Friday, April 17, 2015

Not looking good for Blues Fest

I was just walking through the grounds at the Springing the Blues festival (the three-day event that opens tonight in Jacksonville Beach) as they were setting up, looking to see if anything appeared to be gluten free.

I was encouraged to see the list of beverages at the beer tents includes Redd's Apple Ale. At least until I got home and Googled it.

I've never tried Redd's but since most ciders are gluten free, I figured there was a good chance Redd's was too. Sadly, I was mistaken. Even though it has "Apple" in the name, Redd's isn't a cider. It's not gluten free.

So tell me Redd's, why do you put "Apple" in your name? And tell me Springing the Blues, why even bother making this available? A couple of years ago, they had gluten-free Woodchuck cider available, which was nice to see. What's the appeal of Redd's?

The food booths were still a work in progress as I walked through and not all of them had signs up, but I didn't immediately see anything gluten free to eat.

Another disappointment came when I stopped by a new restaurant, Surfing Sombrero, which just opened in the oceanfront spot once occupied by Bukkets. Several restaurants have come and gone quickly since Bukkets.

Anyway, it's a taco place, so I was hopeful that there might be gluten-free options there. But when I asked, the staff said no. Oh well.

But there is a bright side to all of this. Thinking about Mexican food, I realized I had totally forgotten about a downtown Jacksonville Beach restaurant that is gluten-free friendly: Campeche Bay Cantina.

I guess I never thought of Campeche Bay as a walk-in-off-the-beach kind of place, so I didn't think of it when I was writing in the TU about places to go during a day at the beach. But Campeche Bay does have a gluten-free menu and seems to be knowledgeable about cross-contamination issues.

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