Tuesday, February 6, 2018

No gluten-free doughnuts at the Mini Bar

I was looking forward to the opening of the Mini Bar, a new doughnut shop in Jacksonville Beach, because it was promising to offer fresh gluten-free doughnuts. At least that's what the Times-Union story said.

So I went to visit this morning and found, of course, they don't have gluten-free doughnuts.

We can talk about how unreliable the Times-Union has become since they whittled the staff down to nothing, but let's talk about the doughnuts instead.

Basically, they told me they are considering offering gluten-free doughnuts, but they haven't figured out a way to do it safely (free from cross-contamination) and to keep them fresh. They considered making a separate batch of gluten-free doughnuts early in the morning before they start making the other doughnuts, but then they might not be able to keep them fresh.

So, we still have to do without fresh gluten-free doughnuts.

Sigh.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Party City calls celiacs "gross"

I thought we had moved past this and it's been an awfully long time since I've posted anything on this subject (I mostly post these days when I find something new to eat).

But you should read this post from the Gluten Dude, one of the top bloggers out there. I haven't seen this ad and I don't want to, but apparently this retailer called Party City was running an ad which makes fun of celiacs, referring to "people like that" and saying it's "gross."

It's just a reminder that when Celiac Awareness Month comes up, we still have work to do.

You can read the blog here:

https://glutendude.com/media/party-city-calls-celiacs-gross/

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Jersey Mike's does gluten-free right

I walked into a Jersey Mike's today for the first time, after they rolled out their gluten-free subs this week, and I was impressed.

I ordered a gluten-free sub, and the worker immediately went to change his gloves. I complimented him on that move and he told me this was his first gluten-free order, but he was obviously trained well. Jersey Mike's appears to have a very good gluten-free procedure.

After changing gloves, the worker proceded to wipe down the meat slicer. I think he actually went overboard cleaning it, but I did appreciate it. When he was done, he changed gloves again.

Then he took a gluten-free sub roll out of the wrapper and placed it on a clean tray. That's also part of the procedure -- they use the tray to ensure that my sub doesn't come in contact with surfaces where other subs were made.

And finally, the procedure requires that the one worker who started it with fresh gloves completes the sub, rather than hand it off to another worker.

I definitely was impressed with it all.

I ordered a simple sub -- turkey and provolone -- because it was the special of the day. It was good. I'll probably try more adventurous subs on future visits. And there will be future visits, because I felt very good about the whole experience.

This particular Jersey Mike's was in the Winn-Dixie shopping center on Baymeadows Road, off of I-295. I have to assume that other locations have the same procedures.

So if you're in the neighborhood of one, you'll want to give it a try.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Jersey Mike's introduces gluten-free sub rolls

According to a story posted by Nation's Restaurant News, Jersey Mike's Subs will be offering a gluten-free bun at its stores nationwide beginning next month.

This is great news. Jersey Mike's has at least 10 stores in the Jacksonville area that I counted on its website.

Currently, the only sub chain in the area with gluten-free buns is Larry's Giant Subs. Larry's is a local chain and I eat there often, but it's always nice to have other options.

According to the story, Jersey Mike's worked with the Gluten Intolerance Group to train its staff to deal with cross contamination issues, which is also good news.

The story says there will be a $1.50 surcharge for regular gluten-free buns and $3 for giant subs.

You can read the full story here:

www.nrn.com/food-trends/jersey-mike-s-roll-out-gluten-free-bun-systemwide

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Lots of food options at EverBank Field

I finally got to EverBank Field today for a gluten-free food tasting hosted by Delaware North, the company that took over the Jaguars' concessions last year.

The concessions menu is still a work in progress, executive chef Sean Kinoshita told me, but you'll be amazed at the gluten-free options you can find at the stadium this year.

We were supposed to do this food tasting before the Jaguars' first home game, but Hurricane Irma ruined that plan and we were finally able to do it today. It's still timely, with the Florida-Georgia game coming up Saturday (these same food items will be available there) followed by Jaguars home games on back-to-back Sundays.
A sampling of the gluten-free food
choices at EverBank Field.

The options are numerous, from several varieties of hot dogs and sausages on gluten-free buns as well as hamburgers, barbecued pork and smoked turkey.

And you can get a combo with french fries because, yes, the french fries are cooked in a dedicated fryer.

Kinoshita and the Delaware North staff are keenly aware of cross-contamination issues and Kinoshita said he has been working with the concession staff to make sure they understand the importance of it.

We also got to sample varieties of nachos (I really liked the barbecued port nachos) and a burrito bowl with chicken and/or pork.

You can find these food items at concession stands throughout the stadium, and the Jaguars' website has a pretty good guide on where to find them:

www.jaguars.com/glutenfree

The one drawback is there is gluten-free cider available, but still no gluten-free beer. But the staff indicated they will work on getting Redbridge or some other gluten-free beer.

Like I said, the menu is still a work in progress, but I'm very happy with the progress I've seen so far. I plan on eating at my next visit to EverBank Field when the Jaguars return home next month.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Jaguars gluten-free guide

As I said in the previous post, I was scheduled to visit the Jaguars this week to find out about gluten-free options at EverBank Field this year.

Needless to say, that visit was cancelled after Irma, but they did send me a link to a helpful new web page that tells you where you can find gluten-free options.

I expect to visit the stadium before the next home game in October to learn more about these items and -- importantly -- how safe they are for celiacs and others with gluten intolerance. Remember, I had a very bad experience a couple of years ago at EverBank Field.

So if you're going to the opener Sunday, you may want to ask questions before ordering anything. But you'll want to check out the webpage:

                                               Jaguars gluten-free guide

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Give Aldi hot dog buns a try

Before the storm, I visited the new Aldi at the Town Center. I like Aldi because of its in-house gluten-free brand, called liveGfree, which has a variety of products.

When I went to the new store, I found something I hadn't seen at the other Aldi stores in the area: gluten-free hamburger and hot dog buns.

I was particularly interested in the hot dog buns because, as you may or may not know, I have been searching for a decent gluten-free hot dog bun for more than six years. They don't seem to exist.

I picked up the liveGfree hot dog buns and they seemed soft -- usually, gluten-free hot dog buns seem stale, no matter what you do to them (toast, microwave, etc.). So of course I bought them.

Irma delayed my taste test but when I visited Publix yesterday after the storm, I found it well-stocked with hot dogs. So I figured this was the time to try the buns.

The verdict? They weren't great, but they were definitely softer and better than other gluten-free hot dog buns I've tried. I'd say if you're determined to eat hot dogs, these are buns you will definitely want to check out.

Speaking of Irma, with the first Jaguars home game coming up Sunday, the team had actually invited me to visit and try out their gluten-free items for the upcoming season. Obviously, we had to postpone that this week, and I don't know what they'll be offering. But hopefully, I'll be able to visit before the next home game and give a full report.