Friday, October 21, 2011

News & Notes: October 21, 2011

While readers in Bucks County lament the recent closing of Cheeseburger in Paradise near the Oxford Valley Mall, they'll be happy to know that Miller's Ale House - which has locations in Langhorne (2250 E. Lincoln Hwy., 267-572-0750), Northeast Philadelphia (9495 E. Roosevelt Blvd., 215-464-8349) and coming soon to Mt. Laurel at the Aloft Hotel - offers gluten-free options.

Tony's Pizza in Haddonfield (419 Haddon Ave., 856-795-4200) has gluten-free pizza.

Reader Jaime L. let me know that the Metropolitan Diner in North Wales (750 Upper State Rd., 215-361-1603) has an wide-ranging gluten-free menu.

Patty Mac's in Berwyn (814 Lancaster Ave., 610- 644-8275) can use gluten-free challah from Main Line Baking Company to make french toast. Thanks to reader Heather K. for the tip.

The soups and salads at vegan restaurant Wildflower in Millville (501 N. High St., 856-265-7955) are gluten free, as is usually at least one dessert.

I scored a copy of the gluten-free menu at El Rey (2013 Chestnut St., 215-563-3330), the newer of Stephen Starr's two Mexican restaurants.

Tuesday's post featured Cafe Spice fresh Indian meals, available at Whole Foods. All six varieties are gluten free.

The Gluten Free Delaware support group has organized a potluck meal on Sunday, October 23 in Landenberg, Pennsylvania. For more information and to RSVP, click through to this page.

On Thursday, November 3, the Celiac Center at Paoli Hospital will have a presentation on gluten-free holiday entertaining. There will be samples and a chance to win prizes.

I won't be posting next week due to a busy work schedule, but keep the tips on new restaurants and products coming, either through Facebook or directly by email.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Spice of Life

When Americans think of their favorite ethnic foods, Indian cuisine isn't at the top of most lists. (Italian is, actually, followed by Mexican and Chinese.) More than others, however, Indian-influenced foods - made with less familiar seasonings like curry, cardamom and cumin - are extremely gluten-free friendly. Cafe Spice, an East Coast-based casual chain with an outpost at the food court at Liberty Place in Center City Philadelphia, now provides prepared meals sold at area Whole Foods Markets. Varieties include Chicken Vindaloo with Lemon Rice, Vegetable Korma with Saffron Rice, Channa Masala with Lemon Rice, Chicken Tikka Masala with Saffron Rice, Chicken Curry with Lemon Rice and Saag Paneer with Saffron Rice, all of which are gluten and preservative free. (The gram flour in the Chicken Tikka Masala has no gluten; it's made from ground chickpeas.) The dishes are priced between $5.49 and $6.49 each. You can also find the Cafe Spice products at Whole Foods hot bars.

Friday, October 14, 2011

News & Notes: October 14, 2011

If you've ever imagined a restaurant dedicated to the humble, yet delicious, grilled cheese sandwich, your dream has come true. The former Peace A Pizza location in North Wales has been converted into Melt Down Grilled Cheese (111 Garden Golf Blvd., 215-368-1113). Gluten-free bread is available, and I'm told that gluten-free sandwiches are made separate from other items.

Several readers alerted me to some other new restaurant additions via the Gluten Free Philly Facebook page. (Come like it, won't you? It's over 700 people strong.) Lara W. let me know that the Black Salt Cafe in Ridley Park (20 E. Sellers Ave., 610-521-1162) can use gluten-free wraps for any of its sandwiches.

Bethann S. ate this week at Aperto, a American BYOB in Narberth (232 Woodbine Ave., 610-660-0160). The restaurant notes gluten-free items on its menu, including two kinds of pasta.

Elevation Burger, where the bunless burgers (or patties wrapped in lettuce) and fries are gluten free, just opened shop in Willow Grove (3900 Welsh Rd., 215-659-1008).

You can still enter my latest Goodies Giveaway through Sunday - swag from the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour that's coming to the Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival in King of Prussia next weekend. Just add a comment about your favorite variety of wine to the giveaway post or on my Facebook page.

The Greater Philadelphia Celiac Support Group's next meeting is set for Friday, October 21 at Abington Memorial Hospital. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., with a vendor fair beginning at 5:45 p.m. Those interested in attending and joining the group can call Karen Dalrymple at 215-757-1233.

The Tortilla Press Cantina in Pennsauken is hosting a gluten-free cooking class on Thursday, October 27 starting at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $34.95 exclusive of beverages, sales tax and gratuity). For reservations, call Lydia at 856-979-3333.

Team Celiac is participating in an upcoming fundraising walk for juvenile diabetes. The JDRF Walk in Camden will take place on Sunday, October 23. If you're interested in supporting Team Celiac, visit their page and make a donation in the name of team captain Evey Bell.

Kozy Shack's latest sweet-tooth satisfaction: chocolate rice pudding. All of the company's flavored puddings (not the bread puddings), gelatins and flans are gluten free.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Goodies Giveaway: Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour

The 2011 Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour with special guest Ted Allen will be wrapping up at the Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival on October 21-23 at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia.  To celebrate the tour, Robert Mondavi Winery is offering a prize pack giveaway for one lucky Gluten Free Philly reader.

Now in its sixth year, the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour is an interactive event that brings the Napa Valley wine country experience to wine lovers across the United States at various food and wine festivals. On Friday, October 21, the festival will feature cooking demonstrations and tips by Food Network Chopped host Ted Allen, a Robert Mondavi Private Selection Food & Wine Ambassador. Along with Ted at the Robert Mondavi Winery’s Napa-inspired tasting pavilion will be educational seminars and other interactive events. Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour highlights include:·    
  • Educational Seminar – a Wine 101 class to help learn the basics on what to look for (and taste) in every bottle
  • Wine & Cooking Stage – demonstrations and tastings by local chefs and wine experts
  • Essence Station – put your senses to the test and learn how to appreciate wines' subtle aromas
  • Interactive iPad – email recipes and wine pairings, see photos, sign up for Winery news, and view tasting notes all at the touch of a button
  • Mondavi Theater – watch a short documentary film showcasing how Robert Mondavi revolutionized the American wine industry
The Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival will take place on Friday, October 21 from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday, October 22 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, October 23 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are available starting at $30 in advance ($40 at the door).  Children 6-12 are $5 and children under 6 are free. (Seminars, Chefs on Stage series and VIP Cocktail Party are additional.)  Tickets for all events can be purchased online. You can also learn more about Robert Mondavi wines by liking the winery's Facebook page. Robert Mondavi's wines are gluten free.

The prize pack includes a Robert Mondavi chef’s apron, Sigg Steel water bottle, keychain, and copy of Ted Allen’s The Food You Want to Eat cookbook. To enter, leave a comment to this post or on the Gluten Free Philly Facebook page about which variety of wine is your favorite.

Some brief guidelines: (1) please do not enter unless you or a family member is on a gluten-free diet; (2) one comment per person; (3) U.S. residents only. Most important is to make sure your comment provides a way for me to contact you, if not entering via Facebook. If your comment does not link back to an email address, blog or website through which I can get in touch with you (some past entrants have blocked their Blogger profiles), post your email address in the comment in the following format: "name[at]domain[dot]suffix."

The giveaway runs now through Sunday, October 16 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. I’ll randomly select one winner the next day and will contact him or her by email or through Facebook, depending on method of entry. If I don’t hear back from the person with his or her mailing address by the following Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern, I’ll select another name.

Good luck!

DISCLOSURE: Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour is offering the prize pack. Neither I am nor any immediate family member is an employee, officer, director or agent of Robert Mondavi or its respective parent, subsidiary and affiliated entities, advertising and promotional agencies. My full Disclosure Policy can be found at the blog's Disclosure page.

Friday, October 7, 2011

News & Notes: October 7, 2011

Although Germany's famous Oktoberfest beer festival just ended, you can still celebrate locally. That's because Brauhaus Schmitz (718 South St., 267-909-8814), Philadelphia's own German bierhall and restaurant, offers gluten-free St. Peter's sorghum beer, Magners cider and wine. The restaurant also has a menu full of gluten-free-designated items such as potato pancakes, salads, sausages, bratwurst and other traditional Bavarian favorites.

New reader Sheila C. let me know that Erawan, Philadelphia's first Thai restaurant (123 S. 23rd St., 215-567-2542), can accommodate gluten-free diets.

The British Chip Shop in Haddonfield (146 E. Kings Highway, 856-354-0204) has expanded its gluten-free options to include pancakes at Sunday brunch and a veggie burger for lunch and dinner.

Philadelphia's recently opened Fare restaurant (2028 Fairmount Ave., 267-639-3063), which offers an organic, mostly gluten-free menu, has begun serving weekend brunch.

Delaware pizza chain Grotto Pizza now has two sizes of gluten-free pizza, in 9" and 12" varieties.

Cheeseburger in Paradise's Langhorne location at the Oxford Valley Mall has closed; the other area outlets in Exton and Newark remain open.

The holiday that October is best known for is Halloween, of course. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has posted its 2011 list of gluten-free candy.

Planning to make a purchase at Support Gluten Free Philly by using this link or those below. It costs you nothing but earns us a small commission. Amazon Grocery has the following gluten-free items on sale throughout October (combine with a Subscribe & Save order for an additional 15% off):
The Mercer Free School offers a class on gluten-free living the first Wednesday of every month from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Ewing branch of the Mercer County Library System (61 Scotch Rd.). Registration is free.

Finally, a reminder that next Tuesday, October 11, Davio's Italian Steakhouse in Philadelphia will be hosting a gluten-free beer dinner. Reservations are being accepted at the restaurant by calling 215-563-4810.

Have a great weekend!