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!
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