Friday, February 28, 2014

News & Notes: February 28, 2014

If you've seen Frontera tortilla chips and salsas at the supermarket, then you know of celebrity chef Rick Bayless. For the first time, Bayless has looked beyond his home base of Chicago to open an outpost of his quick-serve Mexican Tortas Frontera at the ARCH CafĂ© on Penn's campus in University City (3601 Locust Walk). Gluten-free options on the menu include all cazuelas (egg skillets at breakfast, protein bowls for lunch and dinner), soups, salads, guacamole and the yogurt bar with gluten-free granola. Be aware that the tortilla chips at the restaurant are cooked in a shared fryer.

Philadelphia's venerable Reading Terminal Market has a go-to gluten-free option if you like Indian cuisine. All entrees at Nanee's Kitchen (51 N. 12th St., 267-250-1273), including the chicken tikka masala and coconut curry chicken, are gluten free.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

First Draft: Gluten-Free Beer Singles

By Chris Betz

While it's great to have brewers like New Planet, Glutenberg and Green's craft entire lines of gluten-free beers, there are also some excellent stand-alone varieties. For this month's column, I took on the enviable task of sampling several of them.

Bard's (4.6% ABV): Bard's sets its self apart from other gluten-free beers by malting sorghum in its recipe just like barley is malted in traditional beer. In fact, it's the only beer that is brewed with 100% malted gluten-free sorghum. The result is an ale that has the flavor, aroma and color of a gluten-full beer. If you avoid gluten and miss a "beery" tasting beer, give this one a try. Its clean, refreshing finish will be welcome at any BBQ or tailgate.

Friday, February 14, 2014

News & Notes: February 14, 2014

Hope springs eternal this time of year if you're a baseball fan like me - and with this winter, everyone should be looking forward to baseball weather. Phillies pitchers and catchers reported to camp this week for the start of Spring Training. If you're going to any of the games in Clearwater, read my updated post highlighting restaurants in the area. Gluten-free options at Bright House Field, where the Phillies play their home games in the Grapefruit League, include all-beef hot dogs and buns, grilled chicken and chips sold at the concession stands behind home plate and left field. Hard cider and Redbridge beer is available at Beers of the World.

Closer to home, the dedicated gluten-free concession stand at Citizens Bank Park that debuted last year will return for the 2014 season and there will again be a Celiac Awareness Day game. This year, the game will be on Sun., May 18 against the Reds, the same date as the Phanatic's birthday; all fans 14 and under will receive Phillie Phanatic Phun Glasses. Stay tuned for ticket information for the gluten-free sections.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stepping It Up at Starbucks

All photos courtesy
Though coffee and drinks remain the cornerstone of Starbucks' business, the company has begun to improve its food selections in an effort to draw in customers looking for more than that morning caffeine rush. With the company's recent acquisition of San Francisco bakery La Boulange, Starbucks is in the midst of rolling out a new line of sweet treats nationwide, including at least two varieties with no gluten ingredients.

The La Boulange Marshmallow Dream Bar and the Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie, made with bittersweet chocolate, contain no gluten ingredients, but are placed unwrapped in display cases with non-gluten-free pastries. According to baristas at several New Jersey stores, the items come wrapped, so customers can ask for ones kept in storage (though they may be frozen).

Friday, February 7, 2014

News & Notes: February 7, 2014

Although it's still winter - and the snow seems never-ending - it's not too early to think about going down the shore. At the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, the Broadway Burger Bar (2801 Pacific Ave., 609-317-4660) serves burgers on gluten-free buns, while Trop outpost of the legendary New York City family-style Italian restaurant Carmine's (2801 Pacific Ave., 609-572-9300) has a series of allergen menus that include gluten-free-friendly selections, including pasta.

In Ocean View, Cape May County, Seaville Tavern (29 New Bridge Rd., 609-624-3136) has gluten-free wings (prepared in a dedicated fryer), salads, seafood and ribs marked on the menu.

The Arlington, a new contemporary American restaurant in Ship Bottom, Long Beach Island (1302 Long Beach Blvd., 609-494-8848), notes gluten-free options on its menus.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

The latest round in the heavyweight battle between Philadelphia's most prolific restaurateurs, Jose Garces and Stephen Starr, centers on Cuban cuisine. With Starr's longstanding Alma de Cuba maintaining a foothold near Rittenhouse Square, Garces recently opened Rosa Blanca (707 Chestnut St., 215-925-5555), an all-day Cuban diner at the location that previously housed his Asian fusion restaurant, Chifa, on the east side of Broad Street. At the early stages of this round, the challenger is behind on at least one scorecard.