Friday, December 23, 2016

News & Notes: December 23, 2016

Photo Credit: Shake Shack/Facebook
As of this week, gourmet-burger chain Shake Shack has gluten-free buns available (for a $1 upcharge) at all locations except for those at stadiums and ballparks. The bread is also dairy free. Keep in mind that Shake Shack's fries are not gluten free because they are prepared in the same fryers as breaded mushrooms.

Local Shake Shacks are in University City (3200 Chestnut St., 267-338-3464), Rittenhouse Square (2000 Sansom St., 215-809-1742), King of Prussia (160 N. Gulph Rd., 267-428-7560; 350 Mall Blvd., 484-679-8335) and Newark, Delaware (2120 Fashion Center Blvd., 302-597-7417). A shop along Route 70 in Marlton, New Jersey is planned for 2017.

Photo Credit: The Olde Bar/Facebook
The Olde Bar, a traditional American restaurant located in the former Bookbinder's space in Old City Philadelphia (125 Walnut St., 215-253-3777) has a gluten-free menu designed by Chef Jose Garces. Four other Garces-owned restaurants - Amada in Old City (217-219 Chestnut St., 215-625-2450) [menu], University City's Distrito (3945 Chestnut St., 215-222-1657) [menu], Tinto in Rittenhouse Square (114 S. 20th St., 215-665-9150) [menu] and Garces Trading Company in Washington Square West (1111 Locust St., 215-574-1099) [menu] - have updated their gluten-free menus.

Zama, also on Rittenhouse Square (128 S. 19th St., 215-568-1027) now has a gluten-free menu that includes items from the sushi bar. Sister restaurant CoZara in University City (3200 Chestnut St., 267-233-7488) has a similar menu.

Friday, December 16, 2016

News & Notes: December 16, 2016

After months of renovations, Catelli Duo has opened at the Moorestown Mall in the former Osteria space (400 Rt. 38 W., 856-437-5757). The kitchen can prepare gluten-free pasta upon request; ask that it be cooked in a clean pot with fresh water.

The newest addition to the King of Prussia Town Center is City Works Eatery & Pour House (220 Main St., 484-690-4150). Gluten-free options are listed on the menu on the premises.

Indian restaurant Monsoon in Mt. Laurel (4180 Dearborn Circle, 856-234-0080) can prepare many menu items gluten free. The owners are planning to open a second location, in Cherry Hill's Barclay Farms Shopping Center in the spot last occupied by La Terrazza (1401 Rt. 70 E.).

HipCityVeg's Arugula Taco Salad
HipCityVeg has opened a third location in Philadelphia, this one on the Avenue of the Arts (121 S. Broad St., 267-273-0603). The fast-casual vegan restaurant can prepare salads and other menu items gluten free. reports that the short-lived Travinia Italian Kitchen in Fishtown has closed.

The Food Network-featured Cake That in Manahawkin (657 E. Bay Ave., 609-713-9125) offers gluten-free sweets. Though not prepared a dedicated kitchen, the gluten-free products are baked first in the morning on equipment that is cleaned prior to use.

Sur La Table is hosting a "Deliciously Gluten Free" cooking class at its Marlton, Lawrenceville and King of Prussia locations on January 11 and 22. The menu includes Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage and Lemon, Quinoa-Crusted Chicken with Spicy Cherry Tomato Chutney and Free-From Apple-Almond Pie. The cost is $69 per person and online registration is available.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,500 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Breakfast at Starbucks

Besides baseball, there's something else to look forward to once we make it through the winter: Starbucks' new certified-gluten-free breakfast sandwich. The ever-expanding coffee chain announced last week that stores nationwide will begin carrying the sandwich in the spring.

The sandwiches were tested earlier this fall at San Diego and Miami-area locations, and based on the success of the test, Starbucks has opted to roll out the product across the United States. The sandwich combines smoked Canadian bacon and egg with reduced-fat cheddar cheese on a multigrain roll. In the pilot program, the sandwich was priced at less than $5; Starbucks, which has been tight lipped about the addition beyond last week's announcement, has not said as yet whether that price point will change.

Nonetheless, we do know that the sandwiches will come individually wrapped and then heated in their own packaging to avoid cross contact with other products. Starbucks' initial effort at selling a separately wrapped gluten-free product dates back to 2009, when the company sold an orange-flavored cake for several months before discontinuing it. Some stores continue to sell a gluten-free marshmallow crispy rice treat.

Friday, December 9, 2016

News & Notes: December 9, 2016

The casual Caribbean-themed chain Bahama Breeze now offers a gluten-sensitive menu at all locations. Area outlets are located in Newark (500 Center Blvd., 302-266-7923), Princeton (3535 Rt. 1 S., 609-799-3808), Cherry Hill (2000 Rt. 38, 856-317-8317) and King of Prussia (320 Goddard Blvd., 610-491-9822). Hat tip to reader Alexis, who blogs at Alexis's Gluten Free Adventures and posted a review of her recent meal at a Bahama Breeze restaurant in the Pittsburgh area.

The owner of Ambler's Mi Lah Vegetarian (40 W. Skippack Pike, 215-646-1808) has opened an outpost in Queen Village (615 S. 3rd St., 215-309-5135) serving vegan tapas and dim sum. As with the main location, the dinner and brunch menus at the new spot note which items can be made gluten free.

Reader Corinna let me know that Peking Wok in Mt. Laurel (127 Ark Rd., 856-866-2350) can prepare many items gluten free, including rice noodle dishes and General Tso's Chicken (coated in corn starch). Request that your order be prepared gluten free with clean cookware.

The Taco Truck in Princeton (301 N. Harrison St., 609-580-1384) lists gluten-free items on its menu, though take note that a shared fryer is used for the chips and fried plantains. The mini-chain's first Pennsylvania location is opening at the King of Prussia Mall (350 Mall Blvd.) within the next month or so. reports that the gluten-free-friendly French-Mexican BYOB Paloma, located in South Philly's Bella Vista neighborhood (763 S. 8th St., 215-928-9500), is closing after a 17-year run on December 22.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is hosting a gluten-free cookie exchange and kids'  support group meeting at its Voorhees facility (1012 Laurel Oak Rd.) on Sun., December 18 from noon to 2 p.m. RSVP via email with the number of attendees (parents and children) and children's ages.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,500 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Cheer

With Christmas and Hanukkah approaching, it might seem premature to talk about Passover, which doesn't occur in 2017 until mid-April. However, new gluten-free products announced earlier this month at the annual Kosherfest food show in northern New Jersey merit a look ahead.

Kedem Foods announced several new gluten-free products that will be widely available for the Passover holiday next year, including additions to its all-natural, certified-gluten-free Yehuda matzos. New to the matzo line are Egg and Everything varieties. The matzos will be available year round after the holiday.

Under its Gefen label, Kedem will debut gluten-free pancake/waffle batter and crepe batter. The ready-made mixes are stored frozen, then thawed for use on the griddle or waffle iron. Also added to the Gefen line are gluten-free ready-to-bake crusts that come in a 3-inch size for tarts and a larger 9-inch size for pies. These items will be available year round. Gefen's other major addition for Passover is fresh (heat-and-serve) pasta: gnocchi and fusilli.

Another Kedem line, Haddar, will offer gluten-free crostini. The mini toasts will be available in three flavors: Lightly Salted, Zesty Onion and Hot Barbeque. Another Passover-only item from Haddar is gluten-free biscotti. The cookies will come in Cappuccino Crunch, Choco Chip and Chocolate Fudge.

Friday, November 18, 2016

News & Notes: November 18, 2016

Jay's Steak & Hoagie Joint has reopened at its new location in Penndel (1205 Highland Ave., 215-741-6555), still offering gluten-free cheese steaks, hoagies, wings, fries and more. A section of the new kitchen is dedicated for gluten-free preparation and contains a separate fryer, grill, sandwich station and oven.

MilkHouse recently opened its third Center City Philadelphia location, this one at 30th Street Station (2995 Market St, 215-222-1393). As with the other spots, there is a separate press used to make gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches and only potatoes go in the fryer.

Local veggie burger purveyor Luhv Foods has opened a vegan bistro in Hatboro (101 N. York Rd., 215-444-9002). The entire menu of burgers, salads and soups, save traditional burger buns (though there are gluten-free buns available), is gluten free.

Southern-influenced Rex 1516 in Philadelphia (1516 South St., 267-319-1366) has updated its gluten-free menu, which features spare ribs, burgers and fish. Bear in mind that the fries and wings are not prepared in a dedicated fryer. You can read my review of Rex 1516 here.

Brand new from Tate's Bake Shop are gluten-free brownie thins - a cross between the bakery's delicious cookies and brownies. Not yet available in stores, the product can be purchased at the company's online store. Promo code NOV10, which expires today, gets you 10% off plus free shipping; from November 19-24, code NOV21 is good for free shipping.

Have a great weekend and wonderful Thanksgiving!

- Michael

With the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,500 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

First Draft: Holidaily Brewing Company

By Chris Betz

The rocky mountains of Golden, Colorado might be the home of Coors, but it's also where Holidaily Brewing Company is making a name for itself, Holidaily is a dedicated gluten-free brewery founded by Karen Hertz, a cancer survivor who was given a treatment plan that included being on a lifelong gluten-free diet. As a beer lover, she wanted a better tasting gluten-free brew. After years of research, she launched Holidaily.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that Holidaily brews a Black India Pale Ale and an Imperial Stout, as many gluten free breweries don't venture far from the basics. Here's a recap of some of the brewery's styles.

(Photo credit: Holidaily Brewing/Facebook)

Favorite Blonde (5% ABV): Using millet and buckwheat and just the right amount of hops, Holidaily has brewed a blonde ale (its flagship beer) that would surprise many traditional beer drinkers by the fact that it's gluten free. Its light body and mellow hoppy taste make this an easy drinking, delightful beer. With a smooth beer like this, you can pair this with just about anything, or enjoy on its own.

Friday, November 4, 2016

News & Notes: November 4, 2016

Ted's Montana Grill opens its first Delaware location in Newark on November 14 at the new Christiana Fashion Center (3194 Fashion Center Blvd.). The steakhouse chain offers guests a gluten-free menu that includes burgers with buns, as well as salads, entrees and sides. Ted's other area outpost is in Warrington, Pennsylvania.

In Magnolia, Woodstone Tavern (510 S. White Horse Pike, 856-435-4600) has just opened, with gluten-free items such as grilled wings, glazed shrimp and filet mignon skewers noted on the menu.

The majority of the menu at Conshohocken's Coyote Crossing (800 Spring Mill Ave., 610-825-3000) is gluten free, from salads and enchiladas to fish and other entrees. However, there is no dedicated gluten-free fryer.

The gluten-free-friendly Big Bites BBQ in Quakertown has closed.

Wegmans has introduced a line of gluten-free pizzas under its store label, priced at $7.49 each. Based on my review of the ingredients, my educated guess is that the pizzas are made for Wegmans by Chef Anthony Russo's. I wrote about the Russo's gluten-free pizzas back in 2013, when I discovered them at the Expo East gourmet food show.

There are many gluten-free-related events this month, including an expo at the Plymouth Meeting Mall on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get the details on that and the other events in my post from last Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,500 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November Gluten-Free Events In and Around Philadelphia

As the calendar turns to November, the month brings many gluten-free events to the Philadelphia area.

This Saturday, The Rachel Way gluten- and dairy-free food pantry hosts a free gluten-free expo at the Plymouth Meeting Mall (500 W. Germantown Pike) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among the vendors offering samples are The Happy Mixer Bakery, Sweet Megan, LUHV Foods and Krave Jerky. There will be several speakers as well as a holiday cookie decoration. If you're attending, please bring a gluten-free and dairy-free item to donate to the pantry.

On Sunday, the Southern New Jersey Celiac Support Group will hold its monthly meeting at the Hope Church in Voorhees (700 Cooper Rd.), where there will be a Thanksgiving pot luck. Be sure to bring your recipe with ingredient listings.

On Saturday, November 12, Childrens' Hospital of Philadelphia is hosting a kids' support group meeting at the CHOP Specialty Care & Surgery Center in Chalfont (500 W. Butler Ave.). To register, please send an email to the CHOP Celiac Center with the number of adults and number and ages of children.

As of this writing, there are several spots left for Paoli Hospital's seminar on Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity, scheduled for Wednesday, November 16. The featured speaker is Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology from the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. The event will be held at the hospital's Potter Room (255 W. Lancaster Ave.) from noon to 1 p.m. Online registration is available.

If you can't wait for the second annual Greater Philly Gluten-Free Expo slated for Saturday, May 20, 2017, the same organizer is hosting a sister event on Sunday, November 20 at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College (215 Innovation Blvd.). There will be several speakers and more than two dozen vendors sampling their products. VIP tickets are sold out, but general admission tickets can be purchased in advance online.

Friday, October 14, 2016

News & Notes: October 14, 2016

The latest Philly restaurant from Michael Schulson is Harp & Crown (1525 Sansom St., 215-330-2800), a New American bistro next door to his pan-Asian Sampan in Midtown Village. Most of the menu, which will rotate seasonally, can be made gluten free; items that can't are noted. 1911 hard cider currently is available on draft.

In the Pennsport section of Philadelphia, The Wild Burrito (2015 E. Moyamensing Ave., 215-336-9453) offers most options in a gluten-free format, from chips and avocado fries to quesadillas and tacos (made with corn tortillas). No gluten goes into the fryer. A sister shop is in Wildwood Crest (6300 New Jersey Ave., 609-523-9453).

Souderton family-style restaurant Franconia Heritage (508 Harleysville Pike - Unit A, 215-721-4400) has a extensive gluten-free menu that includes pancakes and crepes for breakfast and chicken parmesan and pasta for lunch and dinner. The kitchen maintains a dedicated fryer.

Hot-dog specialist Tower Dogs in Lawrenceville (4110 Quakerbridge Rd., 609-269-9056) has gluten-free buns.

Allora in Marlton (892 Rt. 73 N., 856-596-6882) offers gluten-free pasta. Call ahead to request that the pasta be prepared in a clean pot and fresh water.

Also in Marlton, ShopRite (307 Rt. 70, 856-983-7370) will be hosting its annual Gluten-Free Festival on Saturday, October 29. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature samples from more than three dozen companies.

Saffron Road has expanded its line of microwaveable gluten-free meals with Asian-themed fish bowls. The four new meals are:
  • Sesame Ginger Salmon with White Rice: Wild-caught salmon filet in a sesame ginger sauce with crunchy vegetables on a bed of rice
  • Lemongrass Basil Fish with Rice Noodles: Wild caught Alaskan pollock paired with a lemongrass and basil sauce atop crunchy veggies and rice noodles
  • Thai Red Curry Fish with Rice Noodles: A medium spiced red curry seasons a pollock filet in a bowl filled with rice noodles and veggies
  • Masala Curry Fish with White Rice: Pollock topped with Masala curry sauce in a bowl with veggies and white rice
Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,500 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

First Draft: Craft a Brew Gluten-Free Brewing Kit

By Chris Betz

Homebrewing is a rite of passage for any beer lover. Being able to make your own beer from scratch and share it with others is a fulfilling adventure. I had brewed a couple batches of beer before my Celiac Disease diagnosis, so I was eager to jump back in where I left off. Craft a Brew aims to make beer lovers beer brewers by providing kits containing nearly all of the equipment needed to brew a batch a beer, along with quality ingredients and detailed instructions.

Friday, September 30, 2016

News & Notes: September 30, 2016

Revolutions, a rock-and-bowl complex just opened in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia (1009 Canal St., 267-348-0544) offers gluten-free items at its Burger & Beer Joint eatery, as noted on the menu. Options include the Pig in a Bucket appetizer, two salads, and burgers and sandwiches on gluten-free buns. A sister location in Bethlehem (3717 Route 378, 484-935-3001) has a different menu but also has gluten-free choices.

Also in Bethlehem, the dinner menu at Emeril's Chop House at the Sands (77 Sands Blvd., 877-726-3777) lists items that can be prepared gluten free.

In nearby Allentown, the fast-casual Wok Box (818 W. Hamilton St., 484-350-3160) maintains a list of gluten-free ingredients for rice and noodle bowls. Request that gluten-free orders be prepared with separate utensils and cookware. (Thanks Melissa D.)

LaScala's Pronto in Mt. Laurel (4040 Dearborn Circle, 856-234-5400) serves gluten-free pizza prepared with separate ingredients and bakeware.

Irish pub Rí Rá, located at The Quarter at the Tropicana in Atlantic City (2801 Pacific Ave., 609-348-8600) notes gluten-free options on its menu.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Expo East 2016 Recap

What do functional water, cold-brewed coffee and sauerkraut have in common? Those products were among those trending at the annual Expo East natural-foods show in Baltimore last week. The show features new and emerging gourmet, natural and gluten-free products from across North America whose manufacturers are seeking wider distribution in supermarkets and grocery stores.

This year's show was larger than ever, with more than 1,450 exhibiting brands and more than 450 first-time vendors. In no particular order, here's my list of the top five gluten-free products I tried at this year's event (not all items are currently available in area stores), along with information about some other noteworthy items:

New Pop: The Original version of this skinless popcorn, one of three flavors from a New York-based upstart, reminds me of a less cloyingly sweet Sugar Smacks cereal made with corn instead of wheat. The skin on the corn kernels are peeled before being pressure popped, so there's nothing to get stuck between your teeth. A cup serving size is just 32 calories, but you'll want more - it's addicting. Each serving has 4 grams of fiber, zero grams of fat and just 3 grams of sugar. New Pop can be found at a few area markets, but mostly in the New York City area. The company also takes orders online.

Tucson Tamale: This Arizona mini-chain of restaurants has begun to expand distribution of its delicious gluten-free tamales east of the Mississippi River, though they can also be ordered online. They are super easy to make and taste great. There are several vegetarian and vegan varieties, and well as dessert and breakfast versions.

Smashmallow: The creator of Krave jerky is behind this new line of premium snackable marshmallows. The treats are made with organic sugar and all natural ingredients, and range from 70-90 calories per serving. Smashmallow bites come in seven flavors, including Cinnamon Churro, Strawberries & Cream, Espresso Bean, Mint Chocolate Chip, Toasted Coconut Pineapple, Meyer Lemon Chia Seed and Root Beer Float.

The Curious Creamery: Coming this week via Amazon is The Curious Creamery's new make-your-own ice cream - no machine is needed. The gluten-free, neutral base can be used to customize your flavor. All that's needed is a hand mixer or stand mixer, freezer, and liquid (tea, juice or milk) or fruit puree or yogurt of your choice. The prep takes less than five minutes, followed by freezing time. I sampled a yummy pumpkin flavor that's perfect for fall.

Pasta Oggi: This Montreal-based start-up got a mention in this space last year for its gluten-free ravioli, but this year its certified gluten-free pizza took center stage. The hand-tossed, stone-baked frozen pizzas have a crisp, tasty crust. Alas, these are only available in Quebec at the moment but the company is seeking U.S. distribution.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Beyond Celiac's Matching Donation Drive and Samuel Gee Society Reception on October 13

Beyond Celiac, the national celiac advocacy organization based right here in the Philadelphia area, has received an anonymous $20,000 matching grant to complete by the end of October. Contributions from new donors will be matched 2-to-1 and donations from existing donors will be doubled. Consider helping the group obtain the full value of the matching pledge by contributing today through this link.

If you're in the Philadelphia area, consider joining Beyond Celiac on Thursday, October 13 at its 3rd Annual Samuel Gee Society Reception. This year, it's a kid-friendly event that will take place at a lovely private home in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania. Guests will gather for an evening of delightful gluten-free fare, cocktails, music and "ask the dietitian" as the group recognizes six young contributors who are actively working to make their world with celiac disease more livable. Christina Pirello from public television's Christina Cooks! fame will be doing a kid-friendly healthy-cooking demonstration. The main event runs from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with a VIP pre-event reception beginning at  6 p.m.

Tickets are available online or by contacting Nancy Ginter of Beyond Celiac at 267-419-2101.

Friday, September 9, 2016

News & Notes: September 9, 2016

Kettle Brand Potato Chips' two new gluten-free flavors tap into the popularity of trendy bar menus. Moscow Mule features a zesty lime juice and ginger punch, while Korean Barbeque has smoky and roasty-sweet hoisin and garlic notes.

Paladar's 21-Day Dry Aged Skirt Steak Churrasco
Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar opens its first area location at the new King of Prussia Town Center (250 Main St., 484-965-9779) on September 30. The Spanish-influenced mini-chain offers a gluten-free menu. In the same complex, b.good, which offers gluten-free burgers, fries and shakes, opened last month (150 Main St., Suite 160, 484-322-2110).

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Goodies Giveaway: Tate's Bake Shop Gluten-Free Sampler Basket

I've been a big fan of Tate's Bake Shop's gluten-free chocolate chip cookies since discovering them a few years ago; they're thin and crunchy with large chocolate morsels studded throughout each and every one. I can say - without hyperbole - that they are the best packaged gluten-free chocolate chip cookies on the market.

Tate’s produces its gluten-free baked goods in a dedicated gluten free facility. The cookies are made using rice flour and the brownies and blondies are made with almond flour. Additionally, products are tested both internally and by an outside accredited laboratory. The gluten-free products test at 5 ppm (gluten) or lower. Tate's is also recognized by the Celiac Support Association.

To celebrate the arrival of fall, Tate's Bake Shop is offering readers free shipping site-wide at Tate' with promo code GFPHILLY. The offer is valid through October 31. (You can also find Tate's on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.)

What's more, Tate's is offering one lucky blog reader a Gluten-Free Sampler Basket ($50 value) that includes:

  • Two 8 oz. bag gluten-free chocolate chip cookies (approx. 14 cookies per bag)
  • One 8 oz. bag gluten-free double chocolate chip cookies (approx. 14 cookies per bag)
  • One 8 oz. bag gluten-free ginger zinger cookies (approx. 14 cookies per bag)
  • One 4 oz. gluten-free blondie
  • One 4 oz. gluten-free brownie
  • One Harney & Sons tea tin (30 sachets per tin)
  • Natural wood tray
To enter up to four different ways, follow the instructions below. Entries are being accepted through 11:59 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, September 11. The winner will need to respond to a notification email and provide a U.S. mailing address within 24 hours of the end of the giveaway. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: Neither I am nor any immediate family member is an employee, officer, director or agent of Tate's Bake Shop or its respective parent, subsidiary and affiliated entities, advertising and promotional agencies. This post contains affiliate links. Click here for my complete Disclosure

Friday, August 19, 2016

News & Notes: August 19, 2016

After operating a food truck in the area for better part of a year, the Mark Wahlberg-backed Wahlburgers burger chain has finally opened its brick-and-mortar location in Northern Liberties (1033 N. 2d St., 215-278-8989). Gluten-free options include burger buns, fries, tater tots and even salad croutons.

Paesano's Philly Style has opened an on-campus location at Temple University (2012 N. Broad St., 267-639-3159), offering gluten-free bread for sandwiches. The Paesano's in Northern Liberties is temporarily closed pending a move down the block to 148 W. Girard Ave,

Sweetgreen will open another Philly-area location, this one in King of Prussia (350 Mall Blvd. - Suite 3035, 610-265-5727), next Friday. The farm-to-table restaurant is part of the King of Prussia Mall's new Savor dining area.

Uno Pizzeria & Grill locations throughout the country are switching to a new gluten-free crust (from California's Venice Bakery) that has a deep-dish style thick crust.

Ruby Tuesday restaurants in Exton, Malvern, Northeast Philadelphia and Willingboro, New Jersey have closed, four of 95 nationally that are being shut down by corporate due to under-performance.

The relocated Whole Foods market in Wynnewood (15 E. Wynnewood Ave., 610-896-3737) opens on September 14, while the relocated Philadelphia location in Fairmount (500 N. 21st St., 215-557-0015) opens on October 14. In addition, a new Whole Foods is opening in Allentown (750 N. Krocks Rd.) on September 28.

Angry Orchard has debuted Easy Apple, a less sweet session cider. The unfiltered cider will be introduced in six-packs in select states beginning this month and will also be available nationwide in the Angry Orchard Fall Orchard Sampler Variety Pack. Easy Apple (4.2% ABV) is crafted with a blend of culinary apples including Braeburn, Fuji, Gala and Granny Smith, and bittersweet apples like Bisquet, Dabinett, Frequin Rouge and Harry Masters Jersey.

Pepperidge Farm has discontinued its gluten-free Goldfish Puffs cheese-flavored snacks. The first varieties were introduced back in 2013.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,500 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Shopping Spree

With many imitators out there, Chipotle isn't content sticking to fast-casual Mexican cuisine. From quick-fired pizza (Pizzeria Locale) to burgers (Tasty Made), the company has slowly expanded into other concepts. The largest is ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, with locations in Southern California, Illinois and metro Washington, D.C. - they even had the chutzpah to open an outpost in the capital's Chinatown section! The best part about ShopHouse is that it's extremely gluten-free-friendly.

It took a couple years for us to get to ShopHouse, but we had an opportunity last weekend on the way to D.C. when we stopped at the Columbia, Maryland location for lunch. Similar to Chipotle, guests can build a bowl with various ingredients, all of which are gluten and dairy free. (ShopHouse recently added non-gluten-free spring rolls, but they are prepared and handled separately.) Base options include jasmine rice, brown rice, chilled rice noodles or a salad topped with grilled chicken satay, pork & chicken meatballs, grilled steak laab or organic tofu, From there, diners may customize their bowls with a choice of vegetables, sauces of varying spice levels (my favorite was the peanut sauce, but our younger son's red curry was tasty too), garnishes and toppings such as fresh chilies and toasted rice.

The friendly staff prepared our orders quickly and even gave us a two coconut rice & mango parfaits on the house.

Our younger son, who's as big a fan of Chipotle as anyone, thought that ShopHouse was even better. I have to agree, especially since Asian cuisine is my favorite. I'm not suggesting that you plan a trip around ShopHouse, but if you just so happen to be in one of the aforementioned areas, I urge you to try to dine at one. In the meantime, I'll be waiting with fingers crossed, hoping that ShopHouse is one day nearly as ubiquitous as Chipotle.

Friday, August 5, 2016

News & Notes: August 5, 2016

Sabra has announced the launch of Sabra Spreads, a line of refrigerated sandwich spreads made with hummus. The condiment, which comes in a squeezable bottle comes in three flavors: Garlic Herb, Honey Mustard and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper. Sabra Spreads will launch nationwide beginning September 1st (with limited retail availability late summer) and will be available in the refrigerated deli section of grocery stores and supermarkets. All three products are kosher, gluten free, and non-GMO. The suggested retail price is $3.99 per bottle.

Nut-butter maker Justin's has introduced the first extension of its Snack Pack product line. Justin's Peanut Butter and Banana Chip Snack Pack comes in two flavors: Classic Peanut Butter + Banana Chips and Honey Peanut Butter + Banana Chips. One side of each pack features Justin's Peanut Butter and the other organic banana chips. Available exclusively at Target for $1.99, the gluten-free snack contains 5-6 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and over 200 milligrams of potassium, all for just 200-210 calories per serving.

Nabisco has added to its line of Good Thins crackers with the addition of a sea salt variety made with corn masa flour.
My son spotted several frozen entrees from Beetnik Foods in the gluten-free frozen aisle of the ShopRite in Cherry Hill, including Grass-Fed Beef Bolognese and Chicken Cacciatore. All of the meals are gluten free and organic.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ride to Rhode Island

Having covered much of the region from New York to D.C. on weekend family getaways over the years, we looked to expand our geographic footprint this summer. It had been quite some time since my last visit to Newport, Rhode Island's famed coastal town - 25 years to be exact. A return trip, even if a bit farther than our usual domain, was in order.

After a washed-out false start two weeks earlier, we set out in the end of July for a two-night stay over a weekend coinciding with the renowned Newport Folk Festival. In addition to the Folk Festival and its jazz festival counterpart, Newport is perhaps best known as the longtime home of the America's Cup yacht race as well as hundreds of Gilded Age-era mansions.

On the trip north, we stopped in Mystic, Connecticut, a quaint fishing village made famous by 1988's Mystic Pizza, which featured Julia Roberts in one of her first film roles. Though it likely wasn't an option back then, the original Mystic Pizza (56 W. Main St., 860-536-3700) offers gluten-free pizza, which our son described as one of the best he's ever eaten.

Friday, July 22, 2016

News & Notes: July 22, 2016

Enjoy Life has introduced bite-size Mini Cookies, available in both crunchy and soft-baked varieties. The four crunchy options are Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Sugar Crispy and Vanilla Honey Graham and the three soft-baked versions are Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate Brownie and Snickerdoodle. All of the cookies are gluten free and free of the top eight allergens. The Mini Cookies will be in stores soon.

Local cold cuts purveyor Dietz & Watson has a new Originals line, a collection of gluten-free products featuring no-antibiotics-ever and organic and nitrate-free deli meats and all-beef franks, as well as RBST-free cheeses.

We spent a lovely day last week in Cape May, New Jersey, where there are a number of gluten-free-friendly restaurants. The Cape May Fish Market (408 Washington St., 609-770-3790) serves sandwiches on gluten-free rolls, while That's Amore (301 Washington St., 609-898-3663) offers risotto and notes gluten-free options on its menu. We enjoyed a fine lunch at the Mad Batter (19 Jackson St., 609-884-5970), which has a gluten-free menu, though the fryer is not separate. Elaine's Dinner Theater (513 Lafayette St., 609-884-1199) offers gluten-free fare as part of its theater menu.

Friday, July 8, 2016

News & Notes: July 8, 2016

(Photo Credit: Harry's)
With the summer in full swing, we'll start this week with some shore news. At the Tropicana in Atlantic City, Broadway Burger Bar (2801 Pacific Ave., 609-317-4660) has a gluten-free menu that includes buns, while sister restaurant Gallagher's Burger Bar at Resorts (1133 Boardwalk, 609-340-6554) also offers gluten-free buns. The gluten-free menu at Harry's Oyster Bar and Seafood at Bally's (1900 Pacific Ave., 609-431-0092) includes many items from the raw bar as well as salads, fresh fish and broiled crab cakes. (Hat tip to Celtic Celiac.)

In nearby Ocean City, Cousin's (104 Asbury Ave., 609-399-9462) offers a gluten-free menu that includes chicken Parmesan over penne. The gluten-free pasta is cooked separately.

Up the coastline in southern Ocean County, Barnegat's Lefty's Tavern (547 N. Main St., 609-607-0707) notes gluten-free options on its menu, including nachos, fish tacos, chili and salads. Nearby, Captain's Inn in Forked River (304 E. Lacey Rd., 609-693-3351) serves gluten-free pasta along with several entrees.