I have been asked many times how do I eat when we are out.  As a family we do not generally sit around.  Always jumping at an opportunity to get out and go!  So this is a fair question.  Celiac disease has definitely limited the places I can eat so I always keep food on the ready.  For day trips I make sure to have a couple different fruits, a container of chopped vegies and my go to is the Breton Gluten Free Black Pepper and White Bean crackers.  This is enough to keep me fueled for an entire day if we don’t find something safe to eat.

On longer planed trips we look up the destination, read reviews and compile a list of safe sounding places.  Plus I always map out the grocery stores.  Now, I have fallen ill from places that say “gluten free” but really are not, due to cross contamination.  If you are choosing to live GF, good for you, and many places cater to this crowd not realizing that Celiac is an autoimmune disease and we are NOT choosing to live this way.  Cross contamination is a big deal!

This is my first official review so I thought I would start off easy.  A place we found on our travels that is fully gluten free.  No risk of cross contamination!  The Food Forest of Peterborough, Ontario (Canada) is a Gluten Free Vegan Restaurant with a cool hipster vibe.

There were 6 in our group, including myself, on this cool summer day ranging in age from 10 to 60.  Only 2 vegetarians the rest meat eaters.  Normally not the first choice as vegan restaurants not so great for meat eating kids, but we were away and I had been “glutenized” so food safety was our main concern.

Great sounding menu!  Our order:

  • 1 Cashew Basil Alfredo
  • 2 Hickory Sloppy Joes with Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 2 Toasted Tomato Sandwiches
  • 1 half size Taco Salad

The Food Forest, Basil AlfredoThe big winner was the Toasted Tomato Sandwiches, so good in fact we asked for the name of the bread and have since sourced it out for purchase!  What’s s special about the sandwich?  The garlic coconut spread.  Wow!  super delicious and really the sandwich pop.

Second fav?  The Alfredo.  A huge bowl that provided 2 full meals for myself, that still tasted great the next day.  My only complaint is that there was too much of the alfredo sauce.  However, I like things dry.  Hubby completely disagrees.  I never drink with my meals, no dressing on my salads, so in all probability the amount of sauce was probably just right for the average Joe.

Taco Salad:  Youngest in the group ordered this, a bit mature for her tender tastebuds.  She did not enjoy enjoy the wrap and decided to eat the toppings with a fork.  Which was devoured.  So on a kid friendly scale still a win minus the wrap.  Personally I thought it was great.

Hickory Sloppy JoeLast but not least the Sloppy Joes: not the biggest hit.  1 out of 2 fully enjoyed it.  Of course we are into the non-vegans here.  If you like hickory and chickpeas then this is a wonderful dish.  It is quite big and messy, perfectly representing the soul food it was intended to be.  I am vegetarian.  I am not vegan for one reason only: cheese!  I love cheese.  Landing my only real complaint daiya does not cut it for me.  Sorry!  So if I were to order this it would be minus the non-cheese.

Overall if this restaurant were local to myself it could easily become a fav place to visit regularly.

The Verdict

Final points (5 being best and 1 being worst): 4 stars!

Celiac Friendly: 5/5

Yumm factor: 4/5

Dollar value: on par, large servings at reasonable prices basically plan to spend $10-$15 per person.

Visit Again: Yes

Family Rating: 4/6 (4 of us would return)

Health Score: 5/5 Food is fresh, mostly organic and well balanced nutritionally

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