Friday, June 27, 2014

A city with balls

Photo/Gluten-Free Garden State

At first mention, I was skeptical about a suggested visit to The Meatball Shop. With five locations in New York City, these dining establishments focus on, well, meatballs. As most celiacs are aware, meatballs are typically made with bread crumbs, and therefore, we tend to avoid them, unless we know for sure they were made gluten-free.

My sister, one of the pickiest eaters I know, assured me there were gluten-free options. Since she rarely, okay NEVER, gets excited about food, I figured it was worth checking out. Of course, I viewed a menu available on the small chain website first to be sure.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Smashburger joins growing market 'trend'

Image/Udi's Gluten Free

The fast-casual restaurant chain Smashburger has added gluten-free burgers (and buns) to its menu, thanks to a partnership with Udi’s Gluten Free and a reformulation of its meat seasonings.

In a formal announcement made last month, Smashburger spokesmen said Udi’s gluten-free buns will be available at all U.S. locations, which includes 20 in New Jersey. 

Smashburger’s founder and chief concept officer Tom Ryan cited the gluten-free lifestyle as an “emerging consumer trend” in the food service industry, and a desire to meet the demands of those potential customers. According to the company, the gluten-free market has grown more than 200 percent since 2010.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Sweet corner cafe

Photo/Gluten-Free Garden State

We recently took a quick trip to Mara’s Café in Fanwood (Union County) for dessert and coffee. I was told in advance gluten-free options were available, but was still happily surprised at what I found.

Mara’s sells a cornucopia of treats, much of them baked goods. In addition to some naturally gluten-free goodies, such as gelato, this corner café offers a line of products from The Cakeover, a local gluten-free bakery I’ve written about in the past. (See previous post here.)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

GFGS Community Calendar: June 2014

As a service to our regular readers and the Celiac community at large, Gluten Free Garden State offers an ongoing list of upcoming events of interest. We feature local happenings, regional events and national programs open to the public. The calendar appears on the second Sunday of each month. Links are posted to Facebook and Twitter using the hashtages #2ndSundaySked and #savetheceliacdate.


Tuesday, June 17: Northern NJ Celiac Disease Support Group Meetup in Paramus, Bergen County. Held 7-9 pm at the Dorothy B. Kraft Center (part of The Valley Hospital) at 15 Essex Rd. Cost is $2 to attend; Children are free. Meetup is open to the public. Agenda to be announced. Click here for more information.

Thursday, June 19: Gluten Free Aphrodisiac Cooking Class, 7-10 p.m., with the New York City Celiac Disease Meetup group. Membership is free and open to all those living the gluten free lifestyle. Visit the group's website for more information on this event.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Celiac Disease: Hereditary or something else?

This blog was started as a way to offer advice and opinions on food products and restaurants, and I am trained as a journalist to differentiate between my personal feelings and facts. I don't spout theories without evidence to support them or make assumptions about people.

With that in mind, I feel it would irresponsible not to bring some awareness to a POSSIBLE cause of so many cases of celiac disease. As many readers are aware, statistics show that celiac disease cases are increasing in numbers. Most people seem to believe better diagnosing and awareness are the reason, and I don't doubt there's truth behind that notion. I admit, when I was first diagnosed 16 years ago, I had never heard of Celiac Disease nor had anyone in my family. But I don't believe awareness and better diagnosing to be the only reason.

Orlando Road Trip: Mickey's Very Special Christmas Party

It was Jersey Week in the Orlando area this month, and we were there. We went down to Florida mid-week and stayed for about 10 days, m...