Communitea Cafe, Canmore

Nestled in the beautiful city of Canmore, with a healthy dose of gluten-free menu items, Communitea Cafe has been on our list of places to visit for a long time now.

The cafe is in a great location, just around the corner from the main road that runs through downtown Canmore, and a couple of blocks away from a nice park. It’s spacious, bright, cozy and inviting – all the things one looks for in a neighborhood coffee shop.

There were lots of colorful tea pots, cups, mugs and teas on display throughout the cafe. Instead of having the shelves take up space as you see at other shops like this, they’ve used the shelves as dividers to break up the room to create a bit more privacy throughout. I really liked it!

Their breakfast menu was displayed in a frame next to the till with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers beside it. I loved the presentation of the menu but when it came time for us to decide what we were going to order, reading the text on the menu with 8 or 9 people ahead of us was next to impossible. This is fine for regulars who know what they want but isn’t so awesome for newcomers like us. We had to wait until we were in front of the frame to figure out what to order which didn’t leave us much time to decide!

They had loads of gluten-free baked goods displayed on the counter next to the till – Grizzly Granola Bars, coconut macaroons, and a plate of raw goodies from Tasty Living, a local raw & gluten-free bakery.

While the gluten-free selection was impressive, the employee who took our order at the register had an extremely hard time answering our questions on whether or not certain items were free of gluten, dairy, and raisins. Needless to say, figuring out what we could eat was frustrating. At one point, I even told the employee what was and was not gluten-free on her menu as she really didn’t have a clue. Though I don’t mind doing it, and am more than happy to help out, she had this strange attitude about her that made the experience very unpleasant.

I’m finding this more and more – restaurants are getting gluten-free items delivered to their location to attract more clientele, but have very little understanding of what gluten is and what other items on their menu contain it. Having been gluten-free for awhile, I can usually make sense of ingredients and make guesses based on my experience, but a visit like this for someone who is relatively to the gluten-free lifestyle can be downright impossible, not to mention overwhelming.

After a painful ordering experience, Kevin ended up with the blueberry buckwheat granola and I settled on a classic panini without cheese made with a gluten-free brown rice tortilla.

We were both pretty hungry for our brunch, do decided to share a cacao macaroon while we waited.

We waited about 15 minutes for our food to arrive to our table. Sadly, my panini came out with cheese… and Kevin’s granola was riddled with raisins. We sent my meal back to the kitchen while I snacked on Kevin’s granola. The employee offered to switch out the granola for something else on the menu but Kevin was a bit agitated at this point so he went without.

Since Kevin wasn’t going to eat his granola, I took it as fair game while I waited for my second panini.

The panini; which was more like a quesadilla because of the gluten-free substitution, was presented on the plate with a couple of thin apple slices, a fork and a knife. The portion was relatively small but come the end of it, I was perfectly satisfied. There’s nothing worse than going on a hike on an extremely full stomach… but I was totally feeling like there should have been hash browns or something to the side of my meal. I swear I could have hiked with a full belly.

The combination of creamy roasted red pepper sauce; which I was assured had no dairy, and hummus was out of this world amazing. It had about two eggs scrambled, with a generous amount of tomato and spinach. There was a bunch of sauce to lick off my fingers after I’d gobbled everything up, a sign of a good lunch.

All in all, I think we could have had a good experience at Communitea had it not been for the employee that seemed to know little about their service offering. The wrap was great, the granola was good, and the space was really comfortable, but ordering shouldn’t have been painful as it was.

If you’ve had a good Communitea experience, I’d love to hear about it!

We had originally planned to meet a group of friends for a hike at Grassi Lakes Trail but they couldn’t make it so we brought along the whole family instead – Pebbles and Lexy! They love hikes. Pebs is such a little trooper. She gets little twigs caught in her fur, mud up to her face and is extremely afraid of creeks and waterfalls, but she’s still a blast to hike with.

Being the photo junkie that I am, I Instgramed the whole time without fail.

We took the easy trail up to the lake, a 45 minute walk or so and decided to stop for a snack of maple pepper salmon cakes, a drink from the creek (dogs only), and I managed to nab a couple of photo opportunities, too.

For the walk down, we decided to go the back route which ended up being pretty intensely awesome! It was a steep decline for about 2 kilometers. Then we got lost and ended up having to walk down a service road to get back to our car. In the end we probably did about 5 kilometers, a nice walk for all of us!

Lexy was so parched by the time we got back to the car that she was drinking water from the puddles in the parking lot. Gross. I emptied out the tea from my Starbucks cup, filled it with water from my water bottle, and giggled at just how far she could get her snout into the cup.

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty successful day for the four of us!

How was your weekend?

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