After a recent move North of the city, I was determined to find more gluten-free dining options. I came across Gabby’s Newmarket (16925 Yonge Street, just North of Mulock) which, according to Gabby’s Gluten-free Menu, the staff, both kitchen and front of house, are “Celiac-Savvy” with “extensive training on proper food-handling issues and meal preparation.” I can attest to this after enjoying a fantastic dining experience with friendly service and a wide array of gluten-free options.
When walking into this restaurant/bar, my first impression was: a homey hang-out for friends and families with a mouth-watering aroma of bar food (mmm…chicken wing sauce…). It was a Saturday night and there was a loud buzz as patrons watched various sporting events and a live band set-up their equipment for a later show. The bar was super busy and seemingly short-staffed as our server casually mentioned that she was going on 12 hours. Minus the loud-mouthed #$&%! ’sailor’ sitting at the table adjacent to my dining partner and I (who actually got louder when the band started to play), my overall experience was quite enjoyable. Our server was extremely friendly and very aware of gluten contamination issues. For the first time, I was able to order right off the menu and not substitute anything or have to repeatedly emphasize my allergy. It was a comforting change to my regular uneasiness while ordering out (and half the battle is in your head… am I right?). The menu listed incredible options, some of which I had not seen in a bar since Fox and Fiddle on the Danforth ditched their Gluten-Free Menu (boo hoo!). Gabby’s GF options included: chicken or beef quesadillas, oven baked goat cheese salad, fajitas made with warm white corn tortilla, baby back ribs, homestyle chili, burgers served on rice buns, chicken wings, stone baked pizza made with rice flour, molten lava chocolate cake… mmm… my mouth is watering just thinking about the GF options. And for those who enjoy beer, they also have a handcrafted beer brewed from sorghum, hops, water, rice and gluten-free yeast grown on molasses. My hungry eyes wanted to order everything on the GF menu but, opting to be more realistic, I ended up selecting the all-beef burger, served on a sesame seed rice flour bun with lettuce and tomato, and my partner chose the chicken quesadillas. We shared a side order of sweet potato fries and, after dinner, split a ‘beer mug brownie’- though we asked the server to separate the warm brownie and french vanilla ice cream so that I could enjoy dessert senza dairy. Both of our meals were delicious and reasonably priced; however, I would recommend asking them to toast the rice bun (if possible) as it had its dry moments (although what rice bun doesn’t!). Next time I will try the molten lava chocolate cake for dessert as the brownie was tiny (but very warm and moist).
I will definitely be going back to this establishment and highly recommend it! If you are in or around the Newmarket area, you must go! They also offer pick-up and, for those in the Toronto area who wish to stay in for the night, they deliver through ‘Restaurants On The Go.’ Really, the only disappointing thing is that the other Gabby’s locations around the GTA currently do not have a Gluten-free menu. Maybe they will adopt one soon if word gets out about its success!