Friday, July 31, 2009

Pizza Nut

UPDATE (8/21/09): Bella Monica's pizzas will be available at all Wegmans markets beginning in October.

I'm always interested to learn of new gluten-free pizzas on the market, as the Italian specialty is our older son's favorite food. I recently read about a line of gluten-free frozen pizzas from Bella Monica FlatBread Company. I emailed the company's owner, Trevor Chambers, to ask where the pizzas were available in the area, since I hadn't seen them on any store shelves. Through a distributor, Trevor was able to have all three varieties of his flatbreads delivered to Natural Health in Clementon, New Jersey, where I purchased the Margherita style. (Also available are Mushroom & Herbs and Spinach & Tomato.)

The Spinach & Tomato rice-flour pizza is topped with a mix of mozzarella and feta cheeses, while the others have a blend of asiago and mozzarella. The Margherita variety we tried is more cheesy than saucy. The flatbread can be heated in the oven for its entire cooking cycle (10-12 minutes after defrosting), but at Trevor's suggestion, I threw it on the grill for a few minutes after baking, which imparted a smoky flavor. The thin-style crust was crisp but not flaky. Although I like a bit more tomato sauce on my pie than what I tasted here, my son and I both enjoyed it. The Margherita is a first-rate effort worthy of adding to the pizza rotation in our house.

Bella Monica's pizzas are not made in a dedicated gluten-free manufacturing facility, but - as stated on the packaging - the products are tested for the presence of gluten to 10 parts per million, which is below the 20-ppm definition of "gluten free" being recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The cost is on the high side - the list price for each pizza at Natural Health was $13.49 each, although the store was selling them at an initial promotional price of $8.99 each. Keep in mind, though, that the pizza is about twice the size of the Pizza By George pizzas that we usually buy at between $4.99 and $6.49 each.

At the moment, Bella Monica's flatbreads are available at the following local stores (call ahead to confirm availability):
  • Big Bear Natural Foods - Yardley, PA; Lambertville, NJ; Pennington, NJ
  • Black Forest - Hamilton, NJ
  • Bonterra Market - Egg Harbor Township, NJ
  • Bunn's Natural Foods - Southampton, PA
  • Frey's Better Foods - Hellertown, PA
  • Grapevine Natural Grocery - Newtown, PA
  • Kimberton Whole Foods - Douglasville, PA; Downingtown, PA; Kimberton, PA; Ottsville, PA
  • Martindale's Natural Market - Springfield, PA
  • Natural Health - Clementon, NJ
  • Newark Natural Foods Co-op - Newark, DE
  • Water To Go - Pennsauken, NJ
  • Whole Earth Center - Princeton, NJ
More stores are being added, but if you'd like to have your favorite natural foods store carry the pizzas, pass along the company's sales sheet to the store's management. And if you happen to be traveling in the Raleigh area, check out Bella Monica's restaurant, which offers a full gluten-free menu.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

That's Amore

We couldn't be more fortunate to live about a five-minute drive from Pasta Pomodoro in Voorhees, New Jersey. The restaurant has won awards at the last two Philadelphia Gluten Free Cooking Sprees, held as part of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness' Appetite for Awareness. At last year's Cooking Spree, owner/chef Pasquale Masters won the People's Choice award with his gnocchi with marinara sauce, garlic bread and Boston Crème Pie.

The Italian eatery, located in Eagle Plaza on Haddonfield-Berlin Road (Route 561), has long offered an exhaustive gluten-free menu that includes pizza, pasta, garlic bread, entrees, sandwiches and desserts. Our older son is partial to the gluten-free pizza, and he'll usually get an order of garlic bread and dessert to boot.

Chef Masters and co-owner Skip Elmer have their own experiences with food intolerances; Masters has a son who has several food-related allergies and Elmer has celiac disease. As a result, the owners and staff of the restaurant take care to eliminate cross-contamination.

The chef is always creating new gluten-free dishes, so it's likely that a chalkboard special or two will be available during your visit. He might even offer a sneak preview of his entry in this year's Cooking Spree. Even if you don't live in southern New Jersey, a visit to Pasta Pomodoro is well worth the trip.

Pasta Pomodoro on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 24, 2009

News & Notes

I wasn't able to attend Monday's celiac awareness night at the Phillies game, but it seemed as though the event was a success. The team sold more than 500 tickets located in designated sections, raising over $2,000 for celiac awareness causes. Aramark, the stadium concessionaire, set up a stand of gluten-free food items behind the sections that included hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, Redbridge beer and Woodchuck cider.

On Tuesday, I reviewed Glutenfreeda Foods' gluten-free burritos, ready-to-bake cookies and instant oatmeal. According to a Twitter post this week, the company is working on another item that will debut in stores this fall.

Congratulations to readers Missy and Adriana and Twitter follower jjeterr, who won the Erewhon cereal giveaway. I'll have another gluten-free food giveaway next month.

Cafe Monterosso in Yardley, Pennsylvania has been added to the restaurant list. The Italian eatery offers gluten-free pizza, pasta and desserts. I've also listed Essene Market & Cafe in Philadelphia, which serves a variety of gluten-free vegetarian dishes.

This past Monday marked the opening of the eighth Iron Hill Brewery location and the first in New Jersey. The chain, which has a gluten-free menu, opened in Maple Shade.

A commenter wrote that Sam's Pizza Palace in North Wildwood, New Jersey no longer sells gluten-free pizza.

Back in March, I wrote about the Appetite for Awareness event sponsored by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 30 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, and tickets are now available. Early-bird passes for the main event are available through September 1 for $75 each. Tickets for students and for the VIP event also are on sale. Having attended last year, I can tell you that it's a great event with lots and lots of gluten-free food to eat and take home. I plan on attending and hope to meet some of you there.

Two housekeeping notes: first, if you've haven't visited Gluten Free Philly in the last few days, the links to the restaurant and market lists, along with the map links, have been moved to near the top of every page just under the title; second, I won't have a News & Notes post next week.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gluten Freedom

I discovered the Glutenfreeda web site shortly after our older son was diagnosed with celiac disease. For the last 10 years, the founders of Glutenfreeda have published an online gluten-free cooking magazine with lots of gluten-free recipes and product reviews. More recently, the company's Glutenfreeda Foods division has introduced its own gluten-free products that include ice cream sandwiches made in association with Julie's Organic Ice Cream.

Glutenfreeda Foods' first products were ready-to-bake Real Cookies. Each resealable 1-lb. container has between 12-14 frozen, shaped cookie dough pieces that are made with all natural ingredients and no trans fats. The cookie line includes the following varieties: Chip Chip Hooray, Chocolate Minty Python, Peanut Envy, Peanut, Paul & Mary, Snicker Poodles, and Sugar Kookies. It took me about 20 minutes from freezer to plate to bake the chocolate chip cookies, which were soft and chewy.

I also tried the company's gluten-free frozen burritos, which are sold individually and come in four flavors: chicken & cheese, vegetarian bean and cheese, vegetarian and dairy free, and - my favorite - the breakfast style with potatoes, red bell peppers and onions. Like the cookies, the burritos contain all natural ingredients. The easiest way to prepare the burritos are in the microwave oven, but in that case it's likely that you'll have to eat them with a knife and fork rather than by hand. We did not try cooking the burritos in a conventional oven for the recommended 45 minutes but they'll probably come out firmer that way.

Glutenfreeda's newest products are three varieties of flavored instant oatmeal, made from certified gluten-free oats. Each single-flavor box (maple raisin with flax, apple cinnamon with flax, and banana maple with flax) contains six packets, while the variety pack contains two of each flavor. These products are not saccharine like many national brands of sweetened instant oatmeal; the natural sweetness of the fruits blends with the added brown sugar to make a mildly sweet hot cereal. I liked the banana maple flavor the best of the three, which I made in a microwave oven using water.

The ice cream sandwiches can be found at Whole Foods Markets exclusively through the end of July, after which time they will be available at local natural food stores. The cookies, burritos and oatmeal, which are processed in a dedicated gluten free facility, are available now at natural food stores and online at the Gluten Free Mall.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gluten Free Philly News & Notes

If you're reading this on Friday, there's a few hours left to enter the latest Goodies Giveaway, this time sponsored by Erewhon cereals. Just leave a comment to the post about the giveaway with the three Erewhon gluten-free cereals you want to try, along with your T-shirt size, before midnight Eastern time tonight. Two winners will be randomly chosen this weekend.

While the baseball season is more than half-way through, professional (and, in my house, fantasy) football is about to start up again. On Wednesday, I wrote about the many gluten-free dining options close to where the Philadelphia Eagles hold training camp at Lehigh University.

You can get your fix of European football (of course, that's soccer to us Yanks) at the Iron Abbey Gastro Pub in Horsham, Pennsylvania. The new restaurant has gluten-free items designated on its lunch and dinner menus and also serves Redbridge beer and Woodchuck cider. Iron Abbey is now listed on the Gluten Free Philly restaurant list and the Pennsylvania restaurant map.

I wanted to give props to another eatery on the list - the Greenhouse Cafe in Ship Bottom, on New Jersey's Long Beach Island. On Sunday, we spent the day at the beach in a neighboring town and stopped at the restaurant for an early dinner. Our older son ate the homemade gluten-free pizza, which is prepared separately and baked on its own pan. We were too full for dessert, but were pleased that there were individually-wrapped gluten-free brownies and chocolate chip cookies from French Meadow Bakery on the menu.

P.F. Chang's China Bistro is offering Warrior Card holders 10 percent off their guest checks for the remainder of 2009. To sign up for the card, go to the Warrior Card FAQ page on the restaurant's web site.

Dock Street's gluten-free Sudan Grass Sorghum Ale is still available on tap at the West Philadelphia brewery. According to the beer notes listed on Dock Street's web site, the "slightly tart and fruity" ale is brewed with Pennsylvania-sourced wildflower honey and is spiced with hibiscus, lemon grass, rooibos and rose hips.

Another week, another new cereal from General Mills. This week I spotted Trix Swirls, a limited-edition version of Trix with fruit-flavored sweetened corn puffs. The ingredients do not contain any wheat, barley, rye or oats, although the cereal is not specifically labeled "gluten free." Here's the list:

Whole grain corn, sugar, corn meal, corn syrup, salt, canola and/or rice bran oil, tricalcium phosphate, trisodium phosphate, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1 and other color added, natural and artificial flavor, sodium citrate, citric acid, malic acid. BHT added to preserve freshness.

Also new are ciabbatine rolls from Schar, which we found at Wegmans. We warmed the rolls, which are partially baked, for 10 minutes in the oven before serving. The rolls look and taste like ciabbata-style bread and especially work well for sandwiches. They are also available at the Gluten Free Mall.

San-J International, which makes our family's favorite gluten-free soy sauce, has introduced Asian cooking sauces that are safe for celiacs. The line includes Thai Peanut Sauce, Szechuan Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce, Sweet & Tangy Sauce, and Asian BBQ Sauce. I found several varieties at the Whole Foods Market in Marlton, New Jersey, but San-J products are available in the Asian/International foods section of most area supermarkets. Be sure, though, to check the labels for the "gluten free" designation, as several sauce varieties that previously contained wheat may still be on store shelves. Last night, my wife made delicious marinated chicken skewers using the Thai Peanut Sauce.

On the same visit to the Marlton Whole Foods, I discovered individually-wrapped chocolate chunk brownies and crumb buns from Shauna's Baked Goods, a small gluten-free-only bakery in Virginia. Right now, the Marlton store is the only one in the area carrying these products, but owner Shauna Brown tells me she is looking to expand in the Delaware Valley. Interested customers can contact her through the company's website for individual deliveries.

Some disappointing news: Starbucks has decided to discontinue its recently introduced gluten-free orange cake. According to a tweet posted Wednesday on its Twitter feed, the company is doing so because it "heard [from customers] that it was too much of a treat, and not a nutritious snack." KIND Fruit + Nut bars will replace the cakes as a gluten-free offering. Frankly, I never associated Starbucks with offering "nutritious snacks" - to wit, a 680-calorie Venti Mint Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino blended creme with Chocolate Whipped Cream with 21 grams of fat. But, hey, that's just me.

Finally this week, I wanted to report that I attended a teleclass presented by Ali Shapiro, a nutritional counselor in Center City Philadelphia and a frequent health contributor to the local NBC 10! show. Her class on transitioning to a gluten-free diet is geared to the newly-diagnosed celiac and those who suspect that they may have celiac disease. [Full disclosure: in the class, Ali recommends Gluten Free Philly as a web resource :-)] The one-hour, 30-minute seminar is available for download at Ali's web site for $30.

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Are You Ready For Some Football?

UPDATE (8/3/09): Boston's The Gourmet Pizza, a national chain with a location in Allentown, has gluten-free pizza.

The dog days of August will soon be upon us, and along with the humidity comes the two-a-day workouts long associated with pro football training camp. For more than 10 years, the Philadelphia Eagles have been holding training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This year, rookies and selected veterans are scheduled to report to camp on Sunday, July 26. The remaining veterans are scheduled to report on Wednesday, July 29, with practices scheduled through Wednesday, August 12.

Thousands of Birds fans flock to Bethlehem every summer to watch the team practice and get autographs from their favorite players. Those on a gluten-free diet can be assured that there are plenty of celiac-friendly eateries in the Lehigh Valley. Two restaurants unique to the area are Copperhead Grille and White Orchids Thai Cuisine. Copperhead Grille, with locations in nearby Allentown and Center Valley, is a sports "grille" with 130" high-definition TVs. Copperhead offers steaks and chicken entrees, among other items, on its gluten-free menu. White Orchids, in Center Valley, has an extensive gluten-free menu featuring noodle entrees and desserts.

Many national and regional chains have outposts in the area as well, including Bonefish Grill (Whitehall), Carrabba's Italian Grill (Allentown, Easton), Charlie Brown's Steakhouse (Allentown), Chili's (Whitehall), Lone Star Steakhouse (Allentown, Easton), Red Robin (Allentown (2), Center Valley, Easton) and Outback Steakhouse (Allentown, Bethlehem). Links to the chain restaurants' websites and gluten-free menus can be found on the Gluten Free Philly restaurant list.

Wegmans, which carries a wide selection of gluten-free foods, also has three markets in the Lehigh Valley, located in Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Goodies Giveaway 3: Erewhon Cereals

UPDATE (7/21/09): Congrats to readers Missy and Adriana for winning the other two giveaway prizes.

UPDATE (7/15/09):
Congrats to Twitter follower jjeterr, who was first to correctly answer the question I tweeted and who wins one of the giveaway packages.

The nice people at Erewhon (pronounced "Air-Wahn") contacted me after my recent mention of the company's two new gluten-free cereals to see if I was interested in featuring their products in a Goodies Giveaway. I gladly agreed, since my older son already enjoys the gluten-free version of Erewhon's Crispy Brown Rice cereal and I like their Rice Twice cereal.

I like that all of Erewhon's gluten-free cereals are made from organic grains and are free of artificial additives and high-fructose corn syrup. More information about Erewhon's product line is available at The products are available at natural food stores, in the cereal or natural food sections of many supermarkets, and online at

Three lucky winners will receive:

- Choice of any three (3) Erewhon gluten-free cereals:
- One (1) Patagonia T-Shirt (available in Adult L, XL & Kids L)
- Erewhon Coupon Keeper with coupons for $1 off next purchases

I will randomly select two of the winners from those readers who write a comment to this post, telling me which three cereals they want to receive along with the shirt size they want. The third winner will be the Gluten Free Philly Twitter follower who is first to correctly answer a question I post later this week.

Some quick guidelines: (1) please do not enter unless you or a family member are on a gluten-free diet; (2) one comment per person; (3) U.S. residents only.

Most important, make sure your comment or tweet provides a way for me to contact you. If your commenter or Twitter ID does not link back to an email address, blog or website through which I can get in touch with you, post your email address in the comment or tweet in the following format: "name[at]domain[dot]suffix."

The commenter giveaway will be open until this Friday, July 17, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. I'll contact the winners over the weekend. If I don't hear back from the winner(s) by next Monday night, I'll choose another person or persons.

For the Twitter giveaway, I will post a question at @gfphilly on Wednesday, July 15 at about noon Eastern Daylight Time. The first follower to correctly answer my gluten-free related question will get a giveaway package. That winner cannot also be eligible for the commenter giveaway.

Good luck!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gluten Free Philly News & Notes

With the summer upon us, the theme this past week at Gluten Free Philly was travel. On Sunday, I wrote about my family's holiday weekend in the Washington, D.C. area, highlighting some great gluten-free restaurant finds. On Tuesday, I mentioned the new gluten-free food options, like pizza and wraps, that are available at Hersheypark this season. There are also a number of nearby eateries just outside the park that offer guests gluten-free menus.

Gluten-free pizza and spaghetti are now on the menu at Floga Bistro in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, the latest addition to the restaurant roll.

Michael Klein at the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Seasons 52 Fresh Grill, which offers a gluten-free menu, will be opening a second area location - in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania - in Spring 2010.

After some delays, Elevation Burger has finally opened its first area location in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. According to the company's website, two more Philadelphia-area spots are planned for later this summer. Rodger at the Triumph Dining blog liked the burger and fries when he checked out Elevation Burger in Virginia.

The Whole Foods Market on South Street in Philadelphia is hosting a gluten-free vendor fair on Saturday, July 11 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The event will feature such companies as Froose, Cookies For Me, Larabar and Sorella Bakery. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness will also be on hand to provide information. Gluten Free Philly readers can get a coupon for $2 off a purchase of $20 or more at the fair by asking for Brett Mapp, the store's Community Liaison.

On Monday, I'll be announcing another cool Goodies Giveaway. There will be a Twitter-only giveaway sometime next week as part of that, with that winner being the first person that can correctly answer a question that I tweet. So if you want to participate that way (or even if you don't!), be sure to follow Gluten Free Philly on Twitter @gfphilly. Drop me a line at gfphilly[at]gmail[dot]com with tips on upcoming events, new products and restaurant menu additions.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Won't You Take Me to Chocolatetown

UPDATE (6/20/11): Fenicci's of Hershey has gluten-free pasta, wings and other items noted on its menu.

UPDATE (6/3/10): New for 2010 are gluten-free chicken tenders, available at Minetown Restaurant. Trevi 5 Italian restaurant, which has replaced the Fountain Cafe at the Hotel Hershey, lists gluten-free choices on its lunch and dinner menus. At the Hershey Lodge, the dinner menu at The Forebay and the lunch/dinner menu at The Bears' Den also note gluten-free options.

I vividly recall my first visit as a child to Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania - being awestruck by the signature Hershey Kiss street lights, complete with the famous "paper" strips protruding from the tops of the faux foil wrappers. The park, which is about a two- to three-hour drive west from most points in the Delaware Valley, has grown considerably over the years with the addition of new roller coasters, rides and even a boardwalk. Along with nearby hotels and restaurants, the park also has lots of options for guests with gluten intolerance.

Within the park itself, gluten-free hamburger rolls are available at the Craftbarn Kitchen, Whistle Stop, Decades, Minetown Restaurant and Shoreline Grill, while wraps are offered at Tumbleweed's Taco, Crustano's Deli, Minetown Restaurant and the Turkey Hill Ice Cream Parlor. The menu items at Rhineland Famous Famigilia, Midway Famous Famigilia and Minetown Restaurant include gluten-free pizza, and desserts are available at the Craftbarn Kitchen, Whistlestop, Minetown Restaurant and Decades. The ingredients for the gluten-free baked goods are posted on the park's website. The Kosher Mart (located in the park but closed Friday afternoons and Saturdays) also has some gluten-free options, including rotisserie chicken and salads.

At the nearby Hotel Hershey, the Fountain Cafe has safe items listed on its lunch and dinner menus. The Hershey Grill, located at the Hershey Lodge, notes gluten-free choices on its lunch and dinner menus. The other eateries at the hotels are knowledgeable about gluten-free options as well.

A reader mentioned that a local Italian restaurant, Piazza Sorrento, has a gluten-free menu that includes pizza and pasta. There's also a celiac-friendly Red Robin Gourmet Burgers located in Hershey.

As for the chocolate and other candy available throughout the park, Hershey's does not publish a list of items that are considered gluten free but recommends that customers read the product labels. The company does produce a list of common label terms that indicate or may indicate the presence of wheat.

Hersheypark is open daily during the summer through Labor Day and on weekends throughout September.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gluten Free Road Trip: A Capital-Area Fourth

Because my one-year-old niece was sick over Memorial Day Weekend, we postponed our trip to my brother's house in suburban Washington, D.C. until this past weekend. On the way down I-95, we stopped in Baltimore for lunch at the always consistent Austin Grill, a regional Tex-Mex restaurant with an extensive gluten-free menu. (The chain has five locations in Maryland, four in Virginia, and one in D.C. proper at Penn Quarter.) Our older son ordered the chicken fajita entree, which came with char-grilled chicken, three corn tortillas and sides of black beans and cilantro rice. The complimentary tortilla chips and salsa are gluten free as well.

Highway traffic was surprisingly light, and we made it down to Montgomery County, Maryland mid-afternoon. We stopped by my brother's house to say hello before checking into our hotel for the weekend. From there, we met one of my wife's college roommates and her family at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers in Gaithersburg, Maryland. We brought with us a couple of Schar rolls (our son's favorite), so we used one for the cheeseburger he ordered. Our server told us that the "bottomless" french fries at that location were cooked in a dedicated fryer but that they would have to be served without seasoning to remain gluten free.

The boys take turns staying over my brother's house since we usually stay for two nights, and so on Friday night our older son stayed at the hotel with me and my wife. On Saturday morning, the three of us went to Rockville, Maryland outpost of The Original Pancake House. (The restaurant is part of a chain that operates in about 100 locations throughout the United States.) Our son ordered a short stack of gluten-free pancakes - cooked on a cleaned, separate area of the grill - along with scrambled eggs, bacon and shredded potatoes. In addition to its tasty pancakes, the restaurant is also known for its gigantic fluffy omelets. I don't believe all locations have gluten-free pancakes just yet, so call ahead if your travel plans take you to an area where there's an Original Pancake House nearby. In the D.C. area, there are locations in Bethesda, Maryland and Falls Church, Virginia, both of which offer gluten-free pancakes.

On Independence Day, we met up with my brother and his family and drove out to Great Falls Park in Virginia. At the Park, visitors can see the remains of the Patowmack Canal, which was used to ship goods on flatboats that traveled from Cumberland, Maryland to Georgetown in the early 1800s. The highlight of the Park is the Great Falls, where the Potomac River cascades over a series of rocks and falls into Mather Gorge. (Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.) The more adventurous can rock-climb and hike throughout the Park. We walked the trail along the falls and took in the magnificent view from three observation points.

For dinner, we brought in pizza from zpizza, a Southern California-based chain that offers pizzas made with organic ingredients, low-fat cheese and preservative-free toppings. Many locations, including the one we went to in Rockville, carry gluten-free pizza (call ahead or check the company's website to confirm). The gluten-free pizza is prepared away from the other pizzas and the staff is trained to use specially designated ingredients and utensils. Although all of the pizzas are baked in the same brick oven, the GF pizza placed in a pan first to avoid cross-contamination. There are a bunch of zpizza locations in suburban Washington. D.C.

Before we hit the road on Sunday, we stopped at the local outpost of Noodles & Co., where both boys ordered pad thai noodles. The pad thai is the only dish that is gluten free, and the beef and shrimp are the only proteins that are safe. The chain has lots of locations along the I-95 corridor in Maryland and Virginia. The safe options here are limited, but if you enjoy pad thai this fast-casual restaurant is worth seeking out.

While we didn't need to shop for groceries on this trip, MOM's Organic Market has a wide selection of gluten-free foods and beer. MOM's has four stores in Maryland and one in Virginia.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gluten Free Philly News & Notes

I know I mentioned last week that News & Notes would appear on Fridays, but I had a brain cramp and forgot that tomorrow is a getaway day for the holiday weekend. So, I'll shoot for Fridays starting next week. By the way, you can now follow Gluten Free Philly on Twitter @gfphilly.

Lots of serious - er, cereal - news this past week. On Saturday, I wrote that General Mills removed oats from original Kix and on Monday, I reported on a new General Mills cereal - Sprinkles Cookie Crisp - that contains no WBRO (wheat, barley, rye or oats) ingredients. Incidentally, an article in the Marketplace section of today's Wall Street Journal describes General Mills' recent development and marketing of gluten-free products.

On Sunday, I posted information about a Blackwood, New Jersey company, Caesar's Pasta, that sells a variety of gluten-free Italian frozen entrees in area grocery and health food stores.

I added five restaurants this week to the gluten free-friendly restaurant list, including Sweet Christine's Gluten Free Confections in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. In addition to offering lots of gluten-free baked goods, Sweet Christine's has a breakfast and lunch menu that includes salads and sandwiches. The premises are 100 percent gluten free.

Also new this week are the Greenhouse Cafe in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, the Bashful Banana Cafe in Ocean City, New Jersey, Bistro La Minette in Philadelphia, and Margaret Kuo's in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The general manager at Margaret Kuo's says that most menu items can be prepared gluten free using an organic, wheat-free soy sauce.

The owners of A Cupcake Wonderland, which is listed on the gluten free-friendly bakery list, shared with me some more information about their company. The gluten-free cupcakes they offer are made separately by AllerJennie's Baked Goods. Jennie, who specializes in making allergen-free desserts, deep-cleans all the equipment and uses separate utensils in preparing gluten-free mixes. She uses the following flours, grains and ingredients: arrowroot, cream of tartar, baking soda, quinoa flour, chickpea flour, rice (brown and white) flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, agave, maple syrup, canola oil and vanilla. The ladies of A Cupcake Wonderland decorate the cupcakes with gluten-free frosting and candies.

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that West Philadelphia bar Local 44 is serving New Grist gluten-free beer from Lakefront Brewery. Reader Sonya tells me that the bar has carried other celiac-friendly beers in the past and will rotate its gluten-free beer options.

Back in March, I mentioned that gluten-free foods would be available for Phillies games at Citizens Bank Park this season. The team recently updated the concessions guide on its website to list the locations where the items can be found: the gluten-free hot dogs and snacks continue to be available at the South Philadelphia Market behind Section 128, while Redbridge beer is sold at the concession stand by Section 139 (near the Schmitter), behind Section 204 on the Pavilion Level, behind Section 323 on the Terrace Level, and the Brewerytown stand on Ashburn Alley. In addition, Bull's BBQ in Ashburn Alley, run by former Phils outfielder Greg "The Bull" Luzinski, has gluten-free food. The meat products, barbeque sauce, cole slaw and beans are gluten free. Since sandwiches are sold at that stand, I suggest checking it out first to see if there's a risk of cross-contamination.

Speaking of the Phillies, tickets are still available for celiac awareness night at the team's game against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, July 20. Group tickets are located on the Pavilion (Sections 206-208) and the Pavilion Deck (Sections 307-308). Proceeds from ticket sales will support raising celiac awareness and funds for research. Discounted tickets are available by phone at (215) 463-5000 ext. 5111 or through the Phillies website using the promotion code CELIAC.

More on cereals: Erewhon recently added two more gluten-free cereals to its lineup. New are Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice and Strawberry Crisp. Both cereals are certified organic and have no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Erewhon cereals are available at area Whole Foods, Wegmans and natural food stores and online at

The Reading, Pennsylvania chapter of Raising Our Celiac Kids (R.O.C.K.) will host a "Summer Fun" event on Saturday, July 18. The gathering will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the West Lawn United Methodist Church at 15 Woodside Avenue in West Lawn, Pennsylvania.

Finally, reader Ramona wrote to tell me that Knoebels Amusement Resort, within a few hours' driving distance of the Delaware Valley in central Pennsylvania, has gluten-free food available. Grilled chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, salads and tacos are among the safe options, according to the resort's Guest Relations.

Have a great Independence Day weekend - happy birthday America!