Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Fielder's Choice: 2018 Gluten-Free Guide to Major League Baseball Ballparks

Tater Kegs are one of many gluten-free options at Yankee Stadium
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 2018 season (bookmark this post and check back throughout the season for updates; you can email me with any additions/changes that you find).

Incidentally, the Seattle Mariners are hosting a gluten-free night at Safeco Field on Tuesday, May 3 with a menu that includes hot dogs, burgers, meatball sandwiches, potato salad and Caesar salad.

Friday, April 13, 2018

News & Notes: April 13, 2018

Trader Joe's has a new gluten-free cereal on the shelf: Crunchy Maple Ladders. It's likely that the product is made by Australia's Freedom Foods, as the ingredient label pairs closely to the latter's Maple Crunch cereal.

Sweet Loren's is expanding its line of gluten-free place-and-bake cookies to include Sugar, Fudgy Brownie and Oatmeal Cranberry, joining original Chocolate Chunk.The gluten-free varieties are manufactured in a dedicated facility. The company is offering a $1-off coupon at its website.

Two of the four new LoveTheWild microwaveable seafood bowls coming this fall to Whole Foods, Wegmans and Target are gluten free. The Hawaiian Style Tropical Bowl and Baja Style Taco Bowl both feature barramundi, also known as Asian sea bass.

Among the new products added to SeaPak's Selections line is a gluten-free Thai Coconut Shrimp soup, available at select Walmart stores nationwide.

After reading Tuesday's post about the new gluten-free stand at Citizens Bank Park, many readers commented via email and Facebook that they were less than impressed with the changes they encountered while attending games during the Phillies' recent home stand. I shared these views with Aramark and the company has decided to bring back the concourse-level stand-alone cart with dedicated prep area. Stay tuned for the new location and menu options, along with a look at gluten-free options at MLB ballparks around the country.

Most of the menu at Oink & Moo BBQ in Voorhees (910 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd., 856-282-7630) is gluten free. Safe options include all meats (brisket, pulled pork, chicken, wings and ribs) and sauces, tacos on corn tortillas, assorted sides (cole slaw, greens, baked beans, black bean salad, potato salad and sweet potato) and chili. There's currently a Groupon offer for Oink & Moo: $10 for $20 worth of food. (Disclosure: I get a small commission for purchase as a Groupon affiliate.)

At Andale Latino Grill in Marlton (1041 Rt. 73 N.,609-535-3000) and Feasterville (144 E. Street Rd., 215-494-9505), the only non-gluten-free protein is the fried tilapia. Otherwise, gluten-free options include all bowls, tacos on corn tortillas, patacones and arepa sandwiches, and all sides (including chips and empanadas).

Snap Custom Pizza, which offers personalized gluten-free pizzas prepared separately from their traditional counterparts, is now open in Bala Cynwyd (35 E. City Ave., 484-270-8636).

DiBartolo Bakery in Collingswood (667 Haddon Ave., 856-869-3565) can bake gluten-free cakes, from strawberry shortcakes to Italian rum cakes to wedding cakes. Gluten-free cake layers are made first thing in the morning before traditional cakes and are assembled in a flourless area of the shop. All equipment and utensils are washed before gluten-free orders are made.

Sprouts Farmers Market is coming to Philadelphia this fall with a location at 1000 S. Broad St. in the new Lincoln Square development.

According to Philly.com, Shake Shack is opening a third Philadelphia storefront later this year at 1132 Chestnut St. at the former Philly Cupcake location. The New York-based better-burger chain has gluten-free burger buns.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Eating Gluten Free at Citizens Bank Park

Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies, has added a number of new features for the 2018 Major League Baseball season, including a wiffle ball field for kids. One new concept from last year, Zoom Food, is where gluten-free options can now be found. Zoom Food, located in Section 126, has a Wawa-style touch-screen ordering system. Gluten-free options at Zoom include cheesesteaks, hot dogs, pizza, chicken tenders, soft pretzels, brownies, cookies, chips, peanuts and Redbridge beer. Additional options will be added throughout the season.

In addition, gluten-free Cobb salads, loaded nachos, vegetarian chili and brownies are now available at Harry the K's, while the Ashburn Alley Chickie's & Pete's Crabfries stand prepares only fries in dedicated fryers. There are several Rita's stands throughout the ballpark serving gluten-free water ice (Sections 106, 116, 132, 208, 220, 316 and Ashburn Alley), and Redbridge beer, Stella Cidre hard cider and Spiked Seltzer are available at various stands, including at Brewerytown (Sections 113, 139, 204, 209, 318, 323, 229).

UPDATED 4/12/18: Due to popular demand, the dedicated stand has returned as a dedicated portable cart on the concourse level (Sections 125/126).

Friday, March 30, 2018

News & Notes: March 30, 2018

Grainful has reformulated its frozen entrées by incorporating a new gluten-free grain blend of whole oats, quinoa and sorghum and layering on more vegetables, proteins, and sauces. Grainful also transitioned to using a bowl in the packaging. They come in eight varieties, including Tuscan Bean & Kale, Unstuffed Pepper, Vegetarian Chili and Porcini Mushroom Chicken. The revamped products have already started hitting shelves at leading retailers across the nation including Wegmans, ShopRite, Safeway, HEB, Giant Eagle and Whole Foods. The entrées will also be available for purchase online on the Grainful online store and at Amazon.com this month.

Nona Lim’s new instant noodle bowls come in three non-GMO, gluten-free varieties: Thai Coconut Lime, Chicken Pho and a vegan Green Curry. Each 14.5-ounce bowl is cold-shipped for freshness and sold in the refrigerated aisle for a suggested retail price of $6.99.

Kidfresh will introduce its first gluten-free product, a new White Mac 'n Cheese, later this spring. Kidfresh offers a line of children's favorites enriched with hidden vegetables and without any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. The line of frozen meals is nationally distributed and available in over 10,000 stores.

Truly Spiked & Sparkling has debuted its newest gluten-free alcoholic sparkling water: Truly Wild Berry, with a hint of natural juiciness and sweetness from California strawberries, raspberries and Marion blackberries. Truly Wild Berry will be sold in six-packs and featured in a new Berry Variety Pack with two other exclusive flavors, Blueberry & Acai and Raspberry & Lime, along with Pomegranate.

Locally, Bridget's Steakhouse in Ambler (8 W. Butler Pike, 267-465-2000) notes gluten-free options on its dinner menu, as does the refreshed Bar 1929 at Woodcrest Country Club in Cherry Hill (300 E. Evesham Rd., 856-439-4300).

Not only is the all-gluten-free Real Food Eatery planning to open a second Center City location this spring at 1700 Market St., one in the Fairmount section (4040 City Ave.) is coming soon.

Chickie's & Pete's opened its newest sports bar this week in Marlton (25 Rt. 73 S., 856-452-5126). The bone-in wings and Crabfries are gluten free, prepared in separate fryers from breaded items.

Pasta Pomodoro, the longtime gluten-free-friendly Italian restaurant in Voorhees, has lost its lease. Elsewhere, the Rittenhouse Square outpost of grilled-cheese and shake purveyor MilkHouse has closed, but it's business as usual at the Suburban Station and 30th Street Station locations.

Have a great holiday weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Raising the Steaks

Butcher and Singer is located at a one-time financial brokerage
Restaurateur Stephen Starr has Philadelphia's gluten-free dining scene covered. For Asian, Buddakan, Pod and Morimoto check that box. For Mexican, there's El Rey. Latin? Alma de Cuba. But how does he handle the classic American steakhouse? Quite well, I can report.

At a recent media dine, my wife and I had the opportunity to enjoy a lovely dinner at Butcher and Singer near Rittenhouse Square (1500 Walnut St., 215-732-4444). The restaurant, named for a former financial brokerage there, is located in the former home of the famed Striped Bass seafood restaurant. With its high ceilings and dim lights, the dining room has the look and feel of a 1940s-style clubhouse. 

Most of the traditional menu carries over to the gluten-free version, with a few exceptions. For starters, I ordered the maple bourbon bacon ($12), a thick slab of Nueske's pork that pulled apart like ribs. My wife's wedge salad ($13) was sprinkled with bacon bits and crumbled blue cheese.

I'm sure it offends the purists, but we enjoy our steaks well done, and the perfectly charred filet mignon ($42) did not disappoint. (The fact that they steaks were marinated in butter didn't hurt either.) My wife opted to get hers Oscar-style, with jumbo lump crab meat on asparagus on top and Bearnaise sauce alongside.

The beef was rivaled, however, by the stuffed hash browns we shared as a side, which, unlike the French fries, don't go in a shared fryer. The pan-fried shredded potatoes ($15) are loaded with Vidalia onion strings, sour cream and even more (cubed) spuds. The salty, savory dish was a worthy accompaniment to our main course.

Despite our best efforts, we couldn't resist the sweet siren call of dessert; we substituted vanilla ice cream for butter pecan in the butterscotch sundae ($7). The kitchen omitted the blondie square from the glass to keep it gluten free.

The drinks menu has a variety of wines and spirits, and even a Green's gluten-free amber ale ($22).

Like those in Chicago, Atlanta and other major cities, steakhouses in Philadelphia have their own styles; Butcher and Singer is classy without being stuffy. Ambience aside, though, it's the food that guests are going for, and it's the food that will bring us back to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion.

DISCLOSURE: Starr Restaurants provided us with a complimentary meal. However, the opinions expressed in this review are mine and were not influenced in any way by the compensation.

Friday, March 16, 2018

News & Notes: March 16, 2018

Before digging in to the news of the day, I want to thank all of my readers - new and old - for supporting my passion in publishing this blog. Yesterday marked the 9th anniversary of my first post, which was a simple "Welcome." Since then, the gluten-free world has grown tremendously. It's so much easier now for my son to eat gluten free, whether in the kitchen or out of the house, than it was when I first started this endeavor. Though we've made much progress, our voices must continue to be heard.

Last week's Expo West gourmet and healthy foods trade show brought word of a number of new gluten-free products that are just out or will be soon. For starters, you can pretend you're back in college with Lotus Foods' rice ramen noodle soup. Organic brown rice noodles are blended with vegetables and spices to create three certified-gluten-free varieties: Masala Curry, Tom Yum and Spicy Miso.

Bobo's is adding to its line of gluten-free snacks with TOAST’R pastries, baked oat crusts filled with jams and nut butter. TOAST’R will launch nationally starting at Whole Foods Market in May.  Each box will retail at $2.49 and will come in four flavors: Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed, Strawberry Jam, Chocolate Almond Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Bobo's products are certified gluten free by the GFCO.

Quinn Snacks announced two new additions to its gluten-free pretzel line, Maple Oat Twists and Deli Rye Style Pretzel Rods. All Quinn pretzels use Kansas-grown sorghum flour.

Birch Benders is launching of a new line of frozen toaster waffles in four flavors, including a gluten-free Paleo variety made in Belgium.

Friday, March 2, 2018

News & Notes: March 2, 2018

Hoping to turn around its reputation for "holey" bread, Udi's Gluten Free has sought to improve two of its best-selling loaves. The Multigrain and Soft White Sandwich breads have larger slices and a softer texture. The Multigrain variety is sold in 12-oz. loaves, while the white comes in 12- and 24-oz. versions.

In addition to puff pastry dough, Schar is also importing several other gluten-free frozen items to the U.S. this year, including kaiser rolls and pain au chocolat pastries. Like Schar's croissants, the pastries are made with certified gluten-free wheat starch, which is more commonly found in gluten-free products in Europe. You can read about certified gluten-free wheat starch at Schar's website as well as Gluten-Free Living and Gluten Free Watchdog; consuming products with certified gluten-free wheat starch is a personal decision for those with Celiac Disease; such products are not appropriate for those with wheat allergies.

Available in Chocolate Chip, Snickerdoodle, Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut varieties, Simple Mills’ new gluten-free soft-baked cookies are made with whole-food ingredients like almond flour, honey and coconut sugar. They have no refined sugars or preservatives. Each package contains eight cookies and retails for $4.99.

RP’s Gluten-Free Pasta is rebranding to become Taste Republic. The new Taste Republic pasta line will continue to be certified gluten-free, Kosher, and include fresh pasta favorites such as fettuccine, fusilli and lasagna as well as new items like plantain linguine. Look for the new line to be on retail shelves by May.

Locally, Snap Custom Pizza has opened its newest location in Jenkintown (1621 The Fairway, 215-935-6348), where guests can order custom-made gluten-free pizzas.

Turning Point just opened another southern New Jersey location in Moorestown (1690 Nixon Dr., 856-840-6167. The local breakfast/lunch cafe chain offers a gluten-free menu.

IndeBlue has closed its original location in Collingswood; its Philadelphia outpost in Midtown Village (205 S. 13th St., 215-545-4633) remains open.

Stephen Starr's Philadelphia restaurants have long been accommodating for gluten-free diets. I was able to gather (and have linked to) the current gluten-free menus at Pod, Jones, El Rey, Continental in Old City, Butcher & Singer, Buddakan, Barclay Prime and Alma de Cuba; others, like Morimoto, The Dandelion and Talula's Garden, have lists on site. Note that some restaurants, like Buddakan, do not have dedicated gluten-free fryers; if you're considering ordering fried items, be sure to check with management in advance or when you arrive.

Registration for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's annual Celiac Disease Education Day on Sunday, March 25 is now open. The 13th annual event will take place from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Colket Translational Research Building on CHOP’s campus. Children in attendance are provided the opportunity to attend interactive age specific lectures and to learn through play with CHOP child life specialists. Complimentary gluten-free meals are provided, and attendees can sample gluten-free products from several vendors. I'll be at the Beyond Celiac table, so feel free to stop by and say hello.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

What's New for Passover 2018

While the Jewish holiday of Passover has not lost its religious meaning, it has in recent years become an unofficial gluten-free holiday. This year, Passover begins the evening of Friday, March 30 and ends the evening of Saturday, April 7. It's a time when many more gluten-free products are available at supermarkets. This grew out of the observance of certain segments of the Jewish population refraining from eating any wheat products during Passover. The packaging of many gluten-free products is expressly labeled as such, while others have a "non-gebrokts" notation. (As always, read the ingredient label before buying and consuming a particular item.)

Kosher food manufacturer Kayco will be introducing many new gluten-free products this year under various brand names (you can find all of Kayco's gluten-free products here.) The best-selling gluten-free matzo-style cracker, Yehuda, will have a Cinnamon version for the first time, joining Original,  Everything, Egg, Unsalted, Onion and Fiber Enriched varieties. Returning products include Yehuda's gluten-free matzo meal, farfel, cake meal and crackers.

Kayco's Gefen label will introduce fresh gluten-free gnocchi and fusilli pasta for Passover. Gefen will also have a new lasagna and two kinds of chow mein noodles on store shelves.

New from Kayco's Haddar brand are chocolate nut clusters (cashews, pecans and almond), soup croutons and panko crumbs (Original, Onion & Garlic and Barbeque).

This year, Manischewitz has two new gluten-free gefilte fish products: a frozen loaf and a pre-sliced version.

Lieber Foods is expanding their Passover baked-goods line with several kinds of mini cookies.

About a week or two before the start of Passover, supermarkets receive their shipments of fresh gluten-free cakes and cookies from New York bakeries such as Oberlander's, Lilly's Bake Shoppe and Schick's. Look for sandwich, black-and-white and rainbow cookies, cake rolls, decorative and layer cakes.

If you want to try "Mexican Coke" (made with sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup), Passover Coca-Cola will be available in the Philadelphia area and other regions. Look for bottles with distinctive yellow caps.

Prices of some Passover foods tend to be higher than their non-holiday counterparts, so I suggest buying one of a particular item to see if you like it before stocking up. Keep an eye on Passover sections after the second night of the holiday, when markets tend to cut prices on whatever products are left.

Friday, February 16, 2018

News & Notes: February 16, 2018

They're not yet on the company's website, but Promise Gluten Free now has baked-in-store sourdough breads. (The Ravitz ShopRite stores in southern New Jersey currently have them on sale for $5.49.) The breads are shipped par-baked and frozen, then baked off in the supermarkets in their own bags to avoid cross-contamination; you'll have to slice at home. There are four varieties in all: Rustic White, Rosemary & Olive, Rustic Seven-Seed and Seeds & Fruit. So far, my son has tried the white bread and really liked it. It's more soft than crusty, but tastes especially good after being toasted.

The company making my favorite gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, Tate's Bake Shop, has introduced two more gluten-free flavors: Oatmeal Raisin (which are also sold at Trader Joe's under the store's own label) and Coconut Crisp.

Schar has introduced a chocolate-covered version of its popular Honeygrams cookies, made with dark chocolate and honey. Also coming soon from the company is a puff pastry dough.

The Jewish holiday of Purim begins the evening of Feb. 28 and of course that means noshing on filled hamentaschen cookies. Katz Gluten Free has a full complement of flavors - chocolate, apricot, raspberry, prune and poppy - available for online ordering. Support Gluten Free Philly and use promo code WELCOME20 using this link for 20 percent off your order.

Locally, Bryn & Dane's is serving up gluten-free wraps, salads and smoothies at its just-opened outpost in Malvern (615 Morehall Rd., 610-296-5555).

In Manayunk, Jamaican-Korean The Spicy Belly (3847 Terrace St., 215-482-2095) maintains a dedicated gluten-free fryer and uses a rice flour base for most items. The Korean and jerk wings, shrimp curry and pork belly lettuce wraps are some of the gluten-free items served.


Botto's Italian Line in Swedesboro (1411 Kings Hwy., 856-467-1570) has a large number of gluten-free options, including pasta (prepped separately), meatballs (made with gluten-free breadcrumbs) and sausage.

Further south in Vineland, Maplewood III (200 N. Delsea Dr., 856-692-2011) offers an extensive gluten-free menu that includes appetizers, pasta, entrees and desserts.

Jersey Mike's opened a location in Reading (3225 N. 5th St., 484-869-8559) earlier this week. Guests can order subs on Udi's gluten-free rolls at all Jersey Mike's locations nationwide.

Fox & Son is testing a fried gluten-free "Oreo"
This week, the all-gluten-free Fox & Son at Reading Terminal Market in Center City Philadelphia (51 N. 12th St., 215-372-7935) is offering - wait for it - fried gluten-free "Oreos" using Trader Joe's gluten-free Joe-Joe sandwich creme cookies. Based on early feedback, the owners are considering adding the treats to the menu permanently.

Another 100% gluten-free restaurant, Westmont's Heart Beet Kitchen (29 Haddon Ave., 856-240-1106) announced this week that it will be opening a location in Ocean City this spring. The address has not yet been revealed.

Turning Point announced a Summer 2018 opening for its newest Pennsylvania location in Newtown (2841 S. Eagle Rd.). The local breakfast/lunch cafe chain offers a gluten-free menu.

Studio Movie Grill will open a second Philadelphia-area location at Willow Grove Mall, likely sometime later this year. The first, in Upper Darby, offers gluten-free burger buns.

The Chester County GIG support group will meet on Thursday, March 1 at the Whole Foods in Exton beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting includes a store tour.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

(This post contains affiliate links.)

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Reaping the Harvest

Harvest's gluten-free short rib flatbread
Former chiropractor Dave Magrogan made a splash as a restaurateur with multiple Kildare's Irish Pub locations throughout the Delaware Valley, but his focus these days is on the growing farm-to-table Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar.

Locally sourced cheese with gluten-free crispbread
 Many menu items at the celiac-friendly Harvest are under 500 calories and utilize mostly local ingredients, changing seasonally. Gluten-free options are listed on the main menu; most salads, appetizers, entrees and desserts fall into this category, either naturally or as modified. The kitchen also serves a variety of gluten-free flatbreads (baked on a separate sheet tray); gluten-free burger buns and mac-and-cheese  are also offered (the macaroni is separately prepared).

Grilled swordfish is among the fish options on the Winter menu
We recently had an excellent experience at the Moorestown location, where my son and I shared the gluten-free braised short rib flatbread (topped with smoked cheddar) and a four-cheese board served with nuts, fruit, house-made jams and gluten-free bread. We also savored bowls of creamy butternut squash soup made with locally sourced honey. My son followed that with a cuminy wood-fire grilled swordfish drizzled with lemon-onion butter. There's even a gluten-free dessert: three-bite peanut butter and chocolate mousse atop flourless chocolate cake.

Harvest rotates gluten-free desserts seasonally
While wine is clearly the backbone of the beverage menu, there is a cider option. Given Harvest's extensive gluten-free food selections, I was disappointed to see Omission - which is gluten-reduced and not truly gluten free - on the beer list, particularly since Magrogan's remaining Kildare's location in Scranton currently stocks three kinds of Glutenberg beer and multiple ciders.

Despite the beer demerit, though, Harvest scored well overall in offering a wide variety of delicious gluten-free fare.

Harvest has six locations in Eastern Pennsylvania (Glen Mills, Radnor, Harrisburg, North Wales, Moosic and the newest in Newtown), along with one in Moorestown, New Jersey and another in Delray Beach, Florida. Future outposts are planned for Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Tampa, Florida.

Friday, February 2, 2018

News & Notes: February 2, 2018

Trader Joe's leads the way this week with even more gluten-free products on store shelves. For starters, there are two new organic, gluten-free pastas: black bean rotini and red lentil sedanini, both selling for $2.99 a package. The new churro bites, made with corn meal and brown sugar, are $2.49 per bag, and the oat cranberry flaxseed cookies are $2.99 for a six-cookie package.

Namaste Foods is branching out from its traditional gluten-free baking-mix roots to introduce single-serve microwaveable cake cups. They come in three flavors: Dark Chocolate CakeYellow Cake and Cinnamon Sugar Cake.

Locally, the big story this week is the impending closure of gluten- and allergen-free Sweet Freedom Bakery's location in Collingswood (577 Haddon Ave., 856-869-7322) on Feb. 18. The bakery's original Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr outposts are unaffected and it's business as usual there.

The newest area Harvest Seasonal Grill and Wine Bar opens in Newtown on Monday, Feb. 5 (2865 S. Eagle Rd., 215-944-8469). Gluten-free options are noted on the dinner menu.

JuiceFresh in Rehoboth Beach (37385 Rehoboth Ave., 844-584-2366) is the area's newest all-gluten-free business. In addition to juices and smoothies, the cafe offers soups, salads, muffins, power bars and more.

Many of the items on the Thai side of the menu at Thai Burger Cafe in Pitman (13 S. Broadway, 856-582-0424) are gluten free. This includes pad Thai, all fried rice and curries and several soups and appetizers.

Pittsburgh's gluten-free Aurochs Brewing continues its eastern expansion. In addition to Farmers Keep (10 S. 20th St.), Aurochs' Blonde Ale and Session IPA are now available in Philadelphia at Beer Heaven (1100 S. Christopher Columbus Blvd.), The Bottle Shop (1616 E. Passyunk Ave.), Moore Beverage (601 Moore St.) Campo's (214 Market St.) and Rybrew (2816 W. Girard Ave.), The Foodery in Phoenixville (325 Bridge St.) and Rocko's Beverage in Media (4 State Rd.)

Kensington's Original 13 Ciderworks (1526 N. American St., 215-765-7000) is serving items from its winter menu and has expanded its gluten-free options, including the addition of a sandwich bun and dessert. The kitchen maintains a dedicated fryer. The pub is offering a dinner package on Valentine's Day - almost everything on the menu is gluten free and the package includes a three-course dinner, cider pairings and a bottle of Sweet Nothings Chocolate Cherry Cider for $75 per couple.

Whole Foods recently opened its newest area store in Exton (175 N. Pottstown Pike, 610-423-6360); as of March 14, the Ambler location will be relocating to 1111 N. Bethlehem Pike.

The Rachel Way gluten- and dairy-free food pantry at the Plymouth Meeting Mall (500 W. Germantown Pike, 484-404-5293) is hosting a kids' cooking class tomorrow at 1 p.m. to celebrate Valentine's Day (register here). The event is free but monetary or gluten-free food donations are appreciated.

Have a great weekend and Fly Eagles Fly!!!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Year of the Dog: Celebrate a Gluten-Free Chinese New Year

With the Chinese New Year beginning on February 16 - it's the Year of the Dog under the Chinese Zodiac cycle - one way to celebrate is by eating Chinese cuisine, even if it's more Americanized than traditional. Fortunately, the Delaware Valley has a number of Chinese restaurants that can accommodate gluten-free diners.

There aren't many options in Philadelphia's Chinatown proper, though the rice rolls at Nom Wah Tea Parlor (218 N. 13th St., 267-519-2889) are gluten free. Elsewhere in the city, gluten-free menu options are available at Beijing in University City (3714 Spruce St., 215-222-5252) and DanDan in Rittenhouse Square (126 S. 16th St., 215-800-1165). DanDan has a sister location in suburban Devon (214 Sugartown Rd., 484-580-8558).

P.F. Chang's gluten-free Spicy Chicken
National chain P.F. Chang's and its fast-casual sibling Pei Wei have long offered gluten-free menus for their guests. P.F. Chang's, which has area locations in New Jersey (Atlantic City, Marlton, Princeton) and Pennsylvania (Collegeville, Glen Mills, Plymouth Meeting, Warrington) even has an incredible chocolate flourless cake for dessert. Pei Wei has regional outposts in Cherry Hill and Moorestown, New Jersey and Philadelphia (Fairmount) and Springfield.

One of the top options in the northern suburbs is Yantze Gourmet in Lansdale (2333 Welsh Rd., 215-361-7600). The gluten-free menu there covers everything from soup to noodle dishes to protein entrees.

In New Jersey, Shangri-La in Cherry Hill (100 Springdale Rd., 856-428-5866) has gluten-free soy sauce and Bordentown's Jade Island (969 Rt. 206, 609-324-7200) prepares several chicken, shrimp and beef dishes gluten free. Peking Wok in Mt. Laurel (127 Ark Rd., 856-866-2350) is a reader favorite.

Delaware has several Chinese restaurants that offer gluten-free preparation, including Potstickers Asian Grill in Newark (1247 Churchmans Rd., 302-731-0188) (which has a gluten-free menu) and Confucius Chinese Cuisine in Rehoboth Beach (57 Wilmington Ave., 302-227-3848).

For more Chinese and Asian options, be sure to download the Gluten Free Philly mobile app for iOS and Android devices, with more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses listed. Search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more.

Friday, January 19, 2018

News & Notes: January 19, 2018

Real Good Foods' new gluten-free, low-carb Real Good Pizza is made with preservative-free parmesan chicken crust instead of traditional flour. It comes in Three Cheese, Pepperoni, Supreme (Sausage, Pepperoni & Veggies) and Breakfast (Bacon, Pepperoni & Sausage) flavors in 5-inch and 7-inch varieties.
Wasa's new gluten-free crispbread will be offered in two varieties: Original and Sesame & Sea Salt. Both are made with potato and amaranth, along with rice sourdough. The crispbreads contain no lactose ingredients, are vegetarian and baked without palm oil, and packaged in convenient snack packs.

The company behind popular Australian yogurt Noosa has added new gluten-free flavors to its range. The two new Mates varieties are Coffee Chocolate Almond, which consists of blended cold-brew coffee yogurt as well as a mix-in of Guittard dark chocolate chips, coffee crunchies and sliced almonds, and Blueberry Walnut Granola, combining blueberry yogurt with gluten-free Purely Elizabeth ancient-grain granola and a sprinkle of currants and walnuts. The Classic line adds Blackberry and Raspberry Lemonade.

Contessa's Love Food Naturally line of frozen meals includes seven gluten-free varieties: Mandarin Orange Chicken, Sesame Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, Shrimp Fried Rice, Chicken Fried Rice, Roast Pork Stir Fry and Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto.

Last time out I mentioned Annie's new gluten-free Cinnabunnies cereal. The company has another new gluten-free product out now: organic crispy snack bars, made with rice and quinoa crisps. They come in Original and Cocoa varieties.

District Taco, which originated as a food truck in the Washington, D.C. area, recently opened its first Pennsylvania location at the King of Prussia Town Center (100 Main St. - Suite 130, 484-808-2870). A Center City Philadelphia location will be coming later this year on Market Street East. All menu items except for the flour tortillas are gluten free. You can read fellow blogger Amanda's review of District Tacos over at The Gluten & Dairy-Free Review Blog.

Joining District Taco at the KOP Town Center in March will be Vitality Bowls, specializing in açaí and pitaya bowls. Gluten-free granola is available and there is gluten-free bread for panini (made on a separate press).

Though the fryer used for French fries is not gluten free, Jose Garces' popular Rittenhouse Square burger restaurant, Village Whiskey (118 S. 20th St., 215-665-1088), now has gluten-free buns.

Center Square Tavern in Swedesboro (120 Centre Square Rd.) is targeting an opening date by the end of January. Chef-owner Jim Malaby, who also runs blueplate in Mullica Hill, will have many gluten-free options on the menu; he has a child with celiac disease.

Facebook follower Amanda let me know that The General in Lafayette Hill (646 Germantown Pike, 610-234-6189) has a gluten-free menu that includes grilled wings, sushi, salads and a variety of entrees. Note that the French fries are not prepared in a dedicated fryer but gluten-free orders are handled separately.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!