Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Gluten-free ramen noodles ranking

Looking for gluten-free ramen noodles? Well, I can't help you but CeliAct posted a roundup of the best gluten-free ramen noodles, so check it out here:

Monday, September 28, 2015

New gluten-free favorite: breakfast sandwich at LYFE Kitchen

I spent the weekend in Chicago, visiting mostly places I had gone on previous visits that served some great gluten-free options. But I did discover a new favorite on this trip.

Now one of my Chicago favorites is a doughnut shop called Do-Rite Donuts that makes gluten-free doughnuts. Since its so hard to find fresh gluten-free doughnuts, I made it a point to eat breakfast there on all three days of my last visit.

This year, after my chocolate doughnut breakfast on Friday morning, I decided that maybe I shouldn't eat doughnuts for three straight days. Another place I noticed near my hotel was a restaurant called LYFE Kitchen, which has a very extensive gluten-free menu for breakfast and lunch. So figured I'd give that a try on Saturday

LYFE Kitchen is a relatively small chain with restaurants in Illinois, California, Colorado, Nevada and Texas. It features locally sourced ingredients and socially responsible practices. I appreciate socially responsible restaurants but the truth is, just give me great-tasting gluten-free food and I'll be a loyal customer.

I ordered a gluten-free turkey sausage and egg breakfast sandwich on a gluten-free English muffin. I think that may be the first time I've seen a gluten-free breakfast sandwich on a menu, so it was an easy choice.

And guess what? It was fantastic! I absolutely loved it. In fact, it was so good that I scrapped my plan to go back to Do-Rite Donuts (no offense to them) and instead got another turkey sausage and egg sandwich on Sunday morning.

Yes, it was that good that I preferred that sandwich over a doughnut.

I should also mention that it came with a side of fruit, which I didn't even notice on the menu.

So next time I'm in Chicago, or anywhere else with a LYFE Kitchen, I'll be back for more. And I may even try a gluten-free lunch there on my next visit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Red Robin finally looking at Jacksonville

It looks like Red Robin will finally be coming to Jacksonville.

A report today in the Financial News and Daily Record says that the hamburger restaurant chain is looking at sites for a restaurant in Jacksonville, particularly, of course, in the St. Johns Town Center area.

I consider this good news because Red Robin is one of the most gluten-free friendly major chains out there, and I've been waiting for them to come to Jacksonville. I've had good experiences eating there in other cities.

You can get a burger on a gluten-free bun and the "bottomless" French fries are also usually gluten free, but I would advise checking with the restaurant staff to be sure about that.

I recall when I got my bill at a Red Robin in Tampa, I noticed it had "ALLERGY ALERT" in big letters printed three times. So yes, I do believe they were paying attention when I told them I have a gluten "allergy."

Of course, it will probably still be a while, but I'm looking forward to Red Robin opening here.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Gluten and allergen free event scheduled for November

I don't have all the details yet, but there will be a Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event in Jacksonville in November for the second straight year.

Last year's event was held at the Hyatt downtown, but this year's event on Nov. 14 is scheduled for the Prime Osborn Convention Center, so it looks like it will be a bigger event this year.

If you're never been to one of these expos, it can be a great opportunity to hear from a variety of speakers and also to sample a lot of gluten-free products. Generally, there will be rows of vendors offering samples.

You can read more about it here:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

No, the fresh beer at EverBank Field will not include Redbridge

You may see on the news today that the Jaguars and Anheuser-Busch have an agreement to bring the "freshest beer ever" to this week's Jaguars game at EverBank Field. Basically, Bud Light made at the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Jacksonville on Sunday morning will be delivered straight to the stadium for sale that day.

Now, the Jaguars are also selling gluten-free Redbridge beer at the stadium, which is made by Anheuser-Busch. But in case you're wondering, we won't be able to get "fresh" Redbridge beer on gameday. Anheuser-Busch does not brew Redbridge in Jacksonville.

As an Anheuser-Busch executive once explained to me -- and it makes perfect sense -- the company only brews Redbridge at one location (I forget which city it is). The reason is that they need a completely uncontaminated gluten-free only beer line to brew Redbridge, to assure that the beer is safe for us. So they have to brew it at a dedicated gluten-free facility.

That's all fine with me, as long as they continue to have Redbridge available in the Bud matter how old the beer is.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Yes, there is gluten-free beer at EverBank Field

Yes, I was able to get a Redbridge beer at the Jaguars game today.

If you happened to see my column buried in the Times-Union today that was supposed to run Thursday and for some reason has not been posted on line, I wrote that the Jaguars haven't really improved their gluten-free food offerings but they promised me that Redbridge beer would be available in the Bud Zone.

In past seasons, despite promises that gluten-free beer was available, it has been very hard to find at EverBank Field. However, today, I went right to the bar at the back of the Bud Zone and asked the bartender for a Redbridge or other gluten-free beer, and she pulled one out right away and served it to me.

She couldn't actually find it on the cash register so she charged me the same price as a Bud. It's $8, but we're just being treated like everyone else. She also gave me the glass bottle to carry, which I think she was not supposed to do.

But anyway, I was able to get a beer at the Jaguars game like a normal person, and it felt great.

Now about the Jags' performance on the field....

Oh, and I will try to get them to post the column online tomorrow.

Friday, September 11, 2015

TacoLu going to Tour Championship

The Tour is the secondary professional golf tour to the PGA Tour, so you wouldn't expect the Tour Championship to have the same level of gluten-free food available as the Players Championship, one of the PGA's signature events.

But at least TacoLu is available at both of the events at TPC Sawgrass.

I went to a press conference today for the upcoming Tour Championship, which will be played Oct. 1-4 at Dye's Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. So naturally, I asked about gluten-free offerings at this event. And TacoLu, one of the best spots in the Jacksonville area for gluten-free dining, will have a tent at this event, just like at the Players.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure what else will be available gluten free. Obviously, The event draws a much smaller crowd than the Players, so you wouldn't expect to find the wide variety of gluten-free stuff available at the Players in May. Tournament officials couldn't tell me if there will be another gluten-free option.

So if you go, come ready to eat tacos.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Celiac Awareness Day coming up Sunday

Sunday is Celiac Awareness Day.

I know that's confusing because May is Celiac Awareness Month, and Sept. 13 is Celiac Awareness Day. I think one of these days we have to get it together and narrow it down to one or the other (I personally vote for May as Celiac Awareness Month).

But anyway, here's some suggestions on how to commemorate Celiac Awareness Day from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. For me personally, Sunday is the opening day of the NFL season for most teams. So I'm hoping to celebrate by actually finding a gluten-free beer at EverBank Field. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A frozen find at Aldi

Ever since Aldi opened its first Northeast Florida store last year in St. Augustine, I've been gushing about its gluten-free products under the LiveGFree brand.

However, I wasn't able to try all of those products. I noticed some interesting frozen food LiveGFree products but I figured it was too far to buy them and drive home from St. Augustine without them defrosting.

But with the new store on Southside Boulevard in Jacksonville, I'm close enough to buy its frozen products, so I decided to try the pepperoni pizza stuffed sandwich.

The stuffed sandwich is sort of like a Hot Pockets sandwich, which I never really ate before going gluten free. But I had never seen a gluten-free variety of this, so I was determined to try this one. Actually, it may be the closest thing to a gluten-free calzone that I'm going to find.

But anyway, I did enjoy it. Actually, I have to say it was even better than I expected it to be. I'll be buying more.

Hey, I never said I'm the healthiest eater. I'm just looking for good tasting gluten-free food, and there's a lot to eat at Aldi.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

More gluten-free resources for schoolkids

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about students eating gluten free at local schools. Just to follow up, here's another resource for schoolchildren from the Gluten Intolerance Group, which has a program to educate children on a gluten-free diet called Generation GF: