Friday, May 30, 2014

News & Notes: May 30, 2014

Photo/Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority
With the unofficial summer season in full swing, the Jersey Shore is the place to find many gluten-free-friendly restaurants. In Atlantic City, the legendary Dock's Oyster House (2405 Atlantic Ave., 609-345-0092) serves gluten-free crab cakes by request.

Salt Ayre Bistro in Ventnor (7309 Ventnor Ave., 609-428-6952) notes gluten-free options on its menu. Items include shrimp & grits, seafood paella and BBQ pulled chicken.

In Ocean City, the cash-only Sandwich Bar (3255 Asbury Ave., 609-741-9888) offers Udi's bread, gluten-free burger buns and fries from a dedicated fryer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

First Draft: Steadfast Beer Co.

By Chris Betz

Steadfast Beer Co., based in Albany, New York, uses only gluten-free ingredients and ensures that their brewing process is free of cross-contamination. Steadfast's depiction of Sisyphus on every bottle shows that they recognize brewing a great gluten-free beer is a challenge. They've chosen a compass to represent the brand "as a nod to finding one’s bearings and a sense of direction amid a lifestyle change that can be dizzying and discouraging." Amen to that.

Friday, May 23, 2014

News & Notes: May 23, 2014

The just-opened Flat Iron sports bar/dance club in South Philadelphia (26 E. Oregon Ave., 215-465-1901) has a gluten-free menu featuring salads, pizzas and burgers. Angry Orchard hard cider and wine are the the gluten-free drink options. The fries are prepped in a dedicated fryer, while pizza is cooked in an oven where the bottom rack is specifically used for gluten free pizza. For protocol, the cooks change their gloves, use a dedicated cutting board and utensils.

In Cheltenham, Pita Pocket (582 Cottman Ave., 215-663-2828) offers gluten-free falafel. The menu is kosher and halal.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chex and Balances

After swapping out barley malt for molasses in most of its Chex varieties several years ago, General Mills made one of its most popular breakfast cereal lines accessible for gluten-free eaters. Now the company has extended the Chex brand to oatmeal. New are three flavors of gluten-free instant oatmeal: Original, Maple Brown Sugar and Apple Cinnamon.

The ingredients are simple, with no high fructose corn syrup or preservatives:

  • Maple Brown Sugar: Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Salt, Natural Flavor
  • Apple Cinnamon: Whole Grain Oats, Sugar, Dried Apples, Cinnamon, Salt
  • Original: Whole Grain Oats

The Maple Brown Sugar and Apple Cinnamon flavors are sold in six-pouch multipacks and as part of a six-pouch variety pack (two of each flavor plus two Original).

Designed for recipes or stove-top preparation, Chex's Gluten-Free Original Quick Cook Oats are sold in a 16 oz. pouch.

The Chex oatmeal products, which are certified gluten free, will begin shipping next week and should be in markets nationwide starting in late June. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Friday, May 16, 2014

News & Notes: May 16, 2014

Mumbai Bistro has branched out of Center City Philadelphia and into the suburbs, reports. The Indian restaurant recently opened in West Chester (18 S. Church St., 484-887-0114), where the buffet and table-service menus list gluten-free options.

There's no shortage of gluten-free pasta options in Wilmington: Cafe Napoli (4391 Kirkwood Hwy., 302-999-7553), Cafe Mezzanotte (1007 N. Orange St., 302-658-7050) and Cafe Verdi (12A Trolley Square, 302-656-5411) all offer it. (At Cafe Verdi, the pasta can be prepared using separate water upon request.)

Reader Cheryl F. let me know that Capt'n Chucky's Crab Cake Co. has a gluten-free version of its award-winning Smith Island Crab Cake, which is available "to go" at all locations (Newtown Square, Chester Springs, Trappe, Blue Bell, Colmar, Yardley and Wilmington). Most stores also stock gluten-free New England Clam Chowder.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ticket to Ride

Not only are the area's amusement parks are rolling out bigger and better attractions for the 2014 season, they're offering plenty of gluten-free fare. The major theme parks have beefed up their selections in recent years to accommodate guests.

At Hersheypark, the new Cocoa Cruiser is a family coaster located in Music Box Way. Guests can also enjoy two new family-friendly rides, Tea Cups and a Sweet Swing. Hersheypark continues its outstanding handling of gluten-free requests, with the most options at Overlook Food Court: hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken tenders, pizza and fries. Craftbarn Kitchen also has burgers and snacks; pizza is also available at Rhineland Famous Famiglia; and hot dogs can be found at Timber Treats. The staff is trained to handle allergen-friendly food options: when an order is placed for a specialty item, staff members will wash their hands, put on new gloves, and use all new utensils designated specifically for specialty items.

Friday, May 9, 2014

News & Notes: May 9, 2014

P.S. & Co. owner Andrea Kyan
P.S. & Company, Philadelphia’s first-­ever all vegan, all gluten-­free, 97% organic restaurant is opening tomorrow at 7 a.m. Located just steps away from Rittenhouse Square (1706 Locust St., 215-985-1706), the cafĂ©/juice bar/takeout lunch/bakery was conceived by Andrea Kyan, owner of Pure Sweets, a gluten-free vegan bakery in East Falls. P.S. & Company will offer breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and an assortment of beverages. Menu items include house-made yogurt and sprouted muesli for breakfast; soups, salads, wraps and bowls for lunch; organic nut milkshakes, hot teas and cold-pressed juices; and cookies, bars and tarts. There will be a full schedule of nutrition and cooking classes this summer as well as activities for kids and BYO happy hours.

The Hummus Grill locations in Philadelphia's Washington Square West section (212 S. 11th St., 267-858-4634) and University City (3931 Walnut St., 215-222-5300) maintain dedicated fryers for gluten-free falafel. (Thanks to reader Carol B. for the tip.)

Champps Americana has introduced a "gluten-friendly" menu to all of its locations, which are mainly in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest U.S. In the Delaware Valley, Champps can be found in King of Prussia (330 Goddard Blvd., 610-491-8001), Collegeville (51 Town Center Dr., 610-454-1003) and Marlton (25 Rt. 73 S., 856-985-9333).

"Better burger" franchise Smashburger is now offering Udi’s gluten-free buns at all U.S. locations. Smashburger has also reformulated the seasoning that goes on its burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches to be gluten free. Some toppings available for add-ons do contain gluten, and guests should ask the manager to have their orders prepared with separate utensils.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Celebrate National Celiac Awareness Month

This Celiac Awareness Month, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness is recognizing the Heroes Within Us - community members who are out there making a difference in the lives of those with Celiac Disease or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

In addition, the NFCA has brought back its Celiac Awareness Month Toolkit, which has everything you need to raise awareness and educate yourself and others about Celiac Disease, gluten sensitivity and the gluten-free diet. The Toolkit has facts on Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity to share with friends and family and tip sheets for talking to your family about Celiac Disease testing, dining out and more.

Also check the Gluten-Free Product of the Day page daily for product ideas to change up your gluten-free food routine.

Friday, May 2, 2014

News & Notes: May 2, 2014

Gourmet burger chains continue to invade the Philadelphia region. Opening its first location outside of New England is b.good, coming in June to Marlton's Promenade (500 Rt. 73 S.). In addition to gluten-free sandwich buns, b.good offers fries, kale & quinoa bowls, salads, smoothies and shakes. reports that another Boston-based chain, Wahlburgers, is looking at opening five Philly-area sites later this year. Gluten-free burger buns and salad croutons are available at Wahlburgers, run by brothers Mark, Donnie and Paul Wahlberg.

Another import, southern California smoothie-and-juice bar Robeks, is set to open the first of more than 30 area locations in July in Philadelphia at 1035 Chestnut Street, according to All menu items are gluten free and can be made dairy free.