Primal Eats Vancouver: The Flying Beaver

April 18, 2012


I’m devastated. What was supposed to be a glowing review of one of my favorite haunts turned into a cautionary tale on the perils of dining out. Overly dramatic? Perhaps, but I hadn’t gone to The Flying Beaver for quite some time and I had been really looking forward to going back. You see, I had a slight obsession with their bison burger. It’s the only thing I would ever order (bun-less, of course), other than their chicken wings. But none of this matters because I accidentally found out that their burgers contain gluten. They come pre-mixed and have breadcrumbs or something as a binding agent. Now, this makes perfect rational sense – I’ve seen plenty of burger recipes calling for breadcrumbs. But I completely forgot about that even being a factor. I just assumed that I’m ordering a burger patty, which should be all meat – unlike those school lunch patties that contain 26 ingredients. Seems to  be a recurring lesson in paleo – never assume.

So. Not only do the burgers all have gluten, so do the chicken wings. There goes one of my favourite places. Why did I like it so much? The location and the atmosphere. I have a theory that you can’t go wrong so long as the restaurant is on stilts. The stilts must be over water. It’s been tried and true.. It hasn’t failed me yet. Unless you’re in Richmond or at the South Terminal of the Vancouver Airport, the Flying Beaver is pretty out of the way. But it’s worth the drive.

“The Flying Beaver offers great microbrew beers and inspired menus in an utterly unique West Coast environment. Located at the North End of the No.2 Road Bridge in Richmond, the Beaver lets you sit and watch the arrival and departure of the Harbour Air seaplanes on the Middle Arm of the Fraser River.”

The sunsets over Fraser River are gorgeous. As for the ambiance, it’s got a very laidback feel. This is not a hipster joint, nor a pick-up bar. It’s an unpretentious pub with a good mix of customers – you’ve got 20 year-olds chilling at one table, and 50 year-olds at the next. They have daily specials and events like Name That Tune Saturdays. And the food, not knowing I shouldn’t be eating it, was delicious. Especially the bison burger and the salt and pepper chicken wings. Yes, they’re both cooked in vegetable oils, but that was something I was willing to overlook. The gluten, sorry, no can do.

I ended up having the butter chicken. It was really good except for the rice, which tasted like glue (sad but true). My friend had a burger – delicious as always.


So, yes – I’ll be back. But only for a drink. And perhaps the butter chicken – one of only a few gluten-free options.

Dear Flying Beaver, PLEASE make your chicken wings and your bison burger gluten-free. And all your other burgers, too.  Or at least provide some gluten-free options, other than the two chicken & rice meals.  Pretty please?

Flying Beaver Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Aaron April 19, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Yep. From watching those foodie shows, especially Diners Drive-ins and Dives, I’m amazed at how much gluten and seed oils are used – even in things that don’t need them per se.

Let’s open a restaurant that’s a gluten and seed oil free zone.


[email protected] April 19, 2012 at 4:58 PM

The thought’s crossed my mind many times. Seems there’s a lot of paleo people out there daydreaming of serving up paleo fare.


Aaron April 19, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Looks like these guys are set to make it happen:


In a Food Cart version at least. I’m headed to Portland the first week of June so if they open on time I’ll get to check it out.

[email protected] April 19, 2012 at 9:09 PM

I heard about that one. Portland seems like a pretty good foodie town. Although I hear it’s pretty “hipster” so I dunno. There’s a paleo restaurant in Berlin called Sauvage. And another one in Copenhagen.


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