Friday, January 19, 2018

News & Notes: January 19, 2018

Real Good Foods' new gluten-free, low-carb Real Good Pizza is made with preservative-free parmesan chicken crust instead of traditional flour. It comes in Three Cheese, Pepperoni, Supreme (Sausage, Pepperoni & Veggies) and Breakfast (Bacon, Pepperoni & Sausage) flavors in 5-inch and 7-inch varieties.
Wasa's new gluten-free crispbread will be offered in two varieties: Original and Sesame & Sea Salt. Both are made with potato and amaranth, along with rice sourdough. The crispbreads contain no lactose ingredients, are vegetarian and baked without palm oil, and packaged in convenient snack packs.

The company behind popular Australian yogurt Noosa has added new gluten-free flavors to its range. The two new Mates varieties are Coffee Chocolate Almond, which consists of blended cold-brew coffee yogurt as well as a mix-in of Guittard dark chocolate chips, coffee crunchies and sliced almonds, and Blueberry Walnut Granola, combining blueberry yogurt with gluten-free Purely Elizabeth ancient-grain granola and a sprinkle of currants and walnuts. The Classic line adds Blackberry and Raspberry Lemonade.

Contessa's Love Food Naturally line of frozen meals includes seven gluten-free varieties: Mandarin Orange Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Shrimp Fried Rice, Chicken Fried Rice, Roast Pork Stir Fry and Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto.

Last time out I mentioned Annie's new gluten-free Cinnabunnies cereal. The company has another new gluten-free product out now: organic crispy snack bars, made with rice and quinoa crisps. They come in Original and Cocoa varieties.

District Taco, which originated as a food truck in the Washington, D.C. area, recently opened its first Pennsylvania location at the King of Prussia Town Center (100 Main St. - Suite 130, 484-808-2870). A Center City Philadelphia location will be coming later this year on Market Street East. All menu items except for the flour tortillas are gluten free. You can read fellow blogger Amanda's review of District Tacos over at The Gluten & Dairy-Free Review Blog.

Joining District Taco at the KOP Town Center in March will be Vitality Bowls, specializing in açaí and pitaya bowls. Gluten-free granola is available and there is gluten-free bread for panini (made on a separate press).

Though the fryer used for French fries is not gluten free, Jose Garces' popular Rittenhouse Square burger restaurant, Village Whiskey (118 S. 20th St., 215-665-1088), now has gluten-free buns.

Center Square Tavern in Swedesboro (120 Centre Square Rd.) is targeting an opening date by the end of January. Chef-owner Jim Malaby, who also runs blueplate in Mullica Hill, will have many gluten-free options on the menu; he has a child with celiac disease.

Facebook follower Amanda let me know that The General in Lafayette Hill (646 Germantown Pike, 610-234-6189) has a gluten-free menu that includes grilled wings, sushi, salads and a variety of entrees. Note that the French fries are not prepared in a dedicated fryer but gluten-free orders are handled separately.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Friday, January 5, 2018

News & Notes: January 5, 2018

Happy New Year to everyone! The first News & Notes post of 2018 highlights several new gluten-free items at Trader Joe's:

The Fruit & Seed Granola is also grain free (oat free), organic and vegan and is made with sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. Each 10-oz. bag is $3.69.

The Rice & Quinoa Hot Cereal is a blend of organic whole-grain brown rice grits and organic quinoa flakes, with each serving containing 42 grams of whole grains, 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber per serving. Each 14-oz. resealable pouch sells for $3.69.

Trader Joe's also has a new gluten-free snack, Norwegian Crispbread, that's made with sunflower seeds, oats, sesame and flax and combined in a cracker-like crisp.

The My/Mo line of ice cream is adding a pint-size version with gluten-free sweet mochi rice dough bits, available in Strawberry, Mango, Green Tea, Chocolate and Salted Caramel flavors.

Birds Eye's new Veggie Made pasta line is gluten free and comes in the following varieties:

  • Plain Penne Pasta made with Zucchini & Lentils (Original)
  • Rotini Marinara Pasta made with Zucchini & Lentils
  • Penne with Cheddar Cheese Sauce Pasta made with Zucchini & Lentils
  • Rotini Alfredo Pasta made with Spinach & Lentils
The line is available in the frozen vegetable aisle at retailers nationwide.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Gluten-Free Road Trip: Aruba, One Happy Island

Poolside at the Aruba Marriott
The more things change, the more they stay the same. When we honeymooned in Aruba 21 years ago, I could hardly envision that if we returned it would be with kids in tow, let alone at the same hotel. Part of the "A-B-C" island chain off the coast of Venezuela (also comprised of Bonaire and Curacao), Aruba has fabulous year-round weather and is particularly popular given its proximity outside the Caribbean hurricane belt.

We joined many Americans from the Northeast U.S. last week who fled the frigid conditions back home for some sun and relaxation on "One Happy Island," as license plates in Aruba proudly boast. Though American Airlines flies direct from Philadelphia, we left and returned out of Baltimore on Southwest, whose fares were substantially less than American's. Our base was the Aruba Marriott in the Palm Beach resort area, located on the island's northwest coast. The hotel was one of several with small in-house casinos, while water sports are plentiful along the beach and there are off-road adventure tours as well. Mainly, though, Aruba is a place to unwind, whether by sitting poolside or wading in the sea.

The gelateria at the Aruba Marriott
(Photo Credit: Aruba Marriott)
I had emailed the hotel concierge in advance of our trip to see what options were available for our son on site. He referred me to the executive chef, who told me about the gluten-free section at the breakfast buffet, complete with dedicated toaster, cereal, bagels, donuts and muffins. In addition, the Starbucks at the Marriott has gluten-free egg sandwiches and marshmallow rice crispy treats, the pool bar serves salads and burgers with gluten-free buns, and the sundry shop sells gluten-free cookies and chips. There's also an on-premises gelateria with many gluten-free gelatos and sorbets (each flavor has its own scoop).

Friday, December 22, 2017

Gluten-Free Road Trip: Eating Safely on the East Coast

Holiday travel and vacations can be fun but stressful, even without factoring in seeking out gluten-free-friendly places to eat. The fact that the East Coast has so many restaurants and bakeries that are entirely gluten free makes the trip just a little easier. I’ve joined forces this week with Andrea Tucker of Baltimore Gluten Free and Abby Kelly of Gluten-Free Connecticut to give you a round-up of 100% gluten-free spots from Maryland to Connecticut. Visit their websites for comprehensive information on these and other accommodating places in those areas.

Have a Merry Christmas, Happy 2018 and safe travels no matter where you're headed!


Southern Maryland/Metro DC:

The Red Bandana Bakery (8218 Wisconsin Ave Ste. 101, Bethesda). The Red Bandana describes itself as a happy, healthy little bakery. It's a dedicated gluten-free facility that also specializes in vegan, dairy-free, low-fat and low-sugar baked goods.

Western Maryland:

Sanctuary Modern Kitchen (16 North East St., Frederick). Sanctuary Modern Kitchen creates classic comfort dishes, simply sans gluten.

A Better Choice Bakery (27 W Potomac St., Brunswick). A dedicated gluten-free, dairy-free bakery with a selection of corn- and soy-free products too.

One Dish Cuisine (8001 Hillsborough Rd., Ellicott City). Restaurant and bakery with special menu free of the top eight allergens including dairy and casein.

Eastern Shore:

Gluten Free Bakery Girl (116 N Talbot St., Saint Michaels). Bakery specializing in wedding cakes, cupcakes, pastries and gluten free baking. See website for other retail locations throughout Maryland.


Eat Deliche (1712 Fleet St.). Organic grab-and-go and meal prep.

Points South Latin Kitchen (127 W 27th St.). Serving traditional South American dishes and classic drinks in a heart of historic Fells Point.

Amano Taco (301 W. 29th St.). Authentic Mexican family cooking with a creative twist.

White Envelope Arepa Bar (301 W. 29th St.). Venezuelan street food at R. House food hall serving modern spins on the classic dish.

Sweet 27 Bakery and Cafe (127 W 27th St.). Bar, restaurant and bakery.

Harmony Bakery (3446 Chestnut Ave.). Bakery with a selection of vegan, dairy-free and vegetarian items. Savory offerings include soups, pizzas and tarts.

Heading North (Baltimore County):

Divine12 Café (10709 York Rd., Cockeysville). 100% gluten free, organic and non-GMO café serving a varied menu of nutritious, clean and hearty food. Don’t miss their gluten free fried chicken, crab cakes or filling soups.


Cafe at Good Earth Market (31806 Good Earth Lane, Dover, 302-537-7100). Organic food store and cafe featuring  food, a bar, and live music.

At Melissa’s Bed & Breakfast (36 Delaware Ave., Rehoboth Beach, 302-227-7504). Located just one and a half blocks to the ocean, circa 1910 beach cottage serves an extended all gluten free continental breakfast.



Agno Grill (2104 Chestnut St., 267-997-4524) Menu featuring fresh, healthy, nutritious Mediterranean Food.

Fox & Son (512 N. 12th St., 215-372-7935). Unique fare including corn dogs, poutine, fried cheese curds and funnel cake.

Farmers Keep (10 S. 20th St., 215-309-2928). Also free of dairy, egg, nuts and shellfish; most beers are not gluten free.

Pure Fare (119 S. 21st St., 267-318-7441; 1609 South St., 267-687-2292; 3417 Spruce St., no phone) Vegan options.

Real Food Eatery (207 S. 16th St., 215-608-8941). Vegan options.

Sweet Freedom Bakery (1424 South St., 215-545-1899). Menu is also free of dairy, soy, egg, corn, peanut and refined sugar; vegan; kosher.

Taffets Bakery (1024 S. 9th St., 215-551-5511). Kosher.

Yoku (119 S. 21st St., 267-318-7441). Vegan, egg-free and nut-free options.

Northern and Western Suburbs:

Gangster Vegan (2454 W. Main St., Norristown, 610-630-1600). Vegan.

Oasis Juice Bar (224 Sugartown Rd., Wayne, 610-254-9797) Vegan.

Sweet Freedom Bakery (1039 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-527-7323). Menu is also free of dairy, soy, egg, corn, peanuts and refined sugar; vegan; kosher.

Sweet Megan Bakery (234 Holland Rd., Southampton, 267-288-5080). Free of major allergens; kosher.

The Happy Mixer (4275 County Line Rd., Chalfont, 267-663-7209; 32 S. Main St., New Hope, 267-664-4886; 12 Summit Sq. Shopping Center, Newtown, 215-860-1989). The menu is also free of tree nuts with dairy-free options.

New Jersey (Southern)

Philadelphia Suburbs: 

Sweet Freedom Bakery (577 Haddon Ave., Collingswood, 856-869-7322) Also free of dairy, soy, egg, corn, peanut and refined sugar; vegan; kosher.

Posh Pop Bakeshop (109 E. Kings Hwy., Haddonfield, 856-428-7674). Dairy and lactose-free options.

Heart Beet Kitchen (29 Haddon Ave., Westmont, 856-240-1106) Also free of dairy and egg.

Just outside of Atlantic City:

Kizbee’s Kitchen (734 W. White Horse Pike, Egg Harbor City, 609-553-3383). Wholesale and retail bakery sourcing local and organic ingredients.

Heading North:

WildFlour Bakery/Cafe (2691 Main St., Lawrenceville, 609-620-1100). Fresh-baked artisan breads, pastries and custom cakes. Serving breakfast and lunch daily made with freshly baked bread, Mary’s Organic Chicken and locally grown produce.


Along I-95:

NewBrook Kitchen & Artisan Market (37 Saugatuck Ave., Westport, (203) 557-6087). If you’re traveling along I-95 North, your first celiac-safe stop is in Westport, where NewBrook Kitchen, a 100% gluten-free and paleo café churns out amazing meals for dining in or to go. You can also pick up desserts, snacks, and other items from local artisans.

Izzi B’s Allergen-Friendly Bakery (22 Knight St., Norwalk, (203) 810-4378). If you’re in the mood for a treat, Izzi B’s Allergen Free Bakery comes up next on 95 North in Norwalk. They are dedicated gluten-free and top eight allergen-free as well. Check their website and place your order prior to arriving if possible, or call to see what they have in stock that day. They do not have a formal storefront, so you’ll be picking up your treats right in the kitchen!

Still Delicious Bakery (13 Boston Post Rd., Westbrook, (860) 552-4662). As you proceed north on  along the coast, you’ll eventually arrive in Westbrook, where Still Delicious cranks out amazing breads, bagels, and treats. Even if you’re not hungry, you must stop in and pick up one of their chocolate chip cookie lava cakes. We dare you to buy just one.

Shayna B’s By the Sea (247 Main St., Old Saybrook, (860) 339-3144). Continuing north, you’ll eventually hit Old Saybrook, where Shayna B’s by the Sea is located. You’ll find her dedicated gluten-free and dairy-free eatery right on Main Street where you can grab sandwiches, calzones, soups baked goods and more.

Along Route 84:

Swoon Gluten Free Bakery (109 Danbury Rd., Ridgefield, (203) 438-4326). If you’re up for a little detour, Swoon just might be the cutest bakery we’ve ever seen. Just swing south from Danbury to their adorably tiny little shop in Ridgefield. They may be small, but they make incredible treats worth bringing to your holiday hosts or hostesses. They have vegan and dairy-free options as well.

Pure Love Bakery (136 Simsbury Rd. #16, Avon, (860) 409-0302). Tucked away in the beautiful rolling hills of the Farmington Valley is Pure Love Bakery. They’re about 20 minutes off of Route 84, but if you have some extra time, this place is worth the detour. They make pretty much everything – breads, rolls, English muffins, cookies, cakes, brownies –  anything your little gluten-free heart desires. They always have fun stuff in their front case, but if you’re looking for something in particular, call ahead and place a special order. Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a bag of the best gluten-free granola around!

Nature’s Grocer (81 East St., Vernon, (860) 870-0020). After you pass through Hartford and approach the border with Massachusetts, you’ll pass through Vernon, which is home to one of our all-time favorite spots, Nature’s Grocer. Their dedicated café makes all sorts of sandwiches, paninis, wraps, soups, pizzas, calzones and more, which you can eat in their adorable dining area or take to go (vegan cheese available). They also make an enormous number of baked goods, many of which are vegan as well. 

Along 91 North:

The Sweet Beet (498 Salmon Brook St., Granby, (860) 653-2338). If you’re traveling on 91 North through Connecticut, don’t miss The Sweet Beet in Granby. It’s a bit off the beet-en path, but if you’re gluten free and vegan, it’s worth every beautiful mile. They have cases full of prepared foods and they’ll make sandwiches to go. They also have soups and amazing desserts.

Friday, December 8, 2017

News & Notes: December 8, 2017

California Pizza Kitchen is planning an early 2018 roll-out of a gluten-free cauliflower crust at all of its U.S. restaurants. The cauliflower crust, which debuted late last month at several southern California locations, can be substituted for the standard gluten-free crust used in all four of CPK's certified-gluten-free pizzas: Margherita, BBQ Chicken, Pepperoni, and Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage. The new crust is an additional $2.50.

All but two items (tequeños (cheese-sticks appetizer) and tres leches cake) are gluten free at TartAreperia 18.64, a Venezeulan BYOB in Philly's Fishtown section (1204 N. Front St., 215-982-1150). That includes arepas, empanadas and fried plantains. The tequeños are fried in a separate fryer.

The corn flour empanadas at Lima Fusion (at the new Ferry Market) in New Hope (32 S. Main St., 267-644-8655) are also gluten free and prepared separately. Most other items on the menu are gluten free, as marked on the menu. As mentioned here in October, Ferry Market is the home of a new location for The Happy Mixer gluten-free bakery.

The arepas at Pala'a in Ardmore (18 W. Lancaster Ave., 484-413-2392) are gluten-free, though the empanadas and corn chips are fried in a shared fryer. (Thanks to reader Kristen S.)

At the Brazilian Churrascaria Saudades in Newark, Delaware (230 E. Main St., 302-355-5551), all meats except the chicken legs are gluten free, as are many sides and salad items.