Friday, June 8, 2018

News & Notes: June 8, 2018

Hometown snack purveyor Herr's Foods has introduced sweet and crunchy funnel cake-flavored snack balls that are gluten free.

Berks County's Sweet Street has added gluten-free brownies to its Manifesto line of baked goods. The individually wrapped brownies are made with a gluten-free flour blend, cage-free eggs and dark Honduran chocolate. The company's gluten-free chewy marshmallow bars are sold at Barnes & Noble bookstores.

Annie's Homegrown has debuted gluten-free Cheddar Bunny Tails snack crackers. The new cheese crackers will be making their way to stores this summer.

A few more Ocean City businesses are accommodating gluten-free customers. TJ's Ice Cream Plus in Ocean City (100 E. Atlantic Blvd., 609-398-5055) has gluten-free cones; all of the chocolate flavors have gluten but many others do not. On the Boardwalk, all of the fries at the new Frenchy's Fries (822 Boardwalk, 609-513-3144) are gluten free, as are the fresh-cut (but not spiral) fries at
Curly's Fries (944 Boardwalk, 609-398-1972).

Center City Philadelphia is primed for poké. At The PokéSpot in Rittenhouse Square (1804 Chestnut St., 267-541-2183), all bases and proteins are gluten free, as are most toppings. The sriracha aioli and tamari soy sauces also are gluten free. Opening this summer East of Market Street (1037 Chestnut St.) is the first of several area Pokéworks locations. The online allergen guide lists all proteins and mix-ins and all but one base as gluten free, along with many sauces and toppings.

At long last, my favorite fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant, CAVA, is coming to the Philadelphia area later this year with a location in Rittenhouse Square (1713 Chestnut St.). Most menu items are gluten free.

In Manayunk, Boostin' Bowls (100 Levering St., 267-331-8974) has açaí bowls with gluten-free granola as an available topping along with smoothies. Meanwhile, the rapidly growing Playa Bowls has new locations on Beach Haven on Long Beach Island (610 N. Bay Ave., 609-467-5818) and in Forked River (44M Manchester Ave., 609-994-2828). (Hat tip to Facebook follower Kevin K.)

Prohibition Taproom in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia (501 N. 13th St., 215-238-1818) offers gluten-free fried chicken every Tuesday prepared in a separate fryer.

The menu at the new Rice & Curry in Ambler (521 Limekiln Pike, 215-390-1945) has several gluten-free options like pad Thai, chicken coconut soup and curry.

The newest tenant on the main drag at the University of Delaware is Peruvian restaurant Pachamama (76 E. Main St., 302-738-3800), which opened yesterday. (Thanks Beth S.). Although the signature rotisserie chicken is not gluten free, many gluten-free items are listed on the menu. Avoid the fried items like the banana chips, though, as there is no dedicated fryer.

Reader Melissa D. let me know that the menu at Arooga's in Allentown (327 Star Rd., 888-622-9464) is heavily annotated with gluten-free choices. The kitchen maintains a separate fryer for wings and tater tots.

The Lehigh Valley also has a gluten-free bakery in Kendra's Buttercup Bakery (484-226-0517). Based in Bangor, Northampton County, Kendra's is an made-to-order bakery offering pick up and local deliveries. Orders can be placed online or over the phone.

With yet another round of rainy weather on tap for the area, stay dry and have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Friday, May 25, 2018

News & Notes: May 25, 2018

If you're one of the tens of thousands that will head down the Jersey Shore for some R&R this weekend, the entirely-gluten-free Heart Beet Kitchen has you covered. The Westmont-based bistro recently opened a second location, this one in Ocean City (801 8th St., 609-938-9786). The menu is also vegan, dairy free and peanut free.

Another new 100-percent-gluten-free restaurant in the area just opened. A&M Factory in Malvern (360 Lancaster Ave., 484-318-7537). A&M's menu includes sandwiches, salads and smoothies.

Also new to Malvern is the gluten-free-friendly fast-casual Mediterranean Zoes Kitchen (50 National Ave., 610-232-2010), which opened yesterday.

At last week's Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo, longtime reader Diane M. let me know that Alumni Grill has expanded from Wildwood and has opened a location in Rio Grande (1050 Rt. 47 S., 609-854-3444).  The gluten-free menu [scroll to bottom] has burgers, sandwiches, salads and fries prepped in a dedicated fryer. She also recommends Gecko's, serving Southwestern cuisine in West Cape May (479 W. Perry St., 609-898-7750) and surf-and-turf at The Surfing Pig in North Wildwood (231 W. 10th Ave., 609-522-0900) as accommodating shore restaurants.

Playa Bowls has opened two more Jersey Shore locations, one in Stone Harbor (261 96th St., 609-830-5492) and another in Ocean City (744 Boardwalk, 609-862-2500). Both will be running full hours by June 15. A Playa Bowls location has debuted in Wayne (150 E. Lancaster Ave., 610-687-2127) and one is opening this summer in Rittenhouse Square at 2116 Chestnut St. All locations have fruit bowls with gluten-free granola by request and smoothies.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

To Market, To Market


Opening this summer in Old City, Philadelphia's original commodities exchange will be transformed into an artisan marketplace in the style of New York's Chelsea Market and Washington, D.C.'s Union Market. The Bourse Marketplace (111 S. Independence Mall E.) will feature nearly 30 food and beverage tenants, including many with gluten-free selections. The list includes:

  • TaKorean: With four locations in metro D.C., TaKorean will bring a combination of Korean inspired flavors with a Latin-American twist. In addition to their signature Korean tacos made with corn tortillas, the gluten-free options will include Korean rice and salad bowls. They also offer a customizable menu comprised of two gluten-free proteins (tofu and cauliflower), romaine and spiced kale slaws, as well as several toppings and garnishes.
  • Prescription Chicken: The first brick-and-mortar location for this acclaimed D.C.-area soup purveyor will offer their signature made-to-order chicken-based soups. All broths are gluten free and they even have gluten-free matzoh balls!
  • Mi & Yu Noodle Bar: This fast-casual spot based in the D.C. region will offer artisanal bowls with gluten-free pho rice noodles and several gluten-free broths: spicy "kimchi style," vegetarian and savory miso. Avoid fried proteins since they are cooked in a shared fryer.
  • Ka’moon: Fast-casual, Halal-prepared Egyptian cuisine from the folks behind The Taza Truck in Easton, Pennsylvania. Look for build-your-own gluten-free rice bowls.
  • Abunai Poke: From Hawaii by way of D.C., this quick-service shop will have a selection of poke and various Hawaiian dishes. The gluten-free proteins include plain tuna, plain and marinated salmon, lobster, octopus, shrimp and tofu. Also gluten free are the mixed greens, all mix-ins and toppings, chili pepper aioli, wasabi aioli and miso dressing.
  • Rebel Taco: A Mexican taco purveyor from D.C.-based Social Restaurant Group, Rebel Taco will serve tacos made with gluten-free tortillas.
  • Chaat and Chai: The Indian street food stand will have gluten-free options like curries and soups.
  • 3rd & Ferry: A new concept from Easton's acclaimed fish market will boast an expansive raw bar in addition to a full-service bar serving up oyster-friendly wines, cocktails and more.
  • Break Juicery: Boasting locally sourced and organic fruits and vegetables, Break Juicery will offer a variety of juices and smoothies as well as açaí bowls.
  • Chocodiem: With the exception of certain seasonal varieties, the hand-crafted, artisanal truffles at this Easton-based Belgian chocolatier will be gluten free, as will all of the macarons. Also gluten free will be the house-made gelato, frozen chocolate drinks, chocolate cocktails and selected desserts and confections.
  • Olive With a Twist: A gourmet pantry originating in Easton, Pennsylvania offering a curated selection of cheeses, pâté, charcuterie, olive oils, balsamics, sauces and more.
  • TAPS Fill Station: Philadelphia will be the second outpost from the Baltimore-based concept specializing in draft booze with a solid focus on eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Virtually everything served will be sourced from within a 250-mile radius. Five lines will hold hard cider, two will be stocked with kegged cocktails, six more will be split between red and white wines, and mead also will make an appearance.
  • Scoop DeVille: A Philadelphia institution since 1989, Scoop DeVille offers several gluten-free ice cream and yogurt flavors and dozens of toppings.

Friday, May 11, 2018

News & Notes: May 11, 2018

May is Celiac Awareness Month, which means that Aldi markets expand their usual variety of private-label gluten-free products and add some limited-time offerings. New this year under the liveGfree label are beef, chicken and vegetarian empanadas and two cake mixes, Key lime and Meyer lemon. Under the market's Never Any! brand, look for ancient grain-crusted tempura chicken bites with sweet chili and orange sauces. The crust is made with a blend of rice, amaranth, millet and quinoa.

Freschetta is expanding its gluten-free frozen pizza options with Tuscan style chicken and Spinach & Roasted Mushroom varieties.

Photo Credit: The Impulsive Buy
Stouffer’s frozen foods brand has gone upscale with its new Urban Bistro line of single-serve, culinary-inspired meals. One of them, Chicken & Cheddar Grits, is gluten free.

Last time out, I mentioned the new Nature's Path turmeric cereal that turns milk golden yellow. The company also has gluten-free Purple Bam! cereal, a blend of baobab, açaí and maqui that naturally colors milk - wait for it - purple. For more traditional tastes, Nature's Path has also introduced organic Cheetah Chomps Berry Blast cereal.

Conte's Pasta, based nearby in Vineland, New Jersey, has debuted gluten-free skillet meals - Chicken Alfredo and Chicken Florentine - made with penne pasta. The new meals can be ordered directly from the company's website.

Photo credit: The Impulsive Buy
Tootsie Roll's Andes candy brand has a new snackable gluten-free Mint & Cookie mix made with chunks of crème de menthe candy and chocolatey cookies.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo Returns on May 19


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for the Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo, which has provided me with compensation. [Disclosure policy]


With the tremendous increase of gluten-free products and restaurant options in the Delaware Valley, the third annual Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo no doubt will be bigger and better than ever this year. The expo is scheduled for Saturday, May 19 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks (100 Station Ave.).

The event will once again include local and national exhibitors, educational presentations, door prizes and, of course, plenty of gluten-free samples and concessions. The expo will be open to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Hall C. VIP tickets are sold out, but general-admission tickets are still available. General-admission tickets are $10.00 each in advance ($15 at the door), with kids 12 and under free, and can be purchased by phone at 1-800-827-6397, at any Wegmans service desk or online. Free parking is available at the Expo Center. 


More than 90 exhibitors will be sampling, selling and promoting products there. Many companies participating have carved out a niche by producing products that are difficult to replicate or find in a gluten-free form, such as the soft pretzels made by Tonya's Gluten-Free Kitchen and The Greater Knead bagels. Local restaurants at the event include Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar, The Melting Pot, Wildflour Cafe and True Food Kitchen, and there'll be baked goods from The Happy Mixer and others. Attendees over 21 can also try beverages from Aurochs Brewing Co., Blueprint Brewing Co.Stateside Urbancraft Vodka and Boardroom Spirits.

Featured speakers include baking expert, author and celiac advocate Jules Shepard as well as Marla Gold, M.D., Professor of Health Management and Policy at Drexel University. There will also be a session on the art of “Traveling When Gluten-Free.”

The advocacy organization Beyond Celiac, with headquarters in Ambler, is an expo partner and will be promoting the need for celiac disease testing at their booth. I'll be at the Beyond Celiac booth for most of the event (and will also be a part of the VIP meet-and-greet, which starts at 8:45 a.m.), so be sure to say hello.

The event is social-media friendly; follow the expo on Twitter (@PhillyGFExpo), Facebook (/PhillyGlutenFreeExpo) and Instagram (@PhillyGlutenFreeExpo) and share your favorite photos and products from the event.

The event organizers are giving my blog readers a chance to win two pairs of general-admission tickets to the expo (one pair per winner). To enter, follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter box below. Entries are being accepted through 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, May 6. The winners will need to respond to a notification email within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway. Good luck!