Friday, August 28, 2009

News & Notes

One local product and one local restaurant: those were the subjects of this week's postings. On Monday, I wrote about the gluten-free beef pot pie made by Twin Hens of Princeton, New Jersey, while on Wednesday, I reviewed Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, with eight locations throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Thanks to reader Tami for alerting me about two Absecon, New Jersey restaurants that offer gluten-free options: China Sea of Absecon has a separate menu (the link is at the Gluten Free Philly restaurant page) and Calabria Pizza Italian Grill offers 10-inch personal gluten-free pizzas.

In addition to serving food that can be prepared gluten free, Kildare's Pub serves Redbridge beer and Strongbow cider. The restaurant has area locations in King of Prussia, Philadelphia and West Chester, Pennsylvania and in Newark, Delaware.

Joe's Crab Shack, with local outposts in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware, has a gluten-free menu available. Included are the restaurant's seafood Steampots, crabs, mahi-mahi, tilapia, steak and grilled shrimp, Key West Chicken (no sauce), salmon (no glaze), Bucket of Shrimp and Cobb Salad (no dressing).

Olive Garden has updated its gluten-free menu: gone is the pork medallions entree but there's now a gluten-free penne dish with marinara sauce. The Mixed Grill entrees on the menu should be prepared without demi-glace, which is not gluten free. On a related note, the chain is planning to open a location in Collegeville, Pennsylvania in November 2009.

Diners can now make online reservations for all Delaware Valley P.F. Chang's China Bistro locations.

I updated the site's gluten-free-friendly markets list to include two future Whole Foods Market locations: one in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania (tentatively set to open in November 2009) and one on Concord Pike in Wilmington, Delaware (in development).

Back in April, I wrote about a new line of frozen gluten-free meals from Gluten Free Café. The manufacturer, Hain Celestial, has just rolled out snack bars under that nameplate. New are chocolate, lemon and cinnamon sesame bars made with flax seed. They're available online at

A Taste of Thai has introduced Toasted Coconut Fortune Cookies that are gluten free. The cookies can be ordered online direct from the manufacturer.

Kinnikinnick Foods just announced the newest version of their gluten-free KinniTOOS sandwich creme cookies: chocolate cookies with a fudge creme filling. The company says the cookies will be in stores come November, but they are available for home delivery by ordering through its website.

Wow Baking Company is offering visitors to their website a free gluten-free cookie of their choice. My older son recently tried their Snickerdoodle cookie and thought it tasted great. (Wow Baking's cookies and cake mixes are available at Thanks to Maureen at Hold The Gluten for the tip.

When my older son was younger, it was always a challenge at the start of the school year to educate faculty and administrators about his diet. Several years ago my wife prepared a two-page handout that we gave to his teachers, and we've used it every year since. The letter serves as a primer on the diet and gives them guidance about lunch time and snack time preparation, when a classmate's birthday will be celebrated and when certain arts and crafts materials are used. Just drop me a line at gfphilly[at]gmail[dot]com if you are interested in getting a copy of the note and I'll email it out to you.

Have a great weekend!
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  1. Have now personally heard of 3 people giving Olive Garden a try, with the GF menu. ALL have gotten ill. Hope they do a better job in Philly! Don't know if they're cooking the GF pasta in same water with wheat, or if sharing cooking surfaces ... or have not properly sourced their "GF" foods. Who can possibly know? I'm not even vaguely brave enough.

  2. The Taste of Thai toasted coconut fortune cookies are fabulous! Only wish they made them in a larger cookie...ate the whole box at one time! At least I enjoyed a dozen or so fortunes ;)