Friday, April 9, 2010

News & Notes: April 9, 2010

The Phillies began their quest for a third straight pennant this week, and the home opener next week surely will be exciting. We went to one of the exhibition games last week and learned that the gluten-free offerings at Citizens Bank Park have been expanded a bit. Chocolate-chip cookies from Good Eatz are now at the concession stand behind Section 128. Redbridge beer and Woodchuck cider are also available at the same location - a welcome change from having to buy gluten-free food at one stand and drinks at another. You might have to squint, though, to spot the gluten-free menu there.

I wrote this week about some Pennsylvania snack food companies that offer factory tours to visitors. Reader Sue mentioned in an e-mail that Dutch Country Soft Pretzels in New Holland, Pennsylvania, which makes a gluten-free twist, offers tours of its facility.

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, a chain with a northern Delaware location in Newark (1225 Churchman's Road, 302-366-7577), has a gluten-free menu featuring salads, steaks, ribs and sides.

At the Echelon Mall food court in Voorhees, Deux Au Naturel (1565 Voorhees Town Center, 856-772-2008) can prepare a variety of wraps with gluten-free ivory teff tortillas.

Lotus Garden, serving Chinese and Japanese cuisine in Newtown (2106 South Eagle Road, 215-860-0310) has gluten-free noodle dishes and other items. Reader Aileen, who told me about the place, posted a review on Chowhound.

Reader Elle shared news about two Philadelphia restaurants. She wrote to tell me she ordered crustless mahi-mahi over rice at Bridget Foy's (200 South Street, 215-922-1813), which was able to accommodate her request for gluten-free dining. At Jose Garces's Latin tapas bar Tinto, she ordered from the chef's tasting menu. Tinto also has a separate gluten-free menu.

Philadelphia's Little Fish, the sister restaurant of Fish, closed last week due to structural issues with the building, according to the Inquirer's Michael Klein. Owner Mike Stollenwerk may relocate the seafood restaurant and open elsewhere in town.

It's about time one of those mall-based cookie shops had a gluten-free selection. Great American Cookies offers a gluten-free version of its Chewy Chocolate Supreme cookie. The only store in the area - at the aforementioned Echelon Mall - currently doesn't offer it but store owners company-wide have the option of carrying the gluten-free cookie, and may do so if customers request it. A company rep told me that the gluten-free cookies are made before the wheat-containing ones on clean equipment.

Last week, I mentioned that Snyder's of Hanover is planning to bring certified-gluten-free pretzel sticks to market. The pretzels, also free of dairy, casein and egg, will be available nationally in July, although a few markets may have them before then. The product will be sold in 8-ounce bags for between $3-$4 each. One serving contains 1.5 grams of fat, less than the comparable Glutino pretzel sticks. The equipment at Snyder's undergoes a GFCO sterilization process before the pretzel sticks are produced to ensure they meet the GFCO standard of less than 10 parts per million of gluten.

Bob's Red Mill has - ahem - rolled out gluten-free Quick Cooking Rolled Oats and Whole Grain Oat Flour.

Back in February, I wrote about Glutino's new gluten-free cereals that were in the works. The three corn-and-rice flake cereals are called "Great Beginnings" and come in Original, Frosted and Berry varieties. They should be in markets within the next few months.

Udi's new gluten-free bagels are now in area Whole Foods markets, along with cinnamon rolls and both of its bread varieties. I spotted them at the Marlton store, while reader Carol wrote in to tell me that the Wynnewood location has them. The bagels also can be ordered online direct from the company. The bagels are soft and chewy and, like the breads, don't need to be toasted first. They're my son's new favorite.

The Devon Whole Foods is hosting a gluten-free fair on Saturday, April 17 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The store will offer plenty of food samples and have a raffle too.

The Mercer County Celiac Support Group's April meeting will be held at the Princeton Whole Foods on Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m. Bring copies of your favorite gluten-free recipes to share with other attendees.

I'll be out of town most of next week but there will be a News & Notes post on Friday (I'll have deets on Bobby Flay's new Philly burger joint), followed by a new giveaway announcement the following Monday. Stay tuned!
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