Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Camping Out

If your child is attending day camp in the Philadelphia area this summer, you may be able to take a vacation from packing gluten-free lunches. Smart Lunches is offering several gluten-free options at day camps throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, southern and central New Jersey and northern Delaware, as well as the Boston, Chicago and Washington D.C. metro regions.

Parents order meals up to two business days in advance using an online interface, according to the schedule and plan that suits their needs. Every morning, a local caterer prepares the day’s meals in close proximity to each child's camp. Drivers then deliver the lunches to each of the partner camps by 11:30 the same morning. Meals arrive in specially constructed, eco-friendly packaging that keeps hot items hot and cold items cold with minimal environmental impact. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

News & Notes: May 15, 2015

Two of California Pizza Kitchen's gluten-free pizza varieties are now available outside of the restaurants. The company has partnered with Nestle to offer oven-ready BBQ Chicken and Margherita frozen thin-crust pizzas. Both versions are made with preservative-free crusts and no artificial flavors. Check the product locator for a market near you stocking the new pizzas.

New gluten-free microwaveable entrees from evol include Parmesan Polenta & Veggies, Coconut Lemongrass Chicken, Fire Grilled Chicken Poblano and Quinoa & Roasted Veggies. The company's newest family-size product is Truffle Parmesan & Portabella Risotto.

Feel Good Foods' gluten-free dumplings are now sold fully cooked. Check the back of the cartons and look for instructions "Now Microwavable" to ensure you are buying the new versions.

The all-gluten-free and allergen-friendly Farmers Keep opens today in Center City Philadelphia (10 S. 20th St., 215-309-2928).

Mi Lah Vegetarian, which notes gluten-free options on its menus, recently relocated from Rittenhouse Square in Center City to Ambler (40 W. Skippack Pike, 215-646-1808). You can read more about the concept in my recent post.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Family Food

Many of Atlantic City's casino restaurants are tourist traps, but Carmine's isn't one of them. The family-style Italian restaurant is among several at Tropicana's The Quarter (2801 Pacific Ave., 609-572-9300) with gluten-free options. The original Carmine's opened in Manhattan in 1990 and has since expanded to six locations, including Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and The Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas. Carmine's has a number of allergen menus, including one for gluten-free guests.

To celebrate the end of a successful youth baseball tournament in Mays Landing last month, the Gluten Free Philly family headed east to the famous beach town - a city that has lost some luster in recent years but still holds flashes of charm. Even during our Sunday evening off-season visit, there was a bustling crowd waiting to be seated.

Friday, May 8, 2015

News & Notes: May 8, 2015

Irish pub Tir Na Nog has opened its first suburban location in Cherry Hill (482 E. Evesham Rd., 856-520-8312), replacing Dubh Linn Square. The gluten-free menu includes burgers, pasta with vodka sauce, and fried calamari. The kitchen maintains a dedicated fryer, but be sure to specify gluten-free orders to your server.

Canyon Bakehouse this week announced the launch of its newest gluten-free products: Plain Bagels, Everything Bagels and Brownie Bites. The suggested retail prices of the Bagels and Brownie Bites are $5.49 and $6.49, respectively. All three products are now available for online purchase and will be available in Target and other natural and conventional grocers nationwide beginning this month.

The J.M. Smucker Company recently debuted Hungry Jack Funfetti Pancake & Waffle Mix. (Locally, Wegman's sells it for $3.49 each.) Also new are four new gluten-free Smucker’s Fruit-Fulls Blended Fruit flavors: Apple Cobbler with Oats, Tropical Fusion with Oats, Pom-Berry with Chia and Strawberry Vanilla with Chia.

Friday, May 1, 2015

News & Notes: May 1, 2015

Gluten-free Patricia's Cheese Ravioli at Maggiano's
Casual Italian chain Maggiano's Little Italy debuted new gluten-free items yesterday in time for its annual "Eat-A-Dish for Make A-Wish" campaign. The "Eat-A-Dish" menu is available for dine-in or carryout and features the following gluten-free-friendly dishes:

  • Shrimp and Avocado Lemonette - mixed greens, smoked bacon with a lemon vinaigrette
  • Patricia's Cheese Ravioli (choose this and take a Classic Pasta home for the next day compliments of the chef) - gluten-free ravioli, parmesan broth, spring vegetables and a truffle mascarpone
  • Grilled Jumbo Shrimp - sweet corn relish and honey calabrian glaze or Tuscan potatoes, arugula and lemon (available April 30 to June 3) / sauteed spinach, Fontina cheese with a lobster cream sauce (available June 4 to July 8)
  • Creme Brulee Trio - chocolate honey, caramelized honey and citrus (available April 30 to June 3) 
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake - chocolate cake, mixed berries, hot fudge with vanilla bean ice cream (available June 4 to July 8) 
Information on the kitchen's preparation of gluten-free dishes is posted on the company's website. To participate in this year's "Eat-A-Dish" campaign, guests just need to dine at Maggiano's from April 30 through July 8 and enjoy a gluten-free-friendly feature from the "Eat-A-Dish" menu. In return, Maggiano's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish for every dish and $.50 for every glass of Wish Lemonade ordered from the special menu. In addition to these giving opportunities, Maggiano's will sell star-shaped cards, which feature inspirational stories of wish children, to guests for a donation of their choice. Guests who donate more than $10 will receive a commemorative star with a $10 coupon to be used during a future visit.

Diners can also get $10 off by joining the restaurant's E-Club. Area Maggiano's locations include King of Prussia (205 Mall Blvd., 610-922-3333), Philadelphia (1201 Filbert St., 215-567-2020) and Cherry Hill (2000 Rt. 38, 856-792-4470).

Morgan's Pier on Penn's Landing (221 N. Columbus Blvd., 215-279-7134) opened for the season yesterday with a new chef ("Top Chef" winner Nicholas Elmi) and a new menu. Both the weekday dinner and weekend brunch menus note gluten-free items. Hard ciders are available on draft and in bottles.