Friday, April 28, 2017

News & Notes: April 28, 2017

Smart Flour Foods' new gluten-free Snack Bites are made with the company’s proprietary ancient-grains flour blend of sorghum, amaranth and teff, Available in traditional pizza flavors - Three Cheese, Uncured Pepperoni and Pepperoni & Sausage Combo - the Snack Bites are filled with a hormone-free cheddar and mozzarella cheese blend, along with uncured, vegetarian-fed, and antibiotic- and nitrite-free pepperoni in the meat versions. Snack Bites will be available in select retailers nationwide this summer at a suggested retail price of between $3.99 and $4.99.

Vitalicious is producing a gluten-free version of its popular VitaTops. The cakey chocolate-chip variety, which also is dairy free - is made with sorghum flour, organic sugar and natural vanilla flavor and contains 5 grams of fiber.

If you're missing the taste of churros, Frito-Lay is filling the void with limited-edition cinnamon-and-sugar sopapilla flavored chips. There are no gluten ingredients in these corn-based chips, released to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

EVOL has announced another gluten-free single-serve entree with an international flavor. The Hawaiian Style Grilled Chicken meal is made with sweet pineapple teriyaki sauce on grilled chicken with pieces of pineapple, red bell peppers, edamame and water chestnuts on a bed of white rice. It will be available in frozen food aisles at retailers nationwide next month.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Fielder's Choice: 2017 Gluten-Free Guide to Major League Baseball Ballparks

The gluten-free concession stand at Marlins Park in Miami
Another baseball season brings even more gluten-free options. Many Major League Baseball ballparks have dedicated gluten-free concession stands and carts, while others have expanded their offerings.

Here's where you can find gluten-free concessions at each of the 30 MLB ballparks for the 2017 season (bookmark this post and check back throughout the season for updates; you can email me with any additions/changes that you find).

Friday, April 14, 2017

News & Notes: April 14, 2017

Luna & Larry's new Coconut Bliss Cookie Sandwiches feature hemp seed and chocolate chip cookies sandwiched around coconut milk frozen dessert. The cookies are produced in a certified gluten-free facility and are made with organic sprouted brown rice and oat flours. The sandwiches are available in Vanilla and Dark Chocolate flavors.

Brazi Bites' newest variety of Brazilian cheese bread snacks is 3 Cheese Pizza, made with mozzarella, Cheddar and Parmesan.

Meltkraft, with Philly locations at the historic Reading Terminal Market (51 N. 12th St., 267-639-3309) and in Rittenhouse Square (46 S. 17th St., 215-687-4950), offers gluten-free bread for grilled cheese sandwiches. A shared grill is cleaned for gluten-free orders, which are prepared separately, Additionally, the staff uses clean utensils, new gloves and wraps the sandwiches (made with Taffets bread) in parchment paper to avoid cross contact.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Drawing Up Plans for Gluten-Free Beer

The expression "Rome wasn't built in  a day" certainly applies to the Philadelphia area's first gluten-free brewery. Back in 2013, Cory McDonald's original brewery, 5 O'Clock Brewery, was featured in this space, detailing the early stages of McDonald's plans to bring several true gluten-free beers to market. His father, who is his best friend and drinking buddy, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease more than a decade ago.

McDonald has since teamed up with several business partners, who have rebranded their efforts under the Blueprint Brewing Company banner. The group has announced that they will be opening a brewery in Harleysville, Montgomery County (1571 Gehman Rd.) this summer, with an on-site preview event taking place on May 11. The 6,400 square-foot facility will have a beer garden and family play area.

Blueprint has two gluten-free beers: Elvis - a white beer - and an IPA called Blue Skies. The brewery will also produce traditional (gluten) beers, but they will be brewed using dedicated equipment that's separate from that used to produce gluten-free beers.The gluten-free beers will be sold via growlers, cans and bottles.

Blueprint will be sampling at the Greater Philly Gluten-Free Expo on Saturday, May 20.

Friday, March 24, 2017

News & Notes: March 24, 2017

Crunchmaster is introducing two new gluten-free products. A line of Protein Snack Crackers will be available in Sea Salt, Roasted Garlic and Barbeque flavors, while the Tuscan Peasant cracker range come in Simply Olive Oil and Sea Salt, Garlic & Italian Herb, and Rosemary flavors, Crunchmaster will add three flavors to its existing Multi-Seed and Multi-Grain lines: Multi-Seed Artisan Cheesy Garlic Bread, Multi-Seed Signature Buttermilk Ranch and Dill, and Multi-Grain Applewood Smoked Barbeque. This fall, look for Crunchmaster’s Pumpkin Harvest cracker.

Crunchmaster's sister brand Harvest Stone will add Sprouted Hummus and Sprouted Native Grains varieties to its line. The new products include Sprouted Hummus in Roasted Garlic, Sprouted Hummus in Taste of Za’atar, Sprouted Native Grains in Simply Olive Oil and Salt, and Sprouted Native Grains in Peruvian Aji Amarillo.

Bread SRSLY Gluten-Free Sourdough

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo Set for May 20

The second annual Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo will take place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania on Saturday, May 20.  This year's event will once again include local and national exhibitors, educational presentations, door prizes and gluten-free samples.

This year, the event will be located in the more spacious Hall C of the expo facility, allowing for wider aisles and better guest comfort. Featured speakers at the event include baking expert, author and celiac advocate Jules "GF Jules" Shepard and Beyond Celiac CEO Alice Bast.

Expo exhibitors will be sampling, selling and promoting products at the event. More than 70 exhibitors are expected, including The Happy Mixer, Chocolate Moonshine, GeeFree, Goodman Gluten Free and King Arthur Flour.  The presenting sponsor of the expo is Wegmans, and advance general admission tickets are now available at all area Wegmans locations (at the service desk), by phone (1-800-827-6397) or online. A limited number of special early-entry VIP passes are only available online. VIP passes provide:
  • Exclusive early entry into the vendor area from 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 am, before the general public
  • VIP lounge from 8:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with exclusive gluten-free snacks, samples and an opportunity to meet local gluten-free experts and authors
  • Guaranteed goodie bag
  • Exclusive door prize drawings for VIP pass holders
Advance tickets for general admission (10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are $10, with kids ages 12 and under free; at the door, tickets will be $15. VIP passes are $25 and include early entry to event, guaranteed goodie bag and exclusive samples. Parking at the Expo Center is free.

Friday, March 10, 2017

News & Notes: March 10, 2017

Annie Chun's announced a new gluten-free product line this week in advance of the annual Natural Products Expo West in California. The company's new Asian Entrees can be prepared in one minute. The new dishes are available in three varieties: Red Curry, Green Curry and Sesame Soy Noodle.

Also at Expo West, Dr. Praeger’s debuted a line of heat-and-eat bowls. The gluten-free varieties include a Mediterranean Falafel Bowl, Veggie Masala Bowl, Egg White & Kale Breakfast Bowl and Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Bowl.

Snikiddy is launching two puffed snack lines, Organic Cheese Puffs and Purple Corn Puffs. The Organic Cheese Puffs are available in two flavors - Grilled Cheese and Mac & Cheese - while the Purple Corn Puffs flavors are Sea Salt and White Cheddar.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

CHOP's 12th Annual Celiac Education Day Set for March 26

The Celiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is hosting its annual one-day, state-of-the-art multidisciplinary education program later this month. The 12th annual free event will take place on Sunday, March 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Colket Translational Research Building on CHOP’s campus in the University City section of Philadelphia (3501 Civic Center Blvd.).

The annual education day centers around the mission of CHOP's Celiac Team to promote community awareness by providing area families with evidence-based lectures provided by respected experts within the field. Both the clinical implications of celiac disease and the importance of adhering to a gluten free diet as well as future therapeutic treatments are discussed. Children in attendance are provided the opportunity to attend interactive age-specific lectures and to learn through play with CHOP child-life specialists.

Registration/breakfast begins at 8:15 a.m., and the program begins at 9 a.m. There will be complimentary gluten-free meals for lunch as well, and attendees can sample gluten-free products from several vendors who participate in the event.

Complimentary parking is available in the Wood Building garage; bring your parking ticket to the registration desk for validation.

Space is limited so register early. To maximize the number of families in attendance, CHOP is requesting that families limit registration to the child/ren with celiac disease and one caregiver. The hospital is also requiring anyone who has registered but cannot attend to call 215-590-3076 within one week of the event so that another family on the waiting list may have the spot.

Registration is available through Friday, March 24 via this link. I'll be at the Beyond Celiac table and hope to see you there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

An Egg-cellent Holiday

Native Philadelphians know that there's more to the city's culinary traditions beyond pretzels and cheesesteaks. For nearly 100 years, Zitner's has produced and sold confections locally. A few months before every Easter, its Butter Krak Eggs and other egg varieties - all gluten free - appear in area markets and convenience stores. Butter Krak Eggs, the most well known version, are made with butter cream and long thread coconut, enrobed with dark chocolate that's blended with toasted coconut. Other varieties include Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate, Butter Cream Dark Chocolate, Double Coconut Dark Chocolate, Coconut Cream Dark Chocolate and Marshmallow Dark Chocolate. One of Zitner's owners is gluten free, and the company maintains a protocol to ensure safe manufacturing practices.

Friday, February 24, 2017

News & Notes: February 24, 2017

Evol Foods has expanded its line of certified-gluten-free options with three new enchilada varieties: Chipotle Chicken & Uncured Bacon, Carnitas & Salsa Verde and Cilantro Lime Chicken.

Three of the four new Sweet Balanced Breaks from Sargento are gluten free. They include Natural Cheddar Cheese, Sea-Salted Roasted Almonds, Raisins and Greek Yogurt-Flavored Drops, Monterey Jack Natural Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Dark Chocolate-Coated Peanuts, and Monterey Jack Natural Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Dark Chocolate Chunks and Banana Chips. The snack packs, which combine natural cheese with dried fruits and dark chocolate,.feature 5-7 grams of protein and fewer than 200 calories.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Get Serious

Bread SRSLY's Classic sourdough bread (Photo Credit: Bread SRSLY)
Quick - think of a food associated with San Francisco. Survey says: "Sourdough Bread." When I heard about Bread SRSLY, a small Bay Area business devoted to baking gluten-free sourdough loaves, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to order such an elusive find. I'm glad I did.

Bread SRSLY makes four kinds of gluten-free sourdough loaves - Classic, Seeded, Kale and Sweet Onion - along with sandwich and dinner rolls in a dedicated facility. In addition to being certified gluten free, all Bread SRSLY baked goods are also free of preservatives along with egg, dairy, nuts and other allergens. It's not, however, taste free.

Our Classic Three-Pack order ($35) was shipped out on a Tuesday and delivered two days later via Priority Mail. Since the bread arrived chilled due to the cold weather, it was ready to be sliced right out of the package. The thicker slices I cut from the first loaf were moist - evidence that it was freshly baked. (The company says the the moistness extends shelf life and helps the bread to rise over a 12-hour period; refrigeration will firm up the loaves and allow for thinner slices.) My slicing yielded 12-13 slices per loaf, which keep for about a week in the fridge or about a month in the freezer.

The bread was satisfying even without being warmed, but was superb out of the toaster (the recommended preparation), coated with a pat of butter. It's become our son's favorite for sandwich making. The starter, made with wild yeast, infuses the bread with that unmistakable tang associated with sourdough. The toasting accentuates the crispiness of the crust and softens the doughy interior.

While priced higher than other gluten-free breads, Bread SRSLY's small-batch sourdough loaves are a worthy indulgence, particularly if you're craving an chewy, crusty bread that can't be found at the supermarket.

New customers can use promo code WELCOMESRSLY at Bread SRSLY's online store for free shipping on their first order (a $5 savings).

Disclosure: I receive a commission from purchases made through the affiliate links in this post. However, I purchased the bread independently and the opinions expressed in the post are my own and are not affected by my affiliate relationship with Bread SRSLY.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Crazy Like a Fox

Corn dogs and funnel cakes are now within reach without traveling to the Jersey Shore. The just-opened Fox & Son (512 N. 12th St., 215-372-7935), has brought these fried delicacies to Philadelphia's famed Reading Terminal Market. Even better, the menu is entirely gluten free and all items are made to order.

My son and I made a quick jaunt into the city over the weekend just to check out the stand, located toward the back right of the market (intersection of aisles C and 4). For starters, there are four different kinds of dogs to choose from: pork and beef, turkey, kosher and vegan. We opted for the kosher Classic ($4.99 or two for $8), but the corn dogs also can be dressed with corned beef hash, cheddar jalapeno or sweet potato, chorizo and sour cream ($5.99). The sweet corn flour coating was the perfect complement to the salty beef stick. For early birds, Fox & Son has a breakfast corn dog, made with sausage and topped with maple syrup.

We shared orders of poutine ($6.99), fried cheese curds and, of course, funnel cake. Poutine is a Canadian staple: a basket of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Fox & Son's sauce was very much to our liking, more of an au jus than what you'd find at a Thanksgiving feast. The gooey, deep-fried cheese curds ($4.99), made locally at Birchrun Hills Farm, are served with a side of addictive ranch dressing.

Ah, the funnel cake ($5.99). Topped with powdered sugar and made with rice flour, it's doughy, sweet and melt-in-your mouth delicious.

We chased our meal with organic blood-orange fountain sodas from Idaho's Tractor Soda Co.; other flavors are available, as is fresh-squeezed lemonade and Mexican Coke.

Though several other merchants at the market offer gluten-free options, none have the variety or novelty that Fox & Son brings. My son was ecstatic to be able to enjoy foods he'd never had before in the comfort of a dedicated gluten-free eatery. With its proximity to the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Old City, Reading Terminal Market attracts many out-of-town visitors, but tourists and denizens alike should make their way to Fox & Son for a taste of the boardwalk any time of year.

Friday, February 10, 2017

News & Notes: February 10, 2017

Feel Good Foods, whose gluten-free product line includes Asian appetizers like egg rolls and dumplings, is expanding to Mexican tapas. The newest items are beef, chicken and vegetable empanadas and chipotle chicken, beef & cheddar and pinto bean & cheddar taquitos.

Saffron Road's newest World Cuisine frozen bowls, slated to debut in April, come in four varieties: Grilled Vegetable Tortilla Bake, Verde Tortilla Bake with Chicken, Thai-Style Mango Chicken, and Korean-Style Sweet Chile Chicken. Product coupons are available at the company's website.

Look in the supermarket snacks aisle for Snyder's of Hanover's new Wholey Cheese baked crackers. They come in Mild Cheddar and Smoked Gouda flavors.

Bread SRSLY Gluten-Free Sourdough
$5 flat-rate shipping!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Shawnee Mountain is one of many area ski resorts with
gluten-free options (Photo credit: Shawnee Mountain)
If tradition holds, the roller-coaster January weather the East Coast experienced will soon segue into a more predictable pattern in February and March. That is likely to bring snow, which means greater opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. Many of the region's mountain resorts offer gluten-free options for those respites between runs.

Gluten-free options are available in all dining areas at Shawnee Mountain, located in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, about a two-hour drive from Philadelphia in the Poconos.

Tannersville's Camelback Mountain, also located in the Poconos, offers many gluten-free items in the Big Pocono Family Eatery, Cammello’s, East Side Bistro, CBK Lodge, Glen Lodge, Tubing Snack Shack and Cameltop Mountain Lodge. These include chicken breasts, hot dogs, pizza, BBQ chickens and salads.

At Jack Frost & Big Boulder in Blakeslee, Pennsylvania, gluten-free options such as chicken fingers, burgers, hot dogs, burgers, fries, chili and salads are available; be sure to speak to a JFBB Food & Beverage staffer before ordering. In nearby Scranton, the Slocum Hollow restaurant at Montage Mountain can accommodate gluten-free requests.

In the Lehigh Valley area, Slopeside Pub & Grill at Blue Mountain in Palmerton has a gluten-free menu that includes sandwiches and mac-and-cheese, while Bear Creek Mountain in Macungie can provide gluten-free meals at The Grille, a full-service restaurant.

For skiers willing to drive a bit further to get their snow fix, Hunter Mountain in Hunter, New York (about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Philadelphia) has gluten-free menu items at several dining locations. At Van Winkle's, the gluten-free menu includes pizza, salads and entrees.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Let Freedom Ring

The Philadelphia area has many dedicated gluten-free businesses,
including (clockwise from left) The Happy Mixer, Pure Fare,
Posh Pop Bakeshop and Taffets
Managing a gluten-free diet can be a challenge, particularly for those with celiac disease. Thankfully, the Delaware Valley has more than two dozen dedicated gluten-free restaurants, bakeries and businesses where guests can partake without concern of cross-contamination. All of these businesses are listed in the Gluten Free Philly app (search "100") [iOS and Android].

New Jersey
Updated: February 12, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017

News & Notes: January 20, 2017

As Indian cuisine is inherently gluten-free friendly, it's no wonder that many of the Philadelphia area's Indian restaurants can accommodate gluten-free guests. The just-opened Veda in Rittenhouse Square (1920 Chestnut St., 267-519-2001), which focuses on Northern Indian cuisine, lists gluten-free options on its lunch, dinner and dessert menus. In Lansdale, Spice Kitchen (1758 Allentown Rd., 215-853-3717) also notes gluten-free options on its menu.

In Berwyn, 30 Main (660 Lancaster Ave., 610-220-2367) notes gluten-free options on dinner menu - items like lobster bisque, Thai shrimp and crab cakes.

Old City's Red Owl Tavern at the Hotel Monaco (433 Chestnut St., 215-923-2267) offers gluten-free waffles with bourbon glazed apples and hazelnut butter at breakfast and Sunday brunch, among other options. The waffle iron is dedicated to making just gluten-free waffles. Fox Tail gluten-free beer is currently available at the bar, and the kitchen can accommodate gluten-free request at lunch and dinner as well.

At Ristorante Pesto in South Philly (1915 S. Broad St., 215-336-8380) - featured in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer food section - the kitchen can cook gluten-free gnocchi and penne in a separate pot.

Uncle B's BBQ Shack in Phoenixville (413 Schuylkill Rd., 610-935-1363) prepares gluten-free mac-and-cheese separately from its traditional counterpart. All meats are gluten free, as are all ketchup-based sauces. The kitchen also has a gluten-free fryer for wings and French fries.

If you missed Tuesday's post, you can read up on the many gluten-free-friendly restaurants we found during a recent vacation to Las Vegas.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,500 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Bread SRSLY Gluten-Free Sourdough

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Gluten-Free Road Trip: What Happens in Vegas ...

Though we usually head to Florida between Christmas and New Year's Day with our boys, this time around we opted for something different - going west. It had been more than 15 years since my wife and I were last in Las Vegas and much has changed since then. This time around, however, we had to be mindful of gluten-free dining options. I'm happy to report that both on and off the Strip, Sin City has many accommodating restaurants.

Topgolf (above) and M&M World are among the non-gambling
attractions on the Las Vegas Strip
While gambling and Vegas go hand in hand, you don't have to be a high roller to enjoy the area's many activities and sights. We used one of the many hotels on the Strip - Mandalay Bay at the southern end - as the base for our week-long stay. Since we were flying to and from the East Coast, two days were effectively for travel, leaving us with five full days to sight-see. We flew back on New Year's Eve, but as you can imagine, Las Vegas is a popular draw for holiday revelers, so the city was crowded throughout the week. (Artists as varied as Drake, Bruno Mars, Elton John and Sting were performing in town on the 31st.) During the week, we saw the always-entertaining comedy-magic act Penn & Teller (who are in residence at the Rio), America's Got Talent-winning illusionist Mat Franco (at the Linq) and the incomparable Jerry Seinfeld at one of his two shows at Caesars Palace, whose set was as funny as ever. Must-see Strip attractions include the Mirage volcano, the Bellagio fountains, the gondola rides at the Venetian's Grand Canal Shoppes, M&M World and the Coca-Cola store (where you can sample soda flavors from around the world), the Stratosphere tower, and the Topgolf golf entertainment complex at the MGM Grand (there's one opening in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey in late 2017; gluten-free flatbreads and burger buns are on the menu).

Winter in Utah's Zion National Park
We alternated our days between spending time in Las Vegas proper and taking road trips to explore the surrounding area. If you plan to visit places away from the Strip during your stay, it's worth your while to rent a car compared to the cost of paying for a tour, particularly for more than two people - the drives themselves are priceless. On one of the days, I made the nearly three-hour, one way trek though Nevada and Arizona to Utah's Zion National Park - a breathtaking sight, especially in the winter.

The gateway to Zion National Park is a small Utah town called Springdale. We stopped for lunch at Cafe Soleil, where our son had the Southwest Chicken Salad. Gluten-free options are noted on the menu and there were pre-packaged snacks and cookies available.

Within an hour's drive from Las Vegas is the Hoover Dam (above)
and Valley of Fire State Park
Our other - shorter - road trip was to the majestic Hoover Dam, traversing back alongside Lake Mead and through Nevada's Valley of Fire State Park, where we walked several trails.

We found it easy to dine gluten free at the Strip hotels we visited. At Mandalay Bay, our waiter at the SeaBreeze Cafe was diligent about making sure our son's breakfast (eggs, potatoes and bacon) were made separately. For dinner one evening, the chef at Lupo by Wolfgang Puck prepared his gluten-free spaghetti in a clean pot with fresh water and tossed it with a Bolognese sauce. Though we didn't get to many of the other restaurants at Mandalay Bay, most can accommodate and note gluten-free options on their menus, including Border Grill, Fleur by Hubert Keller and House of Blues.

The Shoppes at Mandalay Place have gluten-free-friendly
restaurants that include Burger Bar (above) and Rick Moonen
RM Seafood
At the adjoining Shoppes at Mandalay Place, our older son enjoyed a delicious burger (with gluten-free bun), separately prepared steak fries and a shake at Burger Bar. For dessert on another evening, we went to Rick Moonen's RM Seafood for "Rick's Tasting Game," 16 flavors of ice cream and sorbet served blind. (We asked to make sure that all flavors were gluten free.) We were given a sheet to write down our guesses and if we got all correct, the dessert would be on the house. Though we only got about half right, we had a fun time trying them all. RM Seafood lists gluten-free options on the lunch and dinner menus.

Lupo by Wolfgang Puck (above) and El Segundo Sol are
among Las Vegas's many gluten-free-friendly
The Lettuce Entertain You chain of restaurants out of Chicago has long had a reputation of being gluten-free-friendly, and the Vegas outposts we went to were no exception. My wife commented that the chicken fajitas she had for lunch at El Segundo Sol were the best she'd ever had. We took advantage of some refills of the unlimited tortilla chips (prepared in a dedicated fryer) and our older son had a chicken quesadilla made with grilled corn tortillas. On the night my wife went to see the Michael Jackson-themed Cirque de Soleil show (which she highly recommends), the boys and I ate at Mon Ami Gabi, the chain's French bistro at the Paris Hotel. (There are East Coast locations in Bethesda, Maryland and Reston, Virginia.) Not only did the restaurant bring out warm gluten-free bread for our older son, he had French onion soup with gluten-free croutons for the first time as the prelude to a wonderful salmon entree.

Incidentally, we ended up at Mon Ami Gabi because our original plans were scuttled. We had a reservation at Brooklyn Bowl at The Linq Promenade but had to cancel after after there was a gas outage in the shopping complex. We were looking forward to some gluten-free fried chicken (prepared in a dedicated fryer) but will have to wait for next time - or at least until we get to the original location in Brooklyn.

We did try one hotel buffet for breakfast, the aptly named MORE at the Luxor. The chef came out to speak with us about safe options and several items were clearly labeled gluten free. However, the food was fair at best and not worth the $20 per person that would have been better spent elsewhere.

We also dined at a couple of spots with New York connections. Although the original Carnegie Deli in New York City just served its last pastrami sandwich at the end of 2016, a subsidiary remains open at the Mirage, where our son had corned beef sans bread with a side of cole slaw. He had an ahi tuna salad and a banana split at the Las Vegas outpost of Manhattan coffee shop Serendipity 3, which closed since the time of our visit.

The gluten-free crepes at Crepe Expectations are worth
a drive off the Las Vegas Strip.
Off the Strip, popular West Coast fast-foodery In-N-Out was careful to prepare protein-style burgers and fries. One morning, our son had his first crepe - made with gluten-free batter, Nutella, bananas and strawberries - at Crepe Expectations. The staff uses one of the griddles for gluten-free crepes and cleans it thoroughly when not in use exclusively for them.

Although the Joseph James Brewing Company in nearby Henderson does not have a taproom or offer tours, visitors can find the brewery's gluten-free Fox Tail Pale Ale sold in local bars, markets and liquor stores. The beer, sold in cans as a four-pack, is made with organic rice as a base.

You can find more Las Vegas restaurant recommendations posted at Gluten Free in Las Vegas, where Vegas resident Lisa writes about her favorites, and at Alexis's Gluten Free Adventures.

Friday, January 13, 2017

News & Notes: January 13, 2017

With the new year comes a round of new gluten-free products. Look in the cereal aisle for Post's new Cinnamon Pebbles, part of the regular - not limited edition - Pebbles line. The company has nutrition and ingredient information posted at its website.

Kellogg's has added two gluten-free Special K Nourish chewy nut bars: Chocolate Coconut Cashew and Caramel Almond Sea Salt. Kashi, also owned by Kellogg's, has a new line of gluten-free chewy nut butter bars. Those bars come in four varieties: Salted Chocolate Chunk,  Almond Snickerdoodle, Chocolate Trail Mix (all made with almond butter) and Coconut Cashew Macaroon (made with cashew butter). All of these bars include oats as an ingredient.

The gluten-free Canyon Bakehouse bakery is introducing a new line of breads called Heritage Style, which come in Honey White and Whole Grain varieties. The bread is sold fresh, not frozen, and the slices are larger than those in the company's original bread loaves. Look for them in the grocery section at Target stores nationwide; they'll soon be available for online ordering through Canyon Bakehouse's website.

Schar's newest gluten-free cookies include Butter Cookies, Chocolate Thins and Oat Biscuits.

As I wrote in Tuesday's blog post, Jersey Mike's Subs locations in the greater Philadelphia area are participating in a 90-day test of gluten-free sub rolls. The locations that opened this week in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania and Voorhees, New Jersey are among those slated to participate in the program.

The region's first BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse recently opened in Allentown (665 N. Krocks Rd., 484-268-2340). The gluten-free menu there includes thin-crust pizza and a chocolate chip Pizookie for dessert.

Reader Dalice let me know that in the Queen Village section of Philadelphia, Thai restaurant Pad Chili (604-606 S. 2nd St., 215-470-4301) can prepare selected items gluten free.

Two more Philadelphia Snap Kitchen locations have opened, one in Bella Vista (601 S. 10th St., 215-845-0027) and the other in Fishtown (1325 Frankford Ave., 267-838-6590). Practically all of the to-go meals sold there are gluten free.

City Kitchen, the demonstration kitchen at Philadelphia's Reading Terminal Market (12th & Arch Sts.), is hosting a "Gluten Free Friday" cooking class on Friday, March 3 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person and can be ordered online.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,500 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Just Don't Call Them Hoagies

The new gluten-free rolls at Jersey Mike's Subs are baked
on dedicated pans to avoid cross contact.
With roots in central Jersey Shore towns, Jersey Mike's can be excused if the growing sandwich-shop chain refers to its signature products as "subs" instead of the Philly-centric "hoagies." Wherever you're from, though, you can order your next meal there on a gluten-free roll. Jersey Mike's Subs is introducing gluten-free rolls in its Philadelphia, New Jersey and metro New York restaurants as part of a three-month pilot program.

The proof-and-bake Tuscan herb rolls come from Colorado's gluten-free artisan Wild Flour Bakery and arrive as dough, baked fresh in store each day. The shops have dedicated pans for baking the gluten-free rolls, and team members wear new gloves when handling the rolls and use knives and other utensils that haven't touched other bread products when slicing them.

While meats and cheeses are sliced fresh to order, I suggest that gluten-free guests request that their sandwiches be assembled on paper (not on the counter directly) and with condiments and produce such as lettuce, tomatoes and onions taken from a fresh stash to avoid cross contact.  A list of allergens is posted at the company's website; currently, all of the cold cuts are listed as gluten free; on the hot side, only the meatballs, teriyaki chicken and chicken parmesan are not gluten free.

If you want to skip the bread entirely, any cold sub can be made as a "Sub in a Tub."

In southeastern Pennsylvania, stores in Horsham, Glen Mills, Phoenixville, West Chester and 30th Street Station in Philadelphia are slated to carry the gluten-free rolls. Cherry Hill, Cinnaminson, Glassboro, Hamilton, Marlton, Moorestown and Princeton are the designated South Jersey locations. All should have gluten-free bread available within the next week or two. Sandwiches made with the new bread option will cost an additional $2.