Friday, December 5, 2014

News & Notes: December 5, 2014

Two Cocco's Pizza locations in the western suburbs have expanded their gluten-free choices. The Springfield location (35 E. Woodland Ave., 610-544-6730) not only has pizza on the menu, but also fries, wings and sandwiches along with a dedicated fryer. The menu in Downingtown (260 Norwood Rd., 610-873-2088) has pizza, crab cakes, chicken tenders, hoagies and steaks - even Tonya's soft pretzels.

For South Jerseyans like myself who have only occasionally (if ever) enjoyed Jules Thin Crust's gluten-free pizza, change is nigh. reports that the newest Jules location will open next month at the Ellisburg Shopping Center in Cherry Hill (1558 Kings Hwy. N.). According to the story, a Newtown Square location is in the works. (You can read about the gluten-free crust and prep here.)

At Penn's Landing, the Blue Cross RiverRink (101 S. Columbus Blvd., 215-922-2386) has opened for another season and will be in operation seven days a week, including holidays, until March 1, 2015. Garces Events is providing a couple of gluten-free options at the venue: The Lodge Restaurant has a Village Burger with a gluten-free roll (something not currently available at Village Whiskey on Rittenhouse Square), while the Distrito Cantina Truck will serve assorted tacos and hot dogs on gluten-free rolls.

The Spirit of Philadelphia, which cruises the Delaware River year-round from Penn's Landing (401 S. Columbus Blvd., 866-394-8439), now offers several gluten-free choices like pasta, roasted salmon and a flourless chocolate torte.

Reader Dave S. let me know that the 2nd Street Brew House (1700 S. 2nd St., 267-687-7964) in the Pennsport section of South Philadelphia currently serves Steadfast beer and Jack's Hard Cider.

LUNA, the maker of women's nutrition bars, is taking its entire line gluten free. As the company transitions its bars to gluten free, look for the bright pink gluten free “burst” on wrappers and boxes. LUNA just introduced its newest flavor, Chocolate Cupcake, with dark chocolate pieces and a silky frosting.

Several Café Steamers meals from Healthy Choice are now labeled gluten free. They include Cajun Style Chicken & Shrimp, Chicken Fresca with Chardonnay and Beef Merlot.

Artisan Bistro recently announced its new line of gluten-free burritos, featuring a blend of sustainable proteins, organic vegetables, grains and spices wrapped in organic gluten-free tortillas. The varieties include:
  • Beef, Jack Cheese & Ancho Chili – An Oaxacan-inspired mix made with organic brown rice, ancho chilis, red bell peppers, onions and antibiotic-free beef
  • Chicken Tinga & Chipotle – A traditional Mexican-inspired wrap made with organic brown rice, onions, cilantro, smoky chipotle and all-natural chicken
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon & Poblano – A blend made with poblano peppers and wild Alaskan salmon, combined with organic brown rice, spinach and parsley
  • Meatless Carnitas & Salsa Verde – A combination made with meatless carnitas, tomatillos and onions
The 7 oz. burritos, which contain at least 75 percent organic ingredients and have between 11 and 14 grams of protein, will be available in natural food stores and grocers nationwide in January and have a suggested retail price of $3.79.

On the heels of its new glazed pumpkin pie spiced donuts, Katz Gluten Free just debuted a chocolate lover's dream: a Glazed Chocolate Donut with vanilla cake and chocolate frosting and a Triple Chocolate Donut, made with chocolate cake, chocolate frosting and chocolate chips.

Sweet Note Bakery will be hosting a Gluten-Free Holiday Baking Class on Thursday, Dec. 18 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises in West Philadelphia (310 S. 48th St.). Attendees will learn how to bake and decorate their own holiday cookies using Sweet Note's Top Secret Flour Blend. The cost is $8 for the first 10 attendees to sign up; after that it's $10. The deadline for online registration is next Friday, Dec. 12.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael
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