Gluten Free Blog Posts

November 6, 2018

Benevento

Boston's North End is the best place to go to get Italian food. There are lots of great restaurants to choose from and the food is excellent. Certainly worth visiting if you're coming to Boston for business for vacation.

If you're eating Gluten Free, you may think your best to stay away. You would be wrong. There are some restaurants that offer excellent gluten-free meals - Benevento is one such restaurant.

Benevento Gluten Free
Gluten Free Garlic Bread and Alfredo Pasta

Nine Things We Learned visiting Benevento

We found Benevento via the Find Me Gluten Free ios App, it got a very good rating from other guests.

We made reservations for five at Benevento and ended up sitting in the basement. It was nice because it was quiet, but we were sitting next to the cleaning kitchen. (Not sure why we were put in the basement if we had a reservation.) You're much better off eating at street level since they have an open kitchen.

There is a TV downstairs where you can watch the latest Boston Sports. (I believe that there's one upstairs too.) There is no cellular service downstairs - so no chance of checking in. (You shouldn't be using the phone in a restaurant anyways.)

The downstairs bathroom was flooded and it took a while for it to get clean.

The server brought regular bread to the table even though we indicated that two people in our party needed to eat gluten-free. They did make some gluten-free garlic bread which is one of the appetizers. They don't have gluten-free bread as a regular table offering.

My daughter didn't really like the garlic bread. I think this is the first time that she tried Garlic Bread. It was a nice treat for her. I tried some and thought it was good. It was gluten-free flatbread that had garlic sauce on it.

We order my daughter the Alfredo Pasta, which is to her is just a different type of Mac & Cheese. She did enjoy it and ate a fair amount. I think she was saving her appetite for some dessert at Mikes Pastry. I also tried some of the pasta and thought it was good.

The other meal that was served gluten free was Puttanesca. It looked exactly like regular Puttanesca and tasted just as good. The person was planning on saving some of it for the next day but ended up eating the whole thing because it was so good.

We did take home the Alfredo Pasta and my daughter didn't really like it a couple of days later. She said that it tasted better at the restaurant. I asked if she wanted to go back to Benevento, and she said yes.

Finding Benevento

Benevento is located on 111 Salem Street, in the North End of Boston. It's about a block away from Bova's Bakery. They have their menu posted online so you can see all the gluten-free options.

We would go back, as we love visiting Boston's North End. Next time we'll ask her to eat more otherwise we wouldn't go to get ice cream at Mike's Pastry.

October 30, 2018

Just Crack an Egg

Finding a good breakfast is kind of hard to do for a seven-year-old. They are very picky about what they want. Add needing to eat gluten-free makes it really hard. There's very limited choice on cereals and other breakfast goods - such as Eggos and frozen pancakes.

School mornings can be crazy. If people aren't up in time, it can be a madhouse to get ready for the day. However, a good breakfast is critical to winning the day.

Crack An Egg

Crack-An-Egg To the Rescue

Crack-An-Egg is a mix of vegetables, cheese and a protein (Ham or Bacon). Dump out the contents, crack an egg in the container pour in the contents back in and stir. It's a simple healthy breakfast. Since the ingredients are all separated, you can decide how much - if any - to put in with your egg.

We love Crack-An-Egg. It's a great way for my daughter to have a healthy breakfast very quickly. In about 70-seconds she has a simple scrambled egg breakfast. It's all naturally gluten-free!

Sometimes she's in a mood to make it herself, with some adult supervision and has fun mixing all the ingredients together. Most mornings, I am putting everything together.

The nice thing about Crack-An-Egg is that the portion size is perfect for her. It's not too much or too little. Sometimes she finishes it, and sometimes she leaves just a bit left.

Expensive Breakfast

Crack an Egg is a bit expensive breakfast for a seven-year-old. It's a nice healthy treat to have a couple of times a week. My daughter loves it and looks forward to breakfast in the mornings.

Obviously the concept of Crack-An-Egg is easy to make homemade. Simply get a microwave safe bowl, put in an egg and some chop vegetables and protein. But who has time in the mornings to chop up vegetables and protein?

You can find Crack-An-Egg in the dairy section, usually above the regular eggs. In New England, we have seen them in Market Basket, Stop and Shop and Sudbury Farms. Wegmans and Whole Foods does not carry them.

October 23, 2018

AMC Theater Popcorn is not Gluten Free

A M Cpopcorn

At a recent meeting at the Boston Children's Hospital Celiac Group we were surprised to learn that the Popcorn at the local AMC Theater chain in the Boston area is not gluten free.

Wait. What? Popcorn not gluten free? We always thought it would be safe. Apparently not!

Members of the Boston Children's Hospital Celiac Group took the time to call around all the movie theater chains and received information that the butter topping that they put on the popcorn contains gluten.

I checked various AMC websites and did not get the same information - all indications was that the popcorn is safe. However, we know that the Boston Children's Hospital Celiac group is a reliable source and we trust their findings.

Now What?

The next time we'll go to the movies, I'll make a batch of popcorn for my daughter. If someone at the movie theater challenges bring outside food to the movies, I'll let them know that my daughter had enjoyed the popcorn in the past but can no longer have some.

If you want full details about how celiac friendly that other Boston area movie theater's are, be sure to join the Boston Children's Hospital Celiac Group and ask for the Popcorn report.

October 16, 2018

Switch Witch

In 2013, Audrey Kinsman created a new Halloween tradition - Switch Witch.

The concept is simple, after trick or treating kids would put unwanted candy in a cauldron and then put the Witch on top of it. The next morning, the candy would disappear and in place would be a wanted toy.

Switch Witch

Another Practal Use of the Switch Witch

The Boston Celiac group took it one step further and suggest that children put in candy they can't eat because the candy contains Gluten.

The next morning the unwanted candy is replaced with safe to eat candy. Making it a fun holiday.

Where to Find the Switch Witch

The Switch Witch is available in most bookstores, including switchwitches.com and Amazon.

This is yet another new tradition for today's families.

October 9, 2018

Blue Dalia Restaurant and Tequila bar

This weekend we tried the Blue Dalia Restaurant and Tequila bar which is located in the Wegman's store inside the Natick Mall. We decided to visit since I got a $25 promotional gift card in the mail.

We did hear that they had a lot of Gluten Free options, so we decided to stop by for lunch.

Blue Dalia
Crispy Rolled Tacos is a good Gluten Free option.

Six Things We Learned

We arrived at noon time on a Sunday and was surprise that the restaurant was a bit empty. It was a holiday weekend, so we figured that most people are out and about and not spending time eating lunch at the Mall.

The chips and dips that the server puts on your table while you look are gluten free. (Margaritas has to special cook the chips to make them gluten free.)

There was no Gluten Free menu. When we placed our order, we asked the server if certain dishes were Gluten free, he didn't seem to confident that they were. He told us that he would check it out and let us know. He never came back, so my daughter's order must be good - She wanted the Crispy Rolled Tacos.

The dishes were a bit expensive for lunch - which could be the real reason why no one was there on a Sunday afternoon.

It took a long time to get our drinks and our order, which was surprising considering the place was empty. We didn't expect fast food, just that things took longer than we thought it would.

The food was very good. Everyone enjoyed their meals. We pretty much cleaned our plates. The portion size was reasonable.

Would We go Back?

While we liked our meal, we probably wouldn't go back any time soon. The meals were a bit expensive and the service was slow.

My daughter did like her meal giving it a 70 out of a 100, which is a good sign that she liked it enough to want to come back.

Finding Blue Dalia Restaurant

The Blue Dalia Restaurant and Tequila bar is located in the produce section of Wegmans in the Natick Mall in Natick Massachusetts.

October 2, 2018

Cauliflower crust at California Pizza Kitchen

Have you tried California Pizza Kitchen Cauliflower crust? It's not only delicious but it's gluten-free.

We are obsessed with it. It's definitely better than the regular crust because it has additional herbs and spices that makes a typical pizza taste even better.

CPKpizza Options
Pictures of the three different types of pizza available - Regular, Gluten Free and Cauliflower.

Restaurant managers have told us that the cauliflower crust is a very popular dinner dish - just about everyone agrees that it's a hit. We haven't had an issue with no supply - lucky us!

If you tried other cauliflower crust before and been disappointed try California Pizza Kitchen version - especially if you tried variously frozen verities.

If you're eating gluten-free because of an allergy, make sure to let the service know so they can prepare and cook it to avoid cross-contamination issues.

My daughter still likes the gluten-free crust - I think she is a bit scared of adding additional vegetables to her pizza. She has tried the cauliflower one but will still order the regular gluten-free crust.

September 25, 2018

Café Crayola

If you're getting hungry while visiting the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA, there is a cafe where you can grab a quick bite. It's very convenient and they do have some gluten-free options.

Crayola Cafe Gluten

Five Things We Learned

Cafe Crayola is only accessible with paid Crayola Factory admission. This isn't the only food option. You can leave the Crayola Experience and visit other nearby restaurants in downtown. (Be sure to get a hand stamp before exiting if you would like to re-enter.)

There's very limited seating in the Cafe Crayola. A couple of large school groups could take up all the seats. Definitely arrive early and get a table before ordering at the counter.

There was no special Crayola Experience dish - I noticed that most people got pizza or hot dogs. They do have a Crayola Experience cup which makes for a good souvenir.

There are many gluten-free options, a hot dog without a bun, salad, and Gluten Free pizza. Service was a bit weird - We asked if they had Gluten free pizza and the person just disappeared to the back. It left us wondering If they are making the pizza or checking to see there was one available. The cashier had to confirm that they were making it.

It took a while for the pizza to cook. Which isn't a surprise. The pizza is available in one size and split into 6 slices.

My daughter and I shared the pizza and we ate everything. It was good and very satisfying.

September 18, 2018

Cask Taphouse and Grill

Back in August, we visited the Crayola Experience in Easton, PA. After a long day at the museum, we were hungry and looked for a gluten-free place. There were several in the area but thought it would be best to try The Cask Taphouse and Grill which was near our hotel.

About the Cask Taphouse and Grill

The Cask Taphouse and Grill was founded in 2016 by the Reehl, Hanko and DeMaria families who desired to create a restaurant with a warm and inviting environment where friends can gather to enjoy well-crafted American food and good drinks. The concept is a casual yet energizing space where good food and drink is served.

Gluten Free Options

When we arrived, we asked the hostess if they had a Gluten Free menu, and they gave us the following print out sheet:

Allergy Hand Out

Allergen List

Grilled Portabella, Grilled Pub Steak, Grilled Pork Chop, Any Salad with protein minus croutons, All of our dressings are gluten-free, Scallop App, Shrimp App minus the bread, Grilled wings, All of our wing sauces are gluten-free, French onion soup without the bread.

It was nice that they had a gluten-free list, just a bit strange that it was on a print out that had a kid drawing on the back of it. My daughter was happy to see that her favorite dish - Wings, was on the menu.

We ordered the wings, but with a not so spicy sauce.

The Cast Gluten Free

Overall Good

My daughter liked the wings, but she still thinks the ones at Durgin Park. She ate most of the wings, and I got to try a few. They were good. Certainly a good treat after a long day at the Crayola Experience.

We would go back again. We did find the restaurant to get pretty loud towards the end of our meal and would recommend eating early if you don't like loud environments.

Finding the Grill

The Cask Taphouse Grill is located at 80 Kunkle Dr, Easton, PA 18045. This is just off the Lehigh Valley Thruway exit in Easton.

September 11, 2018

Fire & Grain

This past August we stayed at the Hershey Lodge for a few days while we enjoyed the park. During our stay, we ate several meals at the Fire and Grain restaurant.

Be sure to checkout the Allergen Information Guide.

Fire and Grain

Six Things We Learned about Eating Gluten Free at the Fire & Grain

  • We found that the staff was knowledgeable about eating Gluten Free. However, not everyone was fully trained in what foods were available.
  • There is a separate Gluten Free menu, ask for it when you check in at the hostess stand.
  • They made gluten free pancakes for my daughter for breakfast. We did walk down the buffet line and got scrabble eggs and fruit.
  • At Dinner, they did have Gluten Free bread for her to enjoy while waiting for her dinner to cook. She really enjoyed the cheeseburger and french fries.
  • The manager would deliver all the specially prepared meals to the table and followed up to make sure everything was satisfactory.
  • All the various meals that we ate at the Fire and Grain we didn't have any issues. We kept coming back because the food was good and it was a convenient place to go in the mornings.

Happy Hour and the Fire & Grain

  • Happy Hour at Fire and Grain is from 4 until 6 every night. There is no happy hour at the water park bar when you arrive after a long drive, stop over at the Fire and Grain to get some refreshing drinks!
  • This is a great time to try some of their appetizers.
  • We highly recommend trying the Reese's Peanut Butter Martini

Directions to the Fire & Grain Restaurant

Fire & Grain is located in the lobby of the Hershey Lodge - 325 University Dr, Hummelstown, PA 17036

September 4, 2018

184 Country Store

We recently traveled from the Boston Area to Hershey, Pennsylvania for vacation. We decided to avoid the area around New York City since we didn't want to stuck in any traffic.

About halfway through our journey, we got a little hungry and looked for some places to eat and take a quick break for the kids in the car. We found a cute restaurant just off of I-84 called "184 Country Store."

Initial Impressions

This is a cute place to stop for kids. There are a few things outside where they could explore. The restaurant has a nice type store inside where you can find all sorts of unique General Store things.

This is a good place to stop for not only for food but also to browse around and shop for things.

The general setup is that you place your order at the register and then sit down at a table and wait for them to bring the food over to your table.

184 Country Store

Gluten Free Options

The menu featured lots of popular sandwiches. We asked about Gluten Free options and the cashier didn't really know what was available. She checked with the chief to see what foods were available for my daughter.

The only option they came up with was a Cheese Omelet, which they would happily make even though they didn't serve Omelets for lunch.

When the cook delivered the meal, he told us that he makes sure that the grill was completely cleaned before cooking the Omelet.

Good Meal

My daughter liked her meal and ate a lot of it. I think she ate a lot of the snacks in the car beforehand and wasn't all that hungry.

In addition, I think she was a bit distracted will all the store merchandise around that she didn't really want to sit and eat.

Parting Thoughts

The 184 Country Store was a great stop over place. It would have been nice if they had better gluten-free options, for example, it would have been nice if they could have done a Philly Cheese Steak with no bun.

After eating, we had a fun time browsing around the store looking at various things. The kids had fun checking out the dollhouse and fake jail outside.

This is certainly a better stop than going to a fast food restaurant and would recommend it to anyone heading on I-84 in Pennsylvania. The place gave everyone a chance to stretch their legs for a bit.

Finding 184 Country Store

The 184 Country Store is located in Greentown Pennsylvania, 101 Creamery Rd, Greentown, PA 18426.

You can check out the menu online: 184 Country Store Menu

June 10, 2018

Natick Wegmans

Wegman's has a great selection of Gluten Free Options.

Wegmans Gluten
You won't find a grocery store in Metrowest Boston that has more frozen Gluten Free options than Wegmans.

Today, we visited the new Wegmans at the Natick Mall. We were very happy to see that they had a lot of options in the grocery section and in Frozen Foods.

The nice thing about Wegmans is that they carry a lot of the new products. They also have many popular items in stock - such as Canyon Bread and Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Chocolate Dipped Donuts. ( We were surprised that they didn't have Wow Baking Company Cookies

We highly recommend checking out the new Wegman's in Natick and stock up on Gluten Free foods. Keep in mind that the prices are a bit more than Market Basket or Stop & Shop but the selection is second to none. It's worth visiting to see the latest products in Gluten Free eating.

February 25, 2018

Best Super Crispy Fries at Home

You can make really good healthy French fries at home.

Lamb Weston Super Crispy French Fries and the NuWave Brio Healthy Digital Air Fryer make the best combination.

We have tried generic French fries, from Stop & Shop and Market Basket, and they have been good. However, for the best fries, it's best to go with the Lamb Weston brand - particularly the Super Crispy type.

Yummy Fries

Five Simple Tips

  • Cooking at 400 degrees for 19 minutes for 1/2 a bag seems to be the best combination.
  • The french fries will be very hot when done - wait a minute before eating.
  • You don't need to add any oil to the bottom of the tray!
  • The french fries are delicious as is - no reason to add salt!
  • If you do use the "generic brand" I recommend cooking a little bit longer for an extra crispy taste.

January 21, 2018

Gluten Free Birthday Cake

If you're looking for a great Gluten Free Bakery near Framingham Massachusetts, I would highly recommend Gerardo's European Bakery in Westborough. They have a lot of great Gluten Free options and make a great gluten-free cake.

Check out this cake that was made for a 7-year birthday party:

Cake Collage

None of the kids at the party knew it was gluten free and they all ate up their large slice of the cake. Even some of the adults at the party wanted to know where the cake was made.

They did a great job making the cake and having it taste great. We did provide the bubble gum balls and the glasses on top. They were easy to work with and make sure that we were satisfied with the cake before leaving.

Gerardo's European Bakery is located at Gerardo's 232 Turnpike Rd in Westborough, MA 01581. You can call (508) 366-1845 and place your order.

December 26, 2017

Top 7 Gluten Free Post of 2017

We did a lot of food exploring this year, we found some great restaurants in the Boston area and some delicious food options at the grocery store.

From Disney World to Cape Cod, and from Santa Village to Boston's Back Bay... we tasted a lot of food this years.

Here are the top seven blog post of 2017

In no particular order...

  • Maggiano's Little Italy - Bad service, but still a great dinner
  • American Girl - We love that they have gluten free options. This year my daughter is going to go to the 110 Grill for her birthday, just to have a few more options.
  • Ashland Ale House - It's the new favorite local place to visit.
  • Santa's Village - Our experience with eating gluten free in this park.
  • 110 Grill - Nice place for lunch and dinner.
  • Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brew Co - Great place to go in your in New Hampshire White Mountains. Great food and atmosphere.
  • Catholic Church's Holy Eucharist - Learned a lot about the catholic church position on the eucharists. There is gluten free options available for Catholics that wish to receive holy communion.

December 19, 2017

Gluten Free Christmas Cookies

Since 2015, my daughter has put out a good selection of cookies for Santa Claus. He is happy because all the cookies are made at home and are gluten-free.

I would argue that gluten-free cookies are much better than "regular" cookies. Gluten Free cookies have more crispy taste and they stay crispy longer than regular cookies.

Christmas Cookies
Cookies and carrots that was left for Santa last year.

HOLIDAY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

Classic Hershey Cookie recipe that has been updated using King Arthur Flour (Gluten Free) - one of the best Gluten Free Flour available. Anyone that taste these cookies will have no idea that they are gluten free!

1-1/2 cups King Arthur Flour (Gluten Free)
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1-1/3 cups (10-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S Holiday Candy Coated Baking Bits, divided

Heat oven to 350 F. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In large mixer bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Add eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, blending well. Stir in 1 cup candy-coated bits. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Press 8 to 9 of remaining bits on the dough before baking. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookie is set. Do not overbake. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 3-1/2 dozen cookies.