Thursday, June 25, 2009

Gluten-Free Tofino

Tofino has no shortage of places to eat. For a town of 1500 or so people, we are spoiled rotten when it comes to great restaurants. You can find a lot of information on-line about Tofino eateries (including here courtesy of Tofino Time) — and I will, no doubt, add to that pool of info. on this blog as well — but I do want to make an effort of make special mention of gluten-free food available in Tofino. My husband has celiac disease and thus cannot have anything with gluten in it, so we are pretty pegged into what's available in town. Most restaurants will be able to accommodate celiacs (at least with a salad with no bread, no croutons, and a vinaigrette dressing) but if you are coming for a visit I'd suggest bringing your own breads. That's one of the toughest things, although I will check out the new natural foods store and get back to you. (Update: Green Sol Natural Foods on Fourth St. does have Glutino brand g-f bread. More later.)

SoBo is one of our favourite restaurants. It helps (well, maybe it doesn't help my hips) that it's very close by, but we'd travel to the edge of town to visit, too. And you used to have to. SoBo got its start in the purple catering truck. The truck was first parked at the Beaches/Live to Surf lot near Chesterman Beach, then at the Tofino Botanical Gardens, but now the truck is gone and SoBo has moved indoors in the Conradi Building at the corner of Neill and First streets. Regardless of where they prepare it, SoBo's food is always fabulous. Especially the "po fries" (pictured above).

Polenta fries started as polenta croutons on one of chef Lisa Ahier's salads. People cried out for the salad when it came off menu, but when Lisa realized it was the croutons that people really missed, she started making polenta fries (aka "po fries") instead. And my they are wonderful, if very filling. My husband loves them too and they're fine for him to eat as long as he asks for "No Dust." This is the dusting of flour they get at the end. If you are a celiac, just ask for no dust and you too can enjoy these Tofino staples.

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