Monday, March 31, 2014

Still searching for a decent hot dog bun

To celebrate baseball's opening day, I decided to have hot dogs. Unfortunately, it wasn't as enjoyable as I'd hoped.

The hot dog itself isn't a problem. Most hot dogs are naturally gluten free and I bought Nathan's brand, which claims on the label that they are gluten free.

But as always, the bun was, well, mediocre. From my experience, gluten-free hot dog buns range from stale and awful to mediocre, and this was no different.

I found Rudi's gluten-free hot dog buns on sale at Publix about a month ago so I bought them and kept them around in the freezer, anticipating the baseball season. They looked different than other hot dog buns I've tried, so I was somewhat optimistic.

But they weren't very good, and one of the two buns I had crumbled in my hands.

I've been encouraged recently by improvements in gluten-free hamburger buns, so I'm wondering: why is so hard to make a good gluten-free hot dog bun?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Almost everything gluten free at Corner Taco

I finally made it to Corner Taco yesterday. I've been waiting forever to try them, since I first read about their gluten-free tacos on their food truck from glutenfreejacksonville.

The problem is I'm hardly every downtown and the Corner Taco truck was always located somewhere near downtown, and when I was downtown, I didn't know where to find it.

But, Corner Taco recently opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Five Points at 818 Post St. So when I was in the neighborhood yesterday, I knew where to go.

The menu doesn't say anything about gluten free but when I asked what is gluten free, I was told everything but the croutons on the salad are gluten free. The tacos are made with corn tortillas.

I got a couple of chicken tacos. They were good, kind of reminding me of Taco Lu's tacos. My only complaint was that it seemed to take forever to get them. In a place where you go up to the counter and order, I generally expect it to be faster.

But that's okay. There are a lot of other tacos on the menu I'd like to try, so I'll be back.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Glutino's new breads seem the same

Glutino said it developed a new recipe for its breads, which are available in local supermarkets. They sent me loaves of their white and multigrain breads to try out.

They are okay, but I really couldn't tell the difference between the new recipe and the old recipe. I think if you liked Glutino's breads in the past, you will like these as well.

I still have to say the best gluten-free bread deal going right now is a 30-ounce loaf of Udi's bread which is available only in Costco. It sells for $6.79 and it seems like the quality is better than the Udi's bread that is available in the supermarket. I don't know why.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dr. Oz does it again

I really wish Dr. Oz would stop talking about the gluten-free diet because he really does us a disservice.

If you're interested, check out this blog post about his appearance with Seth Myers

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Going hungry again in spring training

Once again, I've completed a Florida spring training tour with very little to eat.

I visited four different ballparks this month and none of them offered any appealing gluten-free options. I was able again to eat a chef's salad at the Boar's Head booth at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, because everything Boar's Head produces is gluten free. But that's not my idea of great ballpark food. For the most part, my options were down to peanuts and popcorn.

And obviously I didn't find any gluten-free beer.

I didn't visit the Phillies' ballpark in Clearwater, which has had gluten-free hot dog buns in the past.
Space Coast Stadium

I was doing some calculations in my head. Most of these games draw 5,000 to 10,000 people. If 6 percent of the population is gluten intolerant, that's potentially 300 to 600 gluten-free customers every game. Surely that would be enough for these teams to stock a few packages of gluten-free hot dog buns at maybe one concession stand. Most hot dogs are inherently gluten free.

And I've brought up the point before that it wouldn't take much for anybody that serves Budweiser to stock a few cases of Redbridge beer, which is also made by Anheuser-Busch.

Of course, I planned for this in advance and made sure I ate before going to the ballpark. But I have to admit I was suffering from gluten-free blues as I smelled all that unhealthy junk food and watched everybody else chow down on it. Sigh.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Another St. Johns Town Center option

Some people might complain about the restaurant choices at the St. Johns Town Center because they are mainly big chain restaurants. But from my point of view, the Town Center is an oasis because just about every restaurant there has appealing gluten-free options.

Last night I visited BlackFinn American Grille for the first time. The nice thing about its menu is that there are a number of choices marked on the menu as either "gluten free" or "available as gluten free," meaning they can be modified to suit us.

I saw several good choices on the dinner menu. I chose a shrimp stir fry, which includes rice noodles and is marked as "gluten free." It was very good. I really can't remember having a dish like that anywhere in quite a while.

The waiter seemed to understand my problems and took care of me. My salad was late in arriving and he came over and explained that they originally prepared my salad with croutons and when he saw that, he told them to make me another salad.

I looked at the lunch menu online and it's not as appealing -- there are only a couple of salads marked as gluten free. But I would highly recommend BlackFinn as a dinner option.