Hello friends. It’s been a while since we’ve done a post, but luckily for you, we’ve been to some great places in the past week or so that we can’t wait to tell you about. If you follow us on Twitter, you likely have a good idea about what’s coming but if not, don’t worry, we’ve had some amazing gluten free food in Calgary.
First things first, we ventured up to our old neighborhood in Bridgeland/Crescent Heights to try one of, if not the best, diner in the city. Diner Deluxe is an virtual institution on Edmonton Trail, at the top of the hill just after Memorial Drive. It’s a cool retro-themed diner/breakfast joint that serves fantastic food for breakfast and lunch alike. We arrived on a rainy Sunday around noon and as expected, the place was packed and we were going to be facing a wait. This should be expected as Diner Deluxe isn’t very big and their food is legendary. This particular Sunday was the final day of the Sled Island festival and we were surrounded by hungover hipsters.
The staff at DD are super friendly, so our wait, even though it was an hour, didn’t seem too bad as they chatted with our fellow diners-in-waiting. After waiting close to an hour, we were gleefully seated and hungrily scanned the menu, even though we knew what we were after: gluten free Eggs Benedict. It’s whispered about in GF circles in near wanton tones. The English muffins come courtesy of the always amazing Care Bakery and the Hollandaise sauce is guaranteed gluten free.
The server was very familiar with what was gluten free and what wasn’t on the menu. We quickly ordered our Eggs Benny with a side of breakfast poutine. It didn’t take long for it to show up (under 15 minutes) and we were thrilled with what we had. Two delicious looking English muffins topped with bacon, perfectly cooked eggs smothered and with hollandaise sauce. A hearty helping of breakfast poutine (in house hashbrowns, cheese curds and hollandaise sauce) rounded out the plate.
Before she discovered she had issues with gluten, M was an Eggs Benedict fiend. It was her favorite breakfast order and she had very high hopes for Diner Deluxe. Turns out, it lived up to the hype. Everything was perfect. The English muffins were toasted properly and actually tasted like English muffins (many gf muffins are horrible). They didn’t have the strange spongy texture of a lot of GF baking. They were crisp, light and not too dry. The hollandaise sauce was heavenly: thick, rich and packed with flavor. It worked perfectly on the eggs as well as with the breakfast poutine. It may have been packed with calories, but it was also packed with flavor.
The breakfast was fantastic and the decor and atmosphere is one of retro cool. If you’re looking for a quiet place, Diner Deluxe is not the place for you. The grills and kitchen are wide open, so you can see all the action. There’s music, it’s busy and bustling. The seating is definitely close but it adds to the appeal of the place. Long story short: If you are hungover, pop a few aspirin before hand because otherwise you could be in for a pounding headache before your food shows up! However, the fare at Diner Deluxe is exactly what the doctor ordered after a night on the town.
It should also be said that Diner Deluxe uses Care Bakery product, so many of the options on the menu can be made gluten free. According to their website and staff, the folks behind Diner Deluxe make everything in house which makes it easy to take dietary needs into consideration.
Diner Deluxe is amazing. Traditional diner fare made with care and attention, a cool friendly vibe and a one of a kind menu. Their attention to GF’ers, vegetarians and the like make it a great stop for anyone’s breakfast, lunch or supper needs. Their breakfast was easily one of the best, if not THE best gluten free breakfasts we’ve had. Their attention to detail and quality are very welcome. The food is made with care and it shows in every bite.
The Not So Good:
It’s pretty hard to find something bad to say about Diner Deluxe, however if you’re looking for a quick seating on a Saturday or Sunday morning, forget about it. You’re going to be in for a long wait depending on when you show up. Also, like we said, Diner Deluxe isn’t very big, so you’re jammed in with your fellow diners (which we don’t mind, it adds to the atmosphere, but it’s not for everyone). It’s also noisy and we thought the bill was a slightly on the steep side, however we were more than happy to pay it for the deliciousness we encountered.
The Rating: 9 out of 10
Care Bakery and in house product, great twists on classic diner fare, a well educated staff and a fun retro diner atmosphere make Diner Deluxe a must visit for any gluten free or celiac type. Just be prepared for a wait. We can’t wait to go back.