Friday, June 1, 2012

News & Notes: June 1, 2012

With an opening set for Thursday, June 7, Center City Philadelphia's fast-casual Honeygrow (1601 Sansom St., 215-279-7679) will be a haven for gluten-free diners. The sleek yet warm interior has stations for preparing stir-fried rice and rice noodles, chopped salads and healthy shakes. Allergen listings for inclusions such as salad dressings and sauces will be displayed on the touch-screen menu used for ordering, and clean woks, utensils and the like will be used for each order. Owner Justin Rosenberg, who hired local chef Shola Olunloyo as a menu consultant, is on the hunt for future locations.

Michael Klein of reports that high-end surf-and-turf chain Ocean Prime will open at 15th and Sansom streets in Center City in space last occupied by Roy's. The restaurant, with locations mainly in the Southeast and Midwest, features a gluten-free menu. Projected opening is in Spring 2013.

New NFCA-designated GREAT Kitchens at Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City (777 Harrah's Blvd.) include Bill's Bar & Burger (609-441-5800), Dos Caminos (609-441-5747), Luke Palladino (609-441-5576), Sammy D's (609-441-5402), The Steakhouse (609-441-5575) and the Waterfront Buffet (609-441-5000). Incidentally, the NFCA has suspended the GREAT Kitchens' intermediate Amber designation (applicable to the Domino's and its gluten-free pizza crust) so that the program's only credential is for those restaurants that have undergone training and can accommodate diners with celiac disease.

Reader Eileen V. recommends two Mexican restaurants in South Philly: The Adobe Cafe (1919 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-551-2243) and Cantina Los Caballitos (1651 E. Passyunk Ave., 215-755-3550), both of which can accommodate gluten-free requests.

The inaugural beer menu at the new Morgan's Pier at Penn's Landing (221 N. Columbus Blvd., 215-279-7134) has gluten-free American pale ale Fox Tail in cans and Crispin cider on tap. The list is good through June 9.

New York-based soft serve chain The Lite Choice just opened its first area location in Sea Isle City (4201 Landis Ave.). The all-natural vanilla and chocolate dairy desserts and the 80 different organic flavorings are gluten free, as are most toppings; gluten-free cones also are available and gluten-free sandwich wafers are coming soon. Future locations are planned for Philadelphia, Collegeville and West Chester.

Reader Heather H. let me know that a new beer called Glutenator is available at Canal's in Hainesport (1500 Route 38 E., 609-518-1000). Produced by Epic Brewing in Salt Lake City, the beer isn't sorghum-based, but instead is made with millet, brown rice, sweet potatoes and molasses along with American hops. According to the tasting notes, the beer has a "golden color, aromas of hops and sweet potatoes with a sweet grain flavor and a clean, sorghum-free finish."

I picked up a gluten-free Orchid Vanilla Macaroon ice cream sandwich from Jeni's at the Whole Foods on Callowhill Street in Center City. The company's other gluten-free sandwiches are Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroon and Salty Caramel With Smoked Almond Macaroon.

The Delaware County Gluten-Free Meetup Group will get together for brunch at Sazon in Philadelphia this Sunday (a perfect time for churros!) and for dinner at Ariano in Media on Friday, June 15. Interested readers can sign up via the group's events page.

Tickets are still available for Celiac Awareness Night at the Phillies game on Friday, July 20 against the San Francisco Giants. Purchases made through this link using code CELIAC will support awareness efforts.

Also available are tickets for Appetite for Awareness on Sunday, September 23 in Center City. The NFCA currently is enlisting participating vendors and local restaurants for the event, which will feature a Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, beer garden, chef demos and a children's pavilion.

Sunday is the last day to enter my latest giveaway, with prizes from Rudi's Gluten-Free Bakery. You can enter to win some Rudi's swag, free-product coupons and a cookbook.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

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My new 'Gluten Free Philly' Delaware Dining Guide is available as an e-book download. The guide provides hyperlinked listings for restaurants, bakeries, markets and attractions throughout the First State, including the southern resort towns like Rehoboth Beach and Dewey Beach. Updated editions published within 30 days of initial purchase will be emailed to purchasers free of charge.
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