Archive for June 10th, 2011

Gluten-Free Dining in Minnesota

Posted by on Friday, 10 June, 2011

As someone who doesn’t have any allergies when it comes to food, and as someone who hasn’t made the conscious choice to have a Gluten-Free diet, I was very impressed with the food offerings at the Cooper Irish Pub in St. Louis Park MN for their Gluten-Free Foodies event held on Thursday June 9th.

Cooper - Screening Room


Shaina Olmanson and Dania Toscano Miwa

Cooper is 1 of 4 pubs under the Cara Irish Pubs “umbrella” in the Twin Cities. Each of them has a slightly different Gluten-Free menu, but each of them are similar. How nice for them to offer this option for people with this dietary need or for those who’ve made the choice to have this diet. Of the 4 pubs, Cooper has had the most requests/demand for such a menu, as stated by Kieran Folliard.

Alexa Trussoni (center) talking with Sara Soli (left) and Annie D'Souza (right)

The event featured a Gluten-Free beer by the Bard’s Beer Company, called Bard’s. It’s a local company based in the Twin Cities.  Everyone got to try it, and I personally thought it had a good taste and flavor, despite not containing any wheat, barley, rye or oats. Instead those ingredients, they use sorghum. I would definitely order it again. They also had their company CEO, Brian Kovalchuk, attend this event and he spoke about how this beer came into being. What their goal was in making the beer and how they found just the right brewery to make it for them in Utica NY.


Brian Kovalchuk and Jason Douglas

The event also included some tasting of some food options that Cooper has available for those needing or desiring a Gluten-Free menu. Some cheeses, meats and vegetables were all included in the delicious spread. By the number of visits to the food table, I think everyone enjoyed the work of chef Nick.  Nick was also very good in describing what each of the food items were and what they were made of for those with curious minds.

Charcuterie plate (Featuring Green Ox Meats)

My plate at the Gluten-Free event

Cooper head chef - Nick

The general manager Valid and Cara Irish Pubs founder Kieran Folliard were also available to take questions and share various points about the menu and it’s development.  Some adjustments or tweaking of the menu will be coming soon, and those no doubt will add to the eating pleasure of those requesting this menu.

In addition to the eating, a good deal of food-chatter was had by the various foodies and food bloggers that were in attendance at the event. If you didn’t know this, discussions on food can go on and on.  We all eat, so everyone has an opinion to share. My opinion about yesterday’s event. . . fun and delicious!

Ole and Shaina Olmanson

Group Shot