Gluten Free blog postings
Gluten Free Postings
|Earliest: June 2, 2015||Latest: June 10, 2018||Total: 113|
|January 12, 2016|
Chucky E Cheese
This past weekend we had a couple of birthday parties and one of them was at Chucky E Cheese in Natick, Massachusetts. Going to kids birthday parties can be challenging since she has to eat gluten free. I checked out Chuck E Cheese website and was happy to see that they had a gluten free pizza. I wasn't sure that it would be available for birthday parties, so I brought along a slice of pizza and a cupcake from Whole Foods. (More on the Whole Foods experience later)
When we got to Chucky E Cheese, I informed the birthday boys family of my daughter needs and she informed the waitress that was assigned to them. They said there would be no problems getting the gluten free pizza.
After playing around for a while, it was time to eat. The waitress brought out the pizzas and then served my daughter an individual size pizza in an oven cooked bag. They could have taken the bag off in the kitchen but it was nice that Chucky E Cheese take extra care to prevent any cross contamination. It's something that we haven't seen in any place before. This is what the gluten free pizza looked like out of the bag.
The pizza was slightly burnt but my daughter loved it. She had her usual slice and was too excited to eat anymore, she just wanted to play.
When it came to eating cake, there was no gluten free option presented. After the birthday boy blew out the candles on the cake, my daughter wasn't given any gluten free option. I had to run back to the car and get the cupcake that I brought. I was nervous because Chucky E Cheese specifically said no outside food on their website. When I came back inside, the host at the door didn't say anything and simply welcome me back in.
Tip for Chucky E Cheese: In the future if someone orders a gluten free cake that its safe to assume that they will need a gluten free cake will be needed.
We had a lot of fun at Chucky E Cheese and it's nice to see that they now have gluten free options.
Whole Foods Follow-up
The night before we visited Whole Foods in Framingham to get some gluten free cupcakes. Apparently the store in Framingham only has them in the freezer section, they didn't have any 'fresh' gluten free cupcakes in the bakery section.
My daughter and I went to the frozen aisle to get the cupcake. Once we got it, she wanted to play with the price scanner nearby. She scanned the cupcake and I looked over to the shelf and notice that the price on the shelf was lower than the scanned price.
Instantly my previous grocery experience kicked in and I knew that because of the prince discrepancy the cupcakes would be free. That's the law in Massachusetts.
So I picked up one more thing and went the register. When the cashier scanned in the cup cake, I calmly pointed out to the cashier that the shelf price was 7.99 not the 9.99 scan price. The bagger, who I believe was the assistant night manager, went back and checked and confirm the price difference. The cashier then voided my cupcakes and I only had to pay for the one only thing.
I noticed that the assistant manager had pulled off the shelf tag so that no one else would encounter this price difference.
The moral of this story is that it doesn't hurt to once and a while use the aisle store scanners. You may discover somethings are not priced correctly and will be aware when you get to the register. Most people won't look at the price at the register, or take action and the store is counting on that.
|January 5, 2016|
Gerardo's European Bakery
This past weekend we ordered a Gluten Free birthday cake for my 5 year old from Gerardo's European Bakery, 22 Turnpike Road in Westborough Massachusetts. The cake came out really good:
Note: We had to provide the bakery with the Disney princess. We simply ordered them on Amazon, washed them and gave it to the bakery a couple of days before we schedule to pick up the cake.
They did a great job decorating the cake, and everyone enjoyed it. We didn't tell everyone that it was a Glueten Free cake, since some of the kids frown on having to eat Gluten Free. Nobody complained about the cake.
Normally we have a fancy cake from The Icing on the Cake in Newton, but now we have to have a Gluten Free cake. Maybe someday we'll be able to return to The Icing on the Cake.
In addition to the cake, we also got an assortment of Gluten Free pastries, just in case that everyone wasn't in the mood for a cake. They had a good selection of Gluten free pastries in the display case. It was a bit hard to see what was Gluten Free, but the lady behind the counter was able to point out which ones were Gluten Free.
The cake and pastries went very quickly and there was very little left over. The cookies and brownies were certainly a big hit with the kids!
If your in the Boston's MetroWest area and looking for a great place to get a Gluten Free child's birthday cake, we certainly recommend trying Gerardo's European Bakery.
Driving Tip: If your driving on Route 9 west bound (From Boston/Framingham) - don't listen to your GPS! You should take the 135 South exit off of Route 9 and drive under Route 9 and then take the on ramp to get back on Route 9 east bound. Gerardo's European Bakery will be first building you see when you get back on Route 9. (If you follow the way Waze wants you to go, you'll add about 5 minutes of extra driving time just to do a u-turn at the set of lights further down the road!)
|December 29, 2015|
McDonalds French Fries
Whenever we wanted a quick snack for my daughter we would head over to McDonald's to get some french fries. Now it looks like we'll be taking fewer trips.
Turns out that McDonald's French Fries are not Gluten-free. Here a brief description from their website when they answer the question, What are the Ingredients in your fries?:
In order to maintain texture, our suppliers partially fry our fries in an oil blend containing canola, soybean and hydrogenated soybean oil. Our suppliers add natural beef flavor, which includes hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk, to the par fry oil to contribute to that World Famous Fry taste. Citric acid is also added to preserve the freshness of the oil, as well as dimethylpolysiloxane to reduce foaming and oil splattering.
Hydrolyzed wheat protein is not gluten free.
For many years, McDonalds French Fries were thought to be made Gluten-free. Everyone perception changed when McDonalds volunteered to list the ingrediants.
What about other fast food vendors?
If your sensitive to Gluten, when you visit your favorite restaurant make sure to always ask if they have a dedicated fryer.
|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.
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.
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
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|
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.
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|
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.
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:
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 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
- 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
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|
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: