GOOD TO KNOW: http://medgrilldenman.ca/
Specialties: Mediterranean plates, kabobs, samplers
Gluten free: no
Other: take out ordering available on the website
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you use them to make a purchase, I'll earn a bit of money from the sale to save for my next gluten-free adventure.
Exploring Vancouver B.C. by trolley
Vancouver B.C. is a beautiful, modern city that seems committed to public transportation and is made up of a variety of neighborhoods with distinct personalities. Our time in Canada was limited with one day earmarked for sightseeing. Instead of highlighting guide books and navigating the bus system, we opted for the hop on hop off Vancouver Trolley Tour. Admittedly, we didn't do a lot of hopping off and mostly just enjoyed the ride until we got hungry near English Bay and hopped off to find lunch.
Mediterranean flavors on Denman - not for the gluten-free
Across from the trolley stop is Denman, a busy street lined with an eclectic mix of shops, eateries and pubs. Not far up the street is Mediterranean Grill, a drool-worthy, counter service cafe featuring display cases full of dolma, meat kabobs, falafel, dill rice, souvlaki and more. The atmosphere is relaxed with open windows (weather permitting), traditional Mediterranean décor, and a distinct family business vibe. As with many non-franchise restaurants, gluten free options and ingredients are not listed and it's necessary to ask a few questions. The woman at the counter (owner?) was either puzzled or offended by my inquiry because her thickly accented, disdainful, "no gluten free" left little room for discussion. It was a disappointing yet not unexpected response. I could have and maybe should have eaten a boring salad or walked out the door, but I didn't. I scoured the menu for the simplest items with the least amount of sauce or fuss and ended up ordering a chicken kabob with dill rice. As a precaution I took a gluten pill to minimize any reaction and said a silent prayer to the food intolerance gods. I'm glad I took the risk. For my vegetarian husband, this was the best meal of his trip and is certainly in the conversation for me. The food was authentic and full of flavor, reasonably priced and a short walk from the English Bay waterfront.
Our low commitment approach to sightseeing the city was great for getting our bearings and discovering a variety of neighborhoods to visit. I'm already looking forward to our next trip to Vancouver and another walk up Denman.
Read more about Vancouver and dinner at The Lamplighter Public House
A note to readers:
I am gluten sensitive/intolerant so I am not overly concerned with possible cross contamination. If you have severe reactions, I recommend taking additional precautions.