Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gluten Free Philly News and Notes

I'll start off by mentioning that a commenter to a March post wrote that the gluten-free soft pretzels made by Dutch Country Soft Pretzels, one of the companies I listed, were comparable to those made with wheat. I finally got around to ordering a batch on Tuesday, and the shipment arrived overnight. The pretzels really are great! I ordered eight pretzels, which cost $11.99. The pretzels come from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, wrapped and bagged, along with salt packets. Although the company's website recommends shipping via next-day air or second-day air, UPS Ground delivery (the least expensive option) runs around $9 for most, if not all, locations in the Delaware Valley and will probably arrive one or two business days after ordering. A company employee told me that gluten-free pretzels are made on days when the equipment is not being used for wheat pretzels, and that the machines are thoroughly cleaned prior to making the gluten-free variety.

I've added a couple eateries in Mercer County, New Jersey to my list of gluten-free friendly restaurants. The Blue Bottle Cafe is a New American BYO in Hopewell, New Jersey that always has gluten-free options on its seasonal menu. There's a recent review of the place on Graziella Ristorante in Hamilton, New Jersey now serves gluten-free pasta. Also new to the list are three restaurants in Pennsylvania: Doylestown's Café Alessio, which serves gluten-free pizza and pasta; Horizons, offering New Vegan cuisine in Philadelphia; and Matyson, a Continental BYO also in Philadelphia.

Reader Amanda let me know that Jules Thin Crust, which serves delicious gluten-free pizza, just opened its third location in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania. Online ordering is available for the Jenkintown location as well as for the spots in Doylestown and Newtown, Pennsylvania.

Thanks to reader Sheli for details on the gluten-free fare at The Pop Shop in Collingswood, New Jersey. The Pop Shop's gluten-free bread is purchased from a gluten-free bakery and can be used for sandwiches or toasted as a side order. Most of the egg dishes and salads are gluten free. The grilled gluten-free items are prepared on a separate cooktop using specially-labeled utensils to avoid cross-contamination. In addition, the chocolate, chocolate marshmallow, vanilla, peanut butter swirl, soy vanilla and soy chocolate ice creams are safe for celiacs.

Stefano's Ristorante Italiano in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey is now a participant in the GREAT restaurant awareness program sponsored by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The restaurant's off-site catering business, Balsamo Catering, also is part of the program.

Coming up next week - on June 15 - is the NFCA's Monday Meet-Up at Joe Palombo's Mirabella Cafe in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Here's the menu:


Pan Seared U-10 Day-boat Sea Scallops (Barnegat Light) served over sautéed baby leaf spinach, topped with a light red bell pepper vinaigrette ... $13.95


Mozzarella Caprese
Our own homemade mozzarella "made fresh every day" and tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil ...$6.99

Fresh Poached Pear Salad
Candied pecans and crumbled blue cheese salad with pear vinaigrette, dried figs and sliced fennel over baby greens ... $8.99


Our gluten-free pastas are made with a blend of rice, potato, cornstarch, and Tapioca Dextrin (All natural, Non-GMO)

Gluten-Free Spinach Ravioli (Appetizer $9.00 / Entrée $19.00)

Butternut Squash in a Fresh Sage and brown butter sauce (Appetizer $9.00 / Entrée $19.00)

Shrimp & Scallop Tomasso $24.99

Shrimp, Scallops, and Crabmeat with Shitake Mushrooms and chopped tomatoes in a light white wine sauce over gluten-free linguine


Roast Tenderloin of Beef served with mashed potato and green beans topped with a blackberry-balsamic glaze $27.95

Sustainable Fish Duo Plate $27.99

Pan seared Hiramasa (Japanese Yellowtail, Australia) Sautéed julienne vegetables, light lemon citronette

Baramundi (Australian Seabass, Australia) Caramelized fennel & white beans, smoked tomato vinaigrette

Pollo Capricio $19.99
Chicken Breast sautéed with artichoke & asparagus in a white wine sauce


Fresh “Jersey” Strawberries & Homemade Chocolate Mousse $5.00

Trio of Homemade Italian Gelato $4.50

Spice of Life, a gluten-free bakery out of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, now takes pre-orders on its website (at a 15 percent discount) for pickup at three local farmers' markets. The company's breads, rolls, cookies and pastries are available every Saturday at the markets in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square (at Walnut Street, west of 18th Street) and Headhouse Square (2nd and Lombard streets). Thanks to reader Monica for the heads-up.

A new shop serving gluten-free frozen yogurt - or as people younger than me say, "froyo" - has opened in Center City Philadelphia. Sweet Ending, at 18th and Chestnut streets, serves up to 11 different flavors of nonfat tart-style yogurt from self-serve machines. The fruit-flavored yogurts can be topped off with many gluten-free toppings, from fresh fruit to chocolate chips. The yogurt costs 49 cents an ounce. Store hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Simply Organic has introduced two new gluten-free dessert mixes: Cocoa Cayenne Cupcakes and Honeypot Ginger Cookies. These products are additions to the company's line of gluten-free baking mixes, which are available at area Wegmans markets. The company's other varieties are Banana Bread, Chai Spice Scone, Carrot Cake and Cocoa Biscotti.

As always, please feel free to write me at gfphilly[at]gmail[dot]com with tips on upcoming events, new products, or restaurants and bakeries serving gluten-free foods. Have a great weekend!
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