This allergy-friendly restaurant was reviewed by guest blogger, Claudia Mokbel. Born and raised in Toronto, Claudia is excited to see dairy- and egg-free restaurants popping up all over the city so she can visit them with her vegan husband. She enjoys being active in her spare time to compensate for all the eating. All opinions are her own.
Given my love for pastries, it’s hard for me to walk by most bakeries—particularly artisanal ones—without grabbing myself a yummy scone or a nutritious sandwich made on freshly baked bread.
Enter Bloomer’s – the bane of my waistline’s existence.
Bloomer’s opened their meat, egg and dairy-free doors in the summer of 2014. While they clearly cater to a vegan clientele, they haven’t left the gluten-free crowd out either. In fact, their entire menu can appease a good number of allergies, especially since they take many precautions when preparing the food.
While Bloomer’s doesn’t have much of an online presence, I was able to get some great info from one of the head bakers. I was surprised to discover that their staff truly strives to make baked goods and food that everyone can eat, and that the establishment goes beyond abstaining from dairy and egg by trying their best to accommodate gluten-free folks and those with other allergies.
That said, it must be noted that because their space is limited in size, they cannot 100% guarantee that cross-contamination won’t occur. For example, their kitchen only has one oven and one deep fryer to cook all foods.
The best thing to do is to head over yourself and ask lots of questions, and then make a decision based on your own comfort levels. But let me break it down for you before you do…
Some of the items at Bloomer’s have gluten in them by design, so before making anything gluten-free, the staff ensures that workstations have been thoroughly cleaned after using their regular flour. Their gluten-free flours are all certified gluten-free.
If you are ordering a gluten-free kitchen item, it’s best to let them know so they can clean the station prior to making your food.
Nuts are used in their baking, but they are careful to clean before and after to make sure nuts—especially peanut butter—don’t get on any of their other foods. Nuts are not used in the kitchen food, but they do share the space with the bakers.
A select few baked goods have soy in them. For example, the brownies contain tofu, and anything ‘cookie’s n cream’ has soy lecithin because of the Oreos. But there is little to no cross contamination with soy in the baking since it is so rarely used. But keep in mind that the kitchen items do contain soy of some kind (tofu is a staple at Bloomer’s), so there is a chance of contamination. Still, the staff is very careful to take care when they are plating soy-free meals.
So, what to order? When it comes to their sweet treats, everything behind the counter looks so good that it can be hard to choose. And their savoury menu has a lot of yummy-sounding options too.
I opted for the corn soup and one of their gluten-free cookies, while my eating companions ordered both the plain and the kimchi fries. Here were our thoughts on the food:
While it can always be a bit nerve-wracking to eat at a spot that contains your specific allergens, the care Bloomer’s puts into labelling their menu and the precautions staff members take when preparing and plating allergy meals certainly helps create a positive and accommodating experience for those with food allergies.
Would you go to Bloomer’s with, say, a nut or soy allergy? Let us know what your comfort levels are in the comments below!
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Restaurants that appear on AllergyBites may have updated their menu or changed management since a review was posted. Please confirm that they are still allergy-friendly & that menu items don’t contain your allergen(s) before visiting or placing your order.