Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Gluten Tag

I was skeptical. When I saw Kelly LeDonni's table at the CHOP celiac event last month from afar, my first thought was: "Who needs special labels? A pack of colored stickers and a Sharpie will do." Indeed, Kelly got her idea for her Doylestown-based company, Gluten Free Labels, from labeling gluten-free items in her home with a permanent marker. I came around, though, when I saw the bright orange tags she created that can be attached to strainers, cutting boards, pots and pans to signify their dedicated gluten-free use. Because they're made of silicone, the 2" round "Gluten Free" tags, which can be tied to cookware and utensil handles, are dishwasher-, microwaveable- and oven-safe.

Kelly has taken on the humble sticker as well. Her colorful circle and mini square versions are pre-printed with the words "Gluten Free" and are sturdier than the round button-size stickers we've used before, which tend to fall off before too long. The larger rectangular labels - with cute phrases like "Respect, Don't Infect" and "No Grain, No Pain" - have space for writing.

You can let your "free-k" flag fly with Kelly's newest product - toothpick flags that are perfect for distinguishing safe appetizers, cupcakes and finger foods from their glutenous cousins.

Kelly is shipping her products free for a limited time, and a portion of the proceeds benefit the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. A two-piece tag bundle is $4.99 and a $14.99 starter kit includes eight circle labels, 12 mini labels, two rectangular labels and one tag. A set of 32 toothpick flags are $4.99. There's also an "ultimate" kit for $21.99. Orders can be placed through the company's online shop.

Disclosure: Gluten Free Philly receives a commission from purchases made through the links in this post via a third-party affiliate network. However, neither Gluten Free Labels nor the affiliate network sponsored this post.

Friday, April 26, 2013

News & Notes: April 26, 2013

If singer-songwriter Don McLean eats gluten free, I'm sure he would consider going to America's Pie in West Chester (323 E. Gay St., 484-947-5115), which has pizza (made in a separate area), bread for sandwiches, cookies and muffins on the menu. There are also chicken tenders available, but be aware that they're prepared in a shared fryer.

Basil Leaf, the 100% gluten-free Asian restaurant in Newtown, has closed. The owner wrote on the restaurant's Facebook page that he hopes to open in a new location.

My annual list of gluten-free concessions at pro baseball stadiums was posted on Tuesday. In addition to the dedicated stand in Philadelphia, several other ballparks have new items for the 2013 season. Also in that post is a list of Celiac awareness nights scheduled for various ballparks this year.

Daiya has unveiled its first frozen food product: gluten-, dairy- and soy-free frozen pizza. The pizza is made with an organic crust and organic sauce, and toppings that include roasted vegetables, Shiitake and Crimini mushrooms, and fresh basil. Four flavors are available – Cheeze Lover’s, Margherita, Fire-Roasted Vegetable, and Mushroom & Roasted Garlic. All Daiya products are vegan and are free of the top eight food allergens including dairy (casein, whey and lactose), soy, gluten, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts (excluding coconut). The pizzas can be found at Whole Foods markets for $9.99 each.

Readers who have tried the rich gluten-free brownies and crispy chocolate chip cookies from Tate's Bake Shop (the latter are sold by Trader's Joe's under its own name) know how delicious they are. On the strength of that popularity, the Long Island, New York bakery will launch a dedicated gluten-free facility next month. Owner Kathleen Tate will expand gluten-free production with new Ginger Zinger and Double Chocolate Chip cookies.

If they're anything like the bakery's gluten-free soft hot dog and burger buns, then Kinnikinnick's new bagels - boiled the old-fashioned way - should be a hit. They come in plain, cinnamon sugar and blueberry varieties and are also dairy free, nut free, kosher and vegan. The bagels will be making their way to supermarkets and natural foods stores soon, but are now available for home delivery via online ordering. Kinnikinnick charges a flat fee of $10 shipping with a minimum $50 order.

On May 8, Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood (100 E. Lancaster Ave.) will welcome a panel of medical experts to discuss the latest news in Celiac disease diagnosis and treatment and the gluten-free lifestyle. The event, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., will be hosted at Lankenau, with satellite locations at Bryn Mawr and Paoli Hospitals. The event is free (lunch is included) and online registration is available.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fielder's Choice: 2013 Gluten-Free Guide to Major League Baseball Ballparks

Citizens Bank Park's new gluten-free stand
More ballparks than ever have dedicated gluten-free concession stands and carts, including a new one right here in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park. Major-league stadiums in Baltimore and Minnesota have more gluten-free fare this season. Many concessionaires offer more than just bunless franks and burgers; there's everything from cheesesteaks to fish and chips.

Many teams are sponsoring Celiac Awareness Nights this season, with expanded gluten-free options available at many of those games. They include the New York Mets (April 28), Boston Red Sox (June 8), Detroit Tigers (June 17), Seattle Mariners (June 28), New York Yankees (July 12), Colorado Rockies (July 20), Arizona Diamondbacks (Aug. 10),  Philadelphia Phillies (Aug. 16), San Diego Padres (Aug. 24), Los Angeles Dodgers (Aug. 30) and Chicago White Sox (Sept. 28).

Here's where you can find gluten-free concessions at each of the 30 MLB ballparks for the 2013 season (check back throughout the season for updates and email me with any additions/changes that you find):

NL East:
  • Atlanta Braves (Turner Field) - Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwiches, chips, popcorn, brownies, cookies and Redbridge beer at gluten-free cart (Aisle 106)
  • Miami Marlins (Marlins Park) - Hot dogs, nachos, snacks and beer at gluten-free cart (Section 2); rice-and-bean bowl at Goya Latin Café (Sections 37, 223 and 314); salads, buffalo wings, popcorn and caramel apples at the Clevelander; vegetable and fruit cups vended throughout stadium
  • New York Mets (Citi Field) - Hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, snacks and beer at Hain Celestial Stand adjacent to World's Fare Market (Section 105)
  • Philadelphia Phillies (Citizens Bank Park) - Cheesesteaks, hot dogs, Bull's BBQ sandwiches, Seasons Pizza, chicken tenders, snacks, Redbridge beer, Angry Orchard cider and Woodchuck cider at gluten-free stand (Section 136); hot dogs and salads at Market Express (section 321/421); Chickie's & Pete's Crabfries and cheese sauce (Section 102); Philadelphia Water Ice (in Ashburn Alley and stands at Sections 106, 116, 132, 208/308 and 316/416); Redbridge beer and Angry Orchard cider vended throughout ballpark
  • Washington Nationals (Nationals Park) - Hot dogs, chili cheese dogs, nachos, loaded nachos, popcorn, tortilla chips, potato chips, snacks and Redbridge beer at gluten-free cart (Section 136); soft pretzels (Sections 106 and 318); vegetable and fruit cups vended throughout ballpark
Gluten-free options at PNC Park
NL Central:
  • Chicago Cubs (Wrigley Field) - Hot dogs, hamburgers, snacks and Redbridge beer at Sheffield Grill (Section 140); Redbridge beer at various beer stands; vegetable and fruit cups vended throughout ballpark
  • Cincinnati Reds (Great American Ball Park) - Bunless hot dogs, wursts, sausages, brat burgers and soft-serve ice cream at various stands; sushi, fruit and salads at United Dairy Farmers Market stands (Sections 117, 133 and 423)
  • Milwaukee Brewers (Miller Park) - Turkey sandwiches, chocolate tortes, brownies and chips at Grab & Go stand (Section 122); New Grist beer (Sections 110, 126, 212 and 224); bunless hot dogs, bratwursts and sausages, chicken taco salads, chicken nachos, cheese fries in a helmet, popcorn, kettle corn, peanuts, Cracker Jack, cotton candy, Minute Maid frozen treats and soft-serve custard at various stands
  • Pittsburgh Pirates (PNC Park) - Kosher hot dogs, panini sandwiches, nachos and salsa, salads, sweet potato chips, fruit and Redbridge beer at Just4U stand (Section 129); Chickie's & Pete's Crabfries and cheese sauce (Section 132); Rita's Italian Ices (Section 103/105); vegetable and fruit cups vended throughout stadium
  • St. Louis Cardinals (Busch Stadium) - Ham-and-Swiss sandwiches, garden salads and Redbridge beer at Farmer's Market (Section 136); turkey legs (Sections 152, 432 and 509); bratwurst, hot dogs, grilled chicken, Polish sausage, hamburgers, veggie burgers and beef brisket (all without bun and/or sauce) vended throughout ballpark; Redbridge beer (Sections 150, 272 and 433); peanuts, popcorn, Cracker Jack, soft-serve ice cream and selected Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavors
NL West:
  • Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field) - Hot dogs, nachos, snacks and Redbridge beer at gluten-free cart (Section 106); Achiote Basted Grilled Mushroom Burrito at A-Zona Grill (Insight Diamond Level); Southwest Chop Salad, Redbridge beer, Angry Orchard Cider and Ace Pear Cider at Game Seven Grill (Gila Rivers Casino Plaza); vegetable and fruit cups vended throughout ballpark
  • Colorado Rockies (Coors Field) - Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, chips, cookies, brownies and Redbridge beer at gluten-free stand (Section 143)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers (Dodger Stadium) - Snacks and Redbridge beer at Healthy Plate carts (Field Level, Section 30; Loge Level, Section 108; Reserve Level, Section 10); tostada salads at LA Tacqueria (Reserve Level, Section 45); vegetable and fruit cups vended throughout stadium
  • San Diego Padres (PETCO Park) - Hot dogs, hamburgers, hummus and vegetables, salads and beer at gluten-free stand (Section 104)
  • San Francisco Giants (AT&T Park) - Hot dogs, chips and Omission beer at Budweiser Brew Pub (Promenade Section 112)
AL East:
  • Baltimore Orioles (Oriole Park at Camden Yards) - Beef, pork and turkey sandwiches at Boog's BBQ (Eutaw Street); The Dempsey, Catcher's Cobb, Steak and Baby Arugula salads and bacon on a stick at Dempsey's Brew Pub & Restaurant (Eutaw Street); bacon on a stick at Jack Daniel's Grill (Eutaw Street); all sausages except Natty Boh and Polock Johnny's; Esskay hot dogs (Stand 103); gluten-free pizza at Seasons Pizza (Sections 37, 222, 270 and 366); Go Picnic meals at Eutaw Market (Eutaw Street); pad Thai cold noodle salad and beef and chicken tacos on corn tortillas at TAKO Korean BBQ (Section 53); beer at various concessions
  • Boston Red Sox (Fenway Park) - Hot dogs, pizza, beer and snacks at gluten-free stand (Big Concourse)
  • New York Yankees (Yankee Stadium) - Nathan's hot dogs and Premio sausages on Udi's buns, Kozy Shack pudding and Redbridge beer at gluten-free stand (Great Hall - Gate 6); pizza at Famous Famiglia (Section 125); Nathan's hot dogs, Premio sausages and Boar's Head deli meats (without buns or bread) elsewhere throughout stadium; Kozy Shack pudding at Highlanders (Sections 110, 232, 305, 318, 321, 324 and at the Bleachers); Carvel soft-serve ice cream (Sections 112, 125, 207, 232, 307, 318, 324 and at the Bleachers); vegetable and fruit salads at Melissa's Farmers Market (Gate 4); Redbridge beer at Beers of the World (Sections 110, 205, 224, 312 and 321)
  • Tampa Bay Rays (Tropicana Field) -  Hot dogs, sausages, KIND bars and beer at GF! stand (Center Field Street)
  • Toronto Blue Jays (Rogers Centre) - Sandwiches (Barq's BBQ beef brisket, Big Smoke jerk chicken, T.O. chopped pork and Market Burger), traditional butter chicken with fresh greens, three-bean chili and fruit at Muddy York Market (Section 109); beer at King Club (Level 100)
AL Central:
  • Chicago White Sox (U.S. Cellular Field) - Roast beef, corned beef and turkey sandwiches on multigrain bread and cookies at Triple Play Carvery Stand (Section 110) and at All-Star Stand (Section 522); hot dogs at Comiskey Dog (Sections 105 and 544); nachos and toppings at TexMex (Sections 122, 152 and 523); nachos with cheese at portable locations located around the ballpark on the 100 and 500 levels; soft-serve ice cream at Winning Ugly is Sweet Stand (Section 144) and at All-Star Stand (Section 538); Bard's beer at Brews of the World (Sections 109, 157 and 531)
  • Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field) - Hot dogs, fries, Twisted Potato, beer and hard cider at Spuds and Suds (Sections 163 and 541)
  • Detroit Tigers (Comerica Park) -  Fruit platters and hummus plates at Brushfire Grill (Section 131); hummus plates at Labatt Blue Light Jungle (Gate B); bunless hot dogs, sausages and grilled chicken, french fries, peanuts, popcorn, nachos without cheese and frozen Minute Maid treats throughout stadium; Redbridge beer at Beer Hall (Section 131)
  • Kansas City Royals (Kauffman Stadium) - Bunless hot dogs and sausages, popcorn and Cracker Jack throughout stadium; barbequed meats, house-made BBQ sauce and potato salad at Royals All-Star Barbeque (Outfield Experience and Sections 219 and 423); Redbridge beer at Pine Tar Pub (Sections 210 and 245)
  • Minnesota Twins (Target Field) - Grab-and-go sandwiches, fruit and vegetables at Twins Territory Market (Section 112); pork chops on a stick (Section 133); Redbridge beer (Sections 116, 124 and 325); Talenti Gelato (Sections 141 and 302); bunless grilled chicken and hot dogs, Angie's Kettle Corn, chips, nachos and cheese, Cracker Jack, soft-serve ice cream, cotton candy, popcorn and Killebrew Root Beer vended throughout stadium
AL West:
  • Houston Astros (Minute Maid Park) - Hot dogs and beer at Goya Latin Café (Section 119); made-to-order salads (Section 116)
  • Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Angel Stadium of Anaheim) - Veggie dogs, black bean burgers, sweet potato fries, salads and hummus at Melissa's Fresh For You stand (First Base and Third Base food courts); beer throughout stadium
  • Oakland Athletics (O.co Coliseum) -  Fruit and vegetable cups, kettle corn, Cracker Jack, peanuts, popcorn and snacks (Section 121)
  • Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field) - Hot dogs, sandwiches, soups, snacks and Redbridge beer at The Natural (Section 131); halibut and chips and Redbridge beer at Sound Seafood (Section 248); beer at Good Hops (Section 330)
  • Texas Rangers (Rangers Ballpark in Arlington) - Hot dogs, cookies, pretzels, chips, salads, fruit and Redbridge beer at Centerfield Market (Section 50)

Friday, April 19, 2013

News & Notes: April 19, 2013

The newest dining addition to Manayunk is The Goat's Beard (4201 Main St., 267-323-2495), which marks gluten-free items like mussels, vegetable lasagna and scallops on its New American menu.

The gluten-free menu at Tony's Place in Ivyland (1297 Greeley Ave., 215-675-7275) features pizza, manicotti, protein dishes, Redbridge beer and Woodchuck hard cider. I'm told that the gluten-free orders are prepared separately with different utensils and cookware. (Hat tip to reader Christine O.)

Joe's Crab Shack opened another Delaware Valley location this week in Deptford (2000 Clements Bridge Rd., 856-254-2314). The chain's gluten-free menu lists crab buckets, seafood steampots and Caesar salad. Customers donating $10 to Autism Speaks will receive a coupon for a free Classic Steampot that can be redeemed between May 1 to June 15.

Bertucci's has added several options to the gluten-free menu available at the Italian chain's many locations, including two grilled shrimp dishes and a flourless chocolate cake.

On Tuesday, I posted a review of new Brazilian steakhouse Rodizio Grill, which has many gluten-free choices including delicious cheese bread to accompany the meal.

Gluten-Free Living magazine editor Amy Ratner reports that selected Wegmans locations are serving hot Conte's bake-in-bag gluten-free pizzas at their Market Cafe shops. (Disclosure: I am a contributing writer for the magazine.) According to the Wegmans blog, this is a pilot program at 41 stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Maryland and Massachusetts. In the Delaware Valley, participating locations include Collegeville, Downingtown, King of Prussia, Malvern, Warrington, Cherry Hill, Mt. Laurel and Princeton. Wegmans says that the pizzas are assembled and packaged in a dedicated gluten-free facility and arrive to the stores frozen. When an order is placed the staff will put an unopened bag directly into the regular pizza oven to bake. After baking, the unopened bag will be placed in a clean pizza box and handed to the customer.

Wegmans is also including Kikkoman gluten-free soy sauce with packaged sushi sold at the Market Cafe.

The C. Wonder women's apparel, accessories and home decor store at the King of Prussia Mall (160 N. Gulph Rd. Space 1308, 610-337-1680) is hosting an exclusive shopping party to benefit Celiac Disease awareness on Tues., May 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Guests can enjoy cocktails, gluten-free sweet treats and 20% off purchases, with 10% of the event's proceeds benefiting the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. RSVP by Saturday, May 4.

At the recent Expo East food fair, Udi's announced several new gluten-free products. These include blueberry-cashew and cherry-walnut granola clusters, three more cookie varieties (peanut butter-coconut, sea salt caramel-cashew and chocolate chip-pecan), and three flavors of Ancient Grain Crisps, made with amaranth, quinoa, flax and millet.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Grillin' and Chillin'

I think other chain restaurants should take a hint from Brazilian-themed steakhouses like Rodizio Grill, where grown men are clad in traditional South American cowboy garb. The servers at Outback would be dressed like Crocodile Dundee; the staff at Cheeseburger in Paradise looking like they're heading out to a Jimmy Buffett concert after work.

Put aside the kitschy sartorial choices, though, and you'll find that Brazilian steakhouses are some of the most gluten-free-friendly restaurants around. The latest to open in the Philadelphia area is Rodizio Grill's location on restaurant row in the Voorhees Town Center (13109 Town Center Blvd., 856-344-5110).

If you're not familiar with the Brazilian steakhouse concept, diners basically act as air-traffic controllers at the main course. Guests are provided with red light/green light cards, which let the gauchos roaming the dining room with freshly cooked meats on skewers know whether they want more. Like Fogo de Chao in Center City, Rodizio Grill also offers a wide selection of salad bar items (which can be ordered a la carte).

My older son and I checked out the new spot for lunch on a recent Saturday. I was encouraged ahead of our visit because the menu on the restaurant's website notes all of the items that are gluten free, including the popular Brazilian cheese bread known as pao de queijo. Perhaps it was because the restaurant had just opened, but our hostess wasn't familiar with all of the gluten-free items and the on-site menus didn't list them. Instead, she brought us a one-page list of the gluten-free options, which we consulted throughout the meal.

The salad bar options were not as plentiful as those at Fogo, but there were enough to whet our appetite ahead of the forthcoming meat feast - all of the vegetables, fruit, rice, stews, and meats and cheeses are fine for gluten-free diets.

Pacing is a deft skill at Rodizio and its ilk, since you might be too full to sample a item you really want if you, um, beef up too early. Although not all proteins are available at all times, the top sirloin and bacon-wrapped turkey are among the more popular choices for lunch and dinner and were our favorites. Sides included the spongy cheese bread, polenta, and slices of grilled and glazed pineapple.

To counter the salty entrees, we shared a couple scoops of tropical-flavored ice cream. Also gluten free is a caramel flan and a lime pie mousse, complete with a gluten-free cookie.

Like most steakhouses, Rodizio Grill isn't going to be a regular dining spot for most people. It definitely is a place for occasion dining, though, especially if the occasion is enjoying a hearty gluten-free meal.

Rodizio Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 12, 2013

News & Notes: April 12, 2013

Add Old City's Race Street Cafe (208 Race St., 215-627-6181) to the list of gluten-free sandwich options in Philadelphia. The restaurant's new gluten-free menu also includes several appetizers, salads and entrees.

The Marketplace Cafe restaurants at Nordstrom's King of Prussia Mall and Cherry Hill Mall locations offer gluten-free pasta in two dishes: Chicken Pasta Rossa and Chicken & Artichoke Pasta.

The Southern-influenced Rex 1516 (1516 South St., 267-319-1366) has updated its gluten-free menu for the spring season (the excellent burger remains available) and there's a new dessert that is a favorite of general manager Heather Rodkey - the mint julep, comprised of a mint chocolate pot de creme, pecan macaron and whiskey cream frosting.

Newtown Bagel Company (31 Swamp Rd., 215-497-0220) and Mullica Hill's blueplate (47 S. Main St., 856-478-2112) are carrying Sweet Note Bakery's gluten-free bagels. Newtown Bagel has a dedicated gluten-free toaster.

Rittenhouse Square Mexican El Rey (2013 Chestnut St., 215-563-3330) has an refreshed its gluten-free menu (the $10 lunch special is a bargain) and the Landmark Americana chain - with spots in University City, City Line, Wayne, West Chester and Glassboro - has added roast beef sandwiches to its gluten-free menu.

Jules Thin Crust's newest area location will open in Ardmore (149 W. Lancaster Ave., 610-896-6100) on April 15.

Reader Kristen L. emailed me to let me know that Betsy's Bakery in Camp Hill (near Harrisburg) can ship gift baskets nationwide. All baked goods are gluten free and vegan.

You have until Sunday night to enter another goodies giveaway; five winners will get to try both varieties of Pepperidge Farm's new gluten-free Baked Naturals tortilla chips.

My updated Delaware gluten-free dining e-guide is available for purchase. Featured in the Wilmington News Journal and Delaware Today's 302Health blog, the guide includes hyperlinked listings for restaurants, bakeries, markets and attractions throughout the First State, including Wilmington, Newark and 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.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Goodies Giveaway: Pepperidge Farm Baked Naturals

One small step for Pepperidge Farm, one giant leap for gluten-free eaters. Perhaps gluten-free Goldfish crackers are on the horizon, but in the meantime Pepperidge Farm has introduced the first gluten-free addition to its Baked Naturals lineup – Simply Tortilla and Nacho Cheese tortilla chips.

The new products have less fat per serving than the average tortilla chips (4.5g-5g total fat per 28g serving (24-25 chips) compared to 8g total fat per 28g serving) and 16 to 17 grams of whole grain per serving. Most importantly, the Nacho Cheese chips won't turn your fingers bright orange.

The Baked Naturals tortilla chips are processed in a facility where a gluten-free clean is validated at every production run, every two hours, and test at less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

The ingredients for the Simply Tortilla Chips are:
Stone Ground Corn Masa Flour, Yellow Corn Flour, Vegetable Oils (Corn, Sunflower and/or Safflower), Whole Grain Yellow Corn Flour, Cornstarch, Millet, Toasted Corn Germ, Contains 2 Percent or Less of: Salt, Teff, Soy Lecithin, Whey (Adds a Trivial Amount of Cholesterol) (Milk) and Sesame Oil.
The ingredients for the Nacho Cheese flavor are: 
Stone Ground Corn Masa Flour, Yellow Corn Flour, Vegetable Oils (Corn, Sunflower and/or Safflower), Whole Grain Yellow Corn Flour, Cornstarch, Millet, Toasted Corn Germ, Contains 2 Percent or Less of: Salt, Dehydrated Whey (Adds a Trivial Amount of Cholesterol), Teff, Buttermilk Powder (Adds a Trivial Amount of Cholesterol), Cheddar Cheese (Adds a Trivial Amount of Cholesterol) (Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Annatto), Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Spices, Sugar, Tomato Powder, Whole Milk Solids (Adds a Trivial Amount of Cholesterol), Soy Lecithin, Corn Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Gum Arabic, Soybean Oil and Sesame Seed Oil.
This week, Pepperidge Farms is offering five Gluten Free Philly readers to opportunity to win one package of each tortilla chip flavor in the latest Goodies Giveaway. To enter up to three different ways, follow the instructions below. Entries are being accepted through Sunday, April 14. You must enter a valid email address so that I can contact you if you're the winner.

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 5, 2013

News & Notes: April 5. 2013

Two more Philly eateries are using Taffet's gluten-free bread for sandwiches: Fishtown's Soup Kitchen Cafe (2146 E. Susquehanna Ave., 215-427-1680) and Red Hook Coffee and Tea in Queen Village (765 S. 4th St., 215-923-0178).

Triumph Brewing Company's Princeton location (138 Nassau St., 609-924-7855) now offers a gluten-free menu.

The crab cakes, sesame tuna and several soups are listed as gluten free on the menu at Steam Pub in Southampton (606 Second St. Pike, 215-942-6468). Other items may be modified.

Seasons 52's Spring 2013 gluten-free menu is now available at the Cherry Hill Mall and King of Prussia Mall locations.

Burger 21's first area location, in Voorhees (13109 Town Center Blvd.), is set to open at the end of April. The gluten-free menu include burgers with buns, fries and salads.

A branch of Luke's Lobster will be opening in Rittenhouse Square (130 S. 17th St.). According to the company website FAQ, the lobster, crab and shrimp are gluten free without the bread. (BYO bread is welcome.) The soups are made gluten-free (Hurricane Soups have potato starch) and the Empress claws are safe.

Another Harvest Seasonal Grille & Wine Bar is slated for the area, this one planned to open in North Wales in July.

Two Philly restaurant closings to report: Percy Street BBQ's Center City location at the Comcast Center and Kris in Bella Vista.

*ndulge, a new specialty cupcake shop in Bryn Mawr (1039A W. Lancaster Ave., 484-380-2162), offers gluten-free cupcakes. Executive pastry chef Rebecca Altmann tells me that the night before a gluten-free bake, the kitchen, equipment and utensils are cleaned. The following morning, the gluten-free orders are made first thing. She keeps a separate set of measuring cups and spoons solely for gluten-free baking, as well as a separate supply of butter, sugar and cocoa. Once assembled (for example, her gluten-free vanilla cupcake is topped with a Glutino vanilla sandwich cookie), the gluten-free orders are packaged and wrapped.

The next gluten-free day at *ndulge is Sat. April 13. The shop will be offering vanilla and chocolate variations of conventional cupcakes, available only by pre-order. For vanilla, there will be Candy Apple Caramel, Snickerdoodledoo, Amaretti for Cherry, Coconut sCream, Boston Cream, Florida Key Lime, Lemonardo da Vinci and Realli Vanilli. For chocolate, customers have a choice of the Chocoholic, Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Nymph, Chocolate Orange, Chocolate Pistachio and Chocolate Toffee. The specialty flavor will be an April Shower cupcake - orange cake filled with a mixed berry compote, topped with a blue Curacao Italian buttercream icing and blue “raindrop” sprinkles.

Concessions stands at United Artists and Regal movie theaters will have four gluten-free varieties of GoPicnic snack boxes beginning this month: Turkey Stick & Crunch, Hummus & Crackers, Turkey Pepperoni & Cheese and Black Bean Dip & Plantain Chips.

And speaking of gluten-free concessions, Aramark debuted its newest gluten-free ballpark stand at Citizens Bank Park last weekend, as I wrote on Tuesday. The Phillies home opener is tonight and the stand is ready to roll.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I confess that I've been jealous of sports fans in cities like New York, Atlanta and Denver, who have been able to eat worry-free at Major League Baseball games for several years thanks to dedicated gluten-free stands at Citi Field, Turner Field and Coors Field. This season, it's Philly's time to join the club.

Located at Citizens Bank Park on the main concourse (Section 136), a dedicated gluten-free concessions stand brings together all of last year's offerings in one place. Phillies fans can get freshly grilled cheesesteaks and Hatfield hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, Seasons pizza, chicken fingers, peanuts, cookies and brownies. (The rolls and sweets are made by Sweet Christine's in Kennett Square.) In addition to soft drinks and water, the stand has Woodchuck hard cider on tap, Angry Orchard hard cider in cans and Redbridge beer in bottles.

Elsewhere at the ballpark, the Chickie's & Pete's Crab Fries in Ashburn Alley are cooked in a dedicated fryer (and the cheese sauce is fine), and all flavors of Philadelphia Water Ice (available in Ashburn Alley and stands at Sections 106, 116, 132, 208/308 and 316/416) are gluten free. Hot dogs and salads are available at the Market Express stand (Section 321/421).

The Phillies' home opener is this Friday afternoon against the Kansas City Royals. Expanded food selections are expected at Celiac Awareness Night on Friday, Aug. 16, when the Phillies take on the Dodgers at 7:05 p.m. Proceeds from sales of group tickets in the gluten-free sections will benefit celiac awareness.

Kudos to Aramark, particularly Kevin Tedesco and Jeremy Campbell, for expanding the gluten-free choices at the ballpark and dedicating efforts to making the stand a reality this season.