Friday, December 13, 2019

News & Notes: December 13, 2019

BFree Foods' line of gluten-free wraps—including brand new Sweet Wraps for kids—are available in Walmart stores nationwide. Varieties include Quinoa & Chia Wraps, Sweet Potato Wraps, Multigrain Wraps, and new Sweet Wraps for kids. The Sweet Potato Wraps, Multigrain Wraps and Quinoa & Chia Wraps are available in the tortilla aisle in 1,800 Walmart stores, and the new Sweet Wrap are available in 1,400 Walmart stores. Customers can download a $2-off coupon from the company's website.

Manini’s has launched a line of gluten-free heat-and-serve microwaveable meals: Mac & Cheese, Lasagna Roll-ups, Stuffed Shells and Spinach & Cheese Manicotti.

The New York-based fast-casual Dig chain plans to open its first Philadelphia location in Rittenhouse Square by the end of the month (1616 Chestnut St.). Customers can create their own bowls from locally-sourced ingredients. The menu lists allergens, including gluten.

The menu at Kalaya, a Thai restaurant in South Philadelphia's Italian Market (764 S. 9th St., 215-385-3777), lists gluten-free choices, and the kitchen has gluten-free soy sauce. The Inquirer's food critic, Craig LaBan, gave Kalaya a three-bell review this summer.

Sister restaurants KC Prime (1580 Easton Rd., 267-483-8075) and the new Ardana, both in Warrington, can accommodate gluten-free guests. The Cypriot-influenced Ardana (751 Easton Rd., 267-488-1568), located at The Shops at Valley Square, notes gluten-free options on its menu.

Uncle B's BBQ has relocated within Phoenixville to 425 Bridge St. (610-935-1363). All meats, wings and fries are gluten free, and there's also a gluten-free version of mac & cheese.

Liberty Kitchen in Fishtown (1244 N. Front St., 215-309-2241) stocks Taffet's rolls for sandwiches and can prepare gluten-free mac & cheese with advance notice.

The kitchen at the modern American Blue Bell Inn (601 Skippack Pike, 215-515-5753) can prepare a variety of menu options gluten free.

Also in Blue Bell, the Mooyah burger chain (990 Dekalb Pike, 610-278-9191) is opening its first Pennsylvania outpost next week. The restaurant has gluten-free burger buns, but does not have a dedicated fryer for fries.

Gluten-free options like tacos and small-plate items on the menu at La Cabra Brewing in Berwyn (642 Lancaster Ave., 610-240-7908) are handled separately. Let your server know of your dietary requirements. There is no dedicated fryer for chips

La Padella in Media (100 State Rd., 484-445-4445) lists gluten-free options on its menu. Keep in mind that the gluten-free pasta is not prepared separately.

Now there are not one but two dedicated gluten-free businesses at the Pottstown Farmers Market. Joining Aye Caramba Taco is La's Desserts (300 E. High St., 484-374-2451). Sweet treats include a variety of muffins, cupcakes, cookies, cake pops and cakes.

Tiers of Joy Gluten-Free Bakery delivers cakes, cupcakes, donuts and cookies to the southern Chester County and greater Coatesville areas. Goodies are also sold at Landhope Farms in Oxford and Kennett Square and at Triple Fresh Market in Coatesville.

Fond in Passyunk Square (1537 S. 11th St., 215-551-5000) is hosting a bakery pop-up sale featuring pastry chef Monica Glass, who is gluten free, on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 10 a.m. The menu includes a variety of sweet and savory goods, including gluten-free options created by Glass. (Thanks to reader Katy L.)

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Misty Mountain Hop

Ski resorts like Jack Frost Mountain offer gluten-free dining options
(Photo Credit: Ski PA)
December is the calm before the proverbial storm, though you don't have to wait for the real snow to get a head start on the skiing and snowboarding season. Many of the region's mountain resorts offer gluten-free options for those respites between runs.

Gluten-free options are available in all dining areas at Shawnee Mountain, located in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, about a two-hour drive from Philadelphia in the Poconos.

Tannersville's Camelback Mountain, also located in the Poconos, offers many gluten-free items in the Big Pocono Family Eatery, Cammello’s, Eastside Pitstop, CBK Lodge and Snowtubing Lodge. These include grilled chicken, BBQ chicken, hot dogs, pizza and salads. If you stay at Camelback Resort, you'll find gluten-free sandwich buns and fries at Trails End Pub & Grille.

At Jack Frost & Big Boulder in Blakeslee, Pennsylvania, gluten-free options such as chicken fingers, burgers, hot dogs, burgers, fries, chili and salads are available; be sure to speak to a JFBB Food & Beverage staffer before ordering. In nearby Scranton, the Slocum Hollow restaurant at Montage Mountain can accommodate gluten-free requests.

In the Lehigh Valley area, Slopeside Pub & Grill at Blue Mountain in Palmerton has gluten-free menu options, while Bear Creek Mountain in Macungie can provide gluten-free meals at The Grille, a full-service restaurant.

Adams County is the home of Carroll Valley's Liberty Mountain Resort, where gluten-free options are noted on the menus at Eagle & the Owl and Ike's Chophouse.

For skiers willing to drive a bit further to get their snow fix, Hunter Mountain in Hunter, New York (about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Philadelphia) has gluten-free menu items at several dining locations. At Van Winkle's, part of the Kaatskill Mountain Club Hotel, the gluten-free menu includes pizza, salads and entrees.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Gonna Fly Now

Last year, nearly 32 million passengers came through Philadelphia International Airport, which, like most U.S. gateways, will see heavy traffic during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend. With the airport's growth comes better and broader gluten-free fare. Here's a current list of available options at PHL:

Concourse A West:

Chickie's & Pete's (Gate A22; 215-492-1329). Dedicated fryer for Crabfries.

Good 2 Go (Gate A14; 215-922-1115). Smart snacks such as Pop Chips and Kame rice crackers.

Concourse A East:

Saladworks (Gate A2; 215-365-1995). Salads (an interactive allergen menu can sort by gluten-free ingredients).

Concourse B:

Cibo Bistro & Wine Bar (Gate B6; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu. Sample items include chicken marsala, grilled salmon, pan-roasted tilapia and salads.

Cibo Express Gourmet Market (Gate B11; 267-684-5003). Prepared gluten-free sandwiches and smart snacks such as Kind bars and Skinny Pop.

Independence Prime (Gate B6; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu.

Love Grille (Gate B1; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu.

Noobar (Gate B3; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu.

B/C Connector:

Chick-Fil-A (215-492-1814). Grilled chicken nuggets and salads.

Legal Sea Foods (267-295-9300). Gluten-free options noted on menu. Dedicated fryer for fried seafood items; gluten-free croutons and rolls.

Pinkberry (215-492-7470). All frozen yogurt flavors except those with cookies.

Vino Volo (215-365-8600). Rotating menu of gluten-free tapas-style options. Sample items include cured olives, marcona almonds, mixed greens, pork tacos, chickpea and chorizo chili.

Concourse C:

Balducci's Market (Gate C19; 267-399-7120) offers made-to-order salads, soups and smart snacks.

Bud & Marilyn's (Gate C18; 215-344-8295). Several gluten-free versions of American classics.

Chickie's & Pete's (Gate C31; 215-492-5247). Dedicated fryer for Crabfries.

Jamba Juice (Gate C24; 215-805-6862). Smoothies and bowls.

Sky Asian Bistro (Gate C18; 267-684-5003). Most sushi and sashimi with gluten-free soy sauce; fried rice with gluten-free soy sauce.

Concourse D:

Bar Symon (Gate D9; 215-824-5171). Burgers on gluten-free buns; salads, hard cider.

Green Leaf's (Gate D12; 215-365-3351). Salads and smoothies.

Jamba Juice (Gate D6; 215-805-6862). Smoothies and bowls.

D/E Connector:

Chickie's & Pete's (215-365-2126). Dedicated fryer for Crabfries.

Good 2 Go (215-922-1115). Smart snacks such as Pop Chips and Kame rice crackers.

Vino Volo (215-365-8686). Rotating menu of gluten-free tapas-style options. Sample items include cured olives, marcona almonds, mixed greens, pork tacos, chickpea and chorizo chili.

Concourse E:

California Pizza Kitchen (Gate E12; 215-344-8294). Gluten-free pizzas on cauliflower crusts.

Chickie's & Pete's (Gate E5; 215-492-0569). Dedicated fryer for Crabfries.

Concourse F:

Good 2 Go (Gates F6 and F24; 215-922-1115). Smart snacks such as Pop Chips and Kame rice crackers.

Local Tavern (Gate F11; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu. Sample items include cheese plates, salads and grilled salmon.

Red Mango (Gate F10; 215-365-3188). Frozen yogurt.

Re:Vive Bar (Gate F24; 267-684-5003). Gluten-free options noted on menu. Sample items include salads, hummus, antipasto plates and chicken avocado salad.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

News & Notes: November 8, 2019

Late July Snacks recently launched a Korean Barbecue flavor in its Clásico line of tortilla chips. The chips are made with organic yellow corn, and seasoned with a blend of brown sugar, onion, garlic, ginger, chili pepper and smoky flavoring.

Enjoy Life introduced soft-baked holiday cookies, in apple cider donut and peppermint bark flavors.

Mi/Mo Mochi has released a cool peppermint flavor in time for winter.

Boston Beer has reformulated all Truly hard seltzer flavors and plans to launch a line of lemonade seltzers next year.

It's not beer, but AB InBev is putting the Bud Light moniker on a new line of gluten-free hard seltzers. The seltzers will be released in early 2020 in Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Strawberry and Mango flavors.

Locally, Haddonfield's dedicated Bleu Bear Bakery is expanding to Marlton (27 N. Maple Ave.) early next year with a combination market and bakery. The market will have prepared foods, sandwiches, a salad bar and more.

(Photo: Elikqitie/Travel Gluten Free)
Philly native Elikqitie of the Travel Gluten Free podcast let me know that the Mary Cassatt Tea Room at the Rittenhouse Hotel (210 W. Rittenhouse Sq., 215-546-9000) offers afternoon tea with gluten-free sandwiches and sweets. I'll be on her podcast in the coming weeks.

Lovebird is opening a third Pennsylvania location early next year, this one in Newtown (247 N. Sycamore St.). All of the fried chicken at Lovebird is gluten free, as is the macaroni and cheese and fries.

Liquid Eatery in West Chester (18 N. High St., 610-709-6911) is an all-gluten-free vegan restaurant serving flatbreads, tater tots, smoothies and more.

In the Fairmount section of Philadelphia, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ (1901 Callowhill St., 267-603-9482) offers gluten-free marinades and sauces upon request.

The newly opened Emmy Squared Pizza in Queen Village (632 S. 5th St., 267-551-3669) serves gluten-free pizza - Detroit style. The gluten-free dough is prepared separately, baked in dedicated pans and is cut with a designated cutter.

Luke's Lobster in Rittenhouse Square (130 S. 17th St., 215-564-1415) offers lobster rolls on gluten-free buns.

In Wilmington, the Washington Street Ale House offers a gluten-free menu. The Ale House is affiliated with Delaware's gluten-free-friendly Big Fish Restaurant Group.

The area's newest Yard House is scheduled to open on Dec. 2 in Willow Grove (2500 W. Moreland Rd., 215-830-9310). Gluten-free options are listed on the menu.

Luxe steakhouse chain Steak 48 is coming to Philadelphia next year to the Avenue of the Arts (260 S. Broad St., 215-552-4848). The menu notes gluten-free choices.

Trader Joe's is adding another Center City Philadelphia location. The new market will be opening in 2020 at 1324 Arch Street.

On Saturday, Nov. 23, the Gluten Intolerance Group of Chester County will be hosting a gluten-free Cupcakes & Wine event at Stone Barn Cellars in Spring City (3050 Pottstown Pike) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available through Eventbrite.

CHOP's next children's support group meeting will be a holiday cookie exchange. The event will take place on Sunday, Dec. 1 at the Voorhees Specialty Care Center (1012 Laurel Oak Rd.) from noon to 2 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring two dozen gluten-free cookies for sharing. RSVP via email with the number of children and caregivers attending.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Heavy Medals

This year’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver saw a record number of entries in the gluten-free beer category, with two first-time medal winners and a locally produced brew topping the list.

Though the world’s largest commercial beer competition in the world is now in its 38th year, the Gluten-Free Beer category was added only in 2007, when there were only eight entries. For the 2019 event, 59 gluten-free beers were considered by the judging panel. Here are the three award winners:

Gold: Holidaily Brewing Co. (Golden, Colorado): Boombastic Hazy IPA (7% ABV)

When most beer aficionados think of Golden, Colorado, they think of Coors. But unlike that behemoth, all of Holidaily's craft beers are gluten free. We profiled the brewery in 2016, sharing the story of founder Karen Hertz and her passion for brewing accessible gluten-free beer styles. Boombastic Hazy IPA is a hop-forward and juicy India pale ale available on tap at the brewery's taproom.

Silver: Revelation Craft Brewing Co. (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware): Co-Conspirator Apricot Sour (5.4% ABV)

Delaware may be famous being the home of Dogfish Head, but Revelation is making its mark in the First State.

Originally a collaboration beer with Ghostfish Brewing Company, Co-Conspirator Apricot Sour is brewed with buckwheat, millet, biscuit rice and flaked quinoa, with probiotic coconut water and fresh apricot purée added to enhance the flavor. Co-Conspirator has a smooth, honey-like malt character, a bright sourness, and a hint of fruity hop aroma from Palisade hops. Revelation won a bronze medal for this variety at the 2017 GABF. Another gluten-free beer, Buckberry Sour, is currently on tap at the brewery in Rehoboth Beach.

Bronze: Evasion Brewing (McMinnville, Oregon): Grandpa's Nap (11.5% ABV)

Evasion is one of the growing number of dedicated gluten-free breweries in the Pacific Northwest. Part of the brewer's Mill & Barrel Series, Grandpa's Nap is a barrel-aged millet wine. According to the tasting notes, the El Dorado hops' candied strawberry character compliments the toasted coconut and vanilla qualities the barrels impart.

The festival’s Gluten-Free Beer category includes only beers made from fermentable sugars, grains and converted carbohydrates. Gluten-reduced beers are not considered part of this grouping because their gluten levels – derived from malted barley – have been reduced by enzymes or other processes.

Friday, September 20, 2019

News & Notes: September 20, 2019

My/Mo has launched two new limited-edition mochi ice cream flavor launches for the fall. Pumpkin Spice is made with creamy pumpkin spice ice cream infused with cinnamon, nutmeg and clove spices wrapped in a pillowy rice flour dough exterior, while Apple Pie á la Mode wraps the dough around a scoop of premium vanilla ice cream hugging a cinnamon apple center. Both varieties are available at Target, among other retailers.

RXBAR is entering the hot cereal category with the launch of new RX A.M. Oats. RX A.M. Oats are made with the same core ingredients found in RXBAR and RX Nut Butter products - egg whites, fruits and nuts - with the addition of gluten-free oats. RX A.M. Oats are available in three flavors: Maple, Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate. Consumers can prepare the single-serve cups in one of three ways: with hot water, in the microwave or as overnight oats.

Simple Mills' certified gluten-free Soft Baked Almond Flour Bars will be available this fall in Dark Chocolate Almond, Chunky Peanut Butter, Nutty Banana Bread and Spiced Carrot Cake varieties. The bars have a soft-baked texture with chunks of almonds, coconuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, carrots, bananas and raisins. The line will be sold at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Amazon and other grocers.

Veggies Made Great by Garden Lites has added two Veggie Cakes varieties and three new Frittatas. The Superfood Veggie Cake now comes in Butternut Squash and Broccoli Cheddar, and the Frittatas in Spinach Egg White, Veggie Bacon & Potato, and Mushroom & 3 Cheese Egg White.

The primary ingredient in the new Crunchmaster Grain-Free Crackers is cassava, a root vegetable native to South America. Also known as yucca or manioc, cassava is paleo and vegan friendly as well as gluten and nut free. The line features three flavors: Lightly Salted, Mediterranean Herb, and Romano, Asiago & Cheddar.

Brewery Ommegang announced the introduction of Project Cider, a new initiative intended to explore the intersection of European and American cider traditions. The line debuts with two varieties: Dry and Rosé. The ciders will be offered year-round on draft and in 4-packs of 12 oz. cans.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Clean and Green

South Jersey-based chef Nicole LaTorre founded the Eat Clean Organization to fulfill a need for healthy, gluten free and organic meal options in the region. Now, she's expanding her meal-prep concept to Philadelphia and the suburbs.

Though Eat Clean Org, Nicole offers a rotating menu (over 50 meals options a week) to include breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads and dessert. She cooks with all organic meats, wild caught fish, organic and local produce whenever possible. Pre-orders are placed online, with deliveries on Mondays and Fridays. (Read "How It Works.")

All meals are prepared by ServSafe-certified chefs in a dedicated gluten-free commercial kitchen, ensuring safety and no cross contamination. Meals are available in four different sizes:

Classic Meal: 4 oz. protein, 1 cup vegetables, 1/4 cup carbohydrates
Lean Meal: 6 oz. protein, 1 1/2 cup vegetables, 1/2 cup carbohydrates
Athlete's Meal: 8 oz. protein, 1 cup vegetables, 1 cup carbohydrates
Family Size: protein, vegetables, carb and sauce on the side, enough for 4 (served in half-tray catering pans)

Eat Clean Org has just started home and office delivery all over Philadelphia, Ambler, Penn Valley and the surrounding areas ($20 delivery fee) and is looking to partner with gyms and wellness centers for pick-up orders. (Contact Nicole here with suggestions.)

In addition to 17 pick-up spots in South Jersey, Eat Clean Org also delivers to Garden State towns like Absecon, Galloway, Egg Harbor City, Smithville, Port Republic, Somers Point, Northfield, Linwood, Egg Harbor Township, Brigantine, Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate City, Ocean City, Hammonton, Marmora, Stone Harbor, Avalon, Cape May Court House, Sea Isle City, Oceanview, Beasley's Point, Mays Landing, Vineland, Cherry Hill, Voorhees and Tuckerton ($5 delivery fee).

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Celebrate the Arts with Beyond Celiac

Join Beyond Celiac at a gala event on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Kimmel Center featuring the Philadelphia debut of acclaimed operatic tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz.

Highlights of this special evening will include a completely gluten-free cocktail reception and seated dinner by Garces Events in the Kimmel Center’s Hamilton Garden followed by a solo concert by Arturo in the Kimmel’s Perelman Theater.

Funds raised through this special event will benefit the organization's efforts to advance research for Celiac Disease, including the funding of grants to scientists focused on unlocking the secrets of this serious genetic autoimmune disorder.

Beyond Celiac has partnered with Chacón-Cruz to raise awareness of this serious genetic autoimmune condition and to generate support for research for treatments and a cure. Arturo, his son and his mother have all been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. And in pursuit of a brighter future for his family – and everyone dealing with this serious autoimmune disease – he has signed on to be the official spokesman of Beyond Celiac.

Arturo is featured in a video describing the challenges of living with Celiac Disease and his decision to support Beyond Celiac.

A native of Sonora, Mexico, Chacón-Cruz has performed over 50 roles – such as Cavaradossi in Tosca – in theaters across the globe, from La Scala in Milan to Carnegie Hall in New York. An acclaimed performer, Arturo has a wide repertoire and has won a number of honors and awards. He shares a long and important relationship with two of the reigning opera singers of the day, Plácido Domingo and Ramón Vargas. Since discovering Chacón-Cruz in 2000, Plácido Domingo has remained his friend and mentor, and the two have shared the operatic stage and concert platform many times.

The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and the concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets for the concert and the concert/dinner package are now available. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

News & Notes: August 9, 2019

If you follow Gluten Free Philly on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, you know that Philly's own Wawa convenience store chain is testing two new gluten-free products: a Canadian bacon, egg & cheese muffin and a turkey & cheese hoagie. The test, which runs through September 1, is being conducted at six Pennsylvania locations:
  • 1195 Pottstown Pike, West Chester
  • 1501 West Chester Pike, West Chester
  • 1010 West Chester Pike, West Chester
  • 3604 Chestnut St., Philadelphia
  • 1190 Market St., Philadelphia
  • 150 S. Independence Mall W., Philadelphia
The products are made by a third party in a certified gluten-free facility. It comes in to stores frozen and individually bagged. Wawa associates heat it up directly in the bag.without opening it (similar to Starbucks' protocol for warming the now-discontinued gluten-free breakfast sandwich). Associates are also instructed that if the customer asks for any additional condiments on the side, they need to communicate that there will be cross contamination and they cannot eliminate the risk that gluten will be present. There are no further plans now for expanding or continuing the test, but the company's Product Development team will regroup after the test is complete to discuss next steps.

So how do they taste? From the comments to my recent social media posts, the breakfast sandwich seems to be the better of the two options, a sentiment shared by our contributor Sara, who took the pictures above. In particular, the hoagie that's served was not as appetizing as it appears in the promotional photo. One the plus side, she thought the price point ($4-$5) was reasonable.

At South Philly Barbacoa in the Italian Market (1140 S. 9th St., 215-360-5282), all menu options except for the apple cake are gluten free.

Reader Laura S. let me know that the Salty Mermaid Bar & Grille in North Wildwood (2507 Delaware Ave., 609-600-6125) preps gluten-free chicken tenders and fries in a dedicated fryer, and also offers flatbreads, pasta, burger buns and Redbridge beer.

Baltimore Gluten Free posted about her recent Jersey Shore vacation, and mentioned two new-to-me options. Pure Juice + Kitchen in Stone Harbor (9821 3rd Ave., 609-741-7226) has smoothies, juices, bowls, avocado and nut butter toasts. Eat Clean Org is a gluten-free meal prep company that has pick-up locations at, and delivery to, many shore points. The menu changes weekly.

Brigantine Bistro (3015 Brigantine Blvd., 609-264-5050) has gluten-free options for breakfast like omelets, pancakes and French toast as well as sandwiches at lunch. The kitchen uses a separate toaster and grill.

Calfornia Pizza Kitchen, which recently closed its Cherry Hill location but opened a location at Philadelphia International Airport (Concourse E), is offering take-and-bake certified-gluten-free cauliflower pizza at all non-airport outposts.

A new Red Lobster-branded gluten-free cheddar biscuit mix is now available at Walmart stores nationwide, though the product has been spotted at other markets such as Wegmans.

Wegmans has changed over its store-branded gluten-free pizzas from a rice flour crust to a cauliflower crust. All are priced less than $7.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

CDF Turkey Trot 5K Slated for November 2 in Princeton Area

The Celiac Disease Foundation is hosting the 1st Princeton Turkey Trot 5K at the Cherry Valley Country Club in Skillman, New Jersey on Saturday, November 2, 2019. Check-in opens at 8 a.m. with the race starting at 9 a.m.

Each participant will receive a Team Gluten-Free event t-shirt and post-race gluten-free snacks.
The 5K fun run/walk will take place rain or shine, and medals will be given out to the top fundraisers. Early-bird registration is available now through October 13, 2019.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hall and Hearty

Philadelphia's original commodities exchange has been transformed into an artisan marketplace in the style of New York's Chelsea Market and Washington, D.C.'s Union Market. Opening last fall, The Bourse Food Hall (111 S. Independence Mall E.) features more than 20 food and beverage tenants, including many with gluten-free selections. The current list includes:

  • LALO: A fast-casual concept with a focus on Filipino comfort food, LALO offers two celiac-safe options: breakfast staple longsilog (sausage with garlic rice and fried egg) and leche flan.
  • TaKorean: With four locations in metro D.C., TaKorean brings a combination of Korean inspired flavors with a Latin-American twist. In addition to their signature Korean tacos made with corn tortillas, the gluten-free options include Korean rice and salad bowls. They also offer a customizable menu comprised of two gluten-free proteins (tofu and cauliflower), romaine and spiced kale slaws, as well as several toppings and garnishes.
  • Rebel Taco: A Mexican taco purveyor from D.C.-based Social Restaurant Group, Rebel Taco serves tacos made with gluten-free tortillas.
  • Prescription Chicken: The first brick-and-mortar location for this acclaimed D.C.-area soup purveyor offers its signature made-to-order chicken-based soups. All broths are gluten free and they even have gluten-free matzoh balls.
  • Abunai Poke: From Hawaii by way of D.C., this quick-service shop has a selection of poke and various Hawaiian dishes. The gluten-free proteins include plain tuna, plain and marinated salmon, lobster, octopus, shrimp and tofu. Also gluten free are the mixed greens, all mix-ins and toppings, chili pepper aioli, wasabi aioli and miso dressing.
  • Ka’moon: Fast-casual, Halal-prepared Egyptian cuisine from the folks behind The Taza Truck in Easton, Pennsylvania. Look for build-your-own gluten-free rice bowls.
  • Freebyrd Chicken: Freebyrd's pulled chicken and side salads are gluten free.
  • TAPS Fill Station: Philadelphia is the second outpost from the Baltimore-based concept specializing in draft booze with a solid focus on eco-friendly and sustainable practices. Virtually everything on the menu served is sourced from within a 250-mile radius. The lines hold hard cider and mead, kegged cocktails, red and white wines, kombucha and locally made hard seltzer.
  • Bluebird Distilling: Full-scale craft cocktail bar featuring Bluebird Spirits.  
  • Scoop DeVille: A Philadelphia institution since 1989, Scoop DeVille offers several gluten-free ice cream and yogurt flavors and dozens of toppings.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

XIII Marks the Spot

By Sara Blank

The tasting room at Original 13 Ciderworks (1526 N American St., 215-765-7000) brings a splash of life to the otherwise industrial area of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, not too far from Fishtown. While their signature line of dry Sir Charles ciders has been popular in area bars since 2015, in half that time the tasting room has become an innovative yet hidden gem for the gluten-free community and cider lovers alike.

Port Richmond Hash at Original XIII Ciderworks
I visited Original 13 for the first time after attending the Pour the Core cider festival in 2017, when I learned about the new tasting room, and was amazed by the extent of gluten-free options on the menu. When I returned recently, I found this to be truer than ever. Outside, the umbrella-covered seating area sits on a surprisingly quiet street, making it the ideal brunch spot for a summer day. The inside of the restaurant offers a spacious table seating area and a wrap-around bar. With industrial chic décor, relaxing low lighting, and an entire wall of board games to choose from, Original 13 lends itself to both family-friendly daytime crowds as well as romantic evenings.

As I’m unable to join in on the fun of tastings at breweries, I was excited to enjoy my first-ever cider flight during my first visit. This time around, I enjoyed the flight at brunch, which boasts generous pours of six hallmark ciders. The ciders range in flavor (deep blueberry, strawberry, bone dry and original among them), but all of them maintain a signature dryness that makes it easy to enjoy several beverages without being overwhelmed by too much sweetness.

While the food options are delicious and adventurous (not at all pedestrian brunch options), admittedly we were there mostly to enjoy the adult beverages. Still, we enjoyed a Port Richmond Hash, prepared with kielbasa, eggs, potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onions and peppers. Across both the lunch and brunch menus, many items are denoted as with a “GF” symbol, even pancakes and fries. The staff explained that not only do separate preparation areas ensure gluten-free safety, but also that gluten-containing items do not go in the fryer to avoid any cross-contamination.

Original XIII's lunch menu

Original XIII's brunch menu
I would highly recommend Original 13 as a brunch spot with friends or an off-the-beaten-path date spot, perfect for relaxing and spending long stretches of time enjoying both food and drink. Since the restaurant’s online menu is not always updated, I took photos of both menus to plan ahead for my next visit. With an illustrious history rooted in the heart of Philadelphia—Original 13 is the first cidery in the city—I look forward to them helping to maintain the popularity of ciders throughout the region.

Friday, June 28, 2019

News & Notes: June 28, 2019

Cauliflower will soon be as plentiful as air - it's everywhere. Witness Caulipower's newest product, New Chick on the Block chicken tenders. They'll be available this fall in Original and Spicy(ish) varieties.

Healthy Choice is extending its popular Power Bowls line with new grain-free options, adding four new varieties. There are four new flavors: Spicy Beef Teriyaki, Basil Pesto Chicken, Spicy Black Bean & Chicken, and Chicken Marinara, all made with - yep - riced cauliflower.

Following the lead of Bantam Bagels, GeeFree Foods will soon launch a line of gluten-free bagel bites. These new bite-sized, cream cheese-filled snacks will come in Plain, Everything and Cinnamon Raisin varieties.

Udi's has introduced two grain-free muffins, Chocolate Zucchini and Banana Chocolate Chip. The company has also rolled out three new kinds of granola: Almond Butter, Apple Cinnamon and Chocolate Coconut.

I tried the new breakfast biscuits from Goodie Girl Cookies at last year's Expo East show, and they're delicious! They come in Blueberry and Cinnamon Brown Sugar flavors. Now you can get them via Amazon. Purchase through this affiliate link (no extra cost to you) and support Gluten Free Philly.

Greens and Grains, with a location in Center City Philadelphia at the Comcast Center (1701 JFK Blvd., 267-519-8071) and down the shore in Galloway (80 W. Jimmie Leeds Rd., 609-277-7060),  Margate (7801 Ventnor Ave., 609-300-5088) and Northfield (1600 New Rd., 609-380-4337), uses Purely Elizabeth gluten-free granola for its smoothie bowls.

Sweet Aloha Bowls in Royersford (324 Main St., 484-791-3948) offers gluten-free granola by request for its smoothies and fruit bowls. (Thanks to reader Tim W.)

Longtime reader Diane M. let me know that George's Place, with locations in Cape May (301 Beach Ave., 609-884-6088) and Cape May Court House (104 N. Main St., 609-778-2650), can accommodate gluten-free guests. (I mentioned sister restaurants The Younger Brother and Shamone Bites + Wine in the last News & Notes.)

Quincy's Original Lobster Rolls, with Jersey Shore locations in Cape May (709 Beach Ave., 609-600-3571), Sea Isle City (4215 Landis Ave., 609-478-2845) and Ocean City (728 Boardwalk, 609-862-2347) can prepare lobster rolls in baby romaine lettuce leaves. The Maine lobster bisque and New England clam chowder at all locations are gluten free. (Thanks to Beth S. for the tip on Instagram; follow her at @wheatnothings for all things gluten free in Delaware.)

Tony Beef in Galloway (195 S. New York Rd., 609-377-5744) can serve its burgers on gluten-free buns.

At Tom's All American BBQ in Quakertown (85 S. West End Blvd., 227-267-3292), all rubbed and smoked meats, including ribs, are gluten free, as are all sauces. The kitchen has gluten-free flatbread and rolls, and many sides are also gluten free.

At long last, the Indian-Chinese hybrid Inchin's Bamboo Garden is set to open in Center City Philadelphia (1726 Chestnut St., 215-516-7999) on July 1. The menu notes gluten-free options

Chef Peter McAndrews is set to close his celiac-friendly Monsu in the Italian Market on Sept, 29, according to On the plus side, he plans to reopen Modo Mio in Center City. McAndrews, whose children have Celiac Disease, also operates Paesano's in Northern Liberties and La Porta in Media.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,700 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Pizza and Vino at Zavino

Zavino offers a variety of gluten-free pizzas
By Sara Blank

Although Philly gets a bad rap for its Byzantine liquor laws, we do have many options that don't exist in other large cities. With an abundant number of BYOBs and generous happy hours in town, I've become quite spoiled with our options. Since moving here, I've been in the pursuit of the best gluten-free happy hour the city has to offer, and I would be remiss not to share the love for my favorite restaurant in town.

I've long said to friends that Zavino has the best gluten-free pizza I’ve enjoyed at a restaurant anywhere. With its authentic-tasting crusts, Zavino quickly has become a favorite Center City spot. At Zavino, I don’t feel the need to qualify to my non-gluten-free friends that we're eating gluten-free pizza; the fluffy, flavorful crusts need no justification. Though Zavino does use a shared oven for its gluten-free pizzas, the gluten-free dough is prepared separately and those crusts are baked atop a separate pan to ensure there's no contact with any oven surfaces that would create cross-contamination.

Zavino's baked ricotta gluten-free flatbread
Zavino’s chic yet casual vibe makes it an instant hit among those visiting Center City (112 S. 13th St., 215-732-2400) or University City (3200 Chestnut St., 215-823-6897) at any time, but during happy hour (4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) the house wines and several specials (including full-sized pizzas) are only $5. With many of the dishes already gluten free, and nearly all of the pizzas able to be modified, I’ve adopted a few standbys.

Most recently, I enjoyed Zavino's margherita pizza and cheesy bread (a baked ricotta flatbread with olive oil for dipping) from the happy-hour menu. Bonus: there is no upcharge for ordering gluten free. Though not on the happy-hour menu, a favorite of mine is the spaghetti squash, mixed with carrots, zucchini, pine nuts and tomato sauce, and topped with shredded provolone cheese. For good measure, we added greens in the form of the chicken paillard salad (sans poultry for a slightly lighter fare), a refreshing arugula-based salad with watermelon radish and thyme vinaigrette.

Spaghetti squash at Zavino
Zavino impresses with its ample selection of gluten-free options, but I’m most enamored with the quality of the food. Between the flavorful food options and welcoming atmosphere, the Center City location has quickly become my undeniable go-to for a night out with friends. The cozy dining room and relaxed outdoor seating on warm-weather days makes Zavino the perfect place to start or end an evening.

While Zavino seems quiet about their breadth of its gluten-free offerings (I was tipped off by a fellow Center City Celiac), I look forward to trying other options during future visits. In the meantime, I will continue to do my part in spreading the word about Zavino's delicious gluten-free pizza and - just as important - its happy hour specials.