Tuesday, December 8, 2020

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts

Shawarma spiced chicken with crisp eggplant
and schug from Shai Hummusiya
(Photo credit: Shai/Instagram)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many restaurants to pivot in order to keep their doors open. Some owners are double-dipping, operating so-called "ghost kitchens" that have menus different from their better-known parents. These kitchens have pick-up options rather than table service and typically work with food-delivery services for delivery. (You can read more about this trend in the Philadelphia Inquirer.)

In the Philadelphia area, there are a number of such operations. I've compiled a list of some of the ones in the region offering gluten-free options (all of these listings can be found in the Gluten Free Philly app [Apple App Store / Google Play Store], and if you know of others, drop me a line at gfphilly@gmail.com:

  • Elevation Burger (Center City West Philadelphia) - sandwich buns
  • Shai Hummusiya (Center City West Philadelphia) - all menu items are gluten free except for pita bread
  • Pete's Place (Serpico, Center City Philadelphia) - beef and radish soup, soft tofu stew
  • Chopsey Pan Asian Kitchen (Veda, Philadelphia) - sweet corn soup, fried rice
  • Philly Burgers & Shakes (Top Tomato, Center City Philadelphia) - burger buns (request separate preparation)
  • Grilled Cheese Society (Top Tomato, Center City Philadelphia) - grilled cheese sandwiches on gluten-free bread (request separate pan preparation)
  • Agea at the Commons (Walnut Street Cafe, Center City West Philadelphia) - build-your-own bowls and platters
  • Ghost Chicken at the Commons (Walnut Street Cafe, Center City West Philadelphia) - chicken
  • Cluckwerks (Denim byob, Haddonfield) - sandwich buns, fries (request separate fryer)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Pause That Refreshes

The award-winning Conshohocken Brewing Company has released its first gluten-free beer. The seasonal Semicolon (4.7% ABV) is a gluten-free pale ale described as "golden, crisp and pleasantly hoppy upfront with a smooth finish featuring notes of citrus and pine." The 2020 version is brewed with sorghum and made entirely with gluten-free ingredients. The brewery undertakes extensive equipment cleaning practices between runs and uses the R5 Competitive ELISA test to measure gluten at less than 10 ppm.

A four-pack of Semicolon sells for $13 and is available for curbside pickup at the suburban Philadelphia brewery's locations in Conshohocken (739 E. Elm St.), King of Prussia (3100 Horizon Dr.), Bridgeport (Puddlers Kitchen, 3 Dekalb St.), Phoenixville (Rec Room, 230 Bridge St.) and Havertown (Town Tap, 13 W. Benedict Ave.).

The beer can also be shipped to Pennsylvania addresses via Conshy Express.

Semicolon debuted last year as a non-gluten-free amber IPA; the liquid changes every year, but the name and mission are the same. A portion of the proceeds benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Join Gluten Free Philly at the Pa. Virtual Gluten Free Expo November 7

The PA Virtual Gluten Free Expo will take place next Saturday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can be accessed by going to www.glutenfreeexpopa.com.  This free, live online event will fill the void left by the cancellation of this year’s Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo in Oaks and the Central PA Gluten Free Expo in Camp Hill.  

The expo will allow for video chat with local and national gluten-free exhibitors, eight live-streamed educational presentations, and various giveaways.  Over 40 virtual exhibitor booths will be online for the event, such as Philadelphia-based Flakely, where Chef Lila Colello creates gluten-free French pastry, including brioche and croissants.  

Speakers will include Lisa Fahey, M.D., Clinical Director of the Celiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and yours truly.

In 2019, over 3,800 consumers attended the two in-person gluten-free events. Those interested in attending the expo can pre-register at https://glutenfreeexpo.live/Pre-register and enter to win gluten-free prizes. If you don't register in advance, you can simply go to the event homepage on the day of the event.

Businesses interested in exhibiting can email info@connectingglutenfree.com for details.

Follow the event through social media:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@PhillyGFExpo                 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PhillyGlutenFreeExpo

Instagram: www.instagram.com/@PhillyGlutenFreeExpo


Presentation Schedule on November 7, 2020:                                                

11:00 a.m.  “Three Steps to Gluten Free Living” with Melinda Arcara, author and publisher of glutenfreebebe.com

11:00 a.m.  “Gluten-Free Dining and Product Q&A” with Michael Savett, publisher, glutenfreephilly.com

Noon  “Gluten Free College 101” with Andrea Balzano Tucker, celiac advocate and podcaster, BaltimoreGlutenFree.com

Noon “Celiac session” with Beyond Celiac

1:00 p.m.  “Associated Conditions of Celiac Disease” with Lisa Fahey, M.D., Clinical Director of the Celiac Center, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

1:00 p.m.  “Navigating Social Settings and Eating Out When Gluten-Free” with Safiya Carter, allergy-sensitive/gluten-free food inventor, chef, consultant

2:00 p.m.  “Gluten-Free Road Trips” with Elikqite, publisher of the Travel Gluten-Free podcast

2:00 p.m.  “Cooking Techniques For Those New to a Gluten-Free Diet” with Melinda Arcara, author and publisher of glutenfreebebe.com

Current Exhibitor Lineup:

Presenting Sponsor: Wegmans

Platinum Sponsor: Aleia’s Gluten-Free

7 Muffins A Day


Aurochs Brewing Company

B.C. Brewery

Batimore Gluten Free


Ben and Jerry's

Chebe Bread Products


Dessert Crazy

Don't Go Nuts

Eban's Bakehouse

EpiLynx LLC

Every Body Eat®

Flakely, LLC


Freely Vegan

Full Flavor Foods

Gem City Fine Foods


Hodo Foods

Home Free Treats

Kay's Naturals


Mom's Place Gluten Free

Nomato by Norine

PASTA LIFE – Gluten-Free Pasta Straws

Red Plate

Savor Street

The Soulful Project

Undercover Snacks

Village Eatinghouse

Weis Markets

* This is a sponsored post *

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Cheers to Beer

Though the world’s largest commercial beer competition in the world is now in its 39th year, the Great American Beer Festival went virtual for the first time this month. In the Gluten-Free Beer category, the judges awarded Gold and Silver medals, with the top prize going to western Pennsylvania's Auroch Brewing Co. 

Auroch's Hazy IPA (6.7% ABV) is described by the brewers as "dynamic tropical fruit flavor and aroma.  The hops pack a punch to the nose with notes of papaya, mango, peach, and orange. A soft, pillowy mouthfeel that rests on your tongue. Extra quinoa for turbidity. Hazy and juicy. Brewed with millet, quinoa, buckwheat, hops, and yeast." 

Hazy IPA is one of Auroch's styles that is available for shipping to residents of Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Auroch's beers are also sold at retailers throughout Pennsylvania.

In second place was 1808 (5.6% ABV), from Madison, Wisconsin's ALT Brew. According to the brewers, this porter is a "malty dark ale with complex roasty characteristics and a balanced bitterness."

The Festival’s Gluten-Free Beer category includes only beers made from fermentable sugars, grains and converted carbohydrates. Gluten-reduced beers are not considered part of this grouping because their gluten levels – derived from malted barley – have been reduced by enzymes or other processes.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Virtual Gluten Free Expo Slated For Nov. 7

With COVID-19 preventing large-scale gatherings, the Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo is converting to a virtual event next month. This free virtual expo, scheduled for November 7, will connect guests with gluten-free companies, and feature expert classes and great giveaways. Pre-register here and get updates on the event.

VIP tickets are available for purchase and include a special VIP-only online event on November 5, a goodie box with samples and coupons sent to ticket holders and first dibs on 2021 VIP tickets.