Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Gluten Free Shopping at Wal-Mart

A client of mine had informed me that the Wal-Mart Super Center in Hillsbourgh offered several gluten free options. I decided to travel down the road from Durham on Hwy 85 to visit the Super Wal-Mart for my weekly shopping. I was pleased to see about half an aisle dedicated to gluten free items. Items were well marked and they carried many staple brands. I even found some of the Dr. Schar rolls available and quickly grabbed the last two packages. Unfortunately as I was waiting in line I noticed that the rolls were molding, the expiration date was not until April 2010 IF FROZEN, which these were not frozen thus had a shorter shelf life. Always check gluten free breads that are not in the freezer section, because many tend to mold quickly. Other than the rolls, I was very happy to stock up on some of our favorite products and will plan to shop there again. It is great to see such a mainstream store carry so many gluten free options.

501 Hampton Pointe Boulevard,
Hillsborough, NC 27278
(919) 732-9172

Monday, January 25, 2010

Piedmont, Restaurant Review

I had the pleasure of eating dinner at Piedmont Restaurant this past Saturday evening.The restaurant offers Italian/French cuisine in an eclectic atmosphere. Piedmont is located in downtown Durham on Foster Street, very near the Durham Farmer's Market. The restaurant menu is designed around fresh, local ingredients and changes often. Everything is made from scratch, which is a plus when trying to order gluten free. I found them exceptionally accommodating to my gluten free needs. Our server, after discussing the menu with the chef, was able to alert me to several gluten free options on their menu. We started our meal with a few of their cheese offerings. I was impressed to see that they even separated the cheese and bread onto two different plates because of my gluten concerns. Our server said that they often have requests for gluten free meals, so they were familiar with the dietary restrictions. The main entree was delicious; I enjoyed risotto with butternut squash, apples, walnuts and goat cheese. To my delight they also offered a gluten free flourless chocolate cake for dessert. Of course since it was available I was compelled to order dessert! My husband and I shared the generous sized, warm piece of flourless chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. We both thought it was fantastic and note my husband is not gluten free. The restaurant was quite busy, with a party downstairs and individual dining upstairs. Our service was very good in spite of how busy they were Saturday evening. Reservations are recommended. I will definitely plan to dine at Piedmont again in the future.

Piedmont Restaurant
401 Foster Street
Durham, North Carolina

Restaurant Hours
Dinner Wed. - Mon. 5:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.*
Lunch Mon., Wed. - Fri. 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Brunch Sat. & Sun. 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Closed Tuesdays
*Bar open until midnight on Fridays & Saturdays. Restaurant closes at 9pm on Sundays.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FYI: information of interest

Pick up a copy of the Durham-Herald Sun, Wednesday, January 20th edition and read the article "Nutritional Niche" on the front page of section D. This article features Custom Choice Cereal. This new company which is located in Durham lets the consumer order their own custom cereal blend of gluten free grains, fruits, etc.

We are always looking for that delicious piece of gluten free bread.
Although I have not tried it myself, I have been hearing about the good quality of Udi's Bread. I was contacted about this product by a reader of the GFD blog, Rebecca. Rebecca lives in Raleigh and is interested in placing a large group bread order and asked that I share this information with my readers. If you would like further information on this ordering opportunity click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Gluten Free Treats At Starbucks

Starbucks' newsroom announced in early January the addition of snack items under 220 calories including two gluten free options KIND bars and LUCY's COOKIES. I met a friend for coffee at the Guess Road Starbucks yesterday and was happy to find a nice display of the snacks right in front of the store! My server said that the cookies had just been in the store a few days. Lucy's cookies were created by an M.D./mother who has a child with severe allergies. I have seen the cookies locally at Whole Foods in Durham. At Starbucks they sell for $1.50 for a package of four cookies. The cookies are milk, casein, egg, peanut, tree nut and gluten free. They are also free of trans fat. The cookies do contain certified gluten free oats. Flavors include: oatmeal, cinnamon thin, sugar and chocolate chip. Oh I almost forgot, they taste really good. I appreciate Starbucks continued effort to offer some gluten free options for their customers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

More Gluten Free Learning Opportunities

January has started off with multiple learning opportunities for those desiring information about the gluten free lifestyle.

1. Celiac Disease: New Diet Options 1/19/2010 presented by Registered Dietitian, Leslie Stanford at the Teer House in Durham. Read details from my earlier post.

2. Gluten Free 101 at Rosie's Plate on 1/23/2010 presented by Zach at Gluten Free Raleigh. Class Description from Rosie's Website includes:
Gluten Free 101 Class
Saturday, January 23, 1 - 3:30 $35
If you've just been diagnosed with celiac or wheat allergies this class is for you. Learn firsthand from someone who's been there. Taught by Zach Becker from the Gluten Free Raleigh Blog, you'll learn how to easily segue into a gluten free lifestyle.
We'll cover practical topics including:

* How to transition your kitchen into a safe gluten free kitchen
* What every gluten free person needs in their pantry
* How to read labels & find hidden ingredients
* Tips on how to eat away from home
* What to watch for with personal care products & medications

We'll also discuss the many resources available including

* GF friendly grocery stores & restaurants
* GF knowledgeable Dieticians
* GF Support Groups
* GF Cookbooks & Magazines

This is a wonderful introduction to living successfully, and happily, without gluten!

3. Gluten Free Cooking Seminar 1/25/2010 presented by Lee Tobin at UNC Wellness Center. A description of the Supper in a Snap Series includes:
Chef and baker Lee Tobin will be presenting Gluten Free Italiano! Lee Tobin has worked as a chef and baker for several hotels and restaurants in Pennsylvania, California, and Canada. Lee moved to Chapel Hill, NC in 1993 where he worked for Whole Foods Market in the bakery and prepared foods departments. After a diagnosis with celiac disease in 1996, Lee began an in store gluten-free baking program to serve the growing number of customers on a gluten-free diet. In 2004 he founded the Whole Foods Market Gluten Free Bakehouse in Morrisville, NC, which provides over 30 products to Whole Foods Market stores across the US and Canada. Lee has spoken and given cooking and baking demonstrations at several regional and national gluten free conferences and events sponsored by the Gluten Intolerance Group, Celiac Sprue association, Gluten Free Expo, Gluten Free Culinary Summit, and Whole Foods Market stores across US.

Lee’s Menu

Grilled polenta appetizer

Herb Focaccia

Caesar salad

Hand made ravioli

Chicken and eggplant parmesan


Friday, January 15, 2010

Gluten Free Pizza at Mellow Mushroom: UPDATE

I was contacted yesterday by the folks at Mellow Mushroom concerning updated information on the gluten free pizza crust that I mentioned in my previous post. According to the email I received: The gluten free pizza WILL NOT be available on January 19th as they are still working on some issues with this offering. Further information from this email contact explains:
Within the past three months, this initiative has
moved from a purely theoretical standpoint to a point where we have
researched and developed a pretty decent GF dough. The Mellow Mushroom in
Durham will eventually be part of a gluten free test program in the near future.
So it looks like those of us longing for a gluten free pizza offering in Durham will need to wait a bit longer. Of course it is worth the wait if the final pizza crust is a high quality product and Mellow Mushroom adopts good manufacturing practices on site to reduce the risk of cross contamination at the point of service. The marketing folks at Mellow Mushroom have promised to keep me informed on their progress and when we can expect to see Durham as a test site. I will post this information on the gluten free Durham blog as I receive it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gluten Free Pizza Comes To Durham!

I have been wondering why there is not a good gluten free pizza place in Durham. I even sometimes wish I was closer to Raleigh to take advantage of all those places that Zach at gluten free Raleigh has blogged about. After reading the recent posts from Zach and from Tiffany Janes about Mellow Mushroom going GF in Raleigh, I decided to call the Durham location. I spoke with their general manager, Andy, who informed me that YES Durham, along with Raleigh and Wake Forest are the test markets for the GF pizza crust!! Andy explained this is a brand new roll out for the company and that corporate would be bringing some GF crusts to Durham on January 19th. He said this would be a "soft roll out" and after that the store would be able to start ordering crusts for use at the Durham location. The crusts will arrive to the store already pre-formed and frozen. I asked Andy several questions and also explained the importance of training their chefs and wait staff to avoid cross contamination of the gluten free crust. Andy was very interested in the information I had to share about the needs of those with gluten intolerance. In addition to the GF Pizza the Durham Mellow Mushroom hopes to start offering some gluten free beer to go along with that pizza! I know those of us who live, work and eat Gluten Free in Durham will be excited to have a great place to order GF Pizza. I encourage you to be patient, kind and ask those GF questions of your server in a way that will help educate the staff at Mellow Mushroom. Also if you go and have a good experience take the time to say thanks to Andy and the folks at Mellow Mushroom. Mellow Mushroom is located in the American Tobacco District of Durham:

410 Blackwell Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 680-8500

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Reminder: Teer House Community Education Presents: CELIAC DISEASE-NEW DIET OPTIONS

Just a quick reminder as you prepare your new January 2010 calendars. Sign up for the free nutrition seminar at the Teer House in Durham, presented by Lesley Stanford, MS,RD. The seminar is titled "Celiac Disease: New Diet Options" and is Tuesday, January 19th 6:30-8:00. You may get directions and register here. If you would like further details review my earlier post.