This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.
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What are the major symptoms of celiac disease?
Celiac Disease Symptoms
What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic)
Celiac Disease Screening
Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results
Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free?
How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful?
The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free
Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested?
Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing
Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases?
Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders
Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid?
Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients)
Is there a list of gluten free foods?
Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients)
Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages
Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free?
Where does gluten hide?
Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet
What if my doctor won't listen to me?
An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners
Where can I buy gluten-free stuff?
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I just got back from my first visit to Montreal in a couple years, and had to report back. STUFF IS HAPPENING THERE!
One word: Croissant.
CROISSAAAAANT! Yes, the flaky exterior fluffy interior pull it apart in sheets melt in your mouth OMG I didn't think I'd ever eat anything like this again how is this even possible kind of croissant. I think I might have had a religious experience while eating it.
In any case, if you happen to be in La Belle Province, in one of my favourite cities as it is, run, don't walk (or better yet, hop on the metro to Jean Talon) to La Boulangerie Marquise Sans Gluten. The most beautiful gluten-free bakery I have even been in. Aside from the aforementioned croissant, they have beautiful cakes and pastries, pizza, quiche, tarts, fresh bread, bagels, etc etc... Only downside is that their products do contain soy (I cheated. It was worth it) and some contain dairy (again, worth it), so if you have serious problems with that, please stay away (cause if you step in there you WILL be tempted. For reals).
Aside from that, other places to go:
- Creperie du Marche - at Jean Talon market. They only do buckwheat crepes, and they are pretty good.
- Arepera du Plateau - not only the best arepas (cornbread sandwiches) I've ever had, but known as one of the best spots in the city. Get there early.
- Mais - my favourite spot for tacos. Most everything on the menu is usually gluten-free, but be sure to ask.
- Cookie Stephanie - another nice bakery in Old Montreal
- Luv - lovely new mostly gluten-free vegetarian spot.
(not listed as gluten-free but still amazing and very accomodating):
- Le Vin Papillon - hands down one of the most amazing meals ever. They asked me what my restructions were before I even said, and put together 3 amazing plates. Of course, the wine is amazing too.
- Lawrence or Larry's - have eaten at both and both very accomodating and lovely.
Generally, I find knowledge of gluten-free (sans gluten) at most reputable Montreal restaurants is pretty high, so don't restrict yourself. Just call and ask beforehand.
And of course, don't forget to drink some GLUTENBERG! 100% gluten-free and pretty dang good beer. Pick from their blonde, IPA, red ale, very nice belgian white, and if you can find them, their special releases like Myrcene de Glace. (I may have returned with a suitcase full of beers)
Closed since I was last there (RIP)
- Mi & Stu - I used to get bagels at this bakery up Rue Park, but they have since closed their Montreal location and moved to a commercial space. Bummer.
Have you been to or live in Montreal? Leave your suggestions here!
Sorry such a slow reply to this, but I also live in Toronto and definitely have a few safe suggestions. Of course, my tastes and your 5-year-olds are probably quite different, but I've got a few we might all agree on.
First of all, as a general rule: don't order the gluten-free pizza/pasta anywhere unless the kitchen can prove they use dedicated equipment to prepare and cook it: fresh water for pasta, separate prep area and oven or other protective measures for pizza. Any place with flour flying around on a regular basis is going to be a real gamble no matter how careful the staff are.
Anyway, here are a few Celiac safe and kid-friendly spots:
Off the Hook: fish and chips, you say!? that are safe?! YES! It's true! This fantastic fish&chips joint is on Broadview just south of Danforth. They have a gluten-free chickpea batter, and keep everything safe by having a dedicated fryer for gluten free things, and another dedicated fryer just for fries! I have eaten there many many times and never gotten glutened (though it's still fried food, so have to go easy on it). It's a good spot to hang out if it's not busy, or you can get take out.
The Dirty Bird: This is more of a takeout spot, but again with the fried food. They use a rice flour batter for the chicken, and the fries are safe too. They do make regular waffles, but can do gluten-free as well. There are 2 locations - one in Kensington market, and one on Bloor near Bathurst.
Arepa Cafe - on Queen between spadina and bathurst. One of my favourite places to get a quick meal, but you could easly hang around for a while. Arepas are corn bread stuffed with stuff. Little tricky eating for small hands, so can get a platter instead. Almost everything (except I think for fried stuff) is gluten-free.
Magic Oven - I can't do dairy either, so this is my occassional pizza splurge. They are very conscious of gluten free safety, have a dedicated fryer for fries (and wings!), make pretty decent pizza though it is not cheap.
Il Fornello - another safe place for pizza, though also not cheap. I believe one of the owners is celiac, so they put gluten-free pizza in a special bag in the oven to keep it safe.
If you like Mexican, the Playa Cabana family of restaurants is good option. One of their owners is Celiac, so they actually mark items WITH gluten on their menus.
And if very adventurous, Chez Riz at Yonge and Lawrence, and on Mt Pleasant are both asian fusion (think dim sum and sushi) with completely dedicated gluten-free sections of their kitchens.
There are lots of good restaurants that will accommodate gluten free, but they do tend to be on the "nicer" side, not likely a chain. Wherever you do want to go, be sure to call in advance and ask what they can do for your little one. And of course, if you want to take the family out but are afraid to feed her anything there, ask if you can bring something for her. Most restaurants are accommodating as long as everyone else is eating. It's also helpful to ask around your neighbourhood.
Of course, there's always desert:
If you don't know already, there are several excellent 100% gluten free bakeries in town: Bunner's Bakeshop (in Kensington and the Junction) and Almond Butterfly (on Harbord) are my favorites.
Anyway, don't be afraid to eat out. Just plan ahead and go prepared. If something doesn't feel right, dig out the "back-up" meal