Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Celebrate the Arts with Beyond Celiac

Join Beyond Celiac at a gala event on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Kimmel Center featuring the Philadelphia debut of acclaimed operatic tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz.

Highlights of this special evening will include a completely gluten-free cocktail reception and seated dinner by Garces Events in the Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden followed by a solo concert by Arturo in the Kimmel’s Perelman Theater.

Funds raised through this special event will benefit the organization's efforts to advance research for Celiac Disease, including the funding of grants to scientists focused on unlocking the secrets of this serious genetic autoimmune disorder.

Beyond Celiac has partnered with Chacón-Cruz to raise awareness of this serious genetic autoimmune condition and to generate support for research for treatments and a cure. Arturo, his son and his mother have all been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. And in pursuit of a brighter future for his family – and everyone dealing with this serious autoimmune disease – he has signed on to be the official spokesman of Beyond Celiac.

Arturo is featured in a video describing the challenges of living with Celiac Disease and his decision to support Beyond Celiac.

A native of Sonora, Mexico, Chacón-Cruz has performed over 50 roles – such as Cavaradossi in Tosca – in theaters across the globe, from La Scala in Milan to Carnegie Hall in New York. An acclaimed performer, Arturo has a wide repertoire and has won a number of honors and awards. He shares a long and important relationship with two of the reigning opera singers of the day, Plácido Domingo and Ramón Vargas. Since discovering Chacón-Cruz in 2000, Plácido Domingo has remained his friend and mentor, and the two have shared the operatic stage and concert platform many times.

The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets for the concert and the concert/dinner package are now available. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

News & Notes: August 9, 2019

If you follow Gluten Free Philly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you know that Philly's own Wawa convenience store chain is testing two new gluten-free products: a Canadian bacon, egg & cheese muffin and a turkey & cheese hoagie. The test, which runs through September 1, is being conducted at six Pennsylvania locations:
  • 1195 Pottstown Pike, West Chester
  • 1501 West Chester Pike, West Chester
  • 1010 West Chester Pike, West Chester
  • 3604 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
  • 1190 Market St., Philadelphia
  • 150 S. Independence Mall W., Philadelphia
The products are made by a third party in a certified gluten-free facility. It comes in to stores frozen and individually bagged. Wawa associates heat it up directly in the bag.without opening it (similar to Starbucks' protocol for warming the now-discontinued gluten-free breakfast sandwich). Associates are also instructed that if the customer asks for any additional condiments on the side, they need to communicate that there will be cross contamination and they cannot eliminate the risk that gluten will be present. There are no further plans now for expanding or continuing the test, but the company's Product Development team will regroup after the test is complete to discuss next steps.

So how do they taste? From the comments to my recent social media posts, the breakfast sandwich seems to be the better of the two options, a sentiment shared by our contributor Sara, who took the pictures above. In particular, the hoagie that's served was not as appetizing as it appears in the promotional photo. One the plus side, she thought the price point ($4-$5) was reasonable.

At South Philly Barbacoa in the Italian Market (1140 S. 9th St., 215-360-5282), all menu options except for the apple cake are gluten free.

Reader Laura S. let me know that the Salty Mermaid Bar & Grille in North Wildwood (2507 Delaware Ave., 609-600-6125) preps gluten-free chicken tenders and fries in a dedicated fryer, and also offers flatbreads, pasta, burger buns and Redbridge beer.

Baltimore Gluten Free posted about her recent Jersey Shore vacation, and mentioned two new-to-me options. Pure Juice + Kitchen in Stone Harbor (9821 3rd Ave., 609-741-7226) has smoothies, juices, bowls, avocado and nut butter toasts. Eat Clean Org is a gluten-free meal prep company that has pick-up locations at, and delivery to, many shore points. The menu changes weekly.

Brigantine Bistro (3015 Brigantine Blvd., 609-264-5050) has gluten-free options for breakfast like omelets, pancakes and French toast as well as sandwiches at lunch. The kitchen uses a separate toaster and grill.

Calfornia Pizza Kitchen, which recently closed its Cherry Hill location but opened a location at Philadelphia International Airport (Concourse E), is offering take-and-bake certified-gluten-free cauliflower pizza at all non-airport outposts.

A new Red Lobster-branded gluten-free cheddar biscuit mix is now available at Walmart stores nationwide, though the product has been spotted at other markets such as Wegmans.

Wegmans has changed over its store-branded gluten-free pizzas from a rice flour crust to a cauliflower crust. All are priced less than $7.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always 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 30, 2019

CDF Turkey Trot 5K Slated for November 2 in Princeton Area

The Celiac Disease Foundation is hosting the 1st Princeton Turkey Trot 5K at the Cherry Valley Country Club in Skillman, New Jersey on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Check-in opens at 8 a.m. with the race starting at 9 a.m.

Each participant will receive a Team Gluten-Free event t-shirt and post-race gluten-free snacks.
The 5K fun run/walk will take place rain or shine, and medals will be given out to the top fundraisers. Early-bird registration is available now through October 13, 2019.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hall and Hearty

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. Opening last fall, The Bourse Food Hall (111 S. Independence Mall E.) features more than 20 food and beverage tenants, including many with gluten-free selections. The current list includes:

  • LALO: A fast-casual concept with a focus on Filipino comfort food, LALO offers two celiac-safe options: breakfast staple longsilog (sausage with garlic rice and fried egg) and leche flan.
  • 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.
  • Rebel Taco: A Mexican taco purveyor from D.C.-based Social Restaurant Group, Rebel Taco serves tacos made with gluten-free tortillas.
  • Prescription Chicken: The first brick-and-mortar location for this acclaimed D.C.-area soup purveyor offers its signature made-to-order chicken-based soups. All broths are gluten free and they even have gluten-free matzoh balls.
  • 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.
  • 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. The lines hold hard cider and mead, kegged cocktails, red and white wines, kombucha and locally made hard seltzer.
  • Bluebird Distilling: Full-scale craft cocktail bar featuring Bluebird Spirits.  
  • Scoop DeVille: A Philadelphia institution since 1989, Scoop DeVille offers several gluten-free ice cream and yogurt flavors and dozens of toppings.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

XIII Marks the Spot

By Sara Blank

The tasting room at Original 13 Ciderworks (1526 N American St., 215-765-7000) brings a splash of life to the otherwise industrial area of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, not too far from Fishtown. While their signature line of dry Sir Charles ciders has been popular in area bars since 2015, in half that time the tasting room has become an innovative yet hidden gem for the gluten-free community and cider lovers alike.

Port Richmond Hash at Original XIII Ciderworks
I visited Original 13 for the first time after attending the Pour the Core cider festival in 2017, when I learned about the new tasting room, and was amazed by the extent of gluten-free options on the menu. When I returned recently, I found this to be truer than ever. Outside, the umbrella-covered seating area sits on a surprisingly quiet street, making it the ideal brunch spot for a summer day. The inside of the restaurant offers a spacious table seating area and a wrap-around bar. With industrial chic décor, relaxing low lighting, and an entire wall of board games to choose from, Original 13 lends itself to both family-friendly daytime crowds as well as romantic evenings.

As I’m unable to join in on the fun of tastings at breweries, I was excited to enjoy my first-ever cider flight during my first visit. This time around, I enjoyed the flight at brunch, which boasts generous pours of six hallmark ciders. The ciders range in flavor (deep blueberry, strawberry, bone dry and original among them), but all of them maintain a signature dryness that makes it easy to enjoy several beverages without being overwhelmed by too much sweetness.

While the food options are delicious and adventurous (not at all pedestrian brunch options), admittedly we were there mostly to enjoy the adult beverages. Still, we enjoyed a Port Richmond Hash, prepared with kielbasa, eggs, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onions and peppers. Across both the lunch and brunch menus, many items are denoted as with a “GF” symbol, even pancakes and fries. The staff explained that not only do separate preparation areas ensure gluten-free safety, but also that gluten-containing items do not go in the fryer to avoid any cross-contamination.

Original XIII's lunch menu

Original XIII's brunch menu
I would highly recommend Original 13 as a brunch spot with friends or an off-the-beaten-path date spot, perfect for relaxing and spending long stretches of time enjoying both food and drink. Since the restaurant’s online menu is not always updated, I took photos of both menus to plan ahead for my next visit. With an illustrious history rooted in the heart of Philadelphia—Original 13 is the first cidery in the city—I look forward to them helping to maintain the popularity of ciders throughout the region.