Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Books & Cooks

What's the newest national chain to offer gluten-free fare? It's not Wendy's (at least, not yet). The in-store caf├ęs at Barnes & Noble bookstores have expanded their menus, which now include two gluten-free options: baked chicken tenders and rice crispy treats.

The baked Applegate gluten-free chicken tenders ($6.95) are coated with milled rice and corn and are served with sweet potato chips and a dipping sauce of either barbeque or honey mustard. Request that orders be prepared with new oven liners and clean utensils.

Reading, Pennsylvania's own Sweet Street Desserts supplies the certified-gluten-free Chewy Marshmallow Bars ($2.50), made with brown rice crispies, brown butter and sea salt.

Take note that the new Chocolate Oatmeal Chunker cookies ($2.50), the recipe for which comes from Pastry Chef Johnny Iuzzini's Sugar Rush cookbook, are prepared with oat flour. As of this writing, it's unclear whether gluten-free oats are used; the in-store shelf tag indicates that the cookies are "wheat free," though a banner on the B&N website states they are gluten free.

Friday, June 26, 2015

News & Notes: June 26, 2015

Back in December, I reported that General Mills would be debuting gluten-free snack bars under its Food Should Taste Good line. The Real Good Bar products launched this week in two varieties: Hazelnut Sea Salt and Macadamia Chai. Hazelnut Sea Salt features a combination of honey, Turkish hazelnuts, California almonds, Madagascar vanilla and orange zest, while Macadamia Chai offers a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and allspice and is made with whole almonds, chopped macadamia nuts, slivers of coconut, Fair Trade Certified Cocoa and a dash of Chai. The suggested retail price for each bar is $1.65.

The area's second b.good location opened yesterday in Wynnewood (280 E. Lancaster Ave., 484-417-6345). Burgers from this New England- based fast-casual chain can be served on gluten-free buns, and all fries are prepared separately. Several shakes and desserts are also gluten free.

Friday, June 19, 2015

News & Notes: June 19, 2015

Saffron Road has rolled out a new gluten-free line of frozen meals inspired by traditional Mexican cuisine. The four new frozen entrees are: Enchiladas Al Chipotle, Achiote Roasted Chicken, Chicken Enchiladas Poblano and Beef Chile Colorado. Each of the entrees is served with mesquite black beans and garlic rice.

Daiya Foods has teamed up with Beyond Meat to extend its frozen pizza lineup. The new "Supreme Pizza" offering combines Daiya's dairy-free Mozzarella Style Shreds with Beyond Meat gourmet meatless sausage, peppers and onions and tomato sauce atop a crispy gluten-free crust. The Supreme Pizza (MSRP $8.99) joins five other gluten-free take-and-bake pizza varieties: Cheeze Lover's, Margherita, Fire-Roasted Vegetable, Mushroom & Garlic and Pizza Bianca.

Look for Kellogg's Special K-branded gluten-free Chewy Nut Bars on store shelves. They come in two varieties: Chocolate Almond and Cranberry Almond.

All but one variety of tacos at the recently opened Dos Tacos near Rittenhouse Square in Center City Philadelphia (120 S. 15th St., 215-567-8226) are gluten free; only the "Ta-Korea" tacos are not an option due to the marinade. The corn tortillas are made fresh daily and the chips are prepared separately.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Saturday in the Park

(Photo credits: DRWC/Matt Stanley)
Returning for a second summer season, Spruce Street Harbor Park at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia (Columbus Blvd. and Spruce St., 215-922-2386) is open now through September 27, seven days a week. The park is free and open to the public, with pay-as-you-go gluten-free food, drinks and games.

What you can do at Spruce Street Harbor Park:
  • Swing in a colorful hammock with a canopy of lights
  • Play free giant games like chess, connect four and Jenga
  • Bocce, shuffleboard and ping-pong all at the water's edge
  • Hang out in the newly designed arcade 
  • Listen to music and watch circus performers throughout the weekend
  • Cool off in one of the fountains
  • Sail a remote-controlled sail boat
  • Rent a kayak, canoe or swan boat through the Paddle Penn's Landing program
  • Take a scenic RiverLink Ferry ride to visit destinations on both sides of the river

Friday, June 5, 2015

News & Notes: June 5, 2015

Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar in Cherry Hill (923 Haddonfield Rd., 856-488-7590) has added gluten-free burger buns as an option. The fries are prepared separately. (Thanks to reader Michelle M. for the tip.)

Dine-in movie chain Studio Movie Grill plans to open in Upper Darby (53 S. 69th St.) this summer. The theater kitchens offer gluten-free hamburger buns.

Rosa Blanca, the Center City Philadelphia Cuban diner from Jose Garces, closed last weekend and will reopen in the fall with a different concept.

The Market at Cherry Hill's Farm & Fisherman (1442 W. Rt. 70, 856-356-2286) is now selling two kinds of gluten-free cookies from local baker Sugar & Spice: White & Dark Chocolate Chip with Macadamia Nuts and Snickerdoodles.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

First Draft: Coors Peak

By Chris Betz

Looking at a bottle of Coors Peak Copper Lager, you might not realize it's gluten free - and that's a good thing. Using a combination of malted brown rice, pea protein, hops and caramel sugar, MillerCoors has created a brew that smells and tastes more like a traditional lager. The sweet caramel and toasted maltiness flavors remind me of an Oktoberfest lager. There's little hop aroma or flavor and the pea protein is not noticeable.

I'm guessing the pea protein in the gluten-free-certified Coors Peak (4.7% ABV) was added to give the beer more substance and body, but this beer remains quite thin. The real key here, however, is what the brewers didn't put in the recipe: sorghum. When used in large quantities, sorghum can give beer an off-putting sour taste that overwhelms all other flavors. This beer tastes like a beer.

Unfortunately, Coors Peak is not yet available in the Philadelphia region; due to production constraints, it's only sold for now in the Seattle and Portland metro areas for about $8 per 6-pack. (Perhaps requesting East Coast distribution on the Facebook page for the beer will help?)

Coors Peak Copper Lager is without a doubt the best beer that Coors makes - gluten free or otherwise. With widespread distribution, I have no doubt that it would knock Redbridge from its perch as the nation's best-selling gluten-free beer.