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January 25, 2024

A Sub Zero Treat in Ashland, Mass.

A Haven for the Celiac Sweet Tooth

Ashland Sub Zero

Nestled in the quaint streets of Downtown Ashland, Massachusetts, there's a unique ice cream experience that's churning up a storm, quite literally, with liquid nitrogen. Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream isn't just your typical ice cream parlor - it's a place where dessert dreams crystallize right before your eyes. And for my daughter, who navigates through the tricky waters of Celiac disease, it's a safe harbor of sweet indulgence.

Crafting Joy, One Scoop at a Time

The moment you step into Sub Zero, you're greeted by more than just the frosty mist of nitrogen. It's a warm welcome that assures you: here, they understand the gravity of dietary restrictions. As a parent to a vibrant 13-year-old with Celiac, dining out is often a game of Russian roulette with gluten. But at Sub Zero, they played the game for us, ensuring that the only surprise was in the delight of the flavors.

Sub Zero Juliana
Juliana watching them make her Ice Cream

A Chocolatey Triumph

My daughter's eyes usually scan menus with a mix of hope and caution, but here, they sparkled with unguarded excitement. She settled on a classic - chocolate ice cream drizzled with decadent chocolate syrup. A simple choice, but not so simple when cross-contamination looms around like an ever-present shadow. However, Sub Zero's staff, armed with knowledge and empathy, guaranteed a safe creation of her chocolate haven.

Beyond the Norm

What makes Sub Zero stand out, aside from their dramatic nitrogen clouds, is their commitment to customer satisfaction. They didn't just serve my daughter an ice cream. They served her an experience dipped in care and topped with assurance. Each step, from choosing ingredients to the final nitrogen blast, was a testament to their dedication to safety and quality.

Ice Cream- Gluten Free- Sub Zero
Gluten Free Ice Cream Treat

A Winter's Delight

You might question the sanity of opting for ice cream on a cold winter night in New England. But isn't ice cream a comfort food for all seasons? Sub Zero proves it is. The chill outside didn't stand a chance against the warmth that filled us as we watched my daughter enjoy her ice cream worry-free. It was more than dessert; it was a scoop of normalcy, a taste of childhood unrestricted by Celiac's boundaries.

Final Thoughts

Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream in Ashland isn't just doing ice cream differently; they're doing it right. For those with Celiac or other dietary constraints, finding a place that combines fun, flavor, and freedom from gluten is rare. But as we stepped out into the frosty air, with smiles as wide as the scoop in her bowl, it was clear - we'd found a gem.

If you're in the area, or even if you're not, Sub Zero is worth the trip. It's a place where every order is crafted with care, and every customer is treated with the utmost importance. For my daughter and the many others like her, it's not just about the ice cream. It's about the experience of joy without compromise.

Remember, every bite counts when it's made with love - and a dash of nitrogen.

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January 18, 2024

A Gluten-Free Delight at The Main Pie Company

Treat from Whole Foods

Hello, dear foodies and health-conscious friends! Today, I'm thrilled to share a delightful discovery that has sweetened our family's dining experiences - The Main Pie Company, a hidden gem in the world of gluten-free desserts.

The Maine Pie

A Culinary Challenge Turned Triumph

As many of you know, my 13-year-old daughter has Celiac, making our quest for safe yet delicious foods a constant adventure. The journey led us to The Main Pie Company, a purveyor of gluten-free dessert pies that defy the norm.

The Main Pie Company - A Revelation in Gluten-Free Baking

Tucked in the heart of New England, The Main Pie Company stands as a beacon for those seeking gluten-free options without compromising on taste. Their range of dessert pies is so delectable that you'd be forgiven for forgetting they are gluten-free!

The Taste Test - A Family Affair

Our first encounter with these pies was nothing short of a revelation. Upon baking (yes, these beauties require a little oven love), the aroma wafting through our kitchen was heavenly. The crust, often a tricky aspect in gluten-free baking, was perfectly crisp and golden. And the filling? Pure bliss!

The Surprise Element

When I served these pies, I didn't reveal their gluten-free nature. The unanimous verdict around the dinner table was one of pure enjoyment. The surprise on my family's faces when I shared the gluten-free secret was priceless!

Convenience Meets Quality

While these pies aren't your "take out of the box and warm" type, the baking process is straightforward and utterly worth the effort. It's a small step for a giant leap in flavor and texture.

Accessibility - A Pie for Everyone

One of the best things about The Main Pie Company is the accessibility of their products. Available in Whole Foods Stores throughout New England, these pies are just a short drive away for a vast majority of you.

Conclusion - A Must-Try for All

Whether you're gluten intolerant or just a lover of good pie, The Main Pie Company deserves a spot on your dining table. Their commitment to quality and flavor in the gluten-free space is commendable and a big win for the food community.

So, next time you're in the mood for a sweet treat, remember The Main Pie Company. Who knows, it might just become your new favorite dessert destination!

Happy Eating!

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January 11, 2024

Gluten-Free Evening at Madonna's Celebration Tour

TD Garden Gluten Free Options

Enjoying the Queen of Pop with Celiac in Tow

Attending Madonna's electrifying Celebration Tour at TD Garden in Boston was not just a musical treat but also a pleasant culinary journey for us, particularly for my 13-year-old daughter who has Celiac. The challenge of finding gluten-free options at a large concert venue like TD Garden was daunting, but our experience was surprisingly positive.

Gluten-Free Options at TD Garden

TD Garden, renowned for hosting spectacular events like Madonna's tour, also stands out for its accommodation of diverse dietary needs. They offer gluten-free buns, a great option for those looking to enjoy traditional concert fare safely. However, my daughter, not in the mood for a hot dog despite the gluten-free bun, had her eyes set on something else.

TD Garden Celiac
Nacho Tray at the TD Garden

Nachos: The Gluten-Free Hero

The star of the evening, apart from Madonna herself, were the nachos. Initially, I was apprehensive, questioning their safety for my daughter. But we were assured that the nachos were made with corn, a safe bet for gluten-free diets. My daughter enjoyed them thoroughly, and much to our relief, she experienced no stomach issues within the subsequent 24 hours.

Popcorn: A Safe and Tasty Treat

The popcorn at TD Garden deserves a special mention. It's not only gluten-free but also exceptionally delicious. Finding tasty and safe gluten-free snacks can be a challenge, but TD Garden's popcorn passed the test with flying colors.

Dining Advice for Concert-Goers with Celiac

For those attending concerts or events at TD Garden and managing dietary restrictions, here's a piece of advice: Enjoy dinner outside the arena. Boston boasts a plethora of restaurants with diverse gluten-free options. After a delightful meal, head to the concert and indulge in some light snacks like the scrumptious nachos or popcorn at the venue. This strategy ensures a fulfilling and worry-free experience.

Madonna Boston
View from Row 3, Section 302. Not a bad location for a concert at the TD Garden.

Reflections on Our Madonna Concert Experience

Our evening at Madonna's Celebration Tour was an eye-opener in terms of managing Celiac in such large venues. It was a joy to see my daughter relishing her snacks just like everyone else, without the looming fear of gluten. A big shout-out to TD Garden for their inclusive approach to food, ensuring everyone, irrespective of dietary needs, enjoys their time to the fullest.

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January 4, 2024

Exploring the New Sugar Factory in Boston

A Celiac Perspective

Nestled in the bustling heart of Quincy Market, near the historic Faneuil Hall, Boston has welcomed a new culinary delight - The Sugar Factory. This vibrant spot, known for its dazzling array of signature drinks and Insta-worthy ambiance, has recently opened its doors, inviting locals and tourists alike to indulge in its sweet treats and savory offerings. However, as a parent of a 13-year-old with Celiac disease, my visit to the Sugar Factory was tinged with both excitement and caution.

Upon entering the Sugar Factory, you are immediately enveloped in a kaleidoscope of colors and the tantalizing aroma of sugary confections. It's a place where whimsy and gastronomy dance together, creating a lively atmosphere that's hard to resist. But for those with Celiac disease, the experience requires a more discerning approach.

Firstly, it's important to note that the Sugar Factory isn't a Celiac-safe haven for meals. While the menu is sprinkled with delightful options, the kitchen doesn't have a dedicated area for gluten-free food preparation. This means that cross-contamination is a possibility, a concern that can't be overlooked for anyone with gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease.

The gluten-free buns offered are a thoughtful addition, yet the lack of a dedicated kitchen space dims their appeal. During our visit, when we ordered the "Signature Sugar Factory Burger" with a lettuce wrap, hoping to make it gluten-free, there was a mix-up. Despite our explicit discussion about Celiac disease, the burger arrived embraced by crispy buns and was accompanied by French fries - which we were told shared a fryer with gluten-containing items. This oversight highlighted the potential risks of dining here for those with strict gluten-free requirements.

Sugar Factory Boston
"Signature Sugar Factory Burger" with a lettuce wrap

That being said, the server was knowledgeable about the menu and did understand our concerns about gluten. It seemed like a training issue rather than a lack of awareness about gluten allergies.

If you're visiting for the meals, I would advise caution. The cross-contamination risks are significant, and while the staff seems aware of gluten issues, the kitchen setup doesn't support a completely safe experience for Celiacs. However, there's a silver lining in their signature drinks. These visually stunning beverages are a delight, and with a clear conversation about your gluten allergy, they can be a safe choice. Just remember, these drinks are famous on Pinterest, and their recipes are set in stone for consistency in those viral pictures, so customizations are limited.

In conclusion, while the Sugar Factory in Boston is a feast for the senses and a joy for those seeking a visually captivating dining experience, it presents challenges for those with Celiac disease. For families like mine, where gluten is a serious concern, I recommend sticking to the drinks and enjoying the lively atmosphere, while being vigilant about your dietary needs. As always, when in doubt, speak up about your allergies, and make informed choices about where and what you eat.

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September 28, 2023

Vegan Travel Advice: How to Eat Well Wherever You Go

Useful Guide for Travel Planning

Whether you're a lifelong vegan or just starting to explore a plant-based diet, traveling can be a challenge. But it doesn't have to be! With Loveholidays' vegan travel guide, you can find all the information and resources you need to plan a delicious and hassle-free vegan vacation.

The guide covers everything from the best vegan restaurants and hotels around the world to tips on eating vegan on a budget and communicating your dietary needs in different languages. The guide also has a dedicated section on vegan travel destinations, with recommendations for places where vegans can thrive, from the vegan-friendly streets of Bangkok to the plant-based paradise of Costa Rica.

Here are just a few of the things you'll find in the vegan travel guide:

  • Vegan-friendly destinations: The document compiled a list of the best places to visit for vegans, from major cities with thriving vegan scenes to lesser-known gems with plenty of plant-based options.
  • Vegan restaurants and hotels: The guide includes a searchable directory of vegan restaurants and hotels around the world, so you can easily find places to eat and stay that cater to your dietary needs.
  • Vegan travel tips: The document shares the top tips for eating vegan on a budget, communicating your dietary needs in different languages, and packing for a vegan vacation.
  • Vegan recipes: The document included a selection of our favorite vegan recipes, so you can cook your own delicious meals while on the go.

For Celiacs, this is a great guide to finding fun places to visit because chances are restaurants that offer Vegan foods offer Gluten Free foods too!

Practical Guide Vegan
https://www.loveholidays.com/holidays/vegan-travel-guide/

Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or a round-the-world trip, Loveholidays' vegan travel guide is the perfect resource for you. So start planning your next vegan adventure today!

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September 21, 2023

Homemade Popcorn Like the Movies

Interesting Tip

I found this interesting tidbit on how to make excellent popcorn. Obviously, this is a gluten-free recipe.

Thirty-odd years ago, I worked in a movie theater that was voted as having the best popcorn in our city. I made quite a bit of that popcorn. We had two simple tricks to great crunchy popcorn. The first was to use double the oil. The second was to let it dry out overnight and reheat it the next day. Busy weekends always drove down the quality as it never had the chance to dry out completely. At the concession stand, we were always asked how fresh the popcorn was. "Made it half an hour ago," was the standard response.

This might be fun to try on a Friday night for a Saturday night movie. I'll have to make sure to make plenty because I don't want to run out if its a hit.

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September 14, 2023

Flourless Coconut Macaroons from Wilson Farms

What a great treat!

If you are looking for a delicious gluten-free treat, look no further than the Flourless Coconut Macaroons from Wilson Farms in Lexington, Massachusetts. These little bites of heaven are not only gluten-free, but they are also incredibly tasty.

Made with only a handful of ingredients, these macaroons are a simple yet satisfying treat. The main ingredient, of course, is coconut. The coconut is shredded and combined with just the right amount of sweetness to create a perfectly balanced flavor. These macaroons are not overly sweet, which allows the natural flavor of the coconut to shine through.

Coconut Macaroons Wilson Farm

What sets the Flourless Coconut Macaroons from Wilson Farms apart from others is their texture. They have a crisp exterior and a soft, chewy interior. The combination of textures makes each bite a delightful experience. Whether you prefer to savor them slowly or devour them all at once, these macaroons are sure to please.

Another great thing about these macaroons is that they are gluten-free. For those with gluten sensitivities or dietary restrictions, finding delicious treats can be a challenge. But Wilson Farms has come to the rescue with these flourless coconut macaroons. They are a guilt-free indulgence that you can enjoy without worrying about any gluten-related issues.

Located in Lexington, Massachusetts, Wilson Farms is a local farm and market that prides itself on providing fresh, high-quality products. Their Flourless Coconut Macaroons are a testament to their commitment to excellence. Each macaroon is made with care and attention to detail, resulting in a treat that is both delicious and visually appealing.

So, if you find yourself in Lexington, Massachusetts, make sure to stop by Wilson Farms and pick up a box of their Flourless Coconut Macaroons. They are the perfect gluten-free treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you wanting more. Don't miss out on this delightful delicacy!

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September 7, 2023

AOI Framingham

Great Gluten Free options

A O I- Framingham
AOI Framingham

Aoi Japanese Restaurant is a popular spot for sushi and Japanese cuisine in Framingham, Massachusetts. While it is not a dedicated gluten free facility, the restaurant does offer a number of gluten free options.

Sushi

All of the sushi at Aoi Japanese Restaurant can be made gluten free. The chefs will use gluten free soy sauce and tamari, and they will take care to avoid cross-contamination. Some popular gluten free sushi rolls include:

  • California roll
  • Vegetarian roll
  • Dragon roll
  • Rainbow roll
  • Spicy tuna roll
  • Other Gluten Free Dishes

In addition to sushi, Aoi Japanese Restaurant also offers a number of other gluten free dishes, including:

  • Miso soup
  • Edamame
  • Salad
  • Gyoza (dumplings)
  • Tempura vegetables
  • Chicken teriyaki
  • Salmon teriyaki
  • Asking About Gluten Free Options

When ordering at Aoi Japanese Restaurant, it is always a good idea to ask your server about the gluten free options. The chefs will be happy to answer any questions you have and make sure that your meal is safe for you to eat.

Overall, Aoi Japanese Restaurant is a great option for gluten free diners who are looking for a delicious and authentic Japanese meal. With its wide variety of gluten free options, you are sure to find something to your taste.

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August 31, 2023

Tavern on the Square

New Framingham Location

There is a new restaurant at Shoppers World Framingham, Tavern on the Square, which has opened in the previously occupied area by John Harvard's. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more. It also has an extensive bar menu with craft beer and cocktails. The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, making it a great spot for a relaxed dinner or lunch.

John Harvard Tavern Square
John Harvard in 2019 and Tavern on the Square in 2023. (Same Location)

Situated in the heart of Framingham, the new Tavern on the Square location boasts a spacious and inviting ambiance. The restaurant's elegant decor, cozy seating arrangements, and warm lighting create a welcoming setting for guests to relax and enjoy their dining experience. Whether you're visiting for a casual lunch with friends or a romantic dinner for two, Tavern on the Square provides the perfect backdrop for any occasion.

Five things we learned

  • We used to have to drive a considerable distance to other locations, so we are happy this restaurant is so close. The convenience of this new restaurant has been a great blessing to us. We really like the way they have changed the place from John Harvard. It is much more spacious and brighter than before.
  • Appetizer Choice: Chicken wings are my daughter's favorite appetizer. She hasn't found a restaurant that offers gluten-free wings. Her all time favorite was Durgin Park.
  • The restaurant manager came to our table to deliver the gluten free wings. He informed us that 79% of the menu items could be made gluten free, and that the servers are well-trained on what items can be made gluten free.
  • Dinner Choice: Fish and Chips. It is one of the few places in New England that sells Gluten Free Fish and Chips. My daughter says they are good and crispy. She waited all day for the meal and wasn't disappointed.
  • Desert Choice: My daughter ordered the Flourless Chocolate Cake. She said it was delicious. Her only complaint was the portion size was small.

tavern Square Framingham
Gluten Free Fish and Chips, Wings, and Flourless Chocolate Cake

We'll be Back!

It was a pleasure eating at The Tavern on the Square. We are looking forward to going back! Right now the restaurant is really busy - as other people are excited about the new location. You can make reservations online - just make them far in advance. The wait can be more than an hour during business hours.

It will be nice to have another local restaurant for my daughter to visit. She is looking forward to trying out other dishes on future visits. I think she will love the Tavern Burger with Tator Tots!

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August 24, 2023

Keltic Kitchen

West Yarmouth, Massachusetts

When it comes to finding gluten free options while dining out, it can sometimes be a challenge. However, our recent experience at the Keltic Kitchen in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts proved to be a pleasant surprise. Not only did they offer a variety of gluten free options, but the quality and taste of the food surpassed our expectations.

Keltic Kitchen Gluten Free

One dish that truly stood out was their gluten free French toast. The texture and flavor were on par with its gluten-filled counterpart, leaving us fully satisfied. The Keltic Kitchen's attention to detail and commitment to providing delicious gluten free options really shone through in this dish.

Aside from the gluten free french toast, the menu at the Keltic Kitchen offered a wide range of other gluten free options as well. Whether you're in the mood for a hearty breakfast or a satisfying lunch, there's something for everyone. From omelets to salads to traditional Irish dishes, their gluten free offerings are both diverse and delectable.

Not only does the Keltic Kitchen excel in providing gluten free options, but the overall dining experience is also worth mentioning. The restaurant has a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it the perfect place to enjoy a meal with family and friends. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, and they are more than willing to accommodate any dietary restrictions or allergies.

Located at 415 MA-28 West Yarmouth, Massachusetts, right on the main street of Cape Cod. The Keltic Kitchen offers gluten free breakfast options to everyone. If you're a local or just passing through, you won't be disappointed by the variety of available delicious options.

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About

This series of posts will cover some tips and tricks that I have learned about my twelve-year-old daughter's gluten-free lifestyle in the Boston area. Gluten-free eating can be challenging in any big city, but especially in Boston due to the high number of restaurants and availability of options. I've been learning what I can to make sure my daughter can still enjoy eating out, and I want to share what I've learned so that other families in the same situation can benefit.

Check out all the blog posts.

Schedule

SaturdayInternet Tools
SundayOpen Topic
MondayMedia Monday
TuesdayQA
WednesdayNew England
ThursdayGluten Free
FridayMacintosh