A New Gluten Free Restaurant – The Galley

11 Nov

galleyTo be honest I’m still desperately sad that Plymouth lost it’s only 100% gluten free eatery, Clare’s Gluten Free Cafe, a few months ago.  In fact it’s been a sad few months with a couple of other local free-from businesses, Traditional Puddings and Love Free From also ceasing to trade.  Plymouth of course still has some fantastic local businesses catering gluten free and I am often told how lucky we are from those reading my Facebook and blog posts from afar.  The great news though as that we’ve got even luckier!  Plymouth now has a brand new completely gluten free restaurant, The Galley.

emma_markThe Galley is run by Emma Oxland and her business partner Mark Palfrey.  Emma is coeliac herself and Mark is an experienced chef who has lived with Emma for a number of years and so has witnessed first hand the effects of cross contamination and how ill it can make a coeliac.  You might say Emma and Mark are something of a dream team to open a gluten free restaurant!  Rather than open their own premises they have taken over the food franchise within the Maritime Inn on Southside Street on the Barbican.  This seems like a smart move and means they have (presumably) less overheads and a ready made customer base, and hopefully means they won’t face the same financial pressures that have seen us lose some other free-from businesses recently.

The Galley opened around a month ago and prides itself on freshly cooked local food.  Mark is making everything from scratch so knows exactly what ingredients are going in to all of the dishes.  When they first opened there were a couple of gluten containing dishes, but only three weeks in they managed to completely eradicate all of these and the entire menu is now gluten free.  I’d had some contact with Emma over social media and asked if she could put together some information for Coeliac UK Plymouth Group members for me.  So here’s a bit about The Galley from Emma:

My name is Emma and me and my business partner Mark have recently opened our own gluten free kitchen inside The Maritime Inn on the Barbican.
I am a coeliac myself, and for the past 6 years my dream has been to open a restaurant that caters primarily for a gluten free diet.. And all dietary needs. I believe that no one should feel like they are a burden or doubt whether they should eat out just because a lot of people do not understand the risks or consequences for someone who is gluten intolerant.
The chef that works with me is a highly qualified, experienced chef who has lived with me for years and so is extremely aware of how eating gluten, or being contaminated by gluten can effect people.
We are two very friendly very eager entrepreneurs who really want to make a difference. I would love for people to be able to enjoy an amazing freshly cooked meal without any worries or doubts. Because why should we not be able to go out and enjoy incredible food, as well as everyone else!?
We did have very few things on our menu that contained gluten, but we have now made everything on our menu gluten free, and today we have finally made out own gluten free bread :)
It is an amazingly exciting new venture for us, and I hope to see some of you very soon :)
If you would like to see our menu, we have a facebook page which is www.facebook.com/pages/The-Galley/1547846495434594
Go check us out and see the variety you are able to choose from :)
Kind Regards
Emma Oxland and Mark Palfrey

I’d heard good feedback from a few friends and this weekend I decided I’d take my nan and granddad out to lunch and make my first visit to The Galley.  On Sunday’s the special is always a Sunday roast, which is something that as a coeliac living with a vegetarian can be hard to come by!  On arrival we were greeted by the lovely Emma who runs the front of house.  It was great to have a chat with her and as a fellow coeliac she clearly gets the struggles we have eating out, and the importance of being able to relax those with allergy and inolerance so they can actually enjoy eating out.  It also made my day to hear that anyone who orders without requesting gluten free gets it anyway, and that nobody has noticed the lack of gluten so far.

On to the food and the specials for the day on Sunday were roast chicken or roast lamb.  I always think lamb is a good test for a restaurant as it can often be a cheap fatty cut and very poor quality.  I love lamb and so went for this as did granddad, whilst nan went for the chicken.  I managed to snap this (slightly blurred) pic of my roast before I tucked in.  Everything was cooked to perfection, including the lamb which was great quality.  The gravy was think and tasty and there was even a GF Yorkshire pud and a side of mint sauce.  I really enjoyed it as did the grandparents.  Thumbs up all round!  The portion size was good without being overwhelming and left enough room for dessert.  Most mains on the menu come in at around £8 which is good value in my mind for freshly cooked local food.  The main menu includes options such as battered cod and chips, ham egg and chips and an all day breakfast.

2014-11-09 12.25.02
Now on to dessert!  A choice of chocolate truffle cake, profiteroles or sticky toffee pudding served with cream, ice-cream or custard will have most coeliacs drooling.  There is also a choice of ice creams for those who are too full.  I went for the chocolate truffle cake, below, which encompassed a delicious chocolate truffle mouse on top of a layer of chocolate cake.  I chose to top mine off with ice cream.  This was absolutely delicious and it was nice and light being mainly mouse.
2014-11-09 13.02.31
However, whilst granddad skipped dessert nan went for this amazing giant profiterole.  I was suffering from some major food envy at this point and will definitely be going back to try this one in future.  There’s even a scoop of ice-cream in the middle.  Emma also highly recommended the sticky toffee pudding, I’m not used to having all of these dessert choices!
2014-11-09 13.02.21
Be aware that The Galley doesn’t open late most evenings as the space is shared with the pub which can get busy at night time.  The opening hours are:

Monday ~ closed
Tuesday 12pm – 7pm
Wednesday 12pm – 9pm
Thursday 12pm – 9pm
Friday 12pm – 8pm
Saturday 12pm – 8pm
Sunday 12pm – 4pm

I’m so excited to have a completely gluten free restaurant available in Plymouth, and being situated in a pub and in walking distance this will be the perfect place to enjoy a meal with a few pints too.  I’m already looking forward to going back again and I am sure I’ll be taking dad in for an all day breakfast soon.  Keep an eye on The Galley Facebook page for the menu details and info on daily specials.  I wish Emma and Mark every success with their new venture and recommend that you all pay a visit and try some of this delicious gluten free food.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

Coeliac UK Plymouth Voluntary Support Group Food and Craft Fair, 1st November

12 Oct

The Coeliac UK Plymouth Group are holding their latest event at the Elm Community Centre, Estover on Saturday November 1st between 1pm and 4pm.  A gluten free food and craft fair will be held giving those requiring a gluten free diet in Plymouth a fantastic opportunity to stock up on some really great locally produced GF goodies.  The event is open to non-members so I hope that all Gluten Free by the Sea readers will come along on the day and get your hands on a wide variety of sweet and savoury treats.  Full details of the event from the Coeliac UK Plymouth Group can be found below.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

Plymouth

The committee invite you to join us at the ELM Centre, ASDA Plymouth, for a gluten free food and craft fair.  For new members we will be available to give help with such things as prescriptions and best places to purchase gluten free products.

This will be a great opportunity to stock up on gluten free products from some of the finest local suppliers.  Let Them Eat will be present with their delicious cakes, Pomeroy Rare Breeds will have some fantastic GF pies and dairy free ice cream, a dietitian and nutritionist called Julie Sargent will be available and we’ve even got gluten free dog food available from K9 Pet Foods.  Westcounty Produce, Jackson’s Bakery and Sarah’s Tasty Treats will all be selling are a variety of sweet and savoury GF products.  Everything will be gluten free!  There are more traders set to confirm and we will also have a number of craft stalls selling items in the lead up to Christmas.  Glutafin, Juvela, Feel Free For Gluten Free, Nature’s Path and Perkier Foods have all donated free samples for members or raffle prizes.

In the Elm Centre we will have use of the excellent kitchen facilities, were Tea’s, coffees, biscuits and cakes will be available after 2pm.  For all you bakers out there, we welcome you to bake and share with other members.  There will be a £1 voluntary entrance fee to the meeting and members are also encouraged to bring unwanted prescription items for new members.

We are looking forward to seeing you on the 1st November 2014. Doors will open at 1pm with the food fair running until 4pm. We sincerely hope you can attend, and trust you will have a great time.

Programme:

  • 1pm Opening of the Food fair
  • 2pm: Kitchen open for teas and coffees
  • 2:30pm Raffle Draw
  • 4pm: Food fair closes

Directions/Parking:

For any of you who do not know were the ELM Centre is, it is located in Estover Plymouth adjacent to the ASDA Store.  If at the ASDA main entrance, turn right down the steps and the centre is at the far end of the courtyard.  Full address is Leypark Court, Leypark Walk, Plymouth, PL6 8UE.

There is some community centre parking, otherwise you can park in the overflow ASDA car park for 3 hours.

There are regular bus routes to the ASDA store, the number 50 City Bus.  You can catch the 27 or 27a if travelling from the City Centre.

Yours Faithfully

The Plymouth Coeliac Group Committee

Holland’s Diner Gluten Free Review

29 Sep

Well would you believe this is the 100th post on Gluten Free by the Sea?!  Hard to believe really that the blog has come so far from such small beginnings.  I must apologise that things have been a little quiet lately, I’m facing impending redundancy after 16 years in my current job so real life has had to be given some priority unfortunately.  So if anyone knows of any IT jobs going in Plymouth then please give me a shout!

Anyway, back to gluten free talk.  It seems like an age since I’ve added a new restaurant review, so it’s good to be able to add one for another local independent that is taking gluten free seriously.  I first heard from Chris and Tracy Holland back in March.  They informed me they were working hard to open a new retro American diner called Holland’s Diner, that would be based in Frankfurt Gate, Plymouth.  The good news was that Tracy and Chris were planning on offering extensive gluten free options.

As always my first question to them was about cross contamination.  Tracy’s reply gave me great confidence that they would be taking this extremely seriously.  If only we could get replies like this from all restaurants:

Yes we are aware of the cross contamination issues. We have coeliacs in the family – in fact my mum is coeliac and my son has a gluten intolerance. I am a qualified nurse and nursed many coeliacs during over twenty years in the profession.  Chris and I have spent many hours trying to plan the kitchen area to ensure there is no risk of cross contamination. We have separate prep areas, storage areas and cooking equipment specifically for the GF foods. We also plan to colour code everything to help staff, I have also prepared a simple teaching booklet to give all our staff a greater understanding of the disease and the implications of cross contamination. The reason we are so keen to provide the GF options comes from our own experiences of the limited options for coeliacs and the difficulty in families being able to eat together without worry. We will be offering our coeliac customers the chance to view the kitchen procedures so they can see for themselves that we know what we are doing!

In May Tracy and Chris took a table at the Coeliac UK Plymouth Group AGM and came along to show those present their proposed gluten free menu, and talked to people about their upcoming venture.  They also brought along their Wurlitzer jukebox to help give a feel of the retro look that would be the theme of the diner.  After seeing all the photos of the hard work that was going into getting the diner ready on their Facebook page, it was good to see the hard work rewarded with a grand opening in June.

Holland's Front

I’m not quite sure how it has taken me so long to get there, but the universe has seemed to get in the way on a few previous attempts to get my hands on a big gluten free burger.  However, this week a colleague was down from Exeter and we were looking for somewhere to have a late lunch.  At last the perfect opportunity!  So on Thursday, gluten eating colleagues Rich, Chris and Jill joined me for a meal at the diner.  Tracy and Chris have certainly achieved the desired retro theme, and the walls are covered with memorabilia.  The padded diner booths also looked great.  There’s also an outside eating area too.

Holland's Inside

I’d already checked the menu on their website in advance, and it was good to see the gluten free options marked.  The site also contains a page detailing the diner’s gluten free procedures.  The menus in the restaurant are also clear on the gluten free options, and in most cases GF options are available unless otherwise stated.  There are also some GF dessert options available, supplied by the previously reviewed Ladybird Bakery.  They are supplying apple pie, cherry pie and pancakes.  It’s good to see that local suppliers are being used, with all meat sourecd from local butchers.

Holland's CiderFirst things first though, having just finished interviewing for our own jobs we were keen for a stiff drink!  I was extremely intrigued to see a blueberry cider on the menu so it was a no brainer to give this a try, as did everyone apart from poor old Rich who had to drive.  Thumbs up all round on this one.  There’s also a strawberry cider on the menu which no doubt I’ll try in future.  The cider is made by a company called Hornsby’s Cider whose Anglo American roots seem to be a good fit with the diner.

Holland's Burger

As for the food, I wasn’t going to pass up the chance of a gluten free burger in a bun with chips any time soon.  There’s a good selection of burgers and from a gluten free stand point there’s barely anything to miss out on.  I opted for the Chrysler, a  half pound burger, salad, mayonnaise, Monterey jack cheese, topped with Holland’s chilli sauce.  The quality of the burger itself was excellent, really satisfyingly meaty (sorry Abby!), and the gluten free bun was extremely good too.  The chilli sauce gave great flavour, but due to the amount of sauce/mayo and salad I had to commit the cardinal sin and knife and fork it.  Oh the shame!  Overall the Chrysler was great and the chips were good too so I really enjoyed the meal.  The only downside was I was too stuffed to try any of the puds.

I’m pleased to report I suffered no ill effects from the meal.  It’s great to have another safe option to eat out gluten free in Plymouth, especially from an independent.  I should also say that our waitress gave us great service too and I’m sure this will not be my last visit.  If you’re a music fan also keep an eye out for their live music events.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

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