Friday, November 16, 2018

Deck the Hall


Philadelphia's original commodities exchange has been transformed into an artisan marketplace in the style of New York's Chelsea Market and Washington, D.C.'s Union Market. Formally opening yesterday, The Bourse Food Hall (111 S. Independence Mall E.) will feature nearly 30 food and beverage tenants, including many with gluten-free selections. The list includes:

  • TaKorean: With four locations in metro D.C., TaKorean brings a combination of Korean inspired flavors with a Latin-American twist. In addition to their signature Korean tacos made with corn tortillas, the gluten-free options include Korean rice and salad bowls. They also offer a customizable menu comprised of two gluten-free proteins (tofu and cauliflower), romaine and spiced kale slaws, as well as several toppings and garnishes.
  • Prescription Chicken: The first brick-and-mortar location for this acclaimed D.C.-area soup purveyor offer its signature made-to-order chicken-based soups. All broths are gluten free and they even have gluten-free matzoh balls!
  • Mi & Yu Noodle Bar: This fast-casual spot based in the D.C. region offers artisanal bowls with gluten-free pho rice noodles and several gluten-free broths: spicy "kimchi style," vegetarian and savory miso. Avoid fried proteins since they are cooked in a shared fryer.
  • Abunai Poke: From Hawaii by way of D.C., this quick-service shop has a selection of poke and various Hawaiian dishes. The gluten-free proteins include plain tuna, plain and marinated salmon, lobster, octopus, shrimp and tofu. Also gluten free are the mixed greens, all mix-ins and toppings, chili pepper aioli, wasabi aioli and miso dressing.
  • Chaat and Chai: The Indian street food stand has gluten-free options like curries and soups.
  • Ka’moon: Fast-casual, Halal-prepared Egyptian cuisine from the folks behind The Taza Truck in Easton, Pennsylvania. Look for build-your-own gluten-free rice bowls.
  • Freebyrd Chicken: Freebyrd's pulled chicken and side salads are gluten free.
  • TAPS Fill Station: Philadelphia is the second outpost from the Baltimore-based concept specializing in draft booze with a solid focus on eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Virtually everything on the menu served is sourced from within a 250-mile radius. Five lines hold hard cider and mead, two are stocked with kegged cocktails, and six more are split between red and white wines.
  • Olive With a Twist: A gourmet pantry originating in Easton, Pennsylvania offering a curated selection of cheeses, pâté, charcuterie, olive oils, balsamics, sauces and more.
  • Scoop DeVille: A Philadelphia institution since 1989, Scoop DeVille offers several gluten-free ice cream and yogurt flavors and dozens of toppings.
  • Chocodiem: With the exception of certain seasonal varieties, the hand-crafted, artisanal truffles at this Easton-based Belgian chocolatier will be gluten free, as will all of the macarons. Also gluten free will be the house-made gelato, frozen chocolate drinks, chocolate cocktails and selected desserts and confections.
Coming soon to the Bourse are several other gluten-free-friendly eateries:
  • Rebel Taco: A Mexican taco purveyor from D.C.-based Social Restaurant Group, Rebel Taco will serve tacos made with gluten-free tortillas.
  • Bricco Coal Fired Pizza: The Westmont, New Jersey pizzeria will offer gluten-free pies.
  • Break Juicery: Boasting locally sourced and organic fruits and vegetables, Break Juicery will offer a variety of juices and smoothies as well as açaí bowls.

Friday, November 2, 2018

News & Notes: November 2, 2018

Green Giant Fresh has expanded its fresh vegetable offerings with its new gluten-free Vegetable Meal Bowls, available in the refrigerated produce section at grocers nationwide at a suggested retail price of $3.99 per bowl. Each bowl includes a 100% fresh vegetable base with sauces and seasoning packets, The line includes six varieties:
  • Buddha Bowl: featuring crumbled sweet potato, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, roasted chickpeas and tahini sauce
  • Burrito Bowl: containing crumbled cauliflower and ancho-chipotle pepper black bean sauce
  • "Fried Rice" Bowl: featuring crumbled cauliflower, carrots, onions, broccoli and teriyaki sauce
  • Pad Thai Bowl: featuring carrot noodles with peanut-flavored sunflower butter sauce
  • Ramen Bowl: containing butternut noodles, crumbled cauliflower, carrots, onions, broccoli, roasted edamame and ramen seasoning
  • Rancheros Bowl: featuring crumbled sweet potato, cauliflower, kale and green chili sauce
California Pizza Kitchen has added two new gluten-free cauliflower thin-crust pizzas to its line of frozen pizzas. One is Artisanal Style Cheese, the other an Uncured Pepperoni, Mushroom and Sausage pizza. Speaking of CPK, the restaurants are phasing out the rice-flour pizza crusts but are still offering five certified gluten-free cauliflower pizzas. (Thanks to Baltimore Gluten Free for the tip.)

I'm still searching for the new Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake ice cream from L.A.-based Coolhaus. The seasonal flavor made with pumpkin and cream cheese ice cream and a gluten-free graham cracker crust swirl. The company's website has a downloadable coupon.

Cheesecake Factory at Home is a new line of gluten-free refrigerated puddings that will hit stores early next year. These layered puddings come in four flavor combinations:
  • Vanilla Fudge Duet: creamy vanilla bean pudding over dark chocolate fudge sauce
  • Chocolate Black-Out: rich Belgian chocolate pudding over dark chocolate fudge sauce
  • Salted Caramel Delight: creamy salted caramel pudding over rich caramel sauce
  • Cake Batter Strawberry Royale: creamy cake batter-inspired pudding over a sweet strawberry puree

Mi-Del has two new gluten-free seasonal cookies: Snowflake Snickerdoodles and Snowman sugar cookies.

Trader Joe's is always adding new gluten-free products. Among the latest are blueberry and everything bagels, as well as a pie crust.

The Philadelphia area has seen lots of gluten-free-friendly restaurant openings of late. Today is the debut of Eddie V's Prime Seafood in King of Prussia (670 W. DeKalb Pike, 610-337-7823). The kitchen has a gluten-free menu that includes many traditional seafood and steakhouse options.

In Fairmount, the new Thirsty Dice (1642 Fairmount Ave., 215-765-2679) is a board-game cafe featuring more than 800 games to choose from. The menu is designed by the good folks at Fox & Son and includes gluten-free corn dog lollipops, French bread pizza and mac-and-cheese.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Central PA Gluten Free Expo Slated for Sunday, Nov. 4

Over 1,100 people are expected to gather in State College this Sunday to enjoy a celebration of all things gluten free, with the goal of making their lifestyle easier to maintain. The 6th annual Central PA Gluten Free Expo will take place at the Penn Stater Conference Center (215 Innovation Blvd.) this Sunday. The event will include some 50 local and national vendor spaces, educational presentations and demonstrations, door prizes and gluten-free samples.

The expo will be open to the public from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. General-admission advance tickets are on sale now ($9.00) or can be purchased at the door ($12.00). Children ages 16 and under are free to attend the event with an adult. Parking is free.

Many companies represented at the event have carved out a niche by producing products that are difficult to replicate or find in a gluten-free form, such as the corn dogs and funnel cakes produced by Archer’s Gluten Free Cafe of Troy, Pa. Expo exhibitors will be sampling, selling, and discussing products and services at the event.  Gluten-free foods available for sample or purchase at the event will include breads, cookies, gravies, pastries, soft pretzels and baking mixes.

Keynote speaker Jules Shepard, known nationally as “gfJules,” will present the session “Seven Steps to Living a Healthy and Happy Gluten Free Life.” Jules has been highly visible in the gluten-free community since 2007 with the publication of her first gluten-free cookbook. Other presentations this year include a gluten-free cooking demonstration by a Wegmans chef, and a gluten-free funnel cake demonstration by Archer’s Gluten Free Cafe.

Look for details on the next Philadelphia area expo, slated to take place on Saturday, May 18, 2019 in Oaks, Pennsylvania, early next year.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Expo East 2018 Recap

Last month's Expo East natural-foods show in Baltimore featured new and emerging gourmet, natural and gluten-free products from across North America whose manufacturers are seeking wider distribution in supermarkets and grocery stores. (The annual event is headed to Philadelphia in 2020.)

In no particular order, here are some of the highlights among gluten-free products at this year's event (not all items are currently available in area stores):


Gorton's sampled a line of gluten-free allergy-friendly wild-caught seafood dishes called Hook Line & Savor. The frozen entrees will be test-marketed later this year with a possible nationwide roll-out in 2019. The Crispy Beer Battered Haddock is made with Glutenberg Blonde Ale; other varieties are Black Bean Crusted Cod and Citrus Ginger Salmon.


Wildscape is a new gourmet frozen-meals line from Nestle-backed Foundry Foods that includes two varieties made without gluten ingredients: Braised Brisket with Carmelized Sweet Potatoes, Sorghum, Red Rice and Pickled Onions and Gochujang Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Chickpeas and Quinoa, Riced Cauliflower, Cashews and Pickled Onions

Smart Flour Foods, which unveiled a refresh of its packaging, is introducing two flavors to its lineup of ancient-grain gluten-free pizza. The Three Meat is topped with sweet Italian sausage, spicy uncured pepperoni and bacon. The Kale and Sundried Tomato with a Garlic White Bean Sauce starts with a sauce of pureed white beans and garlic, and is topped with green kale and sundried tomatoes. The new pizzas will be in stores in 2019 with a suggested retail price of $7.99.

Friday, October 5, 2018

News & Notes: October 5, 2018

Before I get down to business, I wanted to let you know that NBC10 Philadelphia will be featuring Gluten Free Philly in a two-party story on dining out with Celiac Disease on Monday's 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. newscasts. Set your DVRs if you can't catch it when it broadcasts in real time. The stories should be posted to the station's website shortly after they air.

(Photo Credit: Corinna V.)
(Photo Credit: Baltimore Gluten Free)
Trader Joe's has several new gluten-free products in stores. The new Crispy Quinoa Stars is a quinoa and rice cereal sweetened with cane sugar and honey. There's also a butternut squash pizza crust and a spinach & kale crust in the frozen section. (Thanks, Corinna V.)

(Photo Credit: The Impulsive Buy)
Though not up on its website, Udi's Gluten Free has introduced two new breads: Hearty Sprouted Grains and 7 Seeds & Grains.

At long last, the new gluten-free pretzel rods from Snyder's of Hanover are making their way into supermarkets. I picked up a bag at Wegmans in Cherry Hill.