Friday, July 30, 2010

News & Notes: July 30, 2010

I wanted to kick off the post with some exciting news from the Philadelphia Eagles. In an effort to make a more affordable and enjoyable event for Eagles fans, Eagles Flight Night replaced the annual Eagles Carnival in 2009 as the primary fundraising event for Eagles Youth Partnership, the team's charitable wing. Eagles Flight Night allows fans to pay one low entry fee and enjoy an exciting evening of Eagles football-related events in a game-night setting. This year's Eagles Flight Night will be held on Thursday, August 5.

The "pre-game" fun, beginning at 5 p.m., includes an interactive kids zone, Super Bowl grab bag game, Wives' Yard Sale, live music and more. The event itself will begin at 7 p.m. with the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders, Eagles mascot Swoop and Eagles Pep Band, followed by the main event - a full-team practice - and the first chance for fans to see the entire team in action at Lincoln Financial Field. Thousands of random giveaways and other surprises round out the evening, including the "Off Our Backs" giveaway, where fans can win jerseys fresh off the backs of their favorite Eagles players. It all concludes with a fireworks finale.

"Two paragraphs in, and no mention of 'gluten free,'" I hear you asking. (Perhaps I buried the lede.) OK, here it is. This year, Eagles Flight Night will have a gluten-free concession stand behind Section 117. The stand will be serving gluten-free hot dogs, fruit gummy snacks, trail mix and juice boxes. Tickets to the event are $10 for kids and $20 for adults, and can be purchased through Ticketmaster. VIP tickets also are available.

Earlier in the week, I wrote about the new ice cream cones and waffle bowls from Goldbaum's. I haven't heard about any local stores carrying the waffle bowls yet. If anyone spots them, feel free to share the info via comment to the post.

Thanks to reader Rachel G. for a couple of tips on Philadelphia restaurants. Zama, near Rittenhouse Square (128 South 19th Street, 215-568-1027), keeps wheat-free soy sauce on hand and can modify many entrees and sushi bar items to be safe. In addition to having a selection of gluten-free beers and ciders, the NoLibs outpost of The Foodery (837 North 2nd Street, 215-238-6077) can make sandwiches with gluten-free flatbread.

The Pub on Passyunk East - affectionately known as the P.O.P.E. (1501 East Passyunk Avenue, 215-755-5125) - has gluten-free bread and rolls for its sandwiches. The pub usually has a gluten-free cider or beer on hand as well. Hat tip to reader Adriana Z. 

On the subject of restaurants, Adriana and several other readers have started a Gluten Free Supper Club, meeting once a month or so at a different Philadelphia eatery each time out. I joined the group earlier this week for dinner at Rx in West Philly; their first dinner was at Distrito. For more information on the club - no password or secret handshake required - e-mail Adriana.

Based in Villanova, No Nuts Nikki (484-380-2620) makes all nut-free desserts, including a line of gluten-free sweets. Owner Nicole Rayfield uses separate bakeware, utensils and mixers for her gluten-free all-occasion cakes, cookies and brownies.

Now you can get gluten-free goodies delivered with your Fruit-of-the-Month Club selection. Harry & David, the mail-order and online purveyor of fruit baskets and gourmet foods, offers an assortment of cookies and brownies. The cookie selection includes three each of Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate and Coconut Macaroon. Three Original Fudge, three Chocolate Chunk and two Walnut Fudge make up the brownie assortment. Each assortment is $30; use code FREEDEL for free standard delivery through September 12.

Glenny's is offering a one-week sale through August 5 on Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies; save 15 percent using coupon code JHE762X at checkout.

Dr. McDougall's Right Foods has unveiled a new line of Asian noodle entrees, one of which is gluten free. A microwaveable cup of the Pad Thai Noodle, made with wheat-free soy sauce, is 200 calories and two grams of fat. I spotted this at the Whole Foods Market on Callowhill Street in Philadelphia.

Daniel McLaughlin has taken on an experiment to adhere to a different diet every month for the entire year - The Thirteenth Diet - comparing the strengths of each of these mainstream diets in hopes of coming up with a diet that's a stronger hybrid of each of them. (In April, he hosted a gluten-free dinner.) His next dinner is tonight at his home in South Philadelphia, and the theme this time is "Raw," which happens to be both vegan and gluten free. For more information about the dinner, contact Daniel through his website.

The Reading-area R.O.C.K. chapter will be holding a vendor fair on Saturday, August 21 starting at 2 p.m. The event, being held at the United Methodist Church at 15 Woodside Avenue in West Lawn, will feature gluten-free foods from companies including Amaranth Bakery and Grandma's Gone Gluten Free. The group will have a children’s area with snacks and activities. There will also be a video presentation on the latest research and a guest speaker.

The Bucks/Montgomery R.O.C.K. chapter is sponsoring a pool party on Sunday, August 22 in Glenside beginning at 2 p.m. All family members are welcome; bring swimsuits, towels and a gluten-free snack to share. For the location and to RSVP (with the number of attendees and childrens' ages), contact Holly and Steve Staugaitis at 267-664-6425.

The next quarterly meeting of the Gluten Intolerance Group's Chester County branch is scheduled for Wednesday, August 25. Group leader Nancy Artus, Ph.D. will share highlights of the GIG Annual Education Conference and answer questions from 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Vendors will be selling gluten-free products beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be at Chester County Hospital's Fern Hill Wellness Center, located at 915 Old Fern Road, Building B, in West Chester.

Whew! I'm taking some time off in August, so I will be posting a bit less regularly over the next few weeks. Stayed tuned, though, for news on the return of a locally brewed gluten-free beer and details on the next Appetite for Awareness event. Keep sending in your restaurant and product tips as well. Have a great weekend!
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