Friday, July 13, 2018

News & Notes: July 13, 2018

Made Good Foods has debuted gluten-free, nut-free and vegan soft baked mini cookies in four varieties: Chocolate Banana, Apple Cinnamon, Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate. You can print a dollar-off coupon good toward any Made Good product (including their crispy rice treats and granola bars) from the company's website.

If you like cheese on your sandwich, then you may be intrigued by the new Folios cheese wraps. Made with 100% cheese, these gluten-free wraps come in Cheddar, Jarlsberg and Parmesan varieties.

Speaking of wraps, General Mills' Old El Paso brand will introduce gluten-free tortillas to the American market later this year. The product is available overseas.

New gluten-free pretzel rods from Snyder's of Hanover will be making their way to supermarket shelves in September.


Based on popular demand, Glutenberg has introduced a non-alcoholic version of its Blonde Ale in its native Canada, with plans to bring it south of the border later this year.

Lucky's Last Chance in Manayunk (4421 Main St., 215-509-6005) has gluten-free burger buns, but does not keep a dedicated fryer for fries.

Pho-ever Yours in Narberth (106 N. Essex Ave., 484-800-1239) notes gluten-free options like grilled shrimp summer rolls, curry chicken and pho bowls on its menu.

In Ocean City, Fusion Plate Asian Cuisine (947 Asbury Ave., 609-938-2476) gluten-free menu options include summer rolls, pho, seafood noodle soup, fried rice, pad Thai and Singapore noodles.

Gluten-free items are noted on the menu at Cardinal Bistro in Ventnor (6525 Ventnor Ave., 609-541-4633), as well as at the nearby Enlightened Cafe (6414 Ventnor Ave., 609-594-5283), where the menu includes pancakes, bread, bowls, juices and smoothies. Request that the pancakes be prepared separately.

Most of the menu at Tierra Mexicali Grill in Wilmington (4710 Limestone Rd., 302-384-6657) is gluten free, including desserts.

Also in Wilmington, Liquid Alchemy Beverages (28 Brookside Dr., 302-438-0252) produces gluten-free hard ciders and meads (honey wines). The tasting room is open Wednesday and Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. Tours are also available.

Kurant Cider has opened in Fishtown (436 E. Girard Ave., 267-928-3630). In addition to a variety of gluten-free hard ciders, the kitchen serves hot dogs on gluten-free buns.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Gluten-Free Meals in a Snap

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Snap Kitchen, which has provided me with compensation, and contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own and I was in no way influenced by the sponsorship of this post. [Disclosure policy]

Walk-in selections at Snap Kitchen's Old City location
Despite the popularity of make-it-yourself pre-portioned meals, not everyone (yours truly included) has the time - or, frankly, the skill set - to cook meals all the time. With convenience in mind, Snap Kitchen has set out to make healthy, fresh gluten-free meals and sides available throughout the Philadelphia area. The company laid down roots in Philadelphia in 2016, having expanded here from Texas, and built a commissary in the Kensington section of the city. There, employees prepare all-gluten-free meals for sale at Snap Kitchen's seven area locations: Malvern, Villanova, Wayne and in Philadelphia proper (Bella Vista, Fishtown, Old City and Rittenhouse Square).

Snap Kitchen locations also have snacks, sides and drinks
While a variety of prepared foods are available daily at the stores, Snap Kitchen's new meal plans offer greater variety and flexibility. There are five plans, all entirely gluten free: High Protein, Low Carb, Balance, Whole 30,  Paleo and Camp Gladiator. The subscriptions are three-, five- or seven-day plans that reoccur on a weekly basis. You can build your plan by selecting which day parts – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks – work best and customizing which meals you want to make up each day of your plan. The plans can be managed through the Snap Kitchen iOS app or through the website and can be cancelled at any time.

Snap Kitchen offers free delivery for meal plan subscribers within a designated distance of each store and meals can also be picked up at a "home" location. First-time meal plan subscribers can use promo code GFPHILLY for $20 off their first order.

The company offered to let us try a three-day meal subscription, so we opted for the Balance plan, which is designed for those trying to eat healthier without eliminating specific foods or focusing on a macronutrient goal. Lunch and dinner options were stronger than those for breakfast that we tried. We heated the meals in the microwave, though oven preparation is an option. Here's what we thought of some of them:

Snap Kitchen's naked salmon entree
Naked salmon: Not fishy for the most part and was nicely complemented by the lemon butter on top. Both the salmon and the broccolini were flavorful and fresh.

Naked beef: Beef was tender with only one small fatty portion. The green beans were garlicky and well-seasoned, while the cauliflower was a little bit spicy and was a nice twist to an otherwise conservative meal.

Chicken Parmesan with spiralized squash: The chicken was tender, but the sauce was a bit underwhelming and dish could have used some more cheese. The squash tasted fresh, though slightly undercooked. Overall, we really enjoyed this dish.

Crispy salmon: It wasn’t crispy, but take the good parts of baked salmon and add shaved almond and that’s what you have. It was really good and the roasted carrots and zucchini were the best sides out of all the dishes we tried.

Chimichurri chicken: The chicken was tender though not very flavorful. The chimichurri sauce was good and though it was a little watery, the squash on the side was delicious. The inclusion of tomatoes seemed out of place.

Shrimp scampi dish from Snap Kitchen
Shrimp scampi: Shrimp were tender and not fishy. The asparagus was tasty, but we wish it was whole and not cut. The pasta was a bit mushy but the scampi sauce was delicious - equal parts lemony and buttery.

Breakfast sandwich: The star of the show was the biscuit: it was moist and didn't crumble. The egg white patty was standard but fit the sandwich well. While we weren't fans at first, the sausage patty grew on us. Cheese would have added a bit more flavor but wasn't an option.

Goat cheese scramble: The goat cheese was a nice touch, though there wasn’t enough of it. The egg whites were a bit watery and the tomatoes and spinach oddly felt out of place. The sweet potatoes were hard and nearly inedible.

Breakfast platter: We didn’t like the cheesy cauliflower at first but came around to it. The pork sausage patties were greasy, but the eggs were tasty though underseasoned and superfluously sprinkled with chives.

There were many options that we didn't try but looked tempting, including banana pancakes and chicken sausage breakfast tacos for breakfast, and chicken butternut macaroni, beef lasagna and dan dan noodles for lunch and dinner.

If we continue the subscription, we'll fiddle with some of the different choices to find the ideal combination. Overall, we applaud Snap Kitchen's food for its quality and freshness. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

News & Notes: June 22, 2018

Haddonfield, New Jersey, already bursting with gluten-free options, has two new novel eateries. T-swirl Crepe, the Japanese-style crepe chain, has opened there (115 Kings Hwy. E., 856-229-7107), offering a variety of gluten-free rice batter crepes. The gluten-free options are not listed on the website but the staff is familiar with safe options. (The owners of the Haddonfield location are opening another one in Wilmington later this year.)

Recent gluten-free donut varieties at the new-ish Haddonfield Donut Company (14 Tanner St., 856-354-0006) have included chocolate caramel, strawberry, mocha, stuffed devil dog and stuffed blueberry cheesecake. They have a separate fryer, bowls and whisks for the gluten-free versions, which are not prepared near the traditional ones.

Just down the road in Collingswood in Centanni Pizza (563 Haddon Ave., 858-6666), which has a gluten-free menu that includes pizza, pasta and entrees prepared separately. The owners also run the gluten-free-friendly Calabria Pizza & Italian Grill in Absecon.

On the western side of the Delaware River, Okie Dokie Donuts (215-939-6585) produces made-to-order gluten-free donuts by advance order only, with pick-up at a South Philly location that's disclosed after you order. Selections rotate monthly. You can get more details in my recent post.

Reader Missy G. let me know that the new Eggroll Queen Cafe in Chalfont (459 W. Butler Pike, 215-822-6500) serves a variety of gluten-free baked gourmet egg rolls, including four breakfast varieties. Options are listed on the menu. All egg rolls are made to order and gluten-free orders are handled and prepared separately.

The all-gluten-free Real Food Eatery has opened its second Center City Philadelphia location (1700 Market St., 267-639-3336), with this one serving breakfast options that includes Cream Hill Estate gluten-free oats for oatmeal.

The falafel, fries and tahina shakes at the all-vegan Goldie in Rittenhouse Square (1526 Sansom St., 267-239-0777) and University City at the Penn Food Hall (3401 Walnut St.) are gluten free. No wheat items are prepared in the fryers.

Flakely (formerly Brûlée Bakery) is now preparing gluten-free pastries for retail businesses. The bakery's coffee cake and chocolate chip muffins can be found at Passero's Coffee shops in Center City Philadelphia at Suburban Station (1601 JFK Blvd.), the Ben Franklin House (834 Chestnut St.) and the Wanamaker Building (100 Penn Sq. East), as well as at Green Engine Coffee in Haverford (16 Haverford Station Rd., and Seven Stones Cafe in Media (24 S. Plum St., 610-627-2077). Seven Stones also offers gluten-free bagels and bread that can be prepared separately.

The gluten-free menu at Spring-Ford Diner in Spring City (55 E. Bridge St., 610-792-3404), outside Royersford, includes options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The kitchen uses a separate fryer for French fries, home fries and potato skins and a separate strainer and water for gluten-free pasta.

Middle Child in Washington Square West (248 S. 11th St., 267-930-8344) has gluten-free sandwich bread that's toasted in a shared oven but put on plates to ensure no cross-contact.

At Doylestown's Lovebird (19 E. Oakland Ave., 267-406-4712), which I wrote about back in May, all of the fryers are now gluten free, so all fried chicken is now gluten free. The only non-gluten-free items on the menu are sandwich buns and croutons.

Two closures of note this week: Taqueria Feliz in Horsham has closed, though sister locations remain open; and Catelli Duo in Moorestown Mall has closed, but the Voorhees location is still operational.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Knockin' on Heaven's Door

(Photo Credit: Okie Dokie Donuts/Instagram)
Carol Ha has a secret, but she's happy to let people in on it. If you place an order with her made-to-order gluten-free donut business Okie Dokie Donuts, she'll give you the details on when (Saturdays) and where (somewhere in South Philly) to pick them up.

Ha changes the varieties of her small-batch, artisanal cake donuts monthly. Currently, she's offering chocolate, grapefruit honey cardamom, blueberries & basil, Vietnamese coffee, cherry vanilla pie and birthday cake. (Grapefruit honey cardamom and coffee were our faves but all were delicious.) Although Ha makes the donuts in a shared commissary, all equipment, including the fryer, are dedicated gluten free and the equipment and surfaces are cleaned before production.

Vietnamese coffee donuts are among the current options 
at Okie Dokie Donuts
(Photo Credit: Okie Dokie Donuts/Facebook)
So what are the ground rules to get in on the secret? Regular-size donuts are $12 per half-dozen minimum order and $20 for 12. Orders must be placed via phone (215-939-6585) or email at least two days in advance, with pick-ups on Saturdays and deliveries to Center City Philly by arrangement ($5 delivery charge).

Ha is exploring options for a storefront or food truck but, for now, pick-up and delivery are the only options for custom orders. Follow Okie Dokie on Instagram for menu updates and details on upcoming pop-ups in South Philly, including one at Primal Supply Meats (1538 E. Passyunk Ave.) this Saturday, June 23.
Enjoy $20 off your first Snap Kitchen meal plan!

Friday, June 8, 2018

News & Notes: June 8, 2018

Hometown snack purveyor Herr's Foods has introduced sweet and crunchy funnel cake-flavored snack balls that are gluten free.

Berks County's Sweet Street has added gluten-free brownies to its Manifesto line of baked goods. The individually wrapped brownies are made with a gluten-free flour blend, cage-free eggs and dark Honduran chocolate. The company's gluten-free chewy marshmallow bars are sold at Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Annie's Homegrown has debuted gluten-free Cheddar Bunny Tails snack crackers. The new cheese crackers will be making their way to stores this summer.

A few more Ocean City businesses are accommodating gluten-free customers. TJ's Ice Cream Plus in Ocean City (100 E. Atlantic Blvd., 609-398-5055) has gluten-free cones; all of the chocolate flavors have gluten but many others do not. On the Boardwalk, all of the fries at the new Frenchy's Fries (822 Boardwalk, 609-513-3144) are gluten free, as are the fresh-cut (but not spiral) fries at
Curly's Fries (944 Boardwalk, 609-398-1972).

Center City Philadelphia is primed for poké. At The PokéSpot in Rittenhouse Square (1804 Chestnut St., 267-541-2183), all bases and proteins are gluten free, as are most toppings. The sriracha aioli and tamari soy sauces also are gluten free. Opening this summer East of Market Street (1037 Chestnut St.) is the first of several area Pokéworks locations. The online allergen guide lists all proteins and mix-ins and all but one base as gluten free, along with many sauces and toppings.

At long last, my favorite fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant, CAVA, is coming to the Philadelphia area later this year with a location in Rittenhouse Square (1713 Chestnut St.). Most menu items are gluten free.

In Manayunk, Boostin' Bowls (100 Levering St., 267-331-8974) has açaí bowls with gluten-free granola as an available topping along with smoothies. Meanwhile, the rapidly growing Playa Bowls has new locations on Beach Haven on Long Beach Island (610 N. Bay Ave., 609-467-5818) and in Forked River (44M Manchester Ave., 609-994-2828). (Hat tip to Facebook follower Kevin K.)

Prohibition Taproom in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia (501 N. 13th St., 215-238-1818) offers gluten-free fried chicken every Tuesday prepared in a separate fryer.

The menu at the new Rice & Curry in Ambler (521 Limekiln Pike, 215-390-1945) has several gluten-free options like pad Thai, chicken coconut soup and curry.

The newest tenant on the main drag at the University of Delaware is Peruvian restaurant Pachamama (76 E. Main St., 302-738-3800), which opened yesterday. (Thanks Beth S.). Although the signature rotisserie chicken is not gluten free, many gluten-free items are listed on the menu. Avoid the fried items like the banana chips, though, as there is no dedicated fryer.

Reader Melissa D. let me know that the menu at Arooga's in Allentown (327 Star Rd., 888-622-9464) is heavily annotated with gluten-free choices. The kitchen maintains a separate fryer for wings and tater tots.

The Lehigh Valley also has a gluten-free bakery in Kendra's Buttercup Bakery (484-226-0517). Based in Bangor, Northampton County, Kendra's is an made-to-order bakery offering pick up and local deliveries. Orders can be placed online or over the phone.

With yet another round of rainy weather on tap for the area, stay dry and have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!