Tag Archives: gluten free beer

Question and Answer: Gluten-Free Near the Hyatt Downtown

Question: I happened upon your blog when looking for GF restaurants in Jacksonville, where I will be for a week the end of the month. I will be attending a conference for work at the Hyatt Regency downtown. Can you offer any suggestions close to the Hyatt as I will not have a car? But other suggestions for dinner would also be welcomed or anything else I shouldn’t pass up!

Answer: While there are not many options too close to the Hyatt there are some that are a either a long walk or quick cab ride. You may want to contact the hotel ahead of time to give them a heads up about your gluten-free needs, they are pretty good at accommodating a gluten-free diet.  The Hyatt is located in Downtown Jacksonville right on the St. Johns River.  It is conveniently located close to charming neighborhoods such as San Marco, 5 points and Riverside/Avondale all either a long walk or short cab ride away.  Here are some of my recommendations:

Downtown:
Indochine (walking distance)- thai food,  great for lunch or dinner
Cafe Nola inside MOCA (walking distance)- great for lunch or dinner, check their website they are not open every night
Koja Sushi at the Landing (walking distance)- open for lunch or dinner.  No gluten-free soy sauce but sushi is pretty good.
Chart House (cab or long walk)- good place for dinner, mostly seafood, they have a gluten-free menu
Olio Market (walking distance) – good lunch spot
Pho A Noodle Bar (long walk)-  gluten free options available, good lunch spot

gluten free roast beef sub european street jacksonville, fl

European Street Roast Beef Sandwich on Gluten-Free Bun

San Marco:
bb’s (cab or long walk)-  gluten free menu, good for lunch, dinner or brunch on weekends
European Street (cab) – gluten free bread for sandwiches from Cookie Momsters, gluten free beer and good happy hour 
Taverna (cab) – Chef has a gluten- allergy, they are very knowledgeable.  Good for dinner, somewhat fancy
Pulp (cab) – smoothie shop
Hightide Burrito (cab)-  fast food mexican locally owned and fresh

Avondale: 
Mellow Mushroom (coming soon) (cab): gluten free pizza and beer!
The Brick (cab): gluten free menu

Riverside:
Sweet Theory Bakery (cab)- they close every night at 6 but it is worth it, there is nothing like it in Jacksonville. They are gluten-free and dairy free.

Chocolate Chip Cookie sandwich with vanilla frosting in the middle sweet theory baking co

Chocolate Chip Cookie sandwich with vanilla frosting in the middle from Sweet Theory Baking Co.

5 points:
Larry’s Giant Subs (cab)-  is a local chain sandwich shop with a few locations and gluten free sub rolls from Cookie Momsters and wraps
Sushi Cafe (cab)-  pretty good sushi, no gluten-free soy sauce but delicious none-the-less
Black Sheep (cab)- best roof top in town, farm to table concept
Grassroots Natural Market (cab)- plenty of gluten-free snacks, prepared foods, smoothies, etc. Convenient to center of 5 points.

Food Trucks:
Corner Taco (location varies)- make their own corn tortillas and use cornmeal for fried foods. Blog post

tempeh and carnitas tacos from Corner Taco

Tempeh and Carnitas tacos from Corner Taco

Special events:
Riverside Arts Market– Almost every Saturday
The Cummer- Free Tuesdays and First Saturday of the Month
Art Walk- First Wednesday of the Month
Museum of Contemporary Art Free Saturday and Sunday for Bank of America Card Holders

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Epik Burger: Worth the Splurge

the table at epik burger gluten free jacksonville
I would like to think I eat relatively healthy. A majority of my diet is made up of lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. However, every now and then a girl needs to splurge. That is exactly what I did when I had lunch at Epik Burger.

the front of the store epik burger gluten free jacksonville
Epik Burger is the first of its kind in Jacksonville. They offer gluten free burgers, buns, desserts, onion rings and fries. They are located on Atlantic Blvd right where Girvin runs into Atlantic. I have no idea what part of town that is considered, but it is about 5 minutes East of 2-95. It is not really close to a major area where they might get foot traffic or a lot of drive bys; it is definitely a place you have to know about.

They are super nice there! I asked a lot of questions and found out that all of their fryers are gluten-free (including those that they cook onion rings in). Their onion rings are beer battered with Redbridge beer and gluten free flour.  They also have a separate toaster for the gluten free buns. The atmosphere reminded me of something we see in Chicago; clean and contemporary.

gluten free statement at epik burger gluten free jacksonville
They offer a lot of different burger options, including vegetarian, chicken, tuna and the beef is all grass fed. You can order a fast food size or restaurant size burger depending on your hunger. I especially love how everything is marked vegan, vegetarian or gluten free. They have quite a menu.  Prices are reasonable, however there is a $2.00 upcharge for a gluten-free bun.

We ordered
le steakhouse at epik burger gluten free jacksonville
Restaurant size gluten-free Le Steakhouse Burger. It had sauteed onions, grass fed beef and cornichons (pickles). So tasty and flavorful, but a little greasy.

gluten free hamburger epik burger at epik burger jacksonville
Restaurant size gluten- free Epik Burger. It had pancetta, brie, lettuce, tomato, onion, cornichons, and basalmic mayo.  This is a beautiful burger.  Full of color and flavor.  My boyfriend ordered this and I was really envious.  He loved it; he ate it all!

gluten free french fries epik burger jacksonville
Ahh, gluten- free french fries.  There are not many restaurants that serve fries that are TRULY gluten-free so I had to get these.  I loved the large chunks of salt and pepper and it was a great portion to share, not too big, not too small.

gluten free onion rings epik burger jacksonville
Gluten- free Beer Battered Onion Rings. This was the highlight of my day. I was never a big onion ring person, however, since my diagnosis of Celiac disease I jump at the opportunity to indulge safely. They were awesome. They were flakey and not too chewy. While there was a tiny bit of oil residue, it was light and seasoned perfectly with salt and pepper. I never wanted these onion rings to end…

jennifer eating gluten free hamburger epik burger jacksonville

The food was amazing! However, I felt like I needed to go run a marathon to burn off the calories; but it was worth every second. While I didn’t order the Epik Burger I really wish I did. Some other things:
– They are environmentally friendly. They don’t have a lot of packaging and pretty much every container was recyclable or compostable.
– The wait for your burger is a little longer than I expected, but not too bad.
– The place seats only about 35 people.

I will definitely make this a place I go to as a treat, however I doubt I need to order fries AND onion rings. I highly recommend this place!  Have you been? What do you think?

Epik Burger
12740 Atlantic Blvd Suite 105
Jacksonville, FL 32225

Epik Burger on Urbanspoon

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GlutenFreeJacksonville.com Helps Out a Local News Channel to Test EZ Gluten Test Strips

Recently Healther Crawford, a reporter for First Coast News, asked me to help identify some area chain restaurants that have gluten-free menus to test the EZ Gluten test strips’ ability to detect gluten in food. EZ Gluten test strips are created by Eliza Technologies. According to their website, these test strips are easy to use and help detect the presence of gluten in foods and beverages.

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We went to three different restaurants- PF Chang’s at the Town Center, Chili’s in Jacksonville Beach and Mellow Mushroom in Jacksonville Beach to test multiple meals for gluten.

I had so much fun,  it was like a progressive dinner with friends you just met.

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Heather and the videographer, Ed, were so fun and I really enjoyed their company.

We ate:

  • Spicy chicken and beef and broccoli at PF Chang’s.
  • Loaded baked potato soup, spicy chicken and sausage soup, margarita chicken with rice and beans and mashed potatoes at Chili’s
  • Bards beer and gluten-free pepperoni pizza at Mellow Mushroom Jacksonville Beach.

The results: the mashed potatoes at Chili’s tested positive for gluten. To the credit of Chili’s, they do have a disclaimer on their gluten-free menu.

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After our testing, we made our way to my kitchen!

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Ed and Heather actually came to my house, tested food in my pantry and took a look inside my fridge.

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My thoughts on the night:

1. Each test takes 20 minutes. I seriously doubt many people will have the patience to wait 20 minutes to eat their food while they are waiting on the test results to come in. Their website states 10 minutes, but each kit we used took 20 minutes from start to finish.

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2. The kits are quite expensive.  You can purchase 2 for $25 or 5 for $60 off the website.

3. There may be some testing errors. This was the first time any of us have ever used the kits and we only sampled one part of the food. The kit allows for a small sample, so to test multiple parts of the food would take the use of multiple kits. For the purposes of the report it was not practical to use multiple kits to test more than one part of the food.  However, every effort was made to include as much of the food in the small testing spoon that came with the kit.

4. If you are using these test strips in a public place, you will get some interesting looks.  The kit has a few stages you have to complete that involves mixing and letting things sit for certain amounts of time.

5. There still may trace amounts of gluten that the kit doesn’t account for. It tests as low as 10ppm.

Read the Full Story Here

Have you ever used these kits before?  What are your thoughts?

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Gluten-Free Guide to THE PLAYERS

One of my favorite weeks in Jacksonville is coming up: THE PLAYERS.  I love the social aspect of this event, running into old friends and walking around to all the different areas is fun. I do make time for the golf too, I like to watch the rush of people following the leaders and celebrities and I enjoy watching the golfer’s attempts at 17.  This year they have added new venues and healthy food options. 

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I was recently invited to participate in a tasting at TPC Sawgrass. They wanted to share some of their new menu items for THE PLAYERS coming up May 6-12th. Included in these offerings are gluten-free and vegan sandwiches and other food. They are trying to go beyond hot dogs and hamburgers by incorporating fresher foods and healthier options.  THE PLAYERS has really tried to capitalize on the social aspect of the tournament as well as improving the fan experience. In addition, they have heard a lot of feedback that people want more options and healthier food.

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Upon arrival to The Patio, they offered us wine and beer. I was so excited to see that among the options was Omission gluten-free beer THE BEST gluten-free beer I have tried. During THE PLAYERS you can get Omission gluten-free beer at the PGA Tour Café.

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Prom Catering, the caterer for the PGA Tour, led the night by explaining some of the new dishes and their signature dish, Shrimp and Grits with a fried green tomato (not gluten-free).

DSCN1571The first item I tried was the Avocado Power Lunch on gluten-free bread. This sandwich Included avocado, tomato, sprouts, cucumber slices and a lemon aioli. This can be found at The PGA Tour Café. I really loved this. Not sure if this would fill me up at the tournament because there is no protein, however, I loved the flavors, the lemon aioli with sprouts and avocado was tasty.
DSCN1580Next up was the Chick’n salad sandwich on gluten-free bread. This can be found at the The PGA Tour Café. I really liked this. It is a vegan play on the chicken salad sandwich, made with chick peas instead of chicken. This was a little more filling than the Avocado Power Lunch.

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Lastly, I tried the Bubba turkey burger on a gluten-free bun. This is served at  the PGA Tour Café.  I probably would have added some mustard or mayo to this but it was hearty and healthy and a great alternative to a regular burger.

Other gluten-free items served at The PGA Tour Caféat the Food Court:
– BLT with Turkey Bacon on gluten-free bread
– POP Chips (ooo I love these!)

Other gluten-free food and where to find it:
Bubba burgers served on gluten-free bread can be found at public concessions behind Benefactor Tent at Nicklaus Gate, public concessions at the No. 5 green, The Patio at No. 10 tee and 18 green
Gluten-free hot dogs (including the bun) can be found at public concessions behind Benefactor Tent at Nicklaus Gate and public concessions at the No. 5 green

Gluten-free food at Taste of Jax:
Indochine – Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine from one of downtown Jacksonville’s most popular locales, plus gluten-free and healthy options;
Metro Diner – Classic American fare with low-calorie and gluten-free options

Gluten-free food at Wine and Dine on 9:
– Enjoy Medure’s gourmet small plates in a beautiful garden setting also features the BERINGER® Wine Bar for a fine selection of reds, whites and rosés. Located left of 9 Fairway, there are also permanent restrooms next to Wine & Dine on 9.

For a detailed map and more detailed listing visit  2013 PLAYERS Course Map

Other cool stuff:

Youth 18 and younger are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult – there is no limit. However, that policy does not apply to the tournament’s hospitality venues (The Benefactor, The Turn), where children ages 6 and older will need an upgraded ticket to gain admittance.
– The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation Kid Zone, features a “GameTruck,” a putt-putt course, arts and crafts and more.
THE PLAYERS will provide all active duty, Reserve, military retirees and dependents with complimentary admission to the tournament all week.
Sunday is a PINK OUT, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness and mother’s day
You can bring in your own food! They will allow (similar to Jaguar games) visitors to bring in food in a one Gallon zip lock bag per person- though no outside beverages are allowed
Club 1791, named for the year in which Jacksonville was founded, offers fans a place to relax on comfortable seating, cool off while watching the broadcast on large, flat-screen TVs, and stay connected with cell phone charging stations and WiFi hot spots.
Taste of Jax: restaurants include: Indochine, Metro Diner and Pele’s Wood Fire
The Oasis – Located beteen 9 and 18 tee boxes, features the air-conditioned NOLET’S® Silver Lounge (for guests 21 and over), where signature cocktails, including THE PLAYERS Punch made with NOLET’S Silver, are available for purchase. This public venue also has food and drink for purchase. Features a rear deck for prime views of No. 9 tee.
The Patio – adjacent to 16 tee and 18 green offers a larger shaded fan zone that includes open-air seating, a video board to keep up with the tournament and food and beverage available for purchase. The Patio features permanent restroom facilities.
The Grove – Located in the area behind 17 tee and 16 green, is an outdoor, shaded area that is open to the public
Food Court – Located behind No. 16 green – near The Grove – there are plenty of great, local restaurants to choose from in The Food Court. And there’s shaded seating close by at The Grove, so everyone can grab a bite to eat and meet up for a family picnic at THE PLAYERS. Restaurants featured in the Food Court include: PGA TOUR Café, Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Brucci’s Pizza, Firehouse Subs, MShack, and Tropical Smoothie Café.
– Two large-scale, permanent public restrooms located at The Patio and Wine & Dine on 9 (near No. 16 tee/No. 9 fairway)
“Four for Free” Parking: Fans with four or more guests in a vehicle can park for free Thursday through Sunday with the “Four for Free” parking voucher. Fans can go online to http://www.PGATOUR.COM/theplayers to download the voucher, which allows free parking in the general lot off of CR210.

For more information about any of this see the 2013 PLAYERS Course Map

Or visit the official PLAYERS website

Do you enjoy going to THE PLAYERS?  What is your favorite part?

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Where Can I Get Gluten-free Beer in Jacksonville?

From Redbridge to New Planet, to Bards, to Greens, to New Grist, to Omission, to Dogfish Head Tweason’ale there are numerous gluten-free beers out there.  Yes, I know cider is gluten-free, however this is just a listing for gluten-free beers.  Almost all of these places have cider as well.  Redbridge is the beer I find most readily available, however New Planet is slowly becoming readily available and rightly so, they have 4 different flavors.

tweason'ale gluten free beer jacksonvilleRestaurants

  • BJ’s Brew House (Town Center) Typically Redbridge is available here
  • Royal Palm Village Wine and Tapas (Atlantic Beach) they have a HUGE selection.  I have seen New Planet, Dogfish Head Tweason’ale, Omission and Daruma here. In addition to ordering with your meal they are also a retail shop.
  • Kickbacks (Park and King Area) I have had Dogfish Head Tweason’ale, New Planet, Redbridge, and Greens; they usually have the best selection.
  • Mellow Mushroom– (Beaches and Southside) typically just Bards and New Planet.  I have better luck with the MM at the beach.
  • European Street (Beach, Southside, San Marco, Riverside) I have had New Planet here, but they typically have more than one option.

Greens beer gluten free jacksonville

Bars

  • Engine 15– (Beaches)  I have heard that they occasionally have gluten-free beer on tap.  I have had Omission in the bottle there.
  • Burro Bar– (Downtown) not sure if it is there all of the time, but I have had a Redbridge here before.

Retail

  • Beer:30 (Park and King)  Tons of gluten-free beers here from Omission, to New Planet to Greens and more.  They are very friendly and if you call ahead they will chill your beer for you.
  • Total Wine (Town Center) Always has an assortment.  They had a selection of New Planet, Greens, New Grist

Grocery

Other

Who did I miss?

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Royal Palms Village Wine and Tapas a Gluten-Free Beer and Tapas Paradise!

A few weeks ago I joined some of my favorite girlfriends at Royal Palms Village Wine and Tapas in Atlantic Beach.  We try to get together to catch up on each other’s lives and share a bottle (or two) of wine.  Every time we get together someone has just gotten married, just adopted a baby, is pregnant, just broke up with someone, just got back together with someone or just finished a successful event they had been planning.  It is so nice to have friends you can just be yourself around.  While we are all super busy, it is hard to get together on a regular basis so the time we can get together is cherished.

Royal Palms Village Wine and Tapas is a great place.  I have suggested it to numerous people looking for gluten-free in the beaches area. It looks like a little European bistro and they are known for their awesome beer and wine selection.  In addition, their chef is well versed in food allergies and safe preparation techniques.  They have a great menu which is perfect for sharing and is easily customizable depending on your needs.

Prior to ordering, I had to indulge in one of their over 8 gluten-free beer/cider options.  I had the Dogfish Head Tweason’ Ale, which is my new favorite.  I love the soft undertones of strawberry.  They have other gluten-free beers like Redbridge, New Planet and New Grist.

While I am also dairy-free I thought I would share that they have awesome cheese and meat plates for those of you who can tolerate dairy.

As my first course I had the Chorizo al Vino.  It was delicious and nicely sized.

Next I had two helpings of the Angus Churrasco Bibb Lettuce Wraps.  I loved how colorful this dish was, the carmelized onions added great flavor and decoration.  The Bibb Lettuce was so soft and fresh, these were my favorite.

A great night night was had by all.  We had such a great time, that we kept the employees there past closing time because we had to share that last great story.  I can’t wait to go back.

Royal Palm Village WIne & Tapas on Urbanspoon

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Denver and Steamboat Springs Colorado Gluten Free

About a week ago I submitted a blog about dining gluten-free in Denver Colorado at Vesta Dipping Grill.  I want to share my experience at a few other places we visited that left me stunned and realized Jacksonville needs to step it up!  After dining at Vesta Dipping Grille, we walked next door to 9th Door.  More than one person had recommended this place to us and it was well worth the hype.  Dark lighting, flowing drapery, candles and India inspired techno-esque music playing over head.  I was still suprised Vesta Dipping grill had gluten free beer so I thought I would ask the bartender at 9th door if they had gluten-free beer.  Sure enough, he brought out a Spanish beer that was gluten-free.  I could not read a thing on the bottle, but the bar tender assured me it was and I could kick myself for not getting the exact name of the beer.  Instead of having the beer I opted for the recommended blueberry martini.  It was amazing, it had real blueberries in it and had a hint of vanilla.  SO GOOD!

The next morning after our dining experience and 9th Door drinks, we headed to Steamboat Springs.  As usual, I had done my homework and had saved a link I had found about eating gluten-free in Steamboat Springs from the blog No Gluten, No ProblemThat night for dinner, I suggested Rex’s, because I heard they had gluten-free hamburger buns and gluten-free pizza.  GLUTEN FREE HAMBURGER BUNS?  Do you know how long it has been since I have had a sandwich, much less a gluten-free hamburger.  I was so excited, and they had bison burgers at that.  The bun was awesome.  It looked a little like sourdough but much like regular gluten containing breads it was actually chewy and doughy.  It was the best hamburger I have ever had (since being diagnosed with Celiac).  It was a little odd that the restaurant was connected to a Holiday Inn, but there seemed to be a lot of locals and their back patio seemed to be the place everyone was headed.  According to the blog, the restaurant is locally owned along with a few other restaurants as part of the Steamboat Restaurant Group.  Their names are: Big House and Mazzola’s.

Thanks Denver and Steamboat Springs!

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