Friday, April 13, 2018

News & Notes: April 13, 2018

Trader Joe's has a new gluten-free cereal on the shelf: Crunchy Maple Ladders. It's likely that the product is made by Australia's Freedom Foods, as the ingredient label pairs closely to the latter's Maple Crunch cereal.

Sweet Loren's is expanding its line of gluten-free place-and-bake cookies to include Sugar, Fudgy Brownie and Oatmeal Cranberry, joining original Chocolate Chunk.The gluten-free varieties are manufactured in a dedicated facility. The company is offering a $1-off coupon at its website.

Two of the four new LoveTheWild microwaveable seafood bowls coming this fall to Whole Foods, Wegmans and Target are gluten free. The Hawaiian Style Tropical Bowl and Baja Style Taco Bowl both feature barramundi, also known as Asian sea bass.

Among the new products added to SeaPak's Selections line is a gluten-free Thai Coconut Shrimp soup, available at select Walmart stores nationwide.

After reading Tuesday's post about the new gluten-free stand at Citizens Bank Park, many readers commented via email and Facebook that they were less than impressed with the changes they encountered while attending games during the Phillies' recent home stand. I shared these views with Aramark and the company has decided to bring back the concourse-level stand-alone cart with dedicated prep area. Stay tuned for the new location and menu options, along with a look at gluten-free options at MLB ballparks around the country.

Most of the menu at Oink & Moo BBQ in Voorhees (910 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd., 856-282-7630) is gluten free. Safe options include all meats (brisket, pulled pork, chicken, wings and ribs) and sauces, tacos on corn tortillas, assorted sides (cole slaw, greens, baked beans, black bean salad, potato salad and sweet potato) and chili. There's currently a Groupon offer for Oink & Moo: $10 for $20 worth of food. (Disclosure: I get a small commission for purchase as a Groupon affiliate.)

At Andale Latino Grill in Marlton (1041 Rt. 73 N.,609-535-3000) and Feasterville (144 E. Street Rd., 215-494-9505), the only non-gluten-free protein is the fried tilapia. Otherwise, gluten-free options include all bowls, tacos on corn tortillas, patacones and arepa sandwiches, and all sides (including chips and empanadas).

Snap Custom Pizza, which offers personalized gluten-free pizzas prepared separately from their traditional counterparts, is now open in Bala Cynwyd (35 E. City Ave., 484-270-8636).

DiBartolo Bakery in Collingswood (667 Haddon Ave., 856-869-3565) can bake gluten-free cakes, from strawberry shortcakes to Italian rum cakes to wedding cakes. Gluten-free cake layers are made first thing in the morning before traditional cakes and are assembled in a flourless area of the shop. All equipment and utensils are washed before gluten-free orders are made.

Sprouts Farmers Market is coming to Philadelphia this fall with a location at 1000 S. Broad St. in the new Lincoln Square development.

According to, Shake Shack is opening a third Philadelphia storefront later this year at 1132 Chestnut St. at the former Philly Cupcake location. The New York-based better-burger chain has gluten-free burger buns.

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!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Eating Gluten Free at Citizens Bank Park

Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies, has added a number of new features for the 2018 Major League Baseball season, including a wiffle ball field for kids. One new concept from last year, Zoom Food, is where gluten-free options can now be found. Zoom Food, located in Section 126, has a Wawa-style touch-screen ordering system. Gluten-free options at Zoom include cheesesteaks, hot dogs, pizza, chicken tenders, soft pretzels, brownies, cookies, chips, peanuts and Redbridge beer. Additional options will be added throughout the season.

In addition, gluten-free Cobb salads, loaded nachos, vegetarian chili and brownies are now available at Harry the K's, while the Ashburn Alley Chickie's & Pete's Crabfries stand prepares only fries in dedicated fryers. There are several Rita's stands throughout the ballpark serving gluten-free water ice (Sections 106, 116, 132, 208, 220, 316 and Ashburn Alley), and Redbridge beer, Stella Cidre hard cider and Spiked Seltzer are available at various stands, including at Brewerytown (Sections 113, 139, 204, 209, 318, 323, 229).

UPDATED 4/12/18: Due to popular demand, the dedicated stand has returned as a dedicated portable cart on the concourse level (Sections 125/126).

Friday, March 30, 2018

News & Notes: March 30, 2018

Grainful has reformulated its frozen entrées by incorporating a new gluten-free grain blend of whole oats, quinoa and sorghum and layering on more vegetables, proteins, and sauces. Grainful also transitioned to using a bowl in the packaging. They come in eight varieties, including Tuscan Bean & Kale, Unstuffed Pepper, Vegetarian Chili and Porcini Mushroom Chicken. The revamped products have already started hitting shelves at leading retailers across the nation including Wegmans, ShopRite, Safeway, HEB, Giant Eagle and Whole Foods. The entrées will also be available for purchase online on the Grainful online store and at this month.

Nona Lim’s new instant noodle bowls come in three non-GMO, gluten-free varieties: Thai Coconut Lime, Chicken Pho and a vegan Green Curry. Each 14.5-ounce bowl is cold-shipped for freshness and sold in the refrigerated aisle for a suggested retail price of $6.99.

Kidfresh will introduce its first gluten-free product, a new White Mac 'n Cheese, later this spring. Kidfresh offers a line of children's favorites enriched with hidden vegetables and without any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The line of frozen meals is nationally distributed and available in over 10,000 stores.

Truly Spiked & Sparkling has debuted its newest gluten-free alcoholic sparkling water: Truly Wild Berry, with a hint of natural juiciness and sweetness from California strawberries, raspberries and Marion blackberries. Truly Wild Berry will be sold in six-packs and featured in a new Berry Variety Pack with two other exclusive flavors, Blueberry & Acai and Raspberry & Lime, along with Pomegranate.

Locally, Bridget's Steakhouse in Ambler (8 W. Butler Pike, 267-465-2000) notes gluten-free options on its dinner menu, as does the refreshed Bar 1929 at Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill (300 E. Evesham Rd., 856-439-4300).

Not only is the all-gluten-free Real Food Eatery planning to open a second Center City location this spring at 1700 Market St., one in the Fairmount section (4040 City Ave.) is coming soon.

Chickie's & Pete's opened its newest sports bar this week in Marlton (25 Rt. 73 S., 856-452-5126). The bone-in wings and Crabfries are gluten free, prepared in separate fryers from breaded items.

Pasta Pomodoro, the longtime gluten-free-friendly Italian restaurant in Voorhees, has lost its lease. Elsewhere, the Rittenhouse Square outpost of grilled-cheese and shake purveyor MilkHouse has closed, but it's business as usual at the Suburban Station and 30th Street Station locations.

Have a great holiday 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!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Raising the Steaks

Butcher and Singer is located at a one-time financial brokerage
Restaurateur Stephen Starr has Philadelphia's gluten-free dining scene covered. For Asian, Buddakan, Pod and Morimoto check that box. For Mexican, there's El Rey. Latin? Alma de Cuba. But how does he handle the classic American steakhouse? Quite well, I can report.

At a recent media dine, my wife and I had the opportunity to enjoy a lovely dinner at Butcher and Singer near Rittenhouse Square (1500 Walnut St., 215-732-4444). The restaurant, named for a former financial brokerage there, is located in the former home of the famed Striped Bass seafood restaurant. With its high ceilings and dim lights, the dining room has the look and feel of a 1940s-style clubhouse. 

Most of the traditional menu carries over to the gluten-free version, with a few exceptions. For starters, I ordered the maple bourbon bacon ($12), a thick slab of Nueske's pork that pulled apart like ribs. My wife's wedge salad ($13) was sprinkled with bacon bits and crumbled blue cheese.

I'm sure it offends the purists, but we enjoy our steaks well done, and the perfectly charred filet mignon ($42) did not disappoint. (The fact that they steaks were marinated in butter didn't hurt either.) My wife opted to get hers Oscar-style, with jumbo lump crab meat on asparagus on top and Bearnaise sauce alongside.

The beef was rivaled, however, by the stuffed hash browns we shared as a side, which, unlike the French fries, don't go in a shared fryer. The pan-fried shredded potatoes ($15) are loaded with Vidalia onion strings, sour cream and even more (cubed) spuds. The salty, savory dish was a worthy accompaniment to our main course.

Despite our best efforts, we couldn't resist the sweet siren call of dessert; we substituted vanilla ice cream for butter pecan in the butterscotch sundae ($7). The kitchen omitted the blondie square from the glass to keep it gluten free.

The drinks menu has a variety of wines and spirits, and even a Green's gluten-free amber ale ($22).

Like those in Chicago, Atlanta and other major cities, steakhouses in Philadelphia have their own styles; Butcher and Singer is classy without being stuffy. Ambience aside, though, it's the food that guests are going for, and it's the food that will bring us back to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion.

DISCLOSURE: Starr Restaurants provided us with a complimentary meal. However, the opinions expressed in this review are mine and were not influenced in any way by the compensation.

Friday, March 16, 2018

News & Notes: March 16, 2018

Before digging in to the news of the day, I want to thank all of my readers - new and old - for supporting my passion in publishing this blog. Yesterday marked the 9th anniversary of my first post, which was a simple "Welcome." Since then, the gluten-free world has grown tremendously. It's so much easier now for my son to eat gluten free, whether in the kitchen or out of the house, than it was when I first started this endeavor. Though we've made much progress, our voices must continue to be heard.

Last week's Expo West gourmet and healthy foods trade show brought word of a number of new gluten-free products that are just out or will be soon. For starters, you can pretend you're back in college with Lotus Foods' rice ramen noodle soup. Organic brown rice noodles are blended with vegetables and spices to create three certified-gluten-free varieties: Masala Curry, Tom Yum and Spicy Miso.

Bobo's is adding to its line of gluten-free snacks with TOAST’R pastries, baked oat crusts filled with jams and nut butter. TOAST’R will launch nationally starting at Whole Foods Market in May.  Each box will retail at $2.49 and will come in four flavors: Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed, Strawberry Jam, Chocolate Almond Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Bobo's products are certified gluten free by the GFCO.

Quinn Snacks announced two new additions to its gluten-free pretzel line, Maple Oat Twists and Deli Rye Style Pretzel Rods. All Quinn pretzels use Kansas-grown sorghum flour.

Birch Benders is launching of a new line of frozen toaster waffles in four flavors, including a gluten-free Paleo variety made in Belgium.