!

From reading other online reviews and from my recollection from before, it is quite authentic Mexican food.  (Though as I have not been to Mexico myself, I can’t make a first-hand comparison).

As soon as you go in there, you’ll notice that it is a quiet cozy little cove.  It has just five or small tables there – each enough for a group of four.  There is room for more, but it is run by just a couple of people, and that is the size that works for them. The kitchen area is part of the layout.

It was just me and two of my friends B and BM there yesterday evening.  We decided to get together after not having the opportunity to do that after seeing Mary Poppins at Place-des-Arts on Sunday (an excellent show, by the way). The plan had been to talk about all we liked about it, but as often happens, the conversation went elsewhere.

The menu at Amaranto seems small, but it certainly has a variety of choices.     My friend B and I each decided to have an entree.  She had the avocado and pomegranate soup, which she quickly discovered was a tasty choice.  I selected the Hongo (mushroom) taco.  It was surprisingly quite filling on its own – that was good, because the taco was good!

For the main dish, both BM and I chose the enchilada with chicken in it and melted cheese on top, with side servings of  rice and of refried beans.  B ordered the chorizo tacos and refried beans.  I wish I had the menu in front of me – there was definitely more in each of those dishes than what I recall.

BM received her enchilada first.   As soon as she had the first bite,  she clearly knew she was going to enjoy every mouthful that passed through her lips.  As soon as I started on mine,  I understood why.  B had the same reaction to her spicy Spanish pork sausage dish.Though these dishes didn’t seem particular large, they filled us up.  B and BM both pointed out the difference – in a good way – how the refried beans tasted compared to just the average Montreal Mexican resto.

Nearly all of the items are naturally gluten-free.  From their printed menu there was only one item that contained gluten – a wheat tortilla dish if I recall correctly.  I think occasionally they may have daily specials, written on a blackboard in the restaurant.  You would have to ask specifically for any items there to see which ones are gluten-free.

My entrée and main course, plus taxes, was less than twenty dollars.  Gluten-free friendly restaurants at that price point are hard to find – glad I remembered this one.

This was a perfect meal for this quiet Tuesday night in November.  We all agreed this place is a keeper.  I hope to go back again soon!

ALLERGY ALERT (mustard, gluten) – Undeclared mustard and gluten in M&M Meat Shops brand Marinated Barbecue Chicken Kabob

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and M&M Meat Shops Ltd. are warning people with allergies to mustard and gluten not to consume M&M Meat Shops brand Marinated Barbecue Chicken Kabob. The affected product contains mustard and gluten which are not declared on the label.

The retailer, M&M Meat Shops Ltd., Kitchener, Ontario, is voluntarily recalling the affected product from the marketplace.

This product has been distributed nationally only through M&M Meat Shops retail stores.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency notice is here.

ALLERGY ALERT (gluten)-Golden Autumn Carrot Soup

On November 16, Campbell’s recalled its V8 Golden Autumn Carrot Soup  – 500ml due to unlisted gluten.  The affected product has a Best Before date of December 13, 2012, and has the UPC code 63211 18274 3.   This product has been distributed nationally in Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency notice is here.

Restaurant Chez Chose

4621 Rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC H2J 2L4
514-843-2152
Open Wednesday to Saturday, pm until close, Sunday 10am to 2:30pm

Yesterday evening, I went back with friends to Restaurant Chez Chose.  I have been there several times before, and as always, it was a treat!  It is both one of my favourite Montréal restaurants and one of the most gluten-free friendly places in the city!

Chez Chose was established not too long ago by three restaurant professionals who, as they describe themselves on their website, are lovers of good food, fond of conviviality, and have a desire to share their passion and their talents.   Much of the food is locally produced in Québec, from the rabbit to the beef to the cheeses to even more.  Because of this, their menu is constantly changing.

There were seven of us at this latest dinner.  Six of us had been there before, with one checking it out for the first time.  It is a small restaurant, with about 45 seats.  There is a small terrace out front which adds more space in the summer.

Inside it is a very nice-looking restaurant with simply decorated brick walls on the side.  One of the first things you will notice on the walls are the chalkboards, where you can read the menu of the day.  That is just the beginning.   If you are there at a relatively quiet time, they will come to your table with a portable chalkboard.  As it was quite busy last night, they instead provided us with menus of the day.  It didn’t end there. As it has been each time I’ve been there, one of the associates came by and personally went through menu in exquisite detail, describing the mouthwatering makeup of every dish.  It’s always difficult to choose.

Before the entrées, they provided nice warm bread to all of us, including delicious slices of GF bread to the two of us eating gluten-free.

For starters, I decided on La Chose entrée  – Assiette dégustation Chevreau, canard et porc – a tasting menu of goat, duck, and pork.  Other delicacies available last night included Tartare d’Omble de l’Articque et salade de Millet aux agrumes, purée d’avocats – Arctic char tartare with Millet salad with citrus as well as avacado purée,  and Poêlée de rognons de lapins de Stanstead sur gratin de pomme de terre au grey Owl – Pan-fried Stanstead on Grey Owl au gratin potatoes.  Don’t be scared off by the possibility of breadcrumbs there – for most dishes they can use GF ingredients where appropriate.

For the main dish, it was a “tough” decision, but I ended up having the Poitrine de pintade la Sabinoise à l’érable et Balsamique – Maple & Balsamic guinea fowl breast.  It was oh so delicious!  The only downside was that I missed having another choice – Filet de Maquereau espagnole sauce tartare sur écrasé de pommes de terre à l’huile d’olive – Spanish Mackerel fillet with tartar sauce on mashed potatoes with olive oil.  Hopefully I’ll have a chance to try that out on a future visit.

Both during the dinner and as we were leaving, all of us raved about the experience there. We all want to go back yet again.  It looks like for the next time we’ll introduce ourselves to the brunch experience there.

For dessert. it was recommended to me that I try their new chocolate brownie topped with whipped cream.  There was no way I could say no, and I didn’t.  It was one of the rare times I have had such a delicious dessert in the past few years.

From the gluten-free perspective, this is one the best places in the city to go.  Usually the majority of dishes are naturally gluten-free.  If you inform them when you make reservations  that you will be a gluten-free diner, they often will make minor modifications to their daily preparations to maximize your options.  They often will have GF bread available and sometimes GF pasta.

One of the previous times I went to Chez Chose, every item on the dessert menu was gluten-free, even the beer-infused chocolate cake.  How rare is that?

This restaurant can be a bit on the expensive side, especially if you have an entree, main dish, dessert, and a glass of wine.  Last night the cost before wine was $49 + tax.

Chez Chose occasionally has used the CityLinked coupon  website, providing a $40 coupon for $18.  If I see that offer happen again, I’ll try to post that info here.

Hello!

My name is Geoff.   I live in Montreal.   This blog is primarily  about living gluten-free in Montreal, but it will also touch on other parts of the province from time to time.

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in late 2008.  I have atypical celiac disease, which means that though gluten can damage my intestines, I don’t feel if I have it.   I have not intentionally had any gluten since my diagnosis.  However, I migh not know if I had any.  My GF-diet is all about discipline.   I don’t have the “fear” that typical celiacs can have when it comes to eating.

I plan for this blog to be a mix of informational and opinion posts.  Some of it will be simply be about gluten-free happenings in my city and province.  There will be reviews of restaurants and other places as I visit them.

I like dining out.  Fortunately, because of circumstances over the past few years, being gluten-free has not stopped from this is.  Check out my About page for more about this.

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