Takeaway Chains That Cater To Coeliacs

Hell Pizza and Burgerfuel are the only two take-away chains I have found (so far) that do coeliac safe fast food. Some chains offer gluten free pizza bases or burger buns but I have found they are not as careful with their food preparation as these two chains. For this reason I am stating that you will only find contamination free, gluten free options here.

HELL PIZZA

Hell Pizza, Symonds StreetHell Pizza places (which are all around New Zealand – see website for locations) offer gluten free pizza bases and a gluten free base sauce. Their pizzas certainly aren’t the cheapest around but they are really, really good. Inside Hell Pizza, Symonds StreetObviously not all the pizza toppings are gluten free but they offer a ‘creator’ pizza which allows you to choose exactly what toppings they do and don’t put on your pizza. They also offer vegetarian and even vegan options for those of you who are also vegan and/or can’t eat dairy or egg.  They offer other choices such as BBQ Pork Ribs and a Lamb Shank meal which they claim are also gluten free. I personally haven’t had these but if I was going to I would first check about the gravy and sauces on these items.  There is also a gluten FRIENDLY chocolate brownie. This is fine if you struggle a bit with gluten but if you are coeliac be very wary, it doesn’t have any gluten in it but isn’t prepared in a specifically gluten free kitchen. Whenever I order a pizza from them I make sure I request the staff wash their hands, use separate utensils and keep my food well away from anything that has gluten in it and I have found the staff to be very obliging and haven’t had any problems eating the pizza. One final point, they deliver, so you don’t even have to leave the house to get a great, safe pizza.

http://hellpizza.com/nz/ 

BURGERFUEL

Burgerfuel, Parnell RoadWhat can I say? Everyone wants a burger from time to time, right? Well at Burgerfuel you won’t just get any old burger. We are talking gourmet burgers here and if the counter staff is unsure which toppings are gluten free, you can ask for the manager, or let them know that they will find a printed list under their counter. Burgerfuel outlets are all over New Zealand and are often situated close to movie theatres and entertainment areas – such as pretty much next door to Imax on Queen Street, around the corner from Takapuna’s bars and on Parnell Road opposite the Irish Pub – so can be a useful part of a night out as well as just being a safe option for takeaway nights.  Gluten free burgers will take a little longer to prepare and serve but rest assured this is because the staff will be making sure your burger is safely prepared away from any foods containing gluten and trust me they are worth the wait. For the record the relish and aioli are both gf and really good additions to your burger experience. Most of the stores are rather small so there isn’t a huge amount of space for extra deep fryers. This means that although the chips are gluten free they are cooked in the same oil as products containing gluten so if this is a problem for you (as it is for me) then fries are off the menu, but trust me with the size of the burgers you won’t miss them.

If you do have a hankering for fries then I am about to let you in on my secret place to get them in my next post, so watch this space.

http://www.burgerfuel.com/nz/

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Dining Establishments That Cater To Gluten Free Diners (part 2)

This is the second installment of my list of places that don’t offer a gluten free menu but provide some gluten free options that are prepared and served in a coeliac safe way. There may not be a lot of choice involved in dining at these establishments but at least it means there is more variety in the places (and areas around Auckland) us coeliacs can eat.

THE CAKE STALL

So inviting!

So inviting!

The Cake Stall at 754 Manukau Road, Royal Oak is the cutest little boutique bakery around. They create beautiful birthday and celebration cakes but also offer brunch and lunch items. Their coffee is good and although they only offer a few gluten free options they are really yummy and are safe for coeliacs.

Yum!

Yum!

The orange and almond cupcakes are moist and delicious with icing to die for and the chocolate and almond cupcake is a nice alternative to the usual orange. If you are looking for something savoury the salmon potato cakes are also very good. They offer a full size gf orange and almond cake and family sized gluten free slice as well.  The shop itself is so lovely with all sorts of cake stands, tins and decorations for sale. It really is worth a visit (especially at Christmas). During busy times (such as the Christmas rush), they do take on extra counter staff so be sure to ask for your waitress to wash the tongs before using them on gf items or to simply pick them up with a piece of the cake paper they use to line the take-away boxes. Whenever I’ve been in and made such a request a regular staff member has appeared to show the ‘newbie’ what to do and they are always careful and accommodating.

http://thecakestall.co.nz/

MINK CAFE

Mink CafeIf you feel like taking a stroll along Parnell Rise, and you should as it is beautiful, then Mink Café is the perfect stopping place. Mink can be found on the ground floor of the historic Exchange Hotel on the corner of Parnell Road and Heather Street and has a sunny aspect and outdoor seating with which to enjoy it. They cater for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, usually have a gf cake on offer, do good coffee and are licensed.  The bar offers, fine wines, beers, spirits, cocktails and even a good number of boutique New Zealand wines. Mink CafeI have only been there for brunch myself, but certainly enjoyed it enough to return and to take them up on the offer of a coffee card.  They offer gf toast or fruit bread and ask that you be very clear if you have any food allergies. I have found the staff to be careful and accommodating and the food is very nice. As I said I have only been for brunch and although the other menus do not state which dishes are gluten free, every menu comes with a request to inform the staff of your food allergies so I am certain they could help you find something suitable which I know will be safely prepared. Mink is certainly worth a visit if you are in the area.

http://www.minkcafe.co.nz/

The Autobahn Cafes

Autobahn Bombay HillsIf you are driving into or out of Auckland in either direction then you will come across an Autobahn Café. You will have to leave the motorway to visit of course, but not by much and it is worth the wee detour.  They are popular with both locals and travellers and provide plenty of parking and a petrol station at each café.

I haven’t been to the Papakura Autobahn for a really long time so I’m not sure how they cater to gluten free customers. I usually go to the Bombay Hills Autobahn Café when I am heading out of Auckland for a holiday or road trip so usually go there for breakfast, something I can recommend doing as the breakfast options – such as the Panini with your choice of topping – are very nice and the coffee is good too. We tend not to leave so early when we head north so visit the Dairy Flat Autobahn Café a bit later in the day and usually end up going there for lunch. In this case I usually order a pie as this is a treat. You don’t get a good gluten free pie all that often (and naturally I try not to eat pies too often) and these are good pies.

I have always been too wary to try one of the flourless cakes on offer, simply because they aren’t labelled gluten free  (so I can’t be sure they are prepared in a coeliac safe environment) and are in a self-service cabinet, which makes contamination too much of a possibility for me. If you ask, the staff will present you with a gluten free menu which lists a fair amount and variety of gluten free options, including a roast dinner (minus the gravy of course).  The menu clearly states which dishes are completely gluten free and which need altering, such as having sauces removed or swapped for a safe option, so there is no confusion as to what you can and can’t eat.

It is vital that you explain carefully to the staff the extent of your difficulties with gluten and exactly how you need your food prepared. For example, if you are coeliac rather than gluten intolerant and therefore require your bread or Panini to be toasted on a clean tray under the grill, rather than in the toaster that the (dare I say it) “normal” bread goes in, then you do need to make sure this is clearly understood. Happily, upon explaining such things, I have always found the counter staff at both cafes I have been to recently to be very careful, accommodating and concerned with double checking my needs and making sure this information is clearly transferred to the kitchen staff.

Autobahn Bombay HillsFood aside the atmosphere is relaxed and casual, the décor is simple but pleasant, the staff is friendly and I always enjoy my visit. In fact I have to say, if I am heading off on holiday when I stop in, I find myself walking in and somehow feeling like that is when my holiday begins. So, if you are a local or traveller, the autobahn cafes are worth a visit and if you are travelling then I wish you a happy and safe trip.

Lastly if you are a local and intend to visit reasonably often then you may want to check out the website for information on the Autobahn Loyalty Club.

http://www.autobahncafe.co.nz/