Mad Chef Cafe, Courtenay

Fat worms and cheese sauce, crazy mental psychotic insane mad chef burgers, and tongue tantalizing tiny tuna tacos. This wasn’t the kind of place I expected when I found a “gluten-free” restaurant on Yelp for Courtenay; the Comox Valley for me has always been coffee shops, granola, and liver and onions at Smitty’s. But this little find was a pleasant surprise and certainly blew past our expectations. If we lived in the Valley we’d be eating there all the time.

The Mad Chef Cafe is kid-friendly, tasty, celiac-friendly, and wacky. And, we got stuck at the soup/salad course and never made it to the crazy mental psychotic insane mad chef burgers.

We started with the Mean Green Bean Dip: mixed beans puree, spinach and garlic. Chips come in all different shapes and colours. The clear winners were the rice paper and lentil chips. It’s always nice to find a place that doesn’t serve cheap potato or corn chips as an alternative to bread.

Next was the salad: the Summer Berry Fling. Greens, wild blueberries, maple butter cashews, and a berry vinaigrette. This is where La Niña got stuck; it seems she couldn’t get enough in her mouth fast enough. While eating the salad we learned that the restaurant owners also use blueberries to make the dark blue paint in their art.

Last came the soup (actually at the same time as the salad): Miso Yummy Soup. Gluten-free miso, ginger, garlic, carrots, radish, spinach, sprouts, rice crackers… in a bowl that seemed to have no bottom. It felt like I was eating and eating and eating and the soup just kept filling itself. The portion was huge.

Beyond the deliciousness of the food, the people working were incredibly friendly and a tad bit wacky. Hands down my new favourite restaurant in Comox/Courtenay.

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