Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bakery with gluten-free products coming to Riverside

There's a new bakery that will feature gluten-free products coming to the Riverside area in Jacksonville.
You can read all about it in my colleague Karen Mathis' column in today's Financial News & Daily Record:


Monday, August 13, 2012

Jaguars seem committed to accommodating gluten-free fans

One final note on my Jaguars gluten-free experience Friday night. I e-mailed Hussain Naqi, the Jaguars new senior vice president for fan experience, to tell him about the minor problems I encountered and I received this almost immediate response:

"We are committed to making sure we have a robust gluten-free offering."

I really do feel good about what the Jaguars are doing to accommodate gluten-free fans.

I wish I felt as good about Comcast customer service. I know this has nothing to do with gluten-free dining but this is my blog so I feel like venting about it.
To make a long story short, let's just say that I wish the customer service representatives who take calls about problems with my cable TV service actually had some knowledge about cable TV service.
I felt like I was in a DirecTV commercial where my frustration with the cable company would trigger a chain of events that ended with me waking up in roadside ditch.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Gluten-free at EverBank Field

It wasn't perfect but on balance, I have to say I was very happy with my gluten-free experience at last night's Jaguars preseason opener.
The first thing I did upon arrival was to go straight to the Bud Light Party Zone to order a beer. I asked the bartender for a gluten-free beer, and she gave me a strange look. Then I asked for Redbridge or Bard's and she understood and began looking through the coolers.
She found a Redbridge and told me there was only one left. It was loud and I really couldn't carry on the conversation any further so I was not able to find out if they also had Bard's, or why they only had one Redbridge left. But I was happy to get a beer.
Then things got even better. She held up five fingers to tell me it was $5. I paid $11 for a bottle of Redbridge at the stadium last year!
If you've ever had a beer of any kind at any stadium, you know that $5 is a remarkable price, so I was very excited. But I'm wondering if this was some kind of pre-game happy hour special in the Bud Zone. I'll have to check into that further.
Also, she just handed me the glass bottle of Redbridge. I thought fans were not supposed to have glass bottles in their hands (because drunk fans tend to throw them). Last year, they poured my 12-ounce Redbridge into a 32-ounce plastic cup.
After finishing my beer, I went off into the stadium concourse to look for a gluten-free hot dog. I stopped at the first Stadium Classics stand and asked if they had hot dogs on gluten-free buns.
The guy looked a little puzzled but he immediately asked someone else, and she produced a package of Udi's buns. I was going to get my dog! I was even more excited.
And there was no extra charge for the gluten-free bun. The hot dog was $5, the same that everyone else pays.
Also, the bun was fresh! My last major stadium experience with gluten-free hot dogs was a Tampa Bay Rays game at Tropicana Field, and the buns were notably stale.
I was so anxious to eat my hot dog that I forgot to take a photo of it, which I had planned to do. Oh well.
I probably should have asked if they could change gloves before handling the gluten-free bun, but I didn't.
After I finished the dog, I decided to circle the lower concourse to see if the other beer stands that were supposed to stock Redbridge had Redbridge available (I was also curious about the price). I stopped at a couple of beer carts that I thought should have had it and asked if they had Redbridge, and the answer was no.
So that was the one glitch in the system. But it was the first game, and I am confident that the Jaguars will fix that once I tell them about it. I really do get the impression that they want to do things right.
Overall, it was a very good gluten-free experience.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Gluten-free baking conversions

I don't bake, and I don't anticipate doing any baking anytime soon, so I can't say for certain that this chart is useful. But it sure looks useful, so I thought I'd share it with anyone who is interested. It's a gluten-free baking conversion chart from a restaurant and kitchen supply company called the Orson H. Gygi Company.



Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gluten-free hot dogs and beer at Jaguars games!

The gluten-free world is taking another step forward in Jacksonville.
The Jacksonville Jaguars tell me that they will have gluten-free hot dogs and beer available this season at EverBank Field.
I know they had Redbridge available last year, but it was nearly impossible to find, as I detailed last year (http://jaxglutenfreeglutton.blogspot.com/2011/11/it-wasnt-easy-but-i-finally-got-to.html). But I get the feeling that the new management will make it easier. For one thing, the beer will be available in the Bud Zone (which was not the case last year). And in addition to Redbridge, they'll also be selling Bard's.
Meanwhile, they also tell me that there will be gluten-free dogs and buns available at the "Stadium Classics" concession stands!
I'll be writing more about this in my monthly Times-Union column next week in the Taste section. And I'll be going to the first exhibition game to see how well everything works.