Monday, November 28, 2016

Some encouraging gluten-free developments

Just a few notes of things I discovered last week.

First, and at least to me most important, I talked to Jaguars President Mark Lamping on a completely unrelated matter but of course took advantage of the opportunity to talk about gluten-free concessions at EverBank Field.

I told him I was disappointed that the new vendor wasn't offering gluten-free beer this year and he seemed receptive to the idea of offering it in the future. Between that and my previous contact with the vendor, I hope the gluten-free offerings will be better next year. Because of the limited gluten-free options and the Jaguars' performance on the field, I haven't found any reason to go to a game this year, but I'm more optimistic about next year.

Secondly, on a visit to Ruby Tuesday's, I discovered they've now added a gluten-free pasta option to their menu. I didn't try it, but I am pleased to see this chain continuing to expand its gluten-free options.

You may recall several months ago I posted that Ruby Tuesday's offers a gluten-free bun option for burgers, and has some other gluten-free entrees. No, they don't have a dedicated gluten-free cooking space but I still consider this good news.

Finally, Uno Pizzeria & Grill announced it is offering a new gluten-free pizza crust at its restaurants. We don't have Uno's restaurants in Jacksonville but I have written about how disappointed I was when I tried the gluten-free pizza at its restaurant in Kissimmee.

This change tells me that Uno must have realized how bad the previous gluten-free crust was and decided to do something about it. I'm sure I'll get around to revisiting Uno at some point.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Allergy labeling for holiday meals

As we approach the holidays, here's an interesting idea from ConsumerSafety.org to make sure everyone can eat safely at a holiday meal:

Put an allergy label alongside every dish so everyone knows what's in it, and whether they need to avoid it.

ConsumerSafety.org, which provides food safety and other consumer product safety information, has a link to a printable allergen label in this column on the issue:

https://www.consumersafety.org/news/food/whats-really-in-that-fruitcake-food-allergy-safety-during-the-holidays/

The column also has a link to a consumer survey about food safety and recall issues.

The food label is a great idea if you're hosting a holiday meal. Hopefully, if you're visiting someone else, you can convince the host that it's also a good idea. I think it should be easy when the host gets sick of us pestering them for ingredient information before we eat anything.

Friday, October 28, 2016

M Shack has gluten-free buns

I don't know how long this has been going on, but M Shack is now offering gluten-free buns for its hamburgers.

I had talked to one of the owners a few months ago about this and she said it was under consideration, so I was surprised to see it added to the menu. The restaurant, which has four locations, is charging $2 extra for a gluten-free bun.

I visited the Atlantic Beach restaurant to check it out and unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed. It was a very good tasting burger but the bun, like so many other gluten-free buns, crumbled in my hand.

Also, the French fries are not gluten free. In fact, there is no gluten-free side option to go with your burger.

The M Shack menu does mark burgers and other items that are gluten free with a "GF." Besides burgers and a chicken sandwich, the gluten-free options include shakes.

So anyway, I'm not rushing back to M Shack anytime soon. But it's good to know if you're with a group that wants to go there, you can actually eat a burger.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Burrito Gallery worth a try

Before the storm, I visited the new Burrito Gallery in Jacksonville Beach last week. And since it remains intact and is back in business, I figured it's time to write about it.

I had been to the downtown Burrito Gallery B.C. (before celiac) and liked it, but I seem to remember checking the menu after I went gluten free and not seeing anything we could eat there.

When the new beaches location opened at the corner of Beach and 3rd, I figured it was worth checking again. I didn't see any indications of gluten-free food items on the menu, but I did see a gluten-free beer on the beer list.

As I've said before, it doesn't matter if you drink beer or not, but it's worth checking out gluten-free beer websites to find restaurants that sell the beers. If a restaurant does offer a gluten-free beer, I have to believe the restaurant is at least somewhat gluten-free friendly.

I did see on the menu that tacos are offered with a choice of flour or corn tortillas, so I figured I could give it a try.

The server seemed knowledgeable about gluten-free issues and while she wasn't sure about all of the items, she did help me order a couple of tacos on corn tortillas that seemed to be gluten free. She did point out that the teriyaki taco wouldn't be gluten free because of soy sauce.

So I had two tacos and they were good. They seemed similar to the kind of tacos you would find down the street at TacoLu.

So yes, you can probably eat at Burrito Gallery. You'll want to ask a lot of questions before ordering, but I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Here's a gluten-free emergency food option

It may be too late to get to the store now but if you're trying to find a quick gluten-free item for a hurricane evacuation, here's a good option I found recently.

They're called ThinkThin bars, and they are available in several varieties at Publix for $1.50 each. They are high protein bars that are certified gluten free and have the additional bonus of being sugar free.

I discovered them a couple of months ago when I was stuck in airport desperately looking for something I could eat to get me through the trip, and I've been buying them ever since just to keep around the house. And they were the only specific hurricane-prep food I went out and bought.

If you can get to Publix today, you might want to check them out.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Favorite breakfast item: Glutino English muffins

Glutino sent me a box of goodies to celebrate fall and the back-to-school season. The goodies include several varieties of pretzels, which I like, but I was most happy to see it included my absolute favorite gluten-free breakfast item: Glutino's English muffins.

I've written this before but there are several varieties of gluten-free English muffins and they are mostly quite awful. But Glutino's seem no different that any standard gluten-filled English muffin, at least as far as I can remember what a regular English muffin tastes like (I've been gluten free for almost six years now). I really enjoy them.

This box was delivered at room temperature, which is somewhat unusual because you will usually find the English muffins in the freezer section of your supermarket. Since you have to toast them anyway, that's fine. I generally buy them at Walmart because they seem to be cheaper there than at other stores.

The only product that was new in the goody basket, at least to me, was a box of vegetable crackers. The box says the crackers have "a hint of tomato, oregano and garlic."

I like the crackers. I found them to have a sort of pizza taste, which is always appealing to me.

It was nice to receive the package on a day when a new tropical storm hit the area, even if this storm is completely benign. Since we're at the height of hurricane season for a couple of weeks, I'm now well stocked with snacks if I need shelter from a storm.