Friday, January 17, 2020

News & Notes: January 17, 2020

Pepperidge Farms has introduced its first gluten-free cookies in the brand's 75-year history. The thin-and-crispy Butter Crisp and Milk Chocolate Chip varieties will be sold beginning this month at Target, among other outlets, retailing for $3.89 per package.

Whole Foods is closing its gluten-free bakehouse in North Carolina as of early March. If you like the market's gluten-free breads, pies, cakes and other baked goods, be sure to stock up before supplies run out.

Armageddon Brewing's cider and mead tasting room is opening in Somerdale, New Jersey (900 Chestnut Ave., Building J) on January 31. All of the craft brewer's beverages are gluten free.

Dim Sum Mania in Media (17-19 E. State St., 610-557-8757) notes gluten-free options on its on-premises menu.

Down the street, Noodii Thai Chef (42 E. State St., 610-892-8710) can make a number of dishes gluten free, as listed on its lunch and dinner menus.

Arepas are among the many fried gluten-free options at Que Ricas
Que Ricas, which opened last month in Westmont (46 A Haddon Ave., 856-858-8500), has a dedicated fryer for gluten-free options such as empanadas, plantains and yuca fries. The arepas are gluten free as well.

The menus at the new Stove & Tap in Malvern (245 Lancaster Ave., 484-450-8890) list gluten-free choices and the kitchen has a dedicated fryer.

Malvern is the home of the area's first Bomba Taco + Bar (30 Liberty Blvd., 610-727-5253). Bomba, which is a sister restaurant to King of Prussia's Paladar Latin Kitchen, has a gluten-free menu, though there is a shared fryer. A second Pennsylvania location is opening this summer at The Village at Newtown.

In Atlantic City, all of the meats at Bourré Cajun BBQ (201 S. New York Ave., 609-246-6670) are gluten free, as are several "bayou plates." Note, however, that there is no dedicated fryer for fries and wings.

Avocado toast at GET Cafe (PC: GET Cafe/Instagram)
GET Cafe, a community coffee shop in Narberth (246 Haverford Ave.), has a gluten-free toaster and panini press.

In Medford Lakes, smoothie and juice bar The Honey Post (20 Trading Post Way, 609-451-5156) has gluten-free granola for its fruit bowls and smoothies and gluten-free cones for frozen yogurt.

2nd Street Tavern in Lewes, Delaware (102 2nd St., 302-645-7755) has a gluten-free menu that includes appetizers, salads and entrees.

In Souderton, the menus at Northbound (2 W. Broad St., 267-203-8076) note gluten-free options.

Diana's Cafe in Center Valley (4907 Rt. 309, 610-797-2525) can prepare gluten-free pancakes and toast separately.

Davio's in King of Prussia offers gluten-free pizza
Davio's in King of Prussia (200 Main St., 610-337-4810) serves gluten-free pizza at lunch and brunch. The pizza is prepared in a dedicated area and cooked in a separate oven.

KQ Burger's Wynnewood location at Whole Foods (15 E. Wynnewood Rd., 610-896-3737) has a dedicated fryer for fried chicken, fries and tater tots, though no gluten-free buns. reports that Peter McAndrews is reopening his popular Modo Mio in the Queen Village section of Philadelphia (705 5th St.) soon, while relocating his Paesano's Philly Style sandwich shop to Fishtown (1429 Marlborough St.). McAndrews has long accommodated gluten-free guests at his restaurants, as members of his family have celiac disease.

Sprouts Farmers Market is opening at the Concord Mall in Wilmington (4801 Concord Pike) on March 11.

Recent area closings of note include Morton's The Steakhouse and Sweet Freedom Bakery in Center City Philadelphia, Oink and Moo BBQ in Voorhees, and the Bryn & Dane's locations in Malvern and Center City Philadelphia.

CHOP's Celiac Support Group will have its next meeting at the Bucks Specialty Care Center in Chalfont (500 W. Butler Ave.) on Sunday, January 26 from noon to 2 p.m. Parents should bring Super Bowl snacks to share. RSVP to the Celiac Center with the number of people attending.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always 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!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Gluten-Free Road Trip: California Adventure

It had been more than 20 years since I was last in San Francisco (for a late-summer work trip) and all I remember from that time was having to leave the Giants game mid-way through because it was brutally cold. I should have realized I was out of place in shorts and a t-shirt when I noticed most everyone else wearing sweatshirts and pants.

Not that December is warm in California either, but I've always wanted to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and see more of the sights throughout the state. With the family's winter break schedules aligning, we were able to spend four days in San Francisco and the surrounding area last month before driving through Big Sur and ending our vacation in Newport Beach.

My takeaways: California is beautiful, expensive and extremely gluten-free and celiac friendly. Out of all of our meals, we had only one occasion where the restaurant (not mentioned here) provided us with bad information, which we were able to straighten out prior to ordering.

House-made gluten-free blueberry coffee cake
at the Marriott Marquis in San Francisco
Our hotel in San Francisco, the Marriott Marquis, is within walking distance of the famous Union Square. I communicated with the kitchen staff prior to the trip and felt confident that our son would be able to eat breakfast at the M Lounge. The eggs and bacon were gluten free, as was the separately baked blueberry coffee cake. Each night, there were several gluten-free hors d'oeuvres at the lounge and on one occasion, the chef brought him a gluten-free dessert.

Among the amazing baked goods at Mariposa Baking Co.
are pain au chocolat and savory "hot pockets"
We spent time in San Francisco taking tours of Oracle Park (the home of the Giants) and Alcatraz and seeing the rest of the city via the on/off Big Bus Tour, which includes stops at Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and the Embarcadero. Our son had safe gluten-free meals at the all-gluten-free Mariposa Baking Co. in the famed Ferry Building and at Oriental Pearl in Chinatown (gluten-free dumplings and more). At the Ferry Building, you can also find sweet and savory options at Dandelion Chocolate, G.L. Alfieri Fruits & Nuts and Humphry Slocombe ice cream. Also look throughout town for the famous See's Candies, where every item is gluten free except for the candy canes. The company recently debuted soft and chewy red licorice medallions, which are extremely difficult to find in a gluten-free version.

C Casa in Napa is entirely gluten free
Nicholson Ranch was among the vineyards we visited in Sonoma
We took a day tour of Napa and Sonoma through Green Dream Tours, visiting three area wineries. For lunch, we stopped at Oxbow Public Market, home of the all-gluten-free C Casa taqueria and Gott's Roadside, which has gluten-free soft-serve ice cream.

On Christmas Day, we departed San Francisco and headed south, spending the evening at the Monterey Marriott. Monterey has its own Fisherman's Wharf, and we had dinner that night at Old Fisherman's Grotto. The kitchen was easily able to accommodate our son and - to his surprise - he was able to enjoy a slice of gluten-free double chocolate cheesecake, made with an almond crust.

The Big Sur region has incredible views
The redwood trees at Henry Cowell State Park
are among the tallest in the world
The next morning, we walked around Cannery Row in Monterey before departing for the gorgeous sights in Big Sur, the mountainous Central Coast region that offers amazing vistas. We stopped for lunch at Nepenthe, a 70-year-old cliffside eatery, where our son had soup and salad. We ended the day at the all-new beachfront Vespera on Ocean in Pismo Beach - one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed at. The house restaurant, Somerset Grill, had many gluten-free options for dinner (our son had the local salmon filet made with a tamari glaze) and the following morning at breakfast, including gluten-free granola.

No trip to California is complete without a stop at In-N-Out Burger, the West Coast chain that is extremely careful preparing gluten-free orders. Gluten-free options include burgers protein-style in lettuce wraps, fries and shakes.

As we headed toward southern California, we ran into the notorious traffic but plowed through past Los Angeles and spent two nights in Newport Beach at Lido House. This beautiful hotel in Orange County blends perfectly into the seaside town and offers bike and surfboard rentals, among other amenities. We rode bikes along the beachfront boardwalk on a perfect 62-degree afternoon. The house restaurant, The Mayor's Table, has a dedicated gluten-free toaster in the kitchen; one morning, the kitchen prepared our son toast with eggs, the next day, avocado toast. We had lunch at Malibu Farm Lido, along the waterfront in Lido Marina Village, and dinner in town at Wild Taco, which has a dedicated fryer for tortilla chips.

Flying American Airlines, we didn't have to look far from our departure gate at Los Angeles International Airport to find a safe gluten-free meal. Lemonade is a fast-casual chain with locations throughout California. Most salad and bowl ingredients are gluten free, as indicated by signage. There's even a packaged gluten-free s'mores brownie.

We love traveling west of the Mississippi, where the scenery and food are so different from the East Coast. I was glad to finally check off a bucket-list vacation and was even happier that we were able to enjoy nearly every meal without hassle.

For information on more gluten-free options in the San Francisco area, visit the Wheatless Wanderlust blog.

Friday, December 13, 2019

News & Notes: December 13, 2019

BFree Foods' line of gluten-free wraps—including brand new Sweet Wraps for kids—are available in Walmart stores nationwide. Varieties include Quinoa & Chia Wraps, Sweet Potato Wraps, Multigrain Wraps, and new Sweet Wraps for kids. The Sweet Potato Wraps, Multigrain Wraps and Quinoa & Chia Wraps are available in the tortilla aisle in 1,800 Walmart stores, and the new Sweet Wrap are available in 1,400 Walmart stores. Customers can download a $2-off coupon from the company's website.

Manini’s has launched a line of gluten-free heat-and-serve microwaveable meals: Mac & Cheese, Lasagna Roll-ups, Stuffed Shells and Spinach & Cheese Manicotti.

The New York-based fast-casual Dig chain plans to open its first Philadelphia location in Rittenhouse Square by the end of the month (1616 Chestnut St.). Customers can create their own bowls from locally-sourced ingredients. The menu lists allergens, including gluten.

The menu at Kalaya, a Thai restaurant in South Philadelphia's Italian Market (764 S. 9th St., 215-385-3777), lists gluten-free choices, and the kitchen has gluten-free soy sauce. The Inquirer's food critic, Craig LaBan, gave Kalaya a three-bell review this summer.

Sister restaurants KC Prime (1580 Easton Rd., 267-483-8075) and the new Ardana, both in Warrington, can accommodate gluten-free guests. The Cypriot-influenced Ardana (751 Easton Rd., 267-488-1568), located at The Shops at Valley Square, notes gluten-free options on its menu.

Uncle B's BBQ has relocated within Phoenixville to 425 Bridge St. (610-935-1363). All meats, wings and fries are gluten free, and there's also a gluten-free version of mac & cheese.

Liberty Kitchen in Fishtown (1244 N. Front St., 215-309-2241) stocks Taffet's rolls for sandwiches and can prepare gluten-free mac & cheese with advance notice.

The kitchen at the modern American Blue Bell Inn (601 Skippack Pike, 215-515-5753) can prepare a variety of menu options gluten free.

Also in Blue Bell, the Mooyah burger chain (990 Dekalb Pike, 610-278-9191) is opening its first Pennsylvania outpost next week. The restaurant has gluten-free burger buns, but does not have a dedicated fryer for fries.

Gluten-free options like tacos and small-plate items on the menu at La Cabra Brewing in Berwyn (642 Lancaster Ave., 610-240-7908) are handled separately. Let your server know of your dietary requirements. There is no dedicated fryer for chips

La Padella in Media (100 State Rd., 484-445-4445) lists gluten-free options on its menu. Keep in mind that the gluten-free pasta is not prepared separately.

Now there are not one but two dedicated gluten-free businesses at the Pottstown Farmers Market. Joining Aye Caramba Taco is La's Desserts (300 E. High St., 484-374-2451). Sweet treats include a variety of muffins, cupcakes, cookies, cake pops and cakes.

Tiers of Joy Gluten-Free Bakery delivers cakes, cupcakes, donuts and cookies to the southern Chester County and greater Coatesville areas. Goodies are also sold at Landhope Farms in Oxford and Kennett Square and at Triple Fresh Market in Coatesville.

Fond in Passyunk Square (1537 S. 11th St., 215-551-5000) is hosting a bakery pop-up sale featuring pastry chef Monica Glass, who is gluten free, on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. The menu includes a variety of sweet and savory goods, including gluten-free options created by Glass. (Thanks to reader Katy L.)

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always 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!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Misty Mountain Hop

Ski resorts like Jack Frost Mountain offer gluten-free dining options
(Photo Credit: Ski PA)
December is the calm before the proverbial storm, though you don't have to wait for the real snow to get a head start on the skiing and snowboarding season. 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, Eastside Pitstop, CBK Lodge and Snowtubing Lodge. These include grilled chicken, BBQ chicken, hot dogs, pizza and salads. If you stay at Camelback Resort, you'll find gluten-free sandwich buns and fries at Trails End Pub & Grille.

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 gluten-free menu options, while Bear Creek Mountain in Macungie can provide gluten-free meals at The Grille, a full-service restaurant.

Adams County is the home of Carroll Valley's Liberty Mountain Resort, where gluten-free options are noted on the menus at Eagle & the Owl and Ike's Chophouse.

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, part of the Kaatskill Mountain Club Hotel, the gluten-free menu includes pizza, salads and entrees.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Gonna Fly Now

Last year, nearly 32 million passengers came through Philadelphia International Airport, which, like most U.S. gateways, will see heavy traffic during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. With the airport's growth comes better and broader gluten-free fare. Here's a current list of available options at PHL:

Concourse A West:

Chickie's & Pete's (Gate A22; 215-492-1329). Dedicated fryer for Crabfries.

Good 2 Go (Gate A14; 215-922-1115). Smart snacks such as Pop Chips and Kame rice crackers.

Concourse A East:

Saladworks (Gate A2; 215-365-1995). Salads (an interactive allergen menu can sort by gluten-free ingredients).

Concourse B:

Cibo Bistro & Wine Bar (Gate B6; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu. Sample items include chicken marsala, grilled salmon, pan-roasted tilapia and salads.

Cibo Express Gourmet Market (Gate B11; 267-684-5003). Prepared gluten-free sandwiches and smart snacks such as Kind bars and Skinny Pop.

Independence Prime (Gate B6; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu.

Love Grille (Gate B1; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu.

Noobar (Gate B3; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu.

B/C Connector:

Chick-Fil-A (215-492-1814). Grilled chicken nuggets and salads.

Legal Sea Foods (267-295-9300). Gluten-free options noted on menu. Dedicated fryer for fried seafood items; gluten-free croutons and rolls.

Pinkberry (215-492-7470). All frozen yogurt flavors except those with cookies.

Vino Volo (215-365-8600). Rotating menu of gluten-free tapas-style options. Sample items include cured olives, marcona almonds, mixed greens, pork tacos, chickpea and chorizo chili.

Concourse C:

Balducci's Market (Gate C19; 267-399-7120) offers made-to-order salads, soups and smart snacks.

Bud & Marilyn's (Gate C18; 215-344-8295). Several gluten-free versions of American classics.

Chickie's & Pete's (Gate C31; 215-492-5247). Dedicated fryer for Crabfries.

Jamba Juice (Gate C24; 215-805-6862). Smoothies and bowls.

Sky Asian Bistro (Gate C18; 267-684-5003). Most sushi and sashimi with gluten-free soy sauce; fried rice with gluten-free soy sauce.

Concourse D:

Bar Symon (Gate D9; 215-824-5171). Burgers on gluten-free buns; salads, hard cider.

Green Leaf's (Gate D12; 215-365-3351). Salads and smoothies.

Jamba Juice (Gate D6; 215-805-6862). Smoothies and bowls.

D/E Connector:

Chickie's & Pete's (215-365-2126). Dedicated fryer for Crabfries.

Good 2 Go (215-922-1115). Smart snacks such as Pop Chips and Kame rice crackers.

Vino Volo (215-365-8686). Rotating menu of gluten-free tapas-style options. Sample items include cured olives, marcona almonds, mixed greens, pork tacos, chickpea and chorizo chili.

Concourse E:

California Pizza Kitchen (Gate E12; 215-344-8294). Gluten-free pizzas on cauliflower crusts.

Chickie's & Pete's (Gate E5; 215-492-0569). Dedicated fryer for Crabfries.

Concourse F:

Good 2 Go (Gates F6 and F24; 215-922-1115). Smart snacks such as Pop Chips and Kame rice crackers.

Local Tavern (Gate F11; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu. Sample items include cheese plates, salads and grilled salmon.

Red Mango (Gate F10; 215-365-3188). Frozen yogurt.

Re:Vive Bar (Gate F24; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu. Sample items include salads, hummus, antipasto plates and chicken avocado salad.