Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2009 in Review

During this inaugural year of Gluten Free Philly, the many gluten-free products, restaurants and events I featured acknowledged the ever-increasing awareness of gluten intolerance. In this year-end recap, I’ll look back at the interesting developments in the gluten-free world for 2009.

In March, I reported that General Mills was introducing varieties of gluten-free Chex cereals and Betty Crocker dessert mixes. I also wrote about gluten-free soft pretzels, Conte’s Pasta’s gluten-free pizza and pasta products, Still Riding pizza, and the many gluten-free products – including chow mein noodles – that were available for Passover. The Tortilla Press, a Mexican BYOB in Collingswood, New Jersey that offers gluten-free menu items, was the subject of my first restaurant review. At the end of the month, I shared the news that the Phillies would be serving gluten-free hot dogs at all home games at Citizens Bank Park.

I started my April posts writing about gluten-free food items found in supermarket freezers - breakfast options like ready-made pancakes and egg sandwiches as well as lunch and dinner entrée choices. The month also brought short-lived excitement with the news that Starbucks would be introducing a gluten-free orange muffin. Unfortunately, the coffee chain would discontinue the product a few months later.

Cheese seemed to be the theme of my May posts, as I wrote about gluten-free cheesecakes from Moondance, the fondue dinner my family and I had at The Melting Pot in Center City Philadelphia, and the gluten-free pizza we ate during a Memorial Day weekend trip to New York City.

I reviewed P.F. Chang’s China Bistro’s gluten-free options in June, a month when I also wrote about gluten-free ice cream sandwiches, “naked” chicken nuggets, gluten-free beer on tap from Dock Street Brewery, Caesar’s Pasta frozen Italian entrees, and more celiac-friendly General Mills cereals.

I started July off blogging about my family's road trip to the Washington, D.C. area, which has a number of gluten-free-friendly restaurants. I also wrote about the many options available at HersheyPark and nearby eateries in Hershey, Pennsylvania, as well as those near Eagles training camp in Bethlehem. Closer to home is Pasta Pomodoro in Voorhees, New Jersey, which I mentioned in another post. The Italian restaurant offers one of most comprehensive gluten-free menus in the Delaware Valley. On the product front, I reviewed Bella Monica’s gourmet gluten-free flatbread pizza and Glutenfreeda’s bake-at-home cookies, oatmeal and burritos.

I reviewed locally produced gluten-free pizzelle from Dee Tees’, fruit drinks from Froose, beef pot pies from Twin Hens, and choices at regional restaurant chain Iron Hill Brewery in August. I also broke the news that month that the Eagles would be offering gluten-free concessions at the team’s home games during the 2009 season. My family hit the road again - this time to Boston - where my older son ate a hamburger on a gluten-free bun at Burton’s Grill. He also contributed to Gluten Free Philly, writing about his week-long experience at Camp Celiac in Rhode Island.

Back to school in September and for me that meant making the kids’ lunches. I wrote about two companies offering gluten-free breads, French Meadow and Udi’s. Both the French Meadow tortillas and Udi’s white sandwich bread have become staples in our house. Other products I profiled were New Harvest Naturals’ gluten-free meatballs, pound cakes and oat muffins, Turtle Mountain’s non-dairy desserts, and GoPicnic’s shelf-stable meals. I also blogged about Sweet Christine’s Gluten-Free Bakery in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.

In October, I recapped the prior month’s Appetite for Awareness and Gluten-Free Cooking Spree at the Wachovia Center, the home of the Flyers and Sixers. Attendees of the team’s home games and other events at the arena can find gluten-free hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and beer. I reviewed Pei Wei Asian Diner’s gluten-free choices, which can be ordered online for pickup. On the gluten-free product front, I wrote about a variety of hard ciders and Le Veneziane imported Italian corn pasta.

Locally produced KōV non-dairy desserts, Sorella Bakery biscotti and Dietz & Watson cold cuts were products I wrote about in November, when I also posted a roundup of regional bed and breakfast inns serving gluten-free meals. I also reviewed Sazon, a Venezuelan restaurant in Philadelphia that offers many gluten-free choices, including sandwiches made on masa flour bread.

With Christmas approaching, I mentioned Giambri’s, a Clementon, New Jersey candy shop that sells gluten-free holiday chocolates in December. I also wrote about a new Main Line-based meal preparation service, Cathy’s Kitchen, which makes gluten-free meals that can be delivered in Philadelphia and its western suburbs. For vacationers to Clearwater, Florida – the Spring Training home of the Phillies – the city and the surrounding area have many gluten-free-friendly restaurants, bakeries and stores, as I posted this month. Gluten-free New York bagels from Joan’s GF Great Bakes and a review of Lolita, a modern Mexican restaurant in Philadelphia rounded out my posts at month’s end.

Sprinkled throughout the year were my News & Notes posts, in which I shared information on new products and gluten-free-friendly restaurants, bakeries, caterers and markets, and Goodies Giveaways that provided Gluten Free Philly readers a chance to win lots of gluten-free-related prizes.

Drop me a line to let me know if there’s a restaurant, product or other topic you’d think would worthy of a posting on Gluten Free Philly in the coming year. Have a happy and healthy 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009

News & Notes

UPDATE (12/18/09): The Purely Elizabeth demo at Essene has been rescheduled for January 2, 2010 due to the anticipated snowstorm expected in the Delaware Valley this weekend.

After posting Monday's review of gluten-free bagels from Joan's GF Great Bakes, I heard from Joan herself. She posted a comment correcting my original statement that the bagels are partially baked. Rather, she wrote, they are boiled just like bagels made with wheat. Based on my experience burning a couple bagels early on, Joan recommended that I turn down the oven heat and omit the cooking spray I used to grease the pan. With a bit more time to make breakfast over the upcoming school break for the kids, I'm going to try these suggestions.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, I reviewed Philadelphia's modern Mexican restaurant Lolita, where my family enjoyed an excellent gluten-free meal served by a knowledgeable waitstaff.

Elements, an modern American restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey (163 Bayard Lane, 609-924-0078) can accommodate gluten-free diners, while Leonardo's II Mediterranean Grill in Lawrenceville, New Jersey (2021 Route 1, 609-396-4466) has gluten-free penne on its Italian menu. Thanks to members of the Mercer County Celiac Support Group for the information on these two restaurants.

Seafooder Blackfish, in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania (119 Fayette Street, 610-397-0888) and in Stone Harbor, New Jersey (9628 Third Avenue, 609-967-9100), are gluten-free-friendly. Chef/owner Chip Roman's efforts to accommodate gluten-free diners are reported in an article on posted earlier this year.

Reader Julie emailed me about her successful gluten free dining experiences at Vietnamese-French fusion restaurant BasilLeaf (2808 South Eagle Road, 215-968-7505).

Gluten-free-friendly Philadelphia eateries participating in Center City District Restaurant Week on January 17-22 and 24-29, 2010 include Amada, Bindi, The Capital Grille, Chifa, City Tavern, Davio's, La Fontana Della Citta, Lolita, The Melting Pot, Noble, Morton's, The Palm, Rouge, Roy's, Time, Tinto, Xochitl and Zahav. Links to all of these restaurants are posted at the Gluten Free Philly restaurant compilation.

Back in September, I wrote about the awesome white sandwich bread and muffins from Udi's Gluten Free Foods. I'm pleased to report that Gluten Free Dynasty/Water to Go in Pennsauken, New Jersey received its first shipment of Udi's White Sandwich and Whole Grain breads ($5.79) and the Lemon Streusel and Blueberry muffins ($6.79) yesterday. Get them while you can - I doubt you'll be disappointed!

Through December 22, 10-ounce boxes of gluten-free battered halibut, cod and haddock from Starfish brand are on sale at area Whole Foods Markets at $4.99 to $7.99 each. The products, regularly $7.99 to $8.99 each, are located in the Frozen Seafood sections of the stores.

Sunstart Bakery makes several varieties of gluten-free cookies imported from Northern Ireland. I've found its products hit-or-miss, but the company's new Rocky Road Gluten-Free Bars look tempting. A chocolate biscuit is topped with milk chocolate, mini marshmallows and cherries. Strangely, though, there are no nuts in the recipe. Sunstart's products are available online at the Gluten-Free Mall, and at local stores.

ShopRite markets in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware carry new gluten-free Risotto Chips from New York Style, made with arborio and whole-grain brown rice. The varieties include Sea Salt, Spicy Marinara and Parmesan & Roasted Garlic. ShopRite also stocks Buffalo Nickel Wingers, chicken-wing shaped potato snacks that come in five levels of spiciness. The Wingers also are sold online at

Last week, I mentioned that Purely Elizabeth's gluten-free muffin and pancake mixes are now available at Philadelphia's Essene Market. Owner Elizabeth Stein emailed to tell me that she will be offering samples of her muffins and hot-off-the-griddle pancakes at Essene tomorrow, December 19, from noon to 4 p.m.

Also tomorrow, the Sinking Spring/Reading, Pennsylvania chapter of R.O.C.K. will hold its gluten-free cookie exchange from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the West Lawn United Methodist Church, located at 15 Woodside Avenue in West Lawn. Parents and children are welcome. There will be a speaker, games and, of course, gluten-free food. Those who participate in the cookie exchange (baked or store-bought) are eligible to win prizes.

I may be posting sporadically over the next two weeks as Christmas and New Year's Day approach, but will be back regularly after the first of the year. I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and thank you for reading, contributing and helping to make Gluten Free Philly the definitive resource for all things gluten-free in the Delaware Valley.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Mex With Success

Valerie Safran and her partner, chef Marcie Turney, have Philadelphia's Midtown Village neighborhood covered. With Mexican and Indian restaurants, a home goods shop and a grocery on South 13th Street, the pair soon will be extending their domain with Barbuzzo, a Mediterranean eatery on the same block. Their restaurants, Lolita and Bindi, have participated in the area's gluten-free Appetite for Awareness event for the past few years and I had read several rave reviews of both places. Armed with that insight, my wife, kids and I ventured into Center City on a recent Saturday night eager to try the Mexican fare at Lolita (106 South 13th Street, 215-546-7100).

We took a table towards the back of the 60-seat dining room, where diners can peek into the open kitchen. It's always a pleasure to dine out without having to teach the waitstaff a crash course on the gluten-free diet. Our server told us that just about the entire menu was gluten free. The four of us started our meal off with an order of guacamole con totopos mixtos - mashed avocados topped with shredded jicama alongside a basket of corn, plaintain, sweet potato and taro chips.

For the main course, my wife enjoyed the orange-ginger glazed pork carnitas, served with salsa fresca, guacamole and wrapped in homemade soft corn tortillas. I liked the tender three-chile braised boneless shortribs, plated with a smoky bacon-chayote-potato gratin and grilled asparagus.

Both of our boys loved the queso chihuahua enchiladas served with three skewered gulf shrimp, rice, salsa verde and refried beans. My older son's dinner was delayed a few minutes coming out of the kitchen, so the manager came over to offer us a complimentary dessert. We opted for one of the gluten-free choices, and the flourless dark chocolate cake with rum caramel and coconut macaroon we shared was richly sweet.

Since Lolita is BYOB, diners are welcome to bring their own drinks, including tequila for blending margaritas. Guests at the table next to ours shared a pitcher of naranja de sangria, a margarita mix made with blood orange puree. The restaurant is cash-only.

Lolita on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Hole in One

Friends of ours came down from Long Island, New York over Thanksgiving weekend, bringing with them several packages of bagels from Joan’s GF Great Bakes. I had read some rave reviews of Joan’s bagels on several celiac message boards but demurred on buying them locally due to their price - about $9 for a package of five bagels. Our friends picked up four packages of Joan’s frozen plain bagels on sale for $20 at her store in Bellmore, New York. (Other varieties include Everything, Egg Onion Poppy, Sesame, Poppy and Cinnamon Raisin; her bagels can be ordered dairy free as well.)

Unlike our usual gluten-free bagels from Glutino, Joan's versions call for a few minutes more prep because they are par-baked boiled (although they don't need to be toasted). I microwave a single bagel for about one minute, which causes it to expand, then bake it for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 425 degrees until browned. The bagel then has to cool for a few minutes.

With all this effort, I thought, this bagel ought to be good – and it was. So good that when I made two bagels the other morning for my older son intending to use one for his lunch, he ended up eating both for breakfast. He prefers these to the Glutino variety but for convenience, I'm not ready to ditch those just yet. The outside of the bagel is crusty, with the appearance of a typical glutenous effort from a neighborhood bagel shop (click on the photos for more detail). A plain bagel is 270 calories.

One baking recommendation: keep a close eye on the bottom of the bagel while baking. I ended up burning a couple because I kept it in the oven too long. I found that using a vented baking pan - one with holes in it that my wife and I typically use for heating gluten-free pizza - cuts down on this possibility. I also spray some Pam on a piece of aluminum foil placed atop the pan.

Joan's baked goods, which also include English muffins, cookies, bread, rolls and pizza crusts, can be ordered through her company's website. Locally, her products are sold in New Jersey at Water to Go in Pennsauken and Mr. Ritt's in Millville.

Friday, December 11, 2009

News & Notes

It's been an exciting week here at Gluten Free Philly, as I have some cool restaurant information to report. First, though, allow me to recap this week's posts. On Monday, I wrote about Cathy's Kitchen, a Main Line-centric meal delivery service that specializes in preparing gluten-free meals. On Wednesday, I posted an article about the many gluten-free-friendly restaurants in the Clearwater, Florida area, the Spring Training home of the Phillies.

The biggest restaurant news of the week is the word that Seasons Pizza, a Delaware-based regional pizza chain, will be carrying gluten-free pizza at its New Jersey locations in Stratford (1014 N. White Horse Pike, 856-783-9333) and Cherry Hill (450 Route 70 East, 856-428-4441). The Stratford location will begin selling the gluten-free pies today, with the Cherry Hill location to follow when it opens later this month. The medium-size pizzas will be shipped ready-made from the stores' distributor to avoid cross-contamination and will be baked using dedicated equipment at the restaurants. Should this limited rollout be successful, other Seasons Pizza locations - including ones in Malvern, Pennsylvania and New Castle County, Delaware - may add gluten-free pizza to their own offerings. If you live or work near those spots, it can't hurt to request it. Is the outpost at Citizens Bank Park a possibility? Who knows - one can dream!

Don't forget about the Still Riding Pizza offer I mentioned last week, whereby you can get $100 for referring to Still Riding a local Italian restaurant or pizzeria that decides to carry the company's gluten-free pizza.

Chef Mark Smith has reopened his Tortilla Press Cantina in Pennsauken, New Jersey (7716 Maple Avenue, 856-356-2050), a sister restaurant to his BYOB in Collingswood. The new restaurant has a dedicated gluten-free fryer.

Diners at the Bellevue Gourmet Food Court in Philadelphia have a gluten-free option. The newly opened Burger Maestro (Broad & Walnut Streets, 215-545-1770) serves burgers and chicken breasts in lettuce wraps and the fries are gluten-free as well. Hat tip to reader Andrew.

Ryan Christopher's, an American BYOB in Narberth, Pennsylvania (245 Woodbine Avenue, 610-664-9282), accommodates gluten-free requests.

The Olive Garden location in Collegeville, Pennsylvania (1 Town Center Drive, 610-831-8814) is now open.

The new Whole Foods Market in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania (500 West Germantown Pike) will open on January 12, 2010.

Custom and novelty gluten-free cakes are available from Imagicakes Bakery in Philadelphia (215-978-5834).

Regina Mason and her excellent gluten-free-friendly Virago Baking Company in Lansdale, Pennsylvania were the subjects of a profile in this week. (Virago cupcakes photo courtesy of Belle Vie Photography.)

New to market are gluten-free animal-shaped cookies from Ian's Natural Foods. The snacks are available for online ordering at, which now sells frozen items from Ian's and Glutino.

Purely Elizabeth gluten-free muffin and pancake mixes, which use whole grains and "superfood" seeds (hemp, flax and chia) are now available at Essene Market in Philadelphia.

Cedarlane's new all-natural egg white omelette varieties (spinach & mushroom, green chile, cheese & ranchero sauce and turkey bacon, vegetable & cheese) are gluten free. The company's products are available at local grocery stores.

That's all for now - have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Boys of Summer . . . in Winter

Updated February 7, 2014:

2014 Spring Training games begin on February 26. The Phillies' home ballpark, Bright House Field, will serve all-beef hot dogs on gluten-free buns (by request), grilled chicken and chips at food stands behind home plate and in left field, while Redbridge beer and hard cider will be available at Beers of the World.

In addition to the ones mentioned below, other gluten-free-friendly restaurants in Clearwater include Clear Sky Beachside Cafe, Joe's Crab Shack, BJ's Brewhouse, Nature's Food Patch and Hooters.

With the Flyers and Sixers in a serious funk and the Eagles hobbled by injuries, the Phillies give Delaware Valley sports fans the best hope for the next championship parade down Broad Street. Pitchers and catcher report to Spring Training in Clearwater, Florida in mid-February 2010.

Many of the Phillies faithful travel every March to Clearwater, where the Phillies have readied for every regular season since 1948. There are multiple daily nonstop flights from Philadelphia to Tampa, the city with the closest major airport to Clearwater about 40 miles to the east. Home games are played at Bright House Field, which opened in 2004. The Phillies’ Grapefruit League games begin on March 4, 2010 with a contest against the New York Yankees, whose Spring Training home is in Tampa.

Lots of gluten-free dining options exist in Clearwater and surrounding cities. In Clearwater and Tampa, there are familiar standbys such as Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse and Olive Garden. In those towns, gluten-free menus also can be found at Columbia Restaurant, a Latin spot, Smokey Bones Bar and Fire Grill, a barbeque joint, and breakfast and lunch eatery First Watch. Also in Clearwater is Peter Gillham’s Nutrition Center, which has a café that serves gluten-free pizza.

In Tampa, you’ll find recognizable gluten-free-friendly places like The Capital Grille, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, LongHorn Steakhouse, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Pei Wei Asian Diner. There’s gluten-free pizza at Boston’s, seafood at Mitchell’s Fish Market, Southern cuisine at Lee Roy Selmon’s, Asian-American at Kona Grill, barbeque at Shane’s Rib Shack, surf and turf at Stonewood Grill & Tavern and baked goods, sandwiches and salads at Viitals.

About five miles north of Clearwater is the town of Dunedin, the Spring Training home of the Toronto Blue Jays. A new organic gluten-free restaurant called Serendipity Café, serving pizza, pasta, sandwiches, wraps and sweets, is set to open there this month. Meanwhile, you can order gluten-free pasta at Joseph's Little Italy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

C is for Cooking

Cathy's Kitchen, a meal preparation and delivery service based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, was born out of Cathy Fishman's love of cooking. She has long enjoyed preparing meals for her family, including her husband who has celiac disease. In October 2009, Cathy set out to share the results of her cooking with others through her new business venture, which focuses on "Nutritious Meals Delivered."

Cathy prepares meals according to customer's specifications and tastes. She starts with a consultation that allows her to create a personalized menu. Many of the items on Cathy's menu are gluten-free by nature, such as fish and chicken dishes with vegetables and rice or potatoes. Cathy's Kitchen uses ingredients like wheat-free tamari when soy sauce is required. For items that use pasta or flour as a thickener, Cathy utilizes gluten-free noodles or flour. Some of her customer favorites include chicken marsala, lemon chicken, grilled halibut, honey-ginger salmon, turkey London broil, and a variety of vegetarian selections like quinoa-stuffed peppers and eggplant rollups.

Cathy is mindful of cross-contamination, reviewing labels and ingredient listings and making sure that cooking equipment that touched gluten is run through the dishwasher before being used for a gluten-free dish.

Customers can eat Cathy's meals fresh on the day they are delivered or freeze them for reheating. Cathy's Kitchen delivers at no charge from Center City Philadelphia to Radnor, with an emphasis on the Main Line east of the Blue Route. Pricing for the meals varies depending on the size and number of meals and side dishes desired. For more information about Cathy's Kitchen, call 610-747-0588 or email Cathy.

Friday, December 4, 2009

News & Notes

I was excited to announce this week the latest Goodies Giveaway - with a twist. Readers have the opportunity to earn $100 for referring a restaurant that opts to carry Still Riding Pizza. The company, which makes gluten-free pizza pies used by pizzerias and Italian eateries throughout the United States, is offering readers a monetary incentive for suggesting restaurants that decide to add Still Riding's pizza to their menus. All the details are in my Monday post. As a result of a reader referral, Genteel's Trattoria, just outside Princeton, New Jersey in the neighboring town of Skillman, has already agreed to carry the pizza. There's definitely a need for gluten-free pizza in Center City Philadelphia, so hopefully someone can get a place there on board!

On Wednesday, I wrote about Giambri’s gluten-free holiday chocolates that can be purchased at the company’s store in Clementon, New Jersey or ordered online.

The big restaurant news this week was Bertucci’s introduction of a gluten-free menu that includes appetizers, entrees and desserts, although no pizza at the moment. Bertucci’s has many locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Ooka, with Pennsylvania locations in Doylestown (110 Veteran's Lane, 215-348-8185), Montgomeryville (764 Bethlehem Pike, 215-361-1119) and Willow Grove (1109 Easton Road, 215-659-7688), can modify most menu items, including sushi, to be gluten free. The restaurants carry wheat-free soy sauce.

Reader Bethann shared information on Stephen Starr’s Parc French bistro on Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia (227 S. 18th Street, 215-545-2262). She told me by email that the restaurant, which uses a separate fryer for its French fries, can accommodate gluten-free diets.

Another reader recommended Cravings Café in Lansdale, Pennsylvania (155 Pennbrook Parkway, 215-855-4500), noting that the chef was knowledgeable on the gluten-free diet and prepared a separate gluten-free sauce upon request.

A commenter wrote that Noble, a modern American restaurant in Philadelphia (2025 Sansom Street, 215-568-7000) was easily able to accommodate both gluten and dairy restrictions.

I added Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s Amaranth Gluten Free Bakery (717-330-4359) to the bakery list, as its products are sold locally at Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square Farmers' Market and Weaver's Way Co-op, Whole Foods in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and Harvest Market in Hockessin, Delaware.

On the grocery shelf at a local ShopRite, I spotted R.W. Garcia tortilla chips that were boldly labeled “gluten free” on the front of the packages. All of the company's products except for the spicy multi-grain chips (oats) are gluten free.

Amy’s Kitchen has introduced organic mini gluten-free chocolate cakes. Thanks to Maureen at Hold the Gluten for the information.

Woodchuck's limited-edition Oak Aged Cider has been released for the holiday season. The beverage has hints of oak and vanilla, and is a bit lighter than the company's other ciders at 150 calories per 12-ounce bottle. The cider should be available through January 2010.

As part of our family's Thanksgiving meal, I made gluten-free biscuit mix from Duinkerken Foods, based in Prince Edward Island, Canada. (I received a sample bag at the Philadelphia Appetite for Awareness event.) The recipe required the addition of half a stick of shortening and some milk and yielded about 15 biscuits. While not flaky like glutenous ones, the biscuits were crusty on the outside and airy inside. I can’t compare these to other brands since we never made gluten-free biscuits before, but I thought these turned out well, with many gluten-consuming guests enjoying them at our holiday dinner. The mixes can be ordered through the company's online store, but shipping to the United States is pricey.

On a recent weekend morning, I made gluten-free pancakes for the family using a different mix for the first time – Betty Crocker gluten-free yellow cake mix. I used a recipe using the mix posted by a blogger for Betty Crocker and it turned out great! They turned out much better (and a bit sweeter) than any other mix I’ve used in the past, reminiscent of crepes although not as thin. The mix is available at (currently $23.84 for a six-pack ($20.26 with Subscribe & Save)) and in many supermarkets.

Also at Amazon, selected Bob's Red Mill products are on sale at 10 percent off when using code BOBSGLFR at checkout. If you place a Subscribe & Save order, you can save another 15 percent. You can support Gluten Free Philly when purchasing your gluten-free groceries, holiday gifts and other items at Amazon. just click through this link; it won't cost you anything extra.

Keep emailing your restaurant news, product finds and events. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sugar Cane

Few things commemorate the start of the Christmas season more than the annual appearance of candy canes in stores. Giambri's Quality Sweets in Clementon, New Jersey (26 Brand Avenue, 856-783-1099) has a number of Christmas candies that are listed on its website as being gluten free. Among them are the company's all-natural peppermint and lemon candy canes and sticks and dark chocolate Santa pops and crosses.

Most of Giambri's handmade hard candies and chocolate products have their ingredients posted online, and the majority are gluten free. According to the company's allergen statement, designated processing lines are not used for gluten-free products, but all machines are wiped and/or washed before making different products. Owner David Giambri told me that his company's candy canes and other hard candies are made in a different part of the building than where products such as chocolate-covered pretzels are manufactured.

Giambri's has a printable in-store coupon posted on its website good for $5 off any purchase of $25 or more. The coupon is good for use through December 31, 2009.