Friday, March 29, 2013

Ale House has Omission beer

More good news on the gluten-free beer/sports bar front.

Miller's Jacksonville Ale House at the intersection of Beach and Hodges Boulevards now has Omission on its beer menu.

This is good news on two fronts. It's another place to watch sports with a gluten-free beer, and it's also the first restaurant or bar I've seen that's serving Omission, which has become a favorite of many gluten-free beer drinkers.

By the way, Omission will also be available at The Players Championship golf tournament in May.

The only downside to this news is that there's nothing I want to eat at the Ale House. It has a gluten-free menu, but I feel like telling them "why bother?"

You can get a steak or the seafood catch of the day, but everything else on the gluten-free menu is very unappealing. For example, you can order clams or oysters but the menu says "please order without cocktail sauce."

You can order a salad, but "please order with no salad dressing." Seriously???!!!!

Oh well, at least I can say this is the only place to drink a gluten-free beer and watch hockey -- the Ale House does offer the NHL Home Ice package.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A day for chicken noodle soup

It's ridiculously cold in Jacksonville this morning, at least for the last week in March. So I decided I needed some chicken noodle soup.

I noticed cans of gluten-free chicken noodle soup at Publix recently and seeing that I haven't had that in more than two years, I've been pining for it. So in light of the weather, I decided to pay the ridculously high price ($3.39 for a 15-ounce can). I needed chicken noodle soup.

It's a brand I've never tried called Gluten Free Cafe. The result: it was a little bit bland but otherwise, it was just fine. The noodles tasted just like any other noodles I remember. But at that price, it's not something I'm going to stock up on.

Fortunately, this should be the coldest day we have until next November or December, so I won't be compelled to buy it again for a while. Now I just have to buy my gluten-free hot dogs and buns to get ready for baseball season next week.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Goodbye Gluten wraps coming to Publix

It's been more than two years since I've had a good burrito and I've missed it. There really isn't any local restaurant that offers a gluten-free burrito, because they just don't have big enough gluten-free tortillas to make them.

I've tried to make my own burritos but like other gluten-free bread products, the tortillas crumpled in my hands and left me with a mess.

So I was very pleased to get some samples of new gluten-free wraps from a company called Goodbye Gluten. I haven't seen them in my local store, but the company says they're launching them in Publix stores in Florida.

The first thing I tried was a simple sandwich. I rolled some cold cuts into a wrap and it worked out great. The wrap held together and I enjoyed the sandwich.

Then I tried the real test, making a chicken burrito. I figured the hot chicken strips would be a better test than cold lunch meat.

So I put the chicken and other ingredients on top of the wrap and folded it up. I can't say it completely held up. There was some crumpling but then again, the regular flour-tortilla burritos I used to enjoy also crumpled on me when filled. I do think these wraps held up better than the other gluten-free tortillas I've tried.

Goodbye Gluten also touts the flavor of their wraps, but I've always felt the flavor of the ingredients inside of the wrap is what matters, not the wrap itself. So I can't really say one way or the other if these wraps had better flavor.

So the bottom line is, yes, I think Goodbye Gluten's wraps are worth a try.

Goodbye Gluten wraps come in plan and multigrain varieties (I got to try both). The suggested retail price for a bag of six wraps is $4.99.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bogey Grille has gluten-free beer

Here's good news for NCAA tournament viewing: another Jacksonville area sports bar is now serving gluten-free beer!

Bogey Grille in Ponte Vedra Beach now has Bard's available. This gives sports fans another option if they're looking for a place to drink beer and watch sports.

Unfortunately, I don't know if there's any gluten-free food at Bogeys. I wanted to talk to them about it but the place was absolutely packed and the employees had no time for a conversation. I ate before I went anyway, so it wasn't a problem. But at least I was able to have a couple of beers.

For gluten-free beer and food, I still don't know of a better spot than Time Out Sports Grill on Beach Boulevard, east of Hodges. They have Redbridge beer and a few gluten-free items available, including chicken wings and french fries. They have a separate fryer for gluten-free. Just  make sure you let the server know you need your food to be gluten free.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Peeps for Easter? They say they're gluten free

You may have read the story this week about the 60th anniversary of Peeps. What you may not know about the marshmallow treats is that they are gluten free, according to their manufacturer, Just Born Inc.

Peeps are labeled as gluten free on the back of their package, at least according to the ingredients. But there is a word of caution on the company's website:

"The modified food starch that we use in our candies is corn starch.  However, because some of our products may be manufactured and/or packaged in a facility that may also handle non gluten-free products, we encourage consumers to read the labels carefully for the most up-to-date ingredient and allergen information."

So maybe you can eat Peeps for Easter. Or maybe not. I think the important message here is that Peeps are a reminder that a gluten-free diet is not necessarily a healthy diet, unless you're on a total sugar diet.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One poll's gluten-free results

For your consideration, check out this list of the top gluten-free products and services, as determined by a poll at website

Best Gluten Free Awareness Event: Wolf Blitzer: CNN - Gluten Free Segment
Best Gluten Free Beer: Omission Beer
Best Gluten Free Blog: Gluten-Free Girl
Best Gluten Free Bread Mix: Bob's Red Mill Bread Mix
Best Gluten Free Breakfast On-The-Go: Udi's Muffin Tops
Best Gluten Free Cold Cereal: Honey Nut Rice Chex
Best Gluten Free Comfort Food: Amy's Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese
Best Gluten Free Cook Book: The Gloriously Gluten Free Cookbook
Best Gluten Free Cosmetic Brand: Red Apple Lipstick
Best Gluten Free Cracker: Blue Diamond Nut Thins
Best Gluten Free Dessert Mix: Pamela's Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix
Best Gluten Free Frozen Pancake & Waffles: Van's Gluten Free Waffles
Best Gluten Free Frozen Pizza: Glutino
Best Gluten Free Magazine: Delight Gluten Free Magazine
Best Gluten Free Mobile App: Find Me Gluten Free
Best Gluten Free National Restaurant Chain: P.F. Changs
Best Gluten Free Non-Profit Organization: Celiac Disease Foundation
Best Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix: Pamela's Pancake Mix
Best Gluten Free Pasta: Tinkyada
Best Gluten Free Ready Made Bread: Udi's
Best Gluten Free Ready Made Dessert: Pamela's Cheesecake
Best Gluten Free Sauce: San-J Organic Tamari Soy Sauce
Best Gluten Free Snack Bar: KIND Healthy Snack Bars
Best Gluten Free Social Site: Facebook
Best Gluten Free Supplements: Nature Made MINIs
Best Gluten Free Vacation Destination: Disney World, USA
Best Gluten Free Website:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Gluten-free stops in Tampa and Kissimmee

While I didn't find a lot of gluten-free stuff at the ballpark, I was able to enjoy two good gluten-free dinners at out-of-town restaurants during my spring training trip last week.

The first place I visited was Burger 21 in Tampa, a new chain that I've been looking forward to trying since I first read about it. Obviously, the attraction is gluten-free burgers and buns.

Burger 21 has a gluten-free menu that is more limited than its regular menu, but all I wanted was a burger and fries, so I was satisfied.

My friend who lives near this restaurant told me that he really liked the burgers and the french fries were so-so, and he was right. The french fries were okay, but nothing special. But it was a good burger and very satisfying to be able to have a burger and bun.

My second gluten-free meal was at Giordano's in Kissimmee. Giordano's was one of my favorite deep-dish pizza restaurants in Chicago, and several years back they expanded with a couple of restaurants near Disney. I used to plan trips through Florida so I would be in that area at mealtime so I could stop in for a Giordano's pizza.

That stopped a couple of years ago, obviously, but I was pleased to find out that Giordano's now offers a gluten-free thin crust pizza. It's not as enticing as deep dish, but I wanted to try it.

I really enjoyed the thin crust pizza. It seemed to have the same taste as the Giordano's deep dish pies I loved, just a thin crust. So I was happy.

My only disappointment with these meals was that neither place has gluten-free beer. Burger 21 does have Woodchuck cider on its gluten-free menu, but I wanted a beer.

Oh well.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Batting one for four on spring training games...

I'm pleased to report that, yes, I was able to get a gluten-free hot dog at the Phillies spring training ballpark in Clearwater, Fla.

The hot dog stand behind home plate offers the option of an Udi's bun with your hot dog. And they don't even charge extra for it!

The bun crumpled in my hands, naturally. But I was eating a hot dog at the ballpark!

On the downside, I didn't find gluten-free beer at the park but in fairness, I didn't look too hard. I had club seats for this game (yes, they have club seats at spring training games), and one feature of the club seats was free Bloody Marys and mimosas before the game. So I had a couple of mimosas and really didn't feel the need for beer.

I think mimosas - champagne and orange juice - are gluten free, right?

The rest of my spring training visits this week didn't work out so well. After finding nothing at the Braves ballpark at Disney earlier in the week, I also didn't find much at the Yankees' George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. But at least the Yankees have a Boar's Head stand where I was able to get a chef's salad. All of Boar's Head's stuff is gluten free, so this was good news. It was actually a very good and filling salad, but not necessarily what I had in mind for the ballpark.

My last stop was the Astros' ballpark in Kissimmee, which is also the smallest spring training park in Florida. I didn't expect to find anything there. I noticed they did offer "fresh garden salads" but I wasn't in the mood. I settled for a bag of peanuts again.

So far, Clearwater is the best gluten-free bet.