Gluten Free blog postings

Gluten Free Postings

Earliest: June 2, 2015Latest: June 20, 2017Total: 84

October 18, 2016

Wahlburgers

Walburger Boston

Last week we were near Fenway Park and decided to checkout Wahlburgers. According to the "Find Me Gluten Free" App, the resturant has a 93% approval rating for being a Celiac friendly. We thought we give it a try.

Wahlburgers is a different type of restaurant, it's basically a step above a Smash Burger. You have the option to order via counter or walk around and eat in. When we ordered our drinks it came in take-out paper cups. My first thought was, "Well that's one way to avoid doing the dishes."

Placing the Order

When the host came over and asked for our order, we let them know that our daughter needed to eat gluten free. He was very knowledgeable on what was available on the menu that was gluten free. We asked if they had gluten free mac & cheese, off hand he didn't know, but he checked with the kitchen and confirmed that they didn't have a gluten free pasta. We decided to order a grill cheese sandwich for my daughter and a couple of burgers: "The Melt" and "The Our Burger." We order one with french fries and the other with Sweet Potato Tots.

We were told that they have a dedicated fryer for french fries and tots, so there were no cross contamination issues.

Really Good Burgers

Grill Cheese Sandwich GF

We didn't have to wait too long for our order to arrive, which was good because we were starving. The burgers looked good, as well as the grilled cheese looked yummy. We tasted our burgers and they were delicious, much better than Smash Burger. They were loaded with flavor.

I didn't care for the french fries too much, I think the shoe string french fries at Smash Burger is better, plus you get a lot more to enjoy. The Sweet Potato Tots were very yummy and didn't last long at our table. Lots of flavors and delicious.

Desert

There was very limited gluten free options for dessert, but the server suggested the "Grilled Banana Fluffanutta" as that could be made gluten free. The desert contains peanut butter, fresh bananas, fluff & Nutella served between grilled bread.

The server completely forgot that we ordered it when he dropped off the check at our table. He apologized and said that he would get it with no charge.

The desert was 'ok' wasn't anything all that special. I was thinking that it would be a cold desert, not a hot one. Probably not something that I would order again.

We'll Be Back

The restaurant noise was a bit loud as the current hits were being played over some of the TV audios. Certainly not the place to go and have a chat.

We enjoyed our meal at Wahlburgers, and we'll certainly be back. The restaurant is far from Framingham and we had to pay $10 to park at the Landmark Center Garage across the street. So we won't be going as often as other restaurants that we go to.

We are glad that we found a new gluten-free place for our daughter.

One more thing

What's the deal with the drink prices? why is a "fountain soda, Coke" cheaper than Gingerale? Both were served in a Wahlburgers take-out cup.

Drink Prices

October 11, 2016

Jennifer Lee's Allergen Free Gourmet Bakery

Are there Gluen Free Options at the Boston Public Market?

Jennifer Lee Bakery

Yes, you can find Gluten Free foods at the Boston Public Market - check out Jennifer Lee's Allergen Free Gourmet Bakery. The bakery sells gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, and dairy-free breads, cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and donuts.

From a Press Announcement earlier this year:

Jennifer Lee's Gourmet Bakery produces all of their products in their commercial kitchen in Malden, Massachusetts, and sources ingredients such as jams, maple syrup, apple cider syrup, fruits, vegetables, and alcohol from local farms such as Carr's Ciderhouse in Hadley, Silverbrook Farm in Dartmouth (another Boston Public Market vendor), Brooksby Farm in Peabody, and Russell?s Orchards in Ipswich.

Yummy Chocolate Cookie!

On Monday, We stopped at the Bakery after wandering around the Market looking for Gluten Free options. The display case was a bit empty - which might be because we were there early on a Monday morning.

My daughter saw some extra chocolate cookies and she wanted one. We purchased one, and the cashier asked if we needed a bag. I said that we didn't and she handed the cookie to my daughter with a small wax paper.

We sat down on a bench nearby and she enjoyed her Taza hot chocolate with her chocolate cookie as her mid-morning Boston treat. She took her time eat and looking around the market. (Seems like a perfect combination.)

I asked her how the cookie was and she said very yummy. When I inquired if she liked these over the cookies we made at home, this past weekend, she told me she liked the chocolate cookie better.

She wasn't able to finish her cookie, so I went back and asked for a bag and she gave me one. I let them know that my daughter enjoyed the cookie and they were delighted that she liked it.

We'll certainly return back to Jennifer Lee's Gourmet Bakery at the Boston Market. They have a lot of bakery options to choose from. (The cinnamon rolls looked very good!)

The bakery is located on the back side of the Boston Public Market, near the restrooms. There is a tractor nearby where kids can sit and pretend to drive.

Jennifer Lee's Gourmet Bakery does have a website, http://www.jenniferleesgourmetbakery.com, but it appears to be down at the moment. (Hopefully it?s because they are busy cooking more of their delicious foods.

October 4, 2016

Five Napkin Boston

Five Napkin Burger Boston

Five Napkin is located on 105 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA. You can access the restaurant from the Prudential Mall using the entrance next to Barnes and Noble booksellers. They are open everyday from 11:30 am to 11 pm, on weekends they are open a half hour early to serve brunch.

The past couple of years we have been visiting Five Napkin because the food and service are good and they have good options for Gluten Free. They use to have a separate gluten free menu, but like most restaurants, they can let you know if an entree can be made gluten free.

Knowledgeable Staff

When it comes to allergies, we have found their staff to be very knowledgeable about food safety. In fact, at one of our visits we encountered a waiter who had celiac and welcomes us to the restaurant. He told us that the kitchen goes out of their way to make sure that any allergy meal is prepared carefully. They have a dedicated fryer, so regular french fried and sweet potatoes are celiac friendly.

He gave us confident that it was a good restaurant to visit. My daughter was very happy to meet someone that had the same condition as her.

Great Kids Food

Usually my daughter order a cheeseburger on their gluten free bun, they have no problems using the bun on a kid-size burger. This past weekend, my daughter decided to be different and ordered a hot dog, they didn't have a gluten-free hot dog roll, but did offer to put it on a hamburger roll. My daughter was fine to have it bun-free.

The chocolate milk is a bit different than most places because they use dark chocolate. Seems to be a favorite with kids and my daughter drank all of her milk before the meal arrived.

Awesome Food - Less Crowded

The nice thing about 5-Napkin is that it's rarely crowded. So while the nearby Cheese-Cake factory has a 30-minute wait, we can basically walk over to 5-Napkin and get an excellent meal. They have a lot more than Hamburgers and Hot Dogs - they are just some of the popular meals.

They also have a nice selection of gluten free beers on their menu. They put all the drinks in a gluten free category so you know which drinks are safe. It's actually interesting to see the different types of beers that are available. (Thankfully my daughter is too young to drink!)

It's a great place to do a takeout! Which is perfect for when your watching one of the Saturday night summers flicks in the center lawn.

September 27, 2016

Stop and Shop Shelf Tag

Have you seen something new on some shelf tags at Stop and Shop? They added an icon on the price tag to some gluten free products.

Here is a sample shelf tag that shows the item is gluten free:

Stop Shop Tag

Now it's very easy to identify which products are Gluten Free. In fact, because of the shelf tag we found a couple of soup items that we didn't know were gluten free. We needed them for a pot roast recipe and didn't realize that a couple of the Progresso items were

Gluten Free Shelf label

While it's great that Stop and Shop are doing this, those with gluten sensitivity should use a smartphone app like "ShopWell" to verify that the product is safe.

Healthy Option

They also have an icon for products that are a healthy option, products that are low fat or low salt will display the tag.

Awesome Awareness

I don't know when Stop and Shop started doing this. I did notice that many gluten-free products didn't get a shelf tag icon. Perhaps they are phasing in this feature as products change prices.

September 20, 2016

The Cottage - Wellesley, Massachusetts

The Cottage

This past weekend we stopped by The Cottage in Wellesley to have brunch with my parents.

About the Cottage

The Cottage describes itself as "A cozy, casual, California-inspired restaurant serving lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch."

When you're inside you do feel like your at a Cape Cod cottage. The interior is bright white with lots of scenic beach photos hanging from the walls.

The restaurant is located in the Linden Square shopping center. There is plenty of parking in the parking lot.

Gluten free Brunch Options

We have found this to be a very celiac friendly restaurant. There are a lot of good choices to select from on the menu.

The one nice thing about the Cottage is you don't need to ask for a gluten free menu. Simply flip over the menu and the entire back side their gluten free options.

For Sunday Brunch you can select from a large assortment of Omelets, Salads, Classic Burger and much more. They have good gluten free rolls! It's really nice to see a large selection of gluten free options.

When we ordered we let the server know of the Gluten Allergy. They made a note of it and were very knowledgeable about cross contamination. My daughter ordered the cheese omelet, as she is very simple and likes eggs and cheese. The server suggested fruit instead of the hash browns because of potential cross contamination during cooking.

Cottage Thumbs Up

The manager brought the gluten-free order to the table - a clear sign that the restaurant paid attention to the order. We asked for additional ketchup and they brought it right over.

When I asked my daughter how her brunch was, she gave it a thumbs up. She ate a lot more than she traditionally does!

A Bit Pricy

This is certain a good restaurant to go on special occasions since it is a bit pricey. A typical brunch meal cost $15.

The food was very good, and the service was excellent. The restaurant was nice and quiet as we could easily hear every at our table. Everyone had a great time and enjoyed their brunch, what more could you ask for!

The next time we are looking for a place to go for a nice meal, we'll certainly keep The Cottage in mind. Can't wait to try some of their dinner options. I am thinking between the Ancho Rubbed Short Rib, Lamb Burger, and Lobster sandwich. Perhaps we'll have to go a few more times.

Reservations are recommended for Sunday Brunch as it does get busy. Call (781) 239-1100 for reservations.

September 13, 2016

Teal Pumpkin Project

Teal Pumpkin Example

This Halloween, if your children have any food allergies, look for houses that have a teal pumpkin by the front door. It will be a clear indicator that there are allergy safe treats available.

The Teal Pumpkin Project, now in its fourth year, was created to spread the awareness of children's food allergies. Especially how difficult Halloween can be.

We know first hand on what it's like to tell your child that they can't eat certain candies because they contain an ingredient that they may be allergic to. While trick or treating might be fun, but at the end of the night, it's all about the candy.

About the Teal Pumpkin Project

The project started in 2011 by the families of the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee.

The Teal Pumpkin Project website has all sorts of ideas on alternative things to hand out as well as signs that can be hung in the window - should you not want to make a teal pumpkin.

About Our Pumpkin

We got a foam pumpkin at Michaels craft stores. You can buy a Teal pumpkin for $6.79. (On Sale!) You can store the pumpkin in the attic, with all your Halloween supplies and bring it out next year. The good news is that the squirrels won't both the teal pumpkin, unlike our real pumpkins. So this will last and last.

The top three food allergies are milk, egg, and peanut. Other allergies include seafood, tree nuts, wheat, and soy.

A Walk Down Memory Lane...

I remember when I was young I used to go trick or treating near Kirkland Drive in Stow, Massachusetts. There was this one house where they would only give out toothbrushes instead of candy. I recall that they did this because the father was a dentist. It was funny because all the kids knew what he gave out, and we joked about it. Yet, year after year we would still stop by the house for trick or treat. Perhaps we did this just to see if he would still give out toothbrushes.

I assumed that he got the toothbrush from his stock at the office, so they probably didn't really spend any money on Halloween. Was it a marketing trick? Not sure how many parents switched dentists because of the toothbrush promotion. I knew we didn't.

Alternative Candy Ideas

If you're looking for an alternative candy item, please don't select a toothbrush. Consider going to the dollar store and getting some kids birthday giveaway items.

Somethings to hand out:

  • Glow Sticks
  • Mini Yo-Yos
  • Paper Wrist bands
  • $1 Dairy Queen Coupon
  • Silly Pens or Pencils
  • Silly Erasers
  • Mini Bubbles

You can find other creative things to hand out on Pinterest.

September 6, 2016

The Local Wayland

Local Wayland

The Local is a Boston area restaurant chain, they have restaurants in Newton, Wellesley, and Wayland. Each location has pictures of the area inside of their restaurants. The nice things about "The Local" restaurant is that it tends to be quieter than Tavern in the Square. (There are no TVs in the main dining room.)

We enjoy going here to meet up with friends for a nice weekend lunch. They have great food selection and you can actually hear the person in front of you talking.

Dinner Selection

We have stopped in many times for lunch, this weekend we decided to stop in to try their dinner selection.

The Local has a separate gluten free menu. We asked for the gluten free menu when we arrived.

When we placed our order, we told the waitress of our daughter needing to eat gluten free. They didn't have any kid friendly gluten free options that our daughter would enjoy, so we asked for the gluten-free Mac & Cheese. The waitress said that they would be able to make it for her.

We notice that the waitress wasn?t writing anything down. Seemed a bit weird but could be a reason why...

Things didn?t go as planned

When our order arrived there were 2 issues:

  • The gluten free burger that we ordered off of the gluten free menu didn't have gluten free onions (they were regular onion rings)
  • One of the other burgers had cheese when we specify asked for no cheese.

The person who brought the order, who didn't take our order, noticed that the burger wasn't 100% gluten free. They did hesitate to put the dish on the table, as she knew that something was wrong. We told her that the person that ordered the burger ordered it gluten free as a preference. She put the food on the table.

We told them that we placed the order off the gluten free menu and that it mention the onion rings. Another waitress said the gluten free menu had an error and they would fix it to make sure that it says caramelize onions.

When we told them that we ordered a burger without cheese, they took the plate back and brought back a new plate about a minute later. It was a completely different burger since the other burger cheese was melting on the burger, and there?s no chance that they would have scraped it off.

Management Did Help

About 5 minutes later the manager came by and apologized for the issues with our order. He assured us that the Mac & Cheese was gluten free and that they did have a system in place for making sure that the order was properly handled in the kitchen.

Akkadents Happens

He did take off the 2 burgers off the order.

We Would Go Back?

Despite the mix up with the order, we certainly would go back. We have had plenty of good meals and won?t let this one episode stop us from going back.

We certainly recommend this restaurant, it's a nice quiet place to enjoy your meal.

When you have a food allergy you need to be vigilant at all times. Even when you eat at your favorite restaurant, you could run into issues.

August 30, 2016

Uhlman's Ice Cream

Uhlmans Logo

There are something about going out for ice cream on a nice summer night. In New England, there's something about driving to an old fashion ice cream stand and walking up and placing your order at the take out window. Did you know that the Northeast region buys more ice cream than any other part of the country.

In Metro West Boston, one of the place to get great ice cream is Uhlmans, in Westborough, Massachusetts. Founded initially as a Farm Stand in 1967 by George Smith and Howard Uhlmans. A few years later they converted the stand to an ice cream stand. They started out only having hard ice cream, today they have lots of choices including soft serve, yogurt, and frozen drinks.

The nice appeal that's unique to the Uhlman's Ice Cream experience is that it feels like a neighborhood ice cream stand. They store is located in a middle of a neighborhood and not in a downtown setting, or on a busy road. You do feel like your at the Farm, you can even see some of the cows in the back.

Gluten Free Friendly!

On the menu above the order window, there are indicators that show which options are Gluten Free. You'll see a GF by the Sugar-Free, Sherbert, Soft Serve Ice Cream sections. They also indicate that the Sugar-Free Hot Fudge and Whipped Cream is Gluten Free.

The regular ice cream flavors don't have any GF icons next to them. When you get to the window counter ask for the allergy sheet to see which flavors are Gluten Free. Tip: The Pumpkin and Pumpkin Oreo are not Gluten Free. The Chocolate Chocolate Chip is gluten free and very good!

Ice Cream Stand Header

Gluten Free Cones Are Plenty!

You'll be happy to know that Uhlmans has two type of Gluten Free cones - Sugar Cone and Cake! We tried both and found them to be delicious as their ice cream.

Allergy Friendly

Uhlmans has a limited selection of ice cream that is Allergy Friendly - free of gluten, lactose, dairy, nuts, and egg. You can have Orange, Pineapple, Lemon, Raspberry Twist.

Visit Uhlmans

Uhlmans Farm Ice Cream is located at 234 E Main Street in Westborough, Massachusetts. They are a cash only business and don't accept any credit cards. There is an ATM on site.

On Thursday night's in the Summer they are at the Bay State Green on Union Street in Westborough for "Screen on the Green." Enjoy an ice cream with your movie. In the summer of 2016 they had: The Wizard of Oz, Inside Out, Star Wars - The Force Awakens, Shark Tale, The Goonies. Check the Westborough Public Library for times and locations for next summer.

August 23, 2016

National Waffle Day!

Van Waffles

Did you know that National Waffle Day is August 24th? Waffles are celebrated on that day because that's when Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York was granted a patent for waffle iron.

Van's Waffles

If your looking for the best Gluten free waffles check out Vans Waffles. They are located in the Natural Foods section in Stop & Shop and in the Gluten free breakfast foods at Wegmans.

Van's Waffles taste great! You wouldn't know that they are Gluten Free. They are very delicious and certainly help make a very busy morning go much quicker.

If your stuck with some creative ideas to get the little ones to get excited about breakfast, check out three 5-minute waffle ideas by Joy Bauer. Joy is not only a registered dietitian, so you know that breakfast will be healthy, she is a Mom of three, and knows a thing or two about getting the morning off to a good start. Her tips are creative and can spur some other ideas that might help make mornings great.

Joy's Morning Hacks

Joy recently shared some morning hacks on the Today Show:

  1. Keep a stable of go-to items in your pantry and refrigerator to provide nutritious, quick options. Low-fat Greek yogurt, eggs, nut butter, berries, bananas, and grapes are all great on top of Van's 8 Whole Grains waffles--super easy, kid-friendly and filling.
  2. Think ahead. If you plan breakfast the night before, you'll eliminate 50 percent of the stress during the morning rush. No one expects moms to whip up from-scratch waffles or pancakes on a chaotic weekday--keep it simple, decide what you're serving the night before, and you can spend less than five minutes on a filling, wholesome, delicious breakfast in the a.m.
  3. Presentation is important. Anything that says "fun" is appealing for younger kids. If you take a Vans whole grain waffle and use good-for-you ingredients to create a happy face on top, you'll have happy eaters. Kids can help with assembly--let them choose their toppings or match their waffle face to their mood. You can use blueberries for eyes and raspberries, cherries or a kiwi slice for a mouth. You'll be smiling, too, as you watch how quickly they gobble it up!
  4. Make your morning meal a triple threat. Since parents tend to have full control over what their kids eat for breakfast, it's important to make it count. The winning combination includes ample fiber and protein while minimizing sugar. That helps stabilize blood sugar and provides fuel and sustenance to make it through the morning routine.
  5. Plan "me" time. Be strategic and sneak some breaks while parenting-- whether that means a walk with a sleeping child in a stroller or timing kids' screen time to coincide with your workout. Every mom knows that a little "me" time makes you a better parent!

Van's Foods & Joy Bauer Giveaway

To celebrate the modern mom and help make her life a little easier, Van's Foods and Bauer are giving away one year of free Van's waffles and signed copies of Bauer's books "Slim & Scrumptious," "From Junk Food to Joy Food" and "Food Cures." Check Van's Food Promotion site for full details, including giveaway rules, and a chance to win. All entries must be received by Aug. 24.

Best Waffles Need the Best Syrup

We recommend Vermont's Green Mountain Sugar House maple syrup with your Vans Waffles. They are a bit more expensive than your traditional syrup but once you try it, you'll find it hard to go back to the supermarket brands. Try the Vermont Golden Color with Delicate Flavor with the Van's Waffles

We visited Cold Hollow Cider Mill a couple of years ago, we got a small Maple Syrup container. This is perfect for our 5-year-old daughter so that she can pour her own syrup on her Waffles. We like it because it's small enough that she won't have too much sugar, and won't waste a lot of good syrup.

The Maple Sugar Cured Smoked Sliced Bacon is great for those special mornings breakfasts.

Sold Out Waffles

August 16, 2016

Chocolate Sparrow

Orleans Massachusetts is a quiet little village of Cape Cod, during the summer months the town increases it size as many tourist visits some of the best beaches of Cape Cod. While many tourists stop at the local Dunkin Donuts to get their coffee, the locals know that the best place to go is the Chocolate Sparrow.

Their tag line is ... It's a local coffee shop that is so much more. From their website:

With the love of chocolate and a loan, we started The Chocolate Sparrow, a simple candy shop, in 1989 in North Eastham. Gradually we learned the art of making fine chocolate and the business of selling it. In 1991 we opened a summer shop in Wellfleet. Two years later in Orleans, we opened The Hot Chocolate Sparrow, a cafe complete with coffee from around the world, desserts of every indulgence, and our own hand-dipped chocolates.
Chocolate Sparrow

Choices a Plenty

Regardless on when you visit the Chocolate Sparrow, you'll encounter a bit of a wait. This is a good thing, as you can use this time to look at the chalkboard and all figure out what you want to order. They have a lot of excellent choices. (15 different types of Syrups to spice up your coffee)

Yes, people are crazy enough to order Hot Chocolate on a hot summer July day. Everyone else will settle for the Frozen Hot Chocolate, which is much better than anything that Dunkin Donuts makes.

Directly in front of you is a great selection of pastries to enjoy with your drink. Can you find the pastry that packs the highest chocolate option? After all, this is the Chocolate Sparrow.

Gluten free Options

The Chocolate Sparrow is Celiac friendly and they have a good selection of snacks to choose from. Many of these are made elsewhere and package well to prevent any cross contamination concerns. Others pastries are displayed in a special gluten free shelf.

You can find White Lion Baking Company Cinnamon Bun Muffins, Blueberry Muffin, Chunky Monkey Muffins and Paleo Power Muffins. White Lion is a local baking company located in Mashpee, Massachusetts.

They also have gluten free cookies and brownies too.

Its a great place to take our daughter when she is looking for a treat after a fun day of swimming at Ocean Edge Resort. She can enjoy a nice Frozen Hot Chocolate. Not only are they Celiac Friendly, but they are kids friendly. When my daughter dropped her drink outside they replaced it with no cost and very nicely asked her to be very careful with the second one.

Lots of Sweets

One of the things we like about the Chocolate Sparrow is they sell dog treats dipped in safe-for-dogs chocolate. We get this for our neighbors who watch our cats while we are away.

The Chocolate Sparrow has a lot of delicious candy and fudge too.

Go for the Hot Chocolate, stay for the delicious homemade fudge!