Holland’s Diner Gluten Free Review

29 Sep

Update: Sadly Holland’s Diner has now closed and ceased trading

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

4 Responses to “Holland’s Diner Gluten Free Review”

  1. Rich September 29, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    It was a great shout Kev. The whole vibe of the place was relaxed, the service friendly and those burgers…. I was impressed. The owners have obviously put a lot of effort in. Fair play to them, I hope they do well. Lets just hope the next visit sees a happier circumstance.

    • Kevin Gollop September 29, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

      Ain’t that the truth Rich! No comment on the tie though 😉

  2. Rich September 29, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

    Oh, and don’t cha just love that tie??? 😉

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Well hello again my friends! | Gluten Free By The Sea - September 27, 2016

    […] Things have changed a lot since I last posted.  As previously mentioned, The Coeliac UK Plymouth Group was forced to close due to lack of volunteers on the committee.  It was personally very sad to see this close when I’d been so closely involved for the last few years, but I think sadly it was inevitable.  I made some great friends along the way am left with many fond memories.  We then lost The Galley and also another restaurant serving gluten free in Holland’s Diner. […]

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