"If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?" My suggestion is that your answer should be pasta, because there are endless variations of it. More specifically, you can go to Pastucci's and create your own endless variations of it!
But first, a brief anecdote from me:
Pasta noodles are quick to boil yourself, but it's the sauce that really is a make-it-or-break-it component of the dish. Growing up in an Italian family, every Sunday was the day where we would have pasta and tomato sauce (or as we would call it, "Sunday Sauce"). This sauce was DELICIOUS. As I got older and moved out of my parents house, though, I realized that this "Sunday Sauce" didn't come out of a jar or a can, and unfortunately for me, the fridge that I bought didn't have an endless supply of sauce in the fridge. (If anyone knows how to make a fridge that dispenses homemade tomato sauce, we should chat.)
This sauce, though, was a testament to the phrase "good things take time"... because seriously, it would cook for HOURS. You can imagine that being in school and working, the last thing I had time for was to come home and make tomato sauce for 3 hours. Even if I did find some extra time in my week, it would probably be better spent washing the week's supply of dry shampoo out of my hair (am I right, ladies?) instead of cooking. (Not to mention, when I lived alone, I could never eat a full recipe's worth of sauce - even if I froze it.)
When I first heard about the Pastucci's concept, though, I thought it was genius. All the options you could ever want, pasta shape and sauce, right there in front of you conveniently to-go.
As a diner who isn't able to try all the new dining options in the city because of my allergies, I was pleasantly surprised to find out (and share!) the options that Pastucci's has, and was able to provide us with!
Does Pastucci's ask questions and take notes of certain allergies when brought up by the customer? "Yes, our staff is attentive to customer allergies and is sure to double check labels and provide our customers with the options that would work for them."
Does Pastucci's have any specific policies in place in dealing with customers with allergies?
"Once the customer lets our staff know about their allergy, they are trained on which options would work for them (i.e. our vegan options, gluten friendly, etc) and are able to offer those items and help them create their ideal pasta/sauce combination." (Be sure to let them know you have an allergy!)
Are they trained on what a certain allergy means, what ingredients to avoid, and whether or not a customer can have certain menu options?
"Yes, our staff know which items are gluten-friendly, egg-free, vegan, and nut-free. If they are ever unsure they know to ask the customer to be more specific, double check labels, and run everything by a managing staff."
What can an individual who has the following allergies order from Pastucci's:
Dairy: "Any of our short and long cut pasta options – e.g. penne, rigatoni, spaghetti, fettuccine, farfalle, gemelli, elbow & fusilli"
Soy: "The only sauce we have that may contain soy is our alfredo sauce, but we are currently looking at a recipe that would eliminate that. All of our other pastas and sauces are SOY FREE and contain no preservatives."
Gluten: "We have a variety of gluten friendly pasta options: corn bucantini, quinoa gemelli, kale gnocchi, & spelt fettuccine." *UPDATE: Their new Vegan Red Lentil Penne is also GF!*(Note to Foodis: Pastucci's has noted that they are not yet a 100% Certified Gluten-Free facility and there is cross-contamination especially in the pasta as it is boiled in the same water as the regular pasta, so just a head's up to anyone who is Celiac!)
Vegan: "We have a vegan ravioli stuffed with butternut squash" (OK...YUM!!) *UPDATE: Their new Red Lentil Penne is also Vegan!*
Peanut: "All of our main menu items are nut free – the only items they would not be able to have would be some of our deserts – Reese’s cheesecake, Nutella banana piadina & tiramisu"
Shellfish: "Would be able to have anything from the menu except for our garlic shrimp topping"
Egg: "As of right now our only egg-free pasta option is our vegan ravioli – we will definitely expand this as the demand increases!" *UPDATE: Their new Vegan Red Lentil Penne is also Egg-Free!*
Is the kitchen or restaurant staff able to accommodate certain allergies?
"As we are a “fast casual” restaurant – meaning we prepare everything front of the line for customers, all of our menu options are already prepared in terms of the ingredients (we have all fresh pasta and sauces, as well as topping options). While we are not able to adjust specific sauces or pastas to meet needs, we offer over 25 different pasta options and 12 different sauces to ensure that there is something for everyone including gluten-friendly and vegan varieties. Our pesto is also nut free and dairy free and we offer a rosemary garlic focaccia that is vegan to ensure that more people are able to enjoy our products."
Do they allow substitutions and can they modify ingredients or change a certain part of a dish/item to make it safe for the customer?
"As we said above, we are not able to modify or substitute ingredients in our specific sauces or pastas, but we provide customers a fully customizable “build-your-own” experience where they are able to select each element of their meal (pasta type, sauce, toppings) in order to meet their own specific needs (dietary or allergy related) and tastes."
With all these factors in mind, we are still looking for restaurants that can not only feed our readers, but have them asking for seconds. Just because a menu option is allergy friendly doesn’t mean it has to compromise on taste. We'd love to hear if you have any recommendations from your experiences, of what people generally order with allergies - What's popular? or What's your favourite?
"We have so many varieties that it is hard to choose just one or two. Our vegan ravioli stuffed with butternut squash is definitely a favourite and most people pair it with marinara sauce or our pesto sauce. Our most popular gluten-friendly options are our kale gnocchi (a lot of people love our 5 cheese sauce or Bolognese sauce with that) and our spelt fettuccine – both options are great with any of our sauces."
Big thank you to Pastucci's for providing us with this information!
Check out Pastucci's at https://www.pastuccis.com/ or on Instagram @pastucciscanada
Been to Pastucci's? Let us know what you think here.
*It's important to always let the restaurants know about your allergy or dietary restrictions. Information provided here is for informational purposes and should always be verified with the restaurants upon arrival. Dishes listed here as allergen-free may require modifications to be made from the kitchen so we always recommend informing them of your allergy. If you ever do not feel safe eating food you've been served - confirm with the restaurant directly. All information provided here was given to us by the restaurant directly, and is subject to change at any time.*