Gluten Free blog postings

Gluten Free Postings

Earliest: June 2, 2015Latest: October 17, 2017Total: 100

December 22, 2015

AMC Theater Framingham

Earlier this year the AMC theater in Framingham, Massachusetts held a grand re-opening to showcase transformation of the AMC theater to the new AMC Dine-In Theater. This restaurant-in-a-movie-theater concept, called the Fork & Screen, features a menu that goes far beyond the traditional popcorn-and-drink combos.

AMC Framingham

This past weekend I visited the theater to watch the latest Star Wars thriller. It was really cool to watch it while sitting in La-z-Boy style seating. The auditorium that I was sitting in didn't have the dine-theater experience. Perhaps this was because the shows were expected to sell out and it would cause an issue with all the food orders to the kitchen.

The theater has been a huge success for AMC. Everyone wants to watch the latest movie release in the updated theater. This is certainly the theater to go watch any big hit movie. This is the perfect setting to watch a triple feature.

I remember watching the 'Scream' series at the Camera 12 Cinema in downtown San Jose. The theater was 'ok' but Wow it would have been awesome to have watch the triple feature with the La-z-Boy style seating and stadium seats.

Reserved Seating

The cool thing about the AMC Dine-In Theater is the reserved seating. You get to pick your seats when you make your reservations. So now you don't have to show up super early to wait in line to get the best seats. I notice that AMC theater don't publish the current seating plans online. I discovered that the rows letters start at the screen and go up from there. So letter 'A' is the front row and as letter 'J' is in the back. (Note: Each auditorium may be different due the size and stadium seating plan.)

Gluten Free Options at the Concession Stand

Best looking popcorn

The AMC theater has all the standard concession food. The popcorn is pretty good. They need to configure the popcorn machine so that it produces more flavor popcorn.

Along with Popcorn, you can get the following candies which are all Gluten Free: M&Ms, M&Ms with Peanuts, Starbursts, Junior Mints, Snickers, Reese's Pieces, Sour Patch Kids and Skittles. Just about everything in the candy display - just stay away from the Oreo and Twizzlers.

Gluten Free Options at the Fork and Screen dinning

The Dine-In Menu on the AMC website offers no Gluten Free indicator on their website. They do have things that could be Gluten Free such as the wedge lettuce cups and the tots. You could always order the burgers and ask for the lettuce wrap.

If you do have a serious allergy, I would recommend calling a head of time and letting them know. I am pretty sure that they will make accommodations if you let them know in advance. (Besides if they can't you technically should be able to bring in your own food.)

December 15, 2015

Smash Burger

SmashBurger.jpg

If your looking for delicious hamburger dinner, you should check out Smash Burger. They have excellent burger choice and best of all it can all be Gluten free.

When your ordering make sure to mention that you want the the Udis Gluten Free roll, it cost $1 more. If you have any allergy, make sure to mention that too. If you do have an allergy they won't toast the bun since they don't have a separate toaster. The burger still taste good. They do have a dedicated fryer, so make sure to try the Smash Fries as they are very yummy.

Smash burger is a national chain and in the Boston area there's one in Natick and Westwood. The Natick location is just across the Natick Mall and is a good place to stop after a busy day of shopping at the mall. After enjoying your burger you can walk off some of the calories walking around the Christmas Tree Shop next door.

Smash Burger is the perfect 'fast food' for celiacs. A better alternative to McDonalds!

December 8, 2015

Awesome CupCakes in Boston

If your looking for a really good cup cake in Boston?s Back Bay - check out Sweet Cupcakes.

Sweet Cupcakes don't actually make the cup cakes, they simply resell them. This is fine since they are created at a Gluten-free bakery so there are no cross contamination issue. The selection isn?t as creative as the regular cupcakes, but at least someone that needs to eat Gluten Free will not be left out!

Sweets must want to have a good reputation as the cup cakes are really good.

On a recent visit the person behind the counter told me that they get a fresh shipment of cup cakes on Tuesday and Thursday, so that would be the best time to go for the best selection.

Boston Sweet
Sweet Cupcakes is located on 49 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115. You can call the store at (617) 247-2253.

The other place that you can find Gluten Free cupcakes is Whole Foods located near Massachusetts Ave and Huntington Ave. They don?t always have it in stock, so your best bet is to call the store ahead of time.

December 3, 2015

Durgin Park

Boston is a fun shopping town and there's nothing like browsing around various stores at Faneuil Hall Marketplace at Christmas time. You can find all sorts of unique gifts for people that are hard to shop for.

Faneuil Hall is also well known for it wide selection of foods from various counter restaurants in the Main hall to various sit down restaurants in the area. If you want to try something new this is the place to go.

If your looking for a good Celiac friendly restaurant, your best bet the same place your grand parents might have eaten at - Durgin Park. This is local favorite with a unique atmosphere and a menu that hasn't changed much since George Washington stopped by.

durginpark.jpg

Historic Durgin Park, one of the oldest Boston restaurants, has served traditional New England home cooking near Faneuil Market for almost 200 years. Durgin Park "established before you were born." Features New England specialties such as prime rib, delicious steak and chops and a variety of fresh seafood. Other favorites include Indian pudding, corn bread, Yankee pot roast and strawberry shortcake.

Recently I stopped in with my brother and had a great dinner. It's been a long time since we both stopped in. We enjoyed our traditional New England cuisine and the service was excellent.

As we were leaving, I inquired if the restaurant had any Gluten-free options for my daughter. I was very surprised to find out that they had a large Gluten-free menu that offered a lot of the same specials as their regular menu.

I did notice that they didn't have anything special for kids. The manager on duty did tell me that they would work with us to put together a dish that my daughter would love. They did have a Frankinster dish on the Gluten-free menu - which is basically a couple of Hot dogs grilled, baked beans and French fries. This is certainly a dish any kid would enjoy. Incidentally the baked beans were very yummy, I highly recommend this as a side dish to any meal.

The manager told me that the kitchen would make sure the meal was prepared in a separate part of the kitchen - this is to prevent cross contamination. He seemed very knowledgeable about concerns that people have about eating Gluten-free.

If you need to eat Gluten-free, you don't have to miss out on going to one of oldest restaurants in the country. Next time your in Boston try Durgin Park. I highly recommend it.

November 20, 2015

Pot Luck Food Ideas

Every year we have a company pot luck and celebrate the season by sharing some of our favorite foods with our co-workers.

This year Pot Luck was a huge success because organizers decided to assign categories by company departments. Engineering was responsible for sides and main dish, while other teams had deserts and appetizers etc. This ensured that there was plenty of coverage in different areas. (You don't want the case of everyone bringing pies.)

The dish size people prepare or purchase is big enough for a large family gathering. People will take small portions of your offering. Example: For a company with 100 employees, you should make enough as if your serving for 20 people.

If your looking for some ideas of what to bring to a Pot Luck, here is a list of some of foods that people have brought in the various pot lucks that I have attended in the past:

Appetizer
  • 5 layer dip with chips
  • Baked Asparagus Fries
  • Braised Brussels Sprouts
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip with chips
  • Cheese plate
  • Guacamole, salsa, chips
  • Jalapeno Cornbread
  • Pumpkin kugel cupcakes
  • Pumpkin spice muffins
  • Spinach Balls
  • Spinach Dip
Main Course
  1. Artichoke Dip
  2. Buffalo Chicken Dip
  3. Caramelized Onion Dip
  4. Ecuadorian chicken & rice soup
  5. Ecuadorian chicken & rice soup
  6. Gnocchi
  7. Some breads
  8. Spicy pigs in a blanket
  9. Spinach Dip
  10. Stuffing
  11. Sweet Potato Pecan Scuffle
  12. Sweet sweet potatoes
Dessert
  • Blackbottom Cupcakes
  • Brownies
  • Candy
  • Chai spice mini cupcakes
  • Cinnamon Cake
  • Ice Cream-filled Cupcakes
  • Ginger cookies
  • Peanut Butter Lava cookies
  • Peanut Butter Lava Cookies
  • Pecan Pie
  • pumpkin cheesecake
  • Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
  • Seasonal Cupcakes
  • Toffee caramel cookies
  • Toffee chocolate caramel cookies
Drinks
  • Apple Cider
  • Mix Soda (Season Favorite)
  • Coquito
  • EggNog

Don't forget to bring any display dishes or utensils. (Bring along extra in case other's forget!) Make a small sign to display in front of your dish with any special information, such as 'Gluten Free' or 'A favorite from Ireland.'

November 13, 2015

Eating Gluten Free in Disney World

Walt Disney World can be an awesome vacation even if you have to eat Gluten free. The key thing to remember is let your server know and a Speciality Chief will come to your table and help you have a truly awesome experience.

Here are some of the notes from our experience at various establishments that we visited. We made reservations far in advance and mention the Gluten allergy, even though it's technically not an allergy.

Click on the establishment name to visit the official restaurant page and make reservations for your next trip.

Riverside Mill Food Court
Port Orleans Resort Riverside

  • On our first day at the food court we were a little confused on what to do. There wasn't anyone around to ask questions. We finally ask someone who was stocking mugs. They went in back to get a Chief to help us out.
  • It turns out that we need to see the Chief every time to place an allergy free order. We later discovered that its not easy when the food court is very busy
  • Some of the people that worked in the kitchen were not aware of what meals were available Gluten Free
  • The Chief told us they can pretty much make everything on the menu Gluten free, however you still need to see a Chief for validation.
  • If you do ask for something at the counter, the order taker had to ask a Speciality Chief if it was Gluten free safe. At the time, I was ordering a cheese burger and I knew they had Gluten free bun. The Speciality Chief basic gave the thumbs up to the person putting together the order that all that was needed was the bun not toasted. The speciality chief was the only to hand me the order, basically ensuring me that it was safe to eat.
  • One evening they had a printed menu of available Gluten Free meals, but we never saw it again. Not having a menu made it hard when we walked into the food court to know what could be made Gluten Free. For example, on pasta day the only Gluten free pasta they had was elbows. Which is fine since my daughter likes Mac & Cheese, but sometimes she wants spaghetti.
Hollywood and Dine

Hollywood and Vine
Disney's Hollywood Studios

  • We have eaten breakfast here before, but this is the first time eating here Gluten free. We made reservations far in advance and let them know that members of our party had a Gluten Allergy.
  • Shortly after we were seated the Chief came to our table.
  • The Chief did a walked through on the buffet line to point us out which buffet items were not Gluten free. He also indicated which items could be made Gluten free to order. We did ask for Gluten free waffles.
  • They made a special order of Gluten Free Mickey Waffles that were very yummy. He gave us such a large plate of waffles that we didn't need to ask for more.
  • The chief returned back and made sure we were satisfied with the order and if we had any questions.
  • We were very impress with their service and everything was yummy.

The Crystal Palace
Magic Kingdom

  • We love eating at the Crystal Palace and have eaten there plenty of times. Who doesn't like meeting Tigger, Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore.
  • We made reservations far in advance, you kind of have to, and let them know of our allergy.
  • The chief came to the table with lots of options.
  • They went over some of the things at the buffet, he specifically said that he didn't want to insult our intelligence and pointed to some of the things that did contain Gluten.
  • They brought a small try of Gluten Free options, which were basically frozen items; such as Katz Gluten Free Donuts and regular Gluten Free waffles. (Nothing like the made to order service we got at Hollywood and Vine)
  • Food was yummy and everyone had a good time

Chief Mickey
The Contemporary Resort

  • We made reservations far in advance and let them know of our allergy. We have eaten here plenty of times and enjoy seeing Mickey and Friends
  • After we got seated the Chief came over and wanted to know if it was really an allergy. (We were a bit surprise by this.)
  • He described some of the things in the buffet that we could eat, but left off some things. Basically giving us the brief version of what we could eat.
  • They brought out a small tray of food, but it was mostly fruit and Gluten Free pancakes.
  • There were a lot of good food in the buffet and we did like their food, but was a bit disappointed with the service and most likely won't be going back on a future visit.

We were a little disappointed with the service at Chief Mickey and felt that 'Hollywood and Vine' were more thoughtful with being Gluten free.

Hope the above information is helpful and you found it useful. If you have any particular questions, please feel free to send me an email.

July 29, 2015

Gluten-free Expo

Last Weekend we attend the Gluten-free Expo was at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.  We wanted to attend the show so that my daughter could to try different foods.

When we checked in at the registration desk we were given three large re-usable shopping bags. Within an hour, we managed to fill the bags with lots of samples and coupons.

There were a lot of exhibitors at the show giving away free taste samples. It was a good way to break out of the normal routine and try different pizzas and snacks. Some of the vendors were selling products, while others were handing out take-home size samples. There were a couple of Gluten-free bakery vendors selling cup cakes and flourless chocolate cakes that were very good.

I felt some of the pizza could have been cooked more for a more crispy taste, but I get it that the benders were try to get samples out as quickly as possible.

The exhibit floor was packed and moving between vendors was difficult at times. It was great to see a large turn out, however the hosting company should have space the booths out more.

One of the good things about going to a food expo is trying food that you normally wouldn't try. We stopped by the Schar booth to try their bread, thinking that no one could possibly beat the taste of Canyon House bread. We were wrong, as Schar tasted really good and has the texture of real bread. They even gave us a loaf of bread to take home. I think Canyon Bakery has a real challenge on its hand.

Part of the excitement of the Expo was the ability to attend some classes on Gluten-free cooking, but the announcement of the classes on the exhibit hall PA system was barely audible. There was so much noise that you couldn't hear any announcements. If you go, set up a reminder on your phone of the class that you want to attend.

Parking at the DCU center was a bit challenging, as it wasn't very clear on where to exit the garage to walk to the DCU center. We weren't the only ones with problems as several people were walking all over the garage, first to find the show and then later to find their car. Good Luck if you have a stroller and looking for an elevator in the garage.

Overall the experience was worth it and I would certainly recommend going to meet the vendors and to taste some good food. If your eating Gluten Free because of Celiac disease, you should attend the show. Before sampling some of the food, let the vendor know that you have Celiac disease, as one of the beer vendors told me that one of their beers did have some Gluten in it.

To help my daughter feel better about going the expo, I changed the wording of the theme song to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse...

Its the Gluten free Expo...
..come inside its yummy inside
It's the Gluten free Expo

You can watch a clip of the Worcester Gluten-free Expo as part of the YouTube Weekly feature:

July 28, 2015

Mendon Twin Drive

Recently we saw a couple of movies at the Mendon Twin Drive in Mendon, Massachusetts. The theater is located just outside of downtown Mendon. We went on a very busy night where both theaters were sold out.

It cost $25 a car to see a  double feature movie, this is much cheaper than the three if us going to a regular movie theater. If there's more than six people in the car, it's an extra $5 a person.

Since the theater is own by the Andelman brothers, who put on the Phantom Gourmet, I was really looking forward to trying the snack bar and my favorite movie snack - popcorn. The snack bar was loaded with lots of great choices, such as hot dogs and chicken fingers and most of it was made to order. As a result, the line was a little long for the snack bar, but it seem to move fairly quickly.

I was a little disappointed with the taste of the popcorn. I was thinking that it was going to be awesome, that I picked up two bags ($6 a bag). The popcorn was was anything but great. It had a strange burn taste and nothing at all what I expected. The popcorn machine was cranking out popcorn, so it was fresh - perhaps maybe the machine needed cleaning? I don't know just wasn't what I was expected.

I watched the movie sitting on the ground near the back of the car. We had the car radio on, but I could hear the sound coming from other people radios. It was pretty cool surround sound effect.

We left near the end of the second movie because it was midnight and my daughter was sleeping. We also decided to leave because it was going to take a long time to leave once the movie got over. 

We had a great first time visit and certainly will be back again to enjoy another movie. This was my first drive-in experience since the Capital Theaters Drive-in in San Jose, California - some ten years ago.

You should certainly go and enjoy the Drive-in experience, here's some practical tips:

  • Arrive early, especially on a Saturday night in the summer. Pack some sandwiches and have a picnic dinner at the theater. 
  • Park any place you want, we ended up parking up front and felt we had great view of the screen.
  • The bathrooms are very small and the lines are long. Plan your bathroom breaks carefully ( Avoid going just before the movie or immediately afterwards)
  • Use the express lane at the snack bar, you can save a lot of time.
  • Yes, you should visit the snack bar it's part of the drive in fun.
  • The only Gluten-free options at the snack bar that I saw were the Popcorn, ice cream (with sprinkles) and some of the candy.
What to bring

  • Whiffle Bat and Ball - Keeps everyone entertained before the show
  • Radio - I saw some boom boxes, but Walkman might be good.
  • Blankets to keep warm
  • Bug spray
  • Extra drinks and snacks.
  • Chairs - lots of people were setting up beach chairs to watch the show.
  • USB Charger - The cell phone signal is weak and will drain the cell phone battery.
  • Flashlight - In case you need to walk to the snack bar when it's dark.

July 8, 2015

Boston Science Museum

This past weekend we visited the Boston Science Museum to see the Pixar exhibit and a Planetarium show. This was my first visit to the museum for my 4.5 year old daughter. We also visited during the 4th of July activities around the esplanade.

The museum had shorter hours on the fourth of July and that's due to all the activities that the museum does to watch the fireworks. The celebration is a pretty big deal, and getting tickets to the show is very hard to do. The museum didn't seem that busy as there was only about 20 people at the 10:30 planetarium show.

We saw the "Big Bird's Adventure: One World, One Sky" show at the Planetarium. My daughter love the show and interacted with the show all the way through. We felt the show focus too much on speaking Chinese than learning about the planet's. It was a fun experience for daughter and she had a great time.

We next visited the traveling Pixar exhibit. It was a great exhibit to learn all the technology that goes into making a Pixar movie. My daughter loved the interactions with making shapes and models. It was fun for her to take pictures of some of the Pixar  characters. At the end of the exhibit, there was a store where you could buy Pixar merchandise, much like any Disney ride. Just like Disney, the merchandise was way over price. It was a great exhibit to learn about all the attention to detail that goes into making every movie.

We brought our own lunch, since we weren't sure that any of the food options would Celiac friendly and be something that my daughter would like. (Not many places have Gluten-free Mac & Cheese) It was very easy to run back to the car and get the lunch bag. However, I didn't need to since their are lockers just inside the main entrance.

The exhibit hall was a fun place for my daughter to run around and have fun. She ran from one exhibit to another eager to explore something different. She had a lot of fun at the lighting show and she covered her ears so they wouldn't hurt. She told me that the lighting was much louder that the fireworks she saw the night before.

It was a fun visit to the museum. We are now members so we'll be going back again and again to explore and learn a lot more about science.

June 2, 2015

The Sub-Way & Pizza

If you want really good Gluten-free pizza, then head to Sub-way & Pizza in Framingham. No it isn't that Subway place your thinking of, this is a local pizza shop that really delivers when looking for good Gluten-free pizza. (Yes there regular pizza is awesome!)

If you have Celiac Disease, just let them know and they will go the extra mile to make sure their is no cross contamination. Your pizza is cooked on a special foil to make sure that there's no cross contamination in the oven.

Framingham Subway & Pizza makes great pizza and it's nice to see that they bring their cooking specialty to customers who have to eat Gluten-free. Try the Pepperoni pizza - it's really good.

When you go, park in the back of the building. It can be tricky to pull out of the front parking spaces because of the proximity to the street.

The The Sub-Way & Pizza is located on  510 Union Ave, Framingham, MA 01702. Place your order by calling them at (508) 879-8818(508) 879-8818.