Friday, April 30, 2010

News & Notes: April 30, 2010

This space is frequently filled with exciting news about area businesses, but it's my duty to also share the not-so-good developments. Such is the case this week with word that Mr. Ritt's Gluten Free Bakery in Millville is shutting its doors by the end of July. The bakery's website is sketchy on the reason for the closing, but notes that baking will continue at least through the end of May. I remember taking my older son to the bakery shortly after he was diagnosed with celiac disease - when the store was located in Philadelphia - at a time when there was a dearth of tasty gluten-free baked goods available. I watched with joy as he sampled a fresh blueberry muffin right out of the package before we left the store, and I know many others have had similar experiences there. Thanks to Richard and Paul for their contributions to the gluten-free community over many years.

In recent years other gluten-free bakeries have joined Mr. Ritt's in serving celiacs, including The Grain Exchange in Doylestown. On Tuesday, I posted my review of several of the bakery's baked goods.

Congratulations to reader Nina, whose name was randomly selected as the winner of the recent Purely Elizabeth baking mix giveaway. Thanks to all who entered.

Philadelphia is home to restaurants from three "Iron Chefs." I've written recently about Bobby Flay's burgers at his new Burger Palace. Many of Jose Garces' restaurants now have gluten-free menus, including Tinto, Amada, Distrito and Chifa. (They're linked at the Gluten Free Philly restaurant list.) Now comes Masaharu Morimoto. Sushi and other items at his eponymous Japanese restaurant (723 Chestnut Street, 215-413-9070) can be made without gluten. The kitchen also has gluten-free soy sauce.

In Blue Bell, Gianni Brothers (700 DeKalb Pike, 610-272-2009) serves up prepared gluten-free "deli-cacies" (my bad pun, not theirs!) like chicken salad, tuna salad, baked fish and crab cakes. Their foods are available for dine-in and take-out. Thanks to reader Jessica for the good word on this eatery.

Joe Palombo's Mirabella Cafe in Cherry Hill has gluten-free and gluten-free-by-request options on its Mother's Day dinner menu, including Crispy Suzuki - pan-seared Japanese black bass with Taylor Bay scallops in an herb broth.

Virago Baking Company & Cafe will be moving in July onto Lansdale's Main Street, with a new location at 322 West Main Street. News of the move was reported last week in the North Penn Reporter.

Have I gushed enough about General Mills? From gluten-free Chex cereals to Betty Crocker baking mixes, the company has shown its commitment to our specialized marketplace. The company has just announced that gluten-free Bisquick will begin shipping in July, preceded by reformulated Hamburger Helper mixes (chicken fried rice, beef fried rice and cheesy hashbrowns) in late May.

Area children with celiac disease can participate in a family camping weekend on June 19 and 20 [Updated: due to a schedule conflict, it's now scheduled for June 26 and 27]. A local family has volunteered to run the event at Camp Kettle Run, a Girl Scout camp in Medford. Tents will be provided, so campers only need to bring sleeping bags or bedrolls, pillows and blankets. The cost is $25 for each family tent. Each child will need to have a parent with them for the weekend, and siblings are welcome. Activities will depend on the ages of the children in the group, but will range from craft projects to a nature hike around Kettle Run to a trip to Woodford Wildlife Refuge.

The event will run from 10 a.m. Saturday to noon Sunday, rain or shine. Gluten-free meals will be provided for lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday, along with s'mores at a Saturday night campfire. Each family is asked to contribute toward the cost of the food. For more information and to register, call Kathy Borton at 856-802-0822.

The Gluten Free Delaware support group is holding a potluck dinner this Sunday, May 2 at 5 p.m. in Newark. E-mail Debra Burke to register and to get location information.

Have a great weekend!
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1 comment:

  1. The camping is so exciting.Thanks so much for sharing it.