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Gluten free in Glasgow: The Aftermath

8 restaurant meals in a row - how did this celiac fare?

In Gluten free Glasgow - Escape to the City I talked about how I found (hopefully) gluten free hotels and restaurants for a weekend away in Glasgow.

Now we’re back, I’ll tell you how I got on…

Friday lunch - Cafe Andaluz, Cresswell Lane

As soon as we hit Glasgow on Friday, we went straight to Cafe Andaluz in the West End of Glasgow. I knew it was going to be good - partially because I love tapas, but mostly because everything gluten free on the menu was marked GF. And over 50% of the menu was naturally gluten free. (For more on this, see ‘3 steps to choosing a truly gluten free restaurant’)

I had sea bass, patatas bravas and octopus, and creme catalan for sweet. It was all really good, and perfectly gluten free. As you’ll see, we went back to Cafe Andaluz for lunch the next 2 days, albeit to their Glasgow city centre restaurant, with the same fantastic results. 5 stars :-)

Friday dinner - the Ubiquitous Chip

I have been wanting to go to ‘The Chip’ for years; it has been around since 1971 and is reputed to be one of Glasgow’s best restaurants. They were also extremely helpful regarding my gluten free enquiries.

Potato rosti - but don’t forget the corn flour!

When I asked for the scallops on a rosti to start, I was aiming for the dish most likely to be safe. And to his credit, the waiter came back and checked if corn flour was OK because they used it on the rosti. Now we all know that corn flour is usually gluten free, but me and corn don’t get on so I asked for a rosti without corn flour (I know it can be done - in fact, even I can do it). But no came the answer, chef was obviously feeling a tad inflexible. So I got my scallops on mash instead.

Crunchy scallops anyone?

When the scallops arrived, they were a little under seasoned for my taste, so I looked for the salt. To my left was a dinky little dish full of uncrushed rock salt. So if I wanted really salty crunchy scallops I would have been fine. Strangely enough, I didn’t.

My wife’s starter of Braised pig’s cheek was delicious - melt in the mouth tender, beautiful mushroom sauce. Happy Lyndsay. Good.

Main courses

My main of organic salmon on lime and vanilla mash was… interesting. Beautifully cooked fish, and a new flavour combo for me anyway. I wouldn’t have it again, but with a 2 course menu (with appetiser) for £34.95 you expect something a bit whizzy.

Lyndsay had the Ling on Clapshot. She managed 2 or 3 mouthfuls but the wetness of the clapshot reminded her of baby food, and the general lack of flavour in the whole dish made it pretty much impalatable. Most of it went back to the kitchen. The waitress didn’t offer to replace it, or offer us a reduction, or in fact, discuss it with us in any way.

So all in all, a bit disappointing at the price point. And in fact, at any price point, that ling dish was just unpleasant.

It was however, all gluten free as promised, so if you want an average meal at way above average prices, get yourself down the Chip.

Then it was on to Kevin Bridges doing standup comedy at the Oran Mor. Totally gluten free, and very funny.

The Gluten Free Hotel

I plumped for the Radisson SAS for our hotel because of a review I saw somewhere saying they had dealt with gluten free requirements well, plus it is bang slap in the city centre. Breakfast was the main concern because I like a good brekky and we were eating other meals out of the hotel.

And they were great. When I arrived at breakfast, the supervisor knew of my requirements and was happy to have anything I wanted made specially. One smoked haddock and fried potatoes later and I was a happy boy.

More gluten free lunches at Cafe Andaluz

I’ve already said how great Cafe Andaluz is for coeliacs - I’ll say it again - get yourself in there! I also had the patatas gratinadas, and my mum - also coeliac - enjoyed the artichoke salad, all perfectly gluten free.

Saturday dinner - Manna

Saturday dinner was to be an early pre-theatre affair, which we had booked at Manna restaurant on Bath Street in Glasgow. When we got there at 5.30 the restaurant was already busy.

The pre-theatre 3 course menu was £15.95 - less than half that of the Ubiquitous Chip the night before, and as it turned out, the food was streets ahead too.

Our server for the evening, despite being busy, was terrific. She took plenty of time to talk to me about my requirements, listened to my concerns and was happy for me to mix and match between menus. The char grilled tiger prawn salad, calves liver main course and creme caramel with spiced apple sweet were delicious, and a good size too. We waddled, rather than strolled up to the theatre for Boeing Boeing.

So, Manna is definitely from heaven for coeliacs, and not too hard on the wallet either. Highly recommended.

Sunday breakfast and lunch

Sunday was brekky at the hotel again - this time kippers and fried potatoes, and lunch at Cafe Andaluz again. With a tapas menu that big, you don’t have to have the same thing twice!

Gluten free fish and chips

And finally, on the way home, a stop at my favourite place in the world (well it is when you’re starving and can get delicious gluten free fish and chips like any normal person ;-)

The Real Food Cafe in Tyndrum cooks only chips in its chip fryer, and has a dedicated fryer for its fish. The fish is battered fresh as you order it from a tub of gluten free batter that is kept separate in a fridge with a lid on. It also happens to be an award-winning chippy, gluten-free-ness aside.

I have eaten gluten free fish and chips there dozens of times and never had a problem, so if you’re ever passing through Tyndrum (or in fact are anywhere in Scotland!), make it a point to stop there.

So that’s pretty much covers my gluten free trip to Glasgow. Successful in a non-glutened way, mostly successful in a food way, and totally off the scale in a chill out and relax way.

Related:

Let me know if you have eaten anywhere else in Glasgow and had a great gluten free experience and I’ll add them to the article.

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