Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodies Giveaway 7: "Dough" From Still Riding Pizza

I’ve written about Still Riding Pizza before – it’s unique in offering local pizza parlors a way to serve gluten-free pizzas alongside glutenous ones. Still Riding provides restaurants with gluten-free pizza crusts, dedicated cooking pans and cutters, along with instructions on using separate cheese, sauce and toppings so that the pizzas don’t get contaminated. In southeastern Pennsylvania, Wayne's Main Line Pizza and Roman Delight in Southampton serve Still Riding’s delicious pizza. The entire list of restaurants in the United States offering the company’s pies can be found on Still Riding’s website.

Gluten Free Philly readers have the opportunity to get a local pizza place or Italian restaurant to offer Still Riding pizza and get a $100 bonus for themselves as part of the latest giveaway. For every referral of a restaurant to Still Riding Pizza by a customer that results in a “sale,” the referring customer will receive $100 (or the equivalent value in Still Riding pizza crusts, if he or she prefers).

Here are the details: tell the owner of your local restaurant that you’re interested in having him or her serve gluten-free pizza from Still Riding; print an information sheet to give to the owner. If the owner is interested, the customer should forward the owner’s name, the name of the restaurant, the location and phone number to Still Riding Pizza, and Still Riding will contact the owner directly. Mention “Gluten Free Philly” when calling Still Riding at 203-683-7238 with the information; if you prefer, you can send an e-mail containing the information to the company with “Gluten Free Philly” in the subject line. Either way, be sure to provide Still Riding with your own contact information - name, address, phone number and e-mail address.

As part of the offer, Still Riding will provide the restaurant with its first order of pizza crusts, equipment, instructions and setup, all for free. The company also will take out an advertisement in a local newspaper for the restaurant to share the news about the gluten-free pizza option, also at no charge to the owner. If the owner decides to place a second order with Still Riding, the customer who referred the restaurant to the company will get the $100 bonus.

The offer is open to any customer who refers a restaurant that orders Still Riding Pizza beyond the free offer, but there is only one referral bonus allowed per customer. In the event that more than one customer refers the same restaurant (as determined by Still Riding Pizza), the referral amount will be divided among those customers. Eligible referrals must be made to Still Riding Pizza no later than March 31, 2010; however, Still Riding reserves the right to end the offer on another date of its choosing in its sole discretion. Multiple restaurants with the same owner(s) constitute a single referral. The offer is limited to restaurants operating in the continental United States.

I will announce new additions to the roster of Philadelphia-area restaurants offering Still Riding as they occur, and all new restaurants will be added to the locations on the Still Riding website.

Friday, November 20, 2009

News & Notes

I could scarcely believe my eyes this week when I read the headline of an online press release announcing that Domino's Pizza was introducing gluten-free pizza. My excitement was short-lived, though, because while the headline was technically accurate, the release itself revealed that it is the Domino's outlets in Australia that will be serving celiac-friendly pizzas! It will be interesting to see if the company intends to roll out gluten-free pizzas in North America if successful Down Under.

In news closer to home, I wrote on Monday about bed-and-breakfast inns in the tri-state area that serve gluten-free breakfasts to guests. One commenter to the post wrote that the Speedwell Forge B&B in Lititz, Pennsylvania also offers such meals. On Wednesday, I spotlighted the gluten-free meats and cheeses made by Philadelphia's own Dietz & Watson.

I learned this week that the Cock 'n Bull restaurant at Peddlers Village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania (Route 263 and Street Road, 215-794-4000) has a gluten-free pasta option. While shopping at the Village, you can also buy gluten-free cookies, brownies and specialty cakes from Town Crier Bakery (29 Peddlers Lane, 215-794-9910) and gluten-free peanut brittle, nuts, handmade nut butters and most varieties of Korn Krunches from The Nut Kettle (63 Peddlers Lane, 215-794-8494). Town Crier's gluten-free baked goods are made off-premises by celiacs.

The area's newest P.F. Chang's China Bistro is set to open on November 30 at the Providence Town Center in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Customers can now place take-out orders for all area P.F. Chang's locations at the company's online ordering page. Incidentally, the chain is running a holiday gift card offer: purchase $100 in gift cards at any P.F. Chang's restaurant (not online) and receive a $10 Be Our Guest card. The offer ends December 31, 2009.

Another gift-card offer is at Ninety-Nine Restaurants. For every $25 gift card purchased, you will receive a coupon good for $5 off your next meal of $25 or more.

Reader Tara wrote to tell me about the fantastic chicken pot pie she made last weekend using a gluten-free pie crust from Sweet Christine's Gluten-Free Bakery in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The pie crusts are available for $6 each.

Selected Sam’s Club membership warehouse stores have begun selling gluten-free frozen pizzas on a provisional basis, with a pending national roll-out if the pilot program is successful. The pepperoni variety of Isabelle's Best Gluten-Free Pizza is now available at Sam's Club locations in parts of the Eastern and Midwest United States. Stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Dover, Delaware will be participating in the program (call ahead to find out if the location nearest you has them in stock). I found the pizzas at the Sam's Club in Cinnaminson, New Jersey; a package of two 12-inch pies sells for about $14. The pizza, which is distributed by JHS Foods, is made with Domata gluten-free rice flour.

Pre-made gluten-free Dutch Country Soft Pretzels are now being sold in packages of three at natural food stores. I spotted these at Water to Go/Gluten Free Dynasty in Pennsauken, New Jersey, where I bought a package of gluten-free Oreo-style sandwich cookies made by Glutino. I thought they tasted great - they reminded me of Double-Stuf cookies, with lots of creme filling.

At least some Quaker rice cakes are now being labeled gluten-free. I saw the Apple Cinnamon and Lightly Salted flavors marked as such during a visit last week to my local ShopRite.

Shoppers at, which sells products from Ian's Natural Foods, Glutino and Gluten-Free Pantry among other companies, can get a 10 percent discount off of orders totaling $75 or more; use promotional code November at checkout. Coincidentally, Gluten-Free Pantry packaging is undergoing a redesign, to be implemented before the year is over.

The Bucks/Montgomery chapter of Raising Our Celiac Kids (R.O.C.K.) is holding a holiday party on December 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Kids in attendance will decorate cookies, with cookies, frosting and sprinkles to be provided. If you are interested in participating in a cookie swap, bring two dozen cookies to share. Jodie and Bruce Finkel will be hosting the event at their home, located at 2052 Serendipity Way in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania (you may need to enter the town of Skippack if obtaining directions on a GPS device). RSVP to Holly and Steve Staugaitis by phone at 215-997-2706 or by email.

I will be off next week but will return after the Thanksgiving weekend. Be safe and have a wonderful gluten-free holiday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Cut Above

Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, Philadelphia's own Dietz & Watson is famous for its deli meats and cheeses. The company's products do not contain fillers, extenders, artificial flavors or MSG. All of Dietz & Watson's cheeses and meats - with the exception of Scrapple and Bockwurst - are gluten free. (As of this writing, the company has not updated the "Allergy Information" page on its website to reflect this information.)

Dietz & Watson also makes private-label cold cuts for ShopRite Supermarkets under the name Black Bear. According to the Black Bear website, the Scrapple and Bockwurst similarly are not gluten free. Although several other meats are listed on the FAQ page as containing gluten, because Dietz & Watson makes the Black Bear products it's likely that the Black Bear website has outdated information as to those meats as well.

Both product lines are available at the deli counter and in pre-sliced resealable packages. To avoid cross-contamination issues with the deli slicer, I buy the already packaged meats; the packages cost more but give me peace of mind. The Golden Brown Turkey is my older son's favorite, while I'm partial to the zesty Buffalo Chicken. The D&W website has a "Where to Buy" section that lists by zip code the markets carrying the company's products.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bread and Breakfast

Whether in metropolitan areas or smaller locales without full-service hotels, bed-and-breakfast inns offer visitors more intimate overnight accommodations with a hearty morning meal. B&Bs - usually with 10 or fewer rooms - can serve as a base for an entire vacation or a shorter weekend getaway. The inns typically are family-owned historic private homes that serve complimentary breakfasts. The innkeepers, who serve as hosts to visitors, often live on the property. Most B&Bs offer rooms with private entry and bathrooms.

There are dozens of bed-and-breakfasts in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and several offer gluten-free breakfasts - just provide advance notice when making a reservation. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is the home of a number of inns that serve such meals. The list includes The Artist's Inn & Gallery (Terre Hill), The Alden House (Lititz), The Harvest Moon (New Holland), Apple Bin Inn (Willow Street) and King's Cottage (Lancaster).

In Mifflin County - in the middle of the state - is the Weiler Mansion (Belleville). Philadelphia itself has at least one gluten-free-friendly B&B: Spruce Hill Manor in University City, situated in an 1879 Victorian mansion. Bucks County is the home of the The Inn at Stoney Hill (New Hope).

Ocean City, New Jersey, known as "America's Greatest Family Resort," has many B&Bs. One serving gluten-free breakfast is Serendipity (pictured, above). Further north, The Pillars of Plainfield is situated in the Queen City's VanWyck Brooks Historic District.

At the Delaware beaches, the Lazy L at Willow Creek (Lewes) and Delaware Inn (Rehoboth) are two inns that can serve breakfast without gluten.

Friday, November 13, 2009

News & Notes

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving and the December holidays are nearly upon us. I'm sure 2010 will bring even more awareness of celiac disease and gluten-free diets. As I wrote this week, early in the new year the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team will do its part, hosting a celiac awareness night at its January 19, 2010 contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets. On March 26, the 76ers basketball team will hold a similar event at its game versus the Atlanta Hawks. Discounted tickets are available for both events, with a portion of the price donated to support awareness efforts.

On Wednesday, I reviewed several of the many gluten-free options at Sazon, a Venezuelan restaurant in Philadelphia. The restaurant is hosting a fifth-anniversary celebration this Sunday, November 15, with a buffet dinner available for patrons.

Sweeties Pie Diner in Philadelphia (1822 Spring Garden Street, 215-988-0230) has gluten-free options on its weekly menu. Several of their "savory" pies available for Thanksgiving, including the polenta and sweet potato enchilada varieties, are gluten free. I was told by an employee there that the gluten-free pies are cooked separately and safe handling practices are used. Thanks to reader Annsley for the tip.

Casona, a Latin restaurant (and favorite of mine) in Collingswood, New Jersey, has posted on its website a separate gluten-free menu.

Campbell's Soup Company, headquartered in Camden, New Jersey, has a gluten-free FAQ page on its website that includes a link to a list of its gluten-free products. In addition to its namesake soups, the company makes Swanson broths, Pace salsa, Prego sauces and V8 juices.

Vineland, New Jersey's Conte's Pasta "tweeted" this week that the company is working on gluten-free garlic bread and pepperoni pizza that will be available at retail outlets.

Reader Meg emailed me about a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough that is being sold as part of school fundraising efforts. Joe Corbi's sponsors fundraising programs for schools, clubs and organizations, and among its offerings are tubs of gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough. The product can also be ordered directly from the company.

A company called Yes to Cookies has introduced gluten-free cookies that are also sugar- and starch-free and available for online purchase. The cookies come in chocolate and strawberry-banana flavors and can also be made at home with a mix.

According to a message thread recently posted on the Delphi celiac disease forum (registration required), the Great Wolf Lodge, a waterpark resort in the Pocono Mountains, has gluten-free dining options. One message included an email from the resort's food and beverage manager, who wrote that gluten-free pasta, stuffed shells. manicotti, chocolate chip cookies and hamburger buns are available. The kitchen can also prepare grilled chicken and steak with vegetables, according to the manager. Another poster wrote that she spoke with the chef, who advised that gluten-free pancakes and pizza also are offered. If you're planning a trip to the resort, call ahead to confirm available safe dining options.

On Wednesday, November 18, the Whole Foods Market in Marlton, New Jersey will host a Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Tasting and Cooking Class from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The cooking class, which is free, will begin at 6 p.m. in the Cafe but space is limited. To register, contact Jen in Marketing by email or at 856-797-1115.

The Children's Celiac Support Group's next meeting will be on Sunday, December 6 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at CHOP's Specialty Care Center in Voorhees, New Jersey. Parents and children are welcome, and attendees should bring their favorite gluten-free cookies to share. Although free, registration is suggested by December 3 by emailing the Center or calling 267-426-6822.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sazon's Greetings

While Center City's business district has the largest concentration of gluten-free-friendly dining spots in Philadelphia, perhaps the most unique one is located just beyond the shadow cast by One Liberty Place. Sazon Restaurant and Café (941 Spring Garden Street, 215-763-2500) is the area's only traditional Venezuelan eatery. Opened in 2004, Sazon is a casual BYOB owned by Robert Campbell and Judith Suzarra-Campbell, a Venezuelan native who serves as chef.

I went with my boys to Sazon on Saturday night before heading over to the Flyers game, with all of us ordering gluten free. The three of us began the meal by sharing an appetizer of platanos frito con queso rallado, a plate of six pan-fried green plantains specked with shredded white cheese.

My 6-year-old opted to order a different appetizer as his entree. The camarones en salsa de ajo was a dish of spicy garlic-sauteed shrimp with a side of crispy curled plantain slices called tostones. The hit of the entire meal was my older son's arepa, a bread-like corn patty similar to an English muffin. He savored the peluda (pictured, above), an arepa filled with seasoned shredded beef and cheddar cheese. Suzarra-Campbell makes the arepas from scratch with South American corn that she grounds herself. The arepa looked so tasty that my younger one and I ended up sharing one of our own, topped with a bit of salted butter.

I enjoyed a more traditional entree of grilled chicken seasoned with a spicy avocado sauce called guasacaca and plated with yucca. I opted for a perfectly shaped scoop of white rice in place of the side salad made with cabbage, carrots onions and mayonnaise.

Nearly the entire menu at Sazon is gluten free. Of the appetizers, only the tequenos - both alone and as part of a combination platter - are not safe. Also avoid the empanadas, the pollo frito entree and sandwiches on ciabatta bread (although all sandwiches can be served on an arepa). All other appetizers and entrees, along with Sazon's soups, salads, arepas, salsa and side orders, are fine. The restaurant's menu includes a number of vegetarian items as well.

Sazon takes great care to avoid cross-contamination. All gluten-free foods take a bit longer to prepare, as they are made in a separate area of the kitchen using different cookware, utensils and oils. Campbell says that he and his wife began offering gluten-free items in response to diners' requests several years ago, realizing that most of the menu choices already were naturally free of wheat and other perilous grains. The couple's next step was to learn more about celiac disease so that they could segregate their kitchen and educate their staff.

Had I known in advance about Campbell's selection of gourmet hot chocolates - all of which are gluten free - I would have allowed more time to get to the hockey game. He rotates the choices weekly, but has about 25 different varieties all told. Campbell uses premium imported cacao beans for his drinks, which can be infused with ingredients as diverse as sour cherries, chipotle peppers and orange zest. Sazon also offers a variety of gluten-free flan.

The reasonably-priced Sazon serves dinner Tuesdays through Sundays and is open for Saturday and Sunday brunch. The owners are celebrating the restaurant's fifth anniversary this Sunday, November 15, with a Venezuelan Buffet that includes many gluten-free items like roasted pork, beef roast and paella. Reservations are recommended for both seatings (4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. to closing).

Sazon Restaurant & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 9, 2009

2010 Celiac Awareness Nights at the 76ers and Flyers

UPDATE (11/11/09): The discount code for the Sixers tickets - CELIAC - is now working and is good for $5 off seats in the following sections: outside 4s, lower-level corners, mezzanine centers and mezzanine outside centers ($96, $62, $40 and $25, respectively).

With support from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, both the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers will sponsor a celiac awareness night at the Wachovia Center during their 2009-10 seasons. Gluten-free food will be available at specified concession stands for both games. Gluten-free hot dogs, chicken sandwiches and beer currently are available at Wachovia Center events.

The inaugural hockey event will be held on Tuesday, January 19, 2010 as the Flyers take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through the Flyers online box office. To get discounted tickets, enter 154CELIAC as the promotion code. This will ensure that proceeds from your ticket purchase go to support raising celiac awareness. With this offer, front and selected center mezzanine seats are $50 ($13 off), middle mezzanine seats are $40 ($13 discount) and rear mezzanine seats are $40 ($6 savings).

There are no designated sections for the celiac awareness night group for the Flyers game. If you are arranging for a group to go to the game together, be sure to order your seats as a group. Either enter the group order online or call Mike Andrews of the Flyers at 215-952-5994 to make arrangements.

The 76ers will host their third Celiac Awareness Night on Friday, March 26, 2010 when the Atlanta Hawks come to town. Tip-off is 7 p.m. To order tickets, go to the Sixers online box office. To get a ticket discount and have a portion of the purchase price go to awareness efforts, enter the code CELIAC. (At the time of this posting, the code was not working; I will update the post when this is corrected.)

For group seating for the basketball game, call Tyler McAllister at 215-389-9441. For other questions, call NFCA’s Nancy Ginter at 215-325-1306, extension 101.

Friday, November 6, 2009

News & Notes

This week's posts featured gluten-free products from two local companies. On Monday, I wrote about a coconut-milk frozen dessert from Ardmore, Pennsylvania's KōV Foods, and on Wednesday I profiled mini Italian biscotti from Sorella Bakery in West Deptford, New Jersey.

Reader Daniella is the winner of the new Gluten-Free Italian cookbook, offered in the most recent Goodies Giveaway. Unfortunately, several commenters had inaccessible Blogger profiles so I could not enter their names in the drawing. The cookbook is available for purchase at and other retailers.

I was impressed by the amount of space the Philadelphia Inquirer devoted to an article in yesterday's Food section on the availability of gluten-free items in area stores and restaurants.

Turning to gluten free-friendly restaurants, Simply Fondue in Mays Landing, New Jersey (4215 Black Horse Pike, 609-677-1600) can accommodate gluten-free, vegetarian and other dietary needs.

Keith Taylor's Holy Smoke will soon be opening outlets in Quakertown, Pennsylvania and Mount Laurel, New Jersey serving gluten-free wings, ribs and other barbequed foods. Chef Taylor also offers gluten free-friendly catering through Zachary's BBQ and Catering and Sami Rose Culinary Productions in Wayne, Pennsylvania. I've been told that the Holy Smoke location in Philadelphia's Roxborough section does not offer gluten-free menu items.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro soon will be adding two new items to its gluten-free menu, including a beef dish, according to a recent Twitter post from the company.

Now through December 31, 2009, for every $100 in gift cards purchased at Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Roy's and Bonefish Grill, you'll receive a complimentary $20 Bonus Card. The gift and Bonus Cards can be used at any of those restaurants, but the Bonus Cards must be redeemed January 1 through February 10, 2010. The gift cards have no expiration date.

Poppy's Seed Bakery at the Chestnut Hill Farmers' Market in Philadelphia (8229 Germantown Avenue, 215-242-4252) sells gluten-free goods from a variety of companies. Owners Ron and Bev Loux offer products from Mr. Ritt's, KōV Foods, Sweet Christine's Bakery, Virago Baking Company and Shabtai Gourmet, among others. The bakery's hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. In a video interview conducted by localite Brian Rudnick, Ron Loux speaks about his move to offer gluten-free foods:

Also look for Shabtai Gourmet's Rainbow Cookies, Mini Black & White Cookies, Lady Fingers, Florentine Lace Cookies, Bread Crumbs and Pecan Meltaway Crumb Cookies at ShopRite supermarkets in Newark and Wilmington, Delaware.

In product news, I spotted Cherrybrook Farms' new gluten-free chocolate chip pancake mix at the Whole Foods Market in Marlton, New Jersey.

D-Lites breakfast bowls from Jimmy Dean are made with gluten-free ingredients. Both varieties include scrambled egg whites, potatoes and reduced fat cheddar cheese, and come with either turkey bacon or turkey sausage.

Two products from Arrowhead Mills are due to hit store shelves. Gluten Free Bake with Me Cupcake Mixes, available in both Vanilla and Chocolate, are made with organic ingredients and are specially fortified for children with iron, zinc and six B vitamins. has its November grocery specials posted and there are a few gluten-free items on sale:
  • 35% off when you purchase thinkThin bars: no code needed
  • Up to 35% off when you purchase Annie Chun's Rice Express Bowls and Sushi Wraps (the soy sauce in the Sushi Wraps packages is not gluten free): save 20% when you enter code ANNIECH6 at checkout and save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order
  • Up to 40% off when you purchase Oskri bars: save 25% when you enter code OSKRI553 at checkout and save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order
  • Up to 30% off when you purchase Sahale Snacks (the Sing Buri flavor is not gluten free): save 15% when you enter code SAHNUT64 at checkout and save an additional 15% when you combine the instant rebate with your Subscribe & Save order
The RWJ Hamilton Center for Health & Wellness in Mercerville, New Jersey is hosting a class on "Understanding Celiac Disease," to be held on Tuesday, November 24 at 6:30 p.m. The fee is $10. Call 609-584-7600 for reservations.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The King Biscuit Flour Hour

Sorella Bakery in West Deptford, New Jersey creates "biscottines" - mini biscotti cookies - in five varieties at its dedicated gluten-free and peanut-free bakery. Owner Phyllis Moffo, who started the company in 2004, hand-crafts her sweet treats in small batches using natural ingredients. She uses highly regarded Nielsen-Massey extracts exclusively and avoids artificial preservatives. Her cookies are made from a blend of rice and tapioca flours and potato starch, and come in Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Almond, Cinnamon Swirl, Hazelnut Anise and Vanilla flavors.

The biscottines can be ordered online through Sorella's website ($6 for a six-ounce bag, with free shipping when ordering a case of 12 bags) or through The cookies are sold locally at the Whole Foods Markets in Philadelphia and Marlton, New Jersey, and elsewhere in South Jersey at Springdale Farms in Cherry Hill, Gluten Free Dynasty in Pennsauken and the Grind House Cafe in Haddonfield.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Spoonful Lovin'

Many commercial frozen desserts contain fillers, artificial flavors and high-fructose corn syrup. KōV Foods, locally based in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, shies away from these ingredients in pints of its delicious gluten-free non-dairy ice cream alternative.

The frozen desserts from KōV (pronounced "cove"), which stands for Kosher-Organic-Vegan, are made from organic coconut milk and sweetened with agave. I tried a sample of the Ginger Vanilla flavor at Appetite for Awareness (the other variety is Garden Mint Chocolate) and found it creamy, comparable to a super-premium ice cream such as Ben & Jerry's. The desserts are also soy and dairy free and have no cholesterol, preservatives or hydrogenated oils.

The company allocates a percentage of profits to support philanthropic groups, with its website featuring a different artist (spoken word, art, music, crafts, poetry and the like) and cause each month.

The products are available at area Whole Foods Markets, the Fair Food Farmstand at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market and other local retailers.