Friday, February 28, 2014

News & Notes: February 28, 2014

If you've seen Frontera tortilla chips and salsas at the supermarket, then you know of celebrity chef Rick Bayless. For the first time, Bayless has looked beyond his home base of Chicago to open an outpost of his quick-serve Mexican Tortas Frontera at the ARCH CafĂ© on Penn's campus in University City (3601 Locust Walk). Gluten-free options on the menu include all cazuelas (egg skillets at breakfast, protein bowls for lunch and dinner), soups, salads, guacamole and the yogurt bar with gluten-free granola. Be aware that the tortilla chips at the restaurant are cooked in a shared fryer.

Philadelphia's venerable Reading Terminal Market has a go-to gluten-free option if you like Indian cuisine. All entrees at Nanee's Kitchen (51 N. 12th St., 267-250-1273), including the chicken tikka masala and coconut curry chicken, are gluten free.

The Churchville Inn in Bucks County (1500 Bustleton Pike, 215-357-3967) designates gluten-free options on its lunch and dinner menus. Note that the fries served at the Inn are prepped in a shared fryer.

Olive Garden announced a new menu this week that includes two refreshed gluten-free pasta dishes. As part of the $9.99 "Cucina Mia" menu, gluten-free guests can choose Italian-made rotini and either the Fresh Tomato Pomodoro or Primavera sauces. There are also salads and entrees on the gluten-free menu. The chain mentioned on its Twitter feed that for gluten-free orders the kitchen uses separate water, utensils and gloves for the pasta. reports that casual American chain Not Your Average Joe's is opening two locations in Philly's western suburbs. The outpost at Glen Eagle Square in Glen Mills is slated for a spring opening, while an Ardmore location in Suburban Square is set for summer. Joe's has a broad gluten-free menu that features chicken quesadillas, burgers and sandwiches served on carmelized onion rolls, even complimentary bread and dip.

Last weekend saw the opening of MOM's Organic Market in Bryn Mawr's Rosemont Square (1149 E. Lancaster Ave., 484-285-0220).  The Maryland-based grocery store chain, making its first foray into the Northeast U.S., sources many local products and carries hundreds of gluten-free options.

Reader Brandy H. let me know that the Cheeseburger in Paradise location in Newark, Delaware recently closed and will be replaced with a Fuddrucker's. That chain last year announced that it would be rolling out a gluten-free bun nationally.

Speaking of gluten-free pasta, is offering a $5-off coupon toward the purchase of Barilla's new gluten-free pasta. In addition, you can save another 5% with the Subscribe & Save option (and cancel it anytime) - it comes out to less than $2 a box. (I get a small commission for purchases through the link above at no extra cost to you.) I've tried the Barilla pasta and it is fantastic.

In this month's gluten-free beer column, posted Tuesday, our intrepid reviewer Chris shared his thoughts on stand-alone beers like Bard's, Redbridge and Tweason'ale.

Don't forget about the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices. Find more than 1,300 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Have a great weekend!

- Michael
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