Friday, March 27, 2015

News & Notes: March 27, 2015

(Photo: Buena Onda/Instagram)
The newest culinary endeavor for celebrity chef Jose Garces is Center City taqueria Buena Onda (1901 Callowhill St., 215-302-3530). The meat and chicken classic tacos, made with corn tortillas, are gluten free. As for the non-batter-fried fish tacos, request that they be prepared with corn tortillas and without glaze, which contains non-gluten-free soy sauce.

Spanish wine bar Jamonera (105 S. 13th St., 215-922-6061), a sister restaurant to nearby Lolita and Barbuzzo in Center City, can accommodate gluten-free requests.

The Fire Hill Pub in Kennett Square (1470 Baltimore Pike, 610-268-8252) notes gluten-free options on all menus. Nearby, Fire Hill co-owner and chef Raymond Maxwell, Jr. has just opened Chef-a-Topia at the Market at Liberty Place (148 W. State St., 610-925-3800), where he offers prepared meals to go. Many of the items there, including his crab cake and rice noodles at the noodle bar, are gluten free.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

To Market, To Market

The Philadelphia region has its share of all-gluten-free restaurants, but it's always noteworthy when this group gets another member. In this case, it's nearly two.

(Photo: Farmer's Keep/Facebook)
Opening next month just off of 20th & Market streets in Center City Philadelphia is the fast-casual Farmer's Keep (10 S. 20th St., 443-480-1060). Not only will everything at Farmer's Keep be entirely gluten free, but its menu also won't have any dairy, egg, nut or shellfish ingredients. Diners will be able to walk through the line and choose as much or as little as they desire, then pay by weight for their meal. In addition to offering 5-6 proteins daily (items like black pepper tofu and Adobo flank steak with chimichurri sauce), Farmers' Keep will also have as many as 30 composed salads and sides (with an array of fresh fruit, vegetables, grains and spreads) rotating weekly. Owner Josh Bullock will source local, all-natural and organic ingredients as much as possible.

Friday, March 13, 2015

News & Notes: March 13, 2015

This weekend marks the sixth anniversary of my first post here at Gluten Free Philly - that's a long time in blog years. Thank you for your support throughout that stretch! It's your notes, recommendations, product sightings and the like that helps make the blog a joy to publish. If you're attending the CHOP educational event in Philadelphia on Sunday, please stop by the NFCA table between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. to say hello.

To celebrate the anniversary, the Gluten Free Philly restaurant app is on sale all weekend for $1.99 (normally $2.99) at the Apple App Store. (It's also available at the Google Play Store.) With the app, you'll find more than 1,400 curated gluten-free-friendly restaurant, bakery, market and attractions listings covering southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and all of Delaware, with new listings frequently added. Search by name, location or cuisine, view gluten-free-friendly menus and options, get directions, make reservations, and call listed businesses from your phone.

Nom Wah Tea Parlor's Plain Rice Roll
(Photo: Nom Wah)
New York City's oldest dim sum house, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, has opened a Philadelphia location in Chinatown (218 N. 13th St., 267-519-2889). Gluten-free items are marked on the menu, like shrimp, beef and vegetarian rice rolls and tofu skin rolls; request that gluten-free soy sauce be used for these orders. Other items are fried in a shared fryer.

Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar will open at the Moorestown Mall (400 Rt. 38 W., 856-581-0044) on Monday, according to Most items are 500 calories or less and many items can be made gluten free. The Philadelphia location, for example, offers gluten-free pasta and pizza options.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Vive La Croissant!

How can Schar make a gluten-free croissant? By using wheat starch - yes, I said wheat starch. "Um, Mike," you say, "you know that wheat is verboten for those on a gluten-free diet." Of course, but it's gluten-free wheat starch. "Wha???????"

Yes, gluten-free wheat starch is a thing. To make its delicious new classic and hazelnut cream filled croissants, Schar uses certified Codex gluten-free wheat starch, an ingredient that has been utilized in European gluten-free products for many years. Schar says that using certified gluten-free wheat starch provides an increased texture and taste that cannot be achieved with the standard gluten-free flours and starches; the gluten-free wheat starch provides elasticity to the dough to create a lighter, flaky texture.

Friday, March 6, 2015

News & Notes: March 6, 2015

Gluten-free pizza at Parlor in Ardmore
(Photo credit: Parlor/Twitter)
The owners of Center City's Rouge and 500 Degrees have just opened Parlor in Ardmore's Suburban Square (30 St. James Place, 610-649-6200), where guests can order gluten-free pizza, pasta, wings and other plates. The kitchen takes precautions in preparing gluten-free orders.

The Atlantic City outpost of Phillips Seafood, located at The Pier Shops at Caesars (1 Atlantic Ocean, 609-348-2273), now has a gluten-free menu.

In Media, Delaware County, what was contemporary American restaurant Generations is now Maggie Hook's Fish & Grille (9 State Rd., 610-565-8212). The restaurant notes gluten-free items on its menus.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Main Courses

The Simple Servings station
at Ursinus College
(Photo credit: Sodexo)
The Philadelphia area has one of the largest concentrations of colleges and universities in the United States, from small liberal-arts programs to sprawling urban campuses.

More area schools than ever are offering students on-campus gluten-free programs and have dedicated on-site dietitians that can help students address health and medical dietary needs. Read on for options at more than a dozen local colleges and universities. (Information is current as of the date of publication but can change at any time.)

Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College

Erdman Dining Hall and Haffner Dining Hall on Bryn Mawr's campus have dedicated, access-card-only spaces for gluten-free foods. Both locations have microwave ovens, panini grills and toasters for meal preparation. The spaces are stocked with items like Udi's bread and muffins, rice tortillas, waffles and cold cuts - even Sweet Freedom Bakery baked goods delivered daily. At Haffner, gluten-free pizza is available. Students can also request that standard meals be prepared separately with clean cookware and utensils. At dinner, both dining halls offer a daily "free from" entree, which is made without any of the major food allergens.

Haverford's Dining Center has a dedicated gluten-free area similar to Erdman and Haffner.