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gf_soph

Christchurch Gluten Free

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Hi to the Kiwis!

I am about to visit Christchurch and I have some questions about the current availability of gluten-free food, particularly given all the disruption you have had recently. We will stay in Merivale and St Albans but I'm sure we're willing to travel around for something good.

My sister has just gone gluten-free so I am looking for nice places to take her to eat - any suggestions? Any good stores with a decent range of gluten-free product? Any feedback on the 'totally gluten free bakery'? Any experience would be very welcome.

Also, I am still on an elimination diet, so am pretty restricted. Can you tell me about any gluten-free plain potato chips? Have you seen the Red Rock brand chips stocked? They are from Aus and are definitely safe, but they can't tell me here where I can find them. When I was in Auckland last year I couldn't find a single brand of potato chip in the supermarket that didn't have a cross-contamination warning, so I would love to find some safe ones.

Thanks

Sophie

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Hi Sophie: When is your planned visit? I will give this some effort and get back to you.

In Merivale there is a Fresh Choice Market at the mall that has a reasonable gluten free section (Entrance to mall off Office Road off Papanui Road). There is a Liberty Market at the northeast corner of the intersection of Moorhouse and Fitzgerald Avenues that sells only gluten free - mainly imported from U.S. The Totally Gluten Free Bakery has a new address on Blenheim Road since the quake and I am a frequent customer :D Wendy does great Florentine bars and fudge cake along with breads, pies, bisuits, all kinds of stuff (I wouldn't recommend the pizza).

Can't help with potato chips since I don't eat them :( I was hoping Strawberry Fare would have reopened by now but still earthquake closed, unfortunately :( - my absolutely favourite place to eat. Almost everything on the menu is marked gluten-free and/or CF and their desserts are to die for. They plan on reopening in same location but I guess some more building munching needs to be done first. I will check into other restaurants. Unfortunately the Dux de Luxe is also closed and these were my "go-to" restaurants. The cafe at Portstone Nursery on Ferry Road is operated by a celiac and she makes some interesting cabinet food and also to order, and it's a nice setting. I noticed they were open when I drove by the other day. I will add more as I find out and think of more.... Have also been able to eat gluten free safely at Terra Viva Nursery cafe off Wairakei Road on Roydvale. Haven't been there since they expanded - may have new chef?

Oh, The Ground Floor Cafe on Riccarton Road (noisy - even outside because of the traffic) has great gluten free lunches and breakfasts - pricey, but it was voted New Zealalnd's best cafe one year. You can get paninis and all kinds of gluten free breads with your food. You can also order gluten free bread from them.

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Thank you so much for your reply - we are going this Sunday, November 27th. I have hit google and got some ideas, but the main issue is whether the places listed are open or closed!

Those suggestions will be really helpful, I'm hoping to stop my sister feeling too overwhelmed on the first trip away since going gluten-free.

Again, much appreciated.

Sophie

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If you get over to the Cashmere side of town Filadelphios (sp?) is still open and do good pizza. And up the Merivale end of Colombo Street there is a place that does gluten free fish and chips (I don't eat potato so have never been there - Wendy at Totally Gluten Free can tell you about it). I have heard that Spagalimi's do gluten free pizza, but I have never eaten pizza :( at a pizza joint.

Our biggest problem is also knowing what is open and what is not, and if they are open, where they are :lol: Life is a big puzzlement these days. Glad I have been gluten free for a while because I have had to find all new places to shop, and new locations of old places. Most coffee shops will be able to give you something gluten free to eat if you just go out for a coffee. And the currently best gluten free market offering is the New World in South City Mall downtown. So many New Worlds just scatter their gluten free products all through the store and it becomes a time-consuming guessing game. All the Woolies stores have now been rebranded Countdown markets.

I buy the Sakata plain rice crackers because they don't have any soy or other allergens. Kettle Chip potato chips are gluten free (barbecue I think have some other stuff in them but salt and vinegar are good) and Mexicano corn ships are gluten free.

Hope you have a great time in our somewhat decimated city. Get out into the countryside. If you have a car, a trip up to Amberly to the Nor'Wester Cafe for lunch and on the inland scenic route with coffee in Rangiora would be an idea. Also, a visit to Jo Seagar's cafe in Oxford (she runs a cooking school there and has a great kitchen store) would be interesting. A day-trip over to the west coast on the Tranz-Alpine Express (rail) would take you through some geat countryside. A visit to Kaikoura for a seafood feast and whale-watching, swimming with dolphins (you can do that at Akaroa too) would be fun. Don't know how much time you have or what your budge allows.

Anyway, relax, have fun. The aftershocks have greatly diminished says she, whilst touching wood :D

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Just wanted to say a well-overdue thanks for your tips - thing went really well! My sister and I loved the gluten-free bakery, I was very naughty and had donuts and cheese scones - I hadn't had either of those since going gluten-free! Their chia bread was pretty good, it had a nice taste and lasted well for a few days. All in all it was worth the 2 trips we took there!

By coincidence my Aunt had planned a trip to Jo's cafe in Oxford, and there was one gluten-free vegetarian option which was nice. The supermarkets had a good range of staples and treats, and sis was very happy to find safe boysenberry ice cream - it's not a trip to NZ without it! I also found a couple of brands of potato chips. The gluten-free fish and chips was a great novelty (we had chips, potato scallops and pineapple fritters), though I'm slightly glad I don't have one near me as it wouldn't help the waistline one bit. All in all it was a much easier trip than last time and the only thing I had to bring over was my preferred tofu.

I loved my time in Christchurch and there weren't any major shakes while we were there. Hope you're doing ok after the recent big shake. :)

Many thanks

Sophie

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Glad you had a good time in Christchurch and that you came at the right time - a new fault set off and has been shaking pretty good over Christmas and New Year, as I am sure your aunt has mentioned :rolleyes: I'm not tempted by the fish and chips because I don't do chips - went into a chish and fips shop the other day to buy fresh fish and it almost killed me as the fish and the chips came out of the fryer :(

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