Over the weekend, I grabbed some lunch with Daniel and a friend at Shoeless Joe’s on Queens Quay in Toronto. Shoeless Joe’s is a chain restaurant located in the Greater Toronto Area that serves pub food.
When browsing the lunch menu, I was disappointed to see the my choices were limited to two salads – garden and steak salad with goat cheese. When I asked our server about the gluten free options available, she gave me a look like I was completely out of luck. She told me that nothing in the restaurant could be ‘guaranteed’ gluten free and that my options were pretty limited. I was absolutely starving and decided to take a chance. I definitely required more substance than a garden salad, so I ordered the steak salad without croutons.
When the meals were delivered to our table, our server informed me that the kitchen had put croutons on my salad by accident and asked if it was ok that they just picked them off. I politely told her that unfortunately, this would not suffice. She apologized and reordered another salad for me right away. About 10 minutes later, another salad without croutons arrived and I hesitantly ate it, hoping that there were no crouton crumbs in sight. Although, the salad seemed as safe as it could be, the quality and taste was definitely not good – mostly due to the fact that the steak was very fatty, which was not very pleasant. Because I was absolutely famished, I ate what I could but did not enjoy the meal one bit. Unfortunately, the other meals at the table were not very good either. We even ordered macaroni and cheese for Emily, which looked pretty unappealing. I think she thought the same because she ate about 2 bites.
After our lunch, the manager approached our table and apologized for the crouton issue. He graciously offered to buy me a dessert to make up for the error, to which I responded “do you have any desserts that are gluten free?” He looked at me like a deer caught in headlights and quickly ran back to the kitchen to check. About five minutes later, he reappeared from the kitchen, looking a little defeated, and apologized once again that there were no gluten free desserts on the menu. He did, however, give me a $10 gift certificate for our next visit, which I don’t think will ever happen.
Although the quality of the food was not good and the gluten free options were virtually non-existent, I will give Shoeless Joe’s a good mark for service. Our server was very friendly and did what she could to make our lunch as enjoyable as possible. I was also grateful that she was honest with the crouton mistake, since giving me a salad with the croutons picked off the top would have caused a bigger issue after lunch!
- Taste: 1/5
- Gluten Free Options: 1/5
- Price: $7.95- $15.95 per dish
- Server Knowledge: 2/5
- Service: 4/5
- Address: Multiple locations – see website for details
- Website: http://www.shoelessjoes.ca
- Type of Food: Pub