Friday, October 5, 2012

News & Notes: October 5, 2012

More restaurants than ever now serve gluten-free pasta. But homemade noodles? That gets major props. Table 31, the Italian steakhouse at the sleek Comcast Center (1701 JFK Blvd., 215-567-7111), makes several kinds in house, gnocchi and fettuccine among them. (They're made in a different area of the kitchen from wheat pasta - on another floor, in fact - and prepared in a separate cooker.) All of the restaurant's Plates of the Day - from the baked lasagna to the lamb shank with polenta - are gluten free, as are the steak sauces and sides (including house-cut fries), and many appetizers, entrees and dessert selections. There's bread too, and the kitchen staff is well versed in gluten-free food preparation. Table 31 is open Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner and evenings on Saturdays.

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar has opened a second location, this one in University City at a former Marathon Grill outpost (40th & Walnut Sts., 215-662-1100). Many items on the menu are under 500 calories and are, or can be modified to be, gluten free. The kitchen also keeps gluten-free bread on hand.

Reader Heather H. updated me on several gluten-free-friendly places in Long Beach Island. Open year round, Surfside Coffee House in Surf City (1901 Long Beach Blvd., 609-494-3345) offers a variety of gluten-free bagels, breads, English muffins, smoothies, homemade crumbcake, brownies, fruit muffins and cookies. Boar's Head cold cuts are used for sandwiches, and separate utensils and grill and toaster are used to avoid cross-contamination. Safe menu options are noted.

The Joey's Pizza & Pasta location in Ship Bottom (2201 Long Beach Blvd., 609-361-5000) prepares gluten-free pizza in an aluminum pan and uses cheese and toppings "from the back."

Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Mustache Bill's Diner in Barnegat Light, (8th Ave. & Broadway, 609-494-0155) serves gluten-free pancakes prepared on a separate griddle and gluten-free wraps. The diner is open Fridays through Sundays off-season.

The Bards Irish pub at Rittenhouse Square in Center City (2013 Walnut St., 215-569-9585) has formalized its gluten-free menu. With a dedicated fryer, the kitchen can now prepare specialties such as fish and chips, chicken tenders and onion rings daily, as well as non-fried items like pizza, burgers (with buns) and shepherd's pie.

Sweet Note Bakery's gluten- and dairy-free bagels are at 'feine in Conshohocken (812 Fayette St., 610-941-3346) and are (for at least a trial run) at Brodo in Center City (31 S. 18th St., 215-977-7766). In South Philly, OCF Coffee House (2001 Federal St., 267-273-1018) serves gluten-free mixed berry and apple tarts that are made separately off-site. The Drexel Hill location of Crossroads Coffee House (1270 Township Line Rd., 610-446-3585) has gluten-free carrot cake muffins, double dark chocolate chip cookies and espresso snickerdoodle cookies made by a gluten-sensitive baker.

Surf Sweets, makers of my favorite gummy candy, has all-natural Spooky Spiders available for Halloween. They're sold in 2.75-oz. packages at Whole Foods and other natural foods markets.

On Tuesday, I published part two of my Road Trip report on southern California, covering Anaheim and Disneyland.

Through Sunday, the Gluten-Free Saver deals site has a half-off offer for a one-year subscription to Gluten-Free Living magazine. (It's listed under "Bonus Deals.") Six bi-monthly issues are $17 (normally $34). Though I'm partial to the magazine because I have written for it, it is one of the best gluten-free publications around.

On October 18, Dr. Keith Laskin, the director of the Celiac Center at Paoli Hospital, will be honored at Chez Gourmet, a VIP "house party" in Philadelphia to benefit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. There'll be a silent auction and a cooking demo from Starr Restaurants chef Michael Abt, among other festivities. Attendee and sponsorship information is available at the NFCA website.

Online community GFREEK.COM is accepting votes through December 23 for its annual "Best Of" awards and this year has extended it to various U.S. cities, including Philadelphia. I would be most appreciative if you supported Gluten Free Philly as best local support group. You can also vote for best grocery store, restaurant and other categories.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael
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1 comment:

  1. Great updates! FYI I stopped by Brodo this AM for a friday treat and was disappointed when they said they didn't have them - I think they said coming soon? The cashier said that the manager met with a Gfree bakery yesterday so may be coming soon...I will check back and keep you posted!