Tag Archives: gluten free dining

Jason’s Deli Gluten-Free? Not For Everyone

jasons deli gluten free sandwich gluten free jacksonvilleI am a little concerned about what is going on at Jason’s Deli.  I have been going there for a while now (frequently making my cover photo a picture of the gluten-free BLT with avocado) and am just now finding out that their gluten free sandwiches are not truly gluten-free.

jasons deli gluten free sandwich gluten free jacksonville

They have HUGE signs at the counter promoting their gluten-free offerings. Each time I go I ask if they are taking proper precautions while prepping the food and they usually change out their gloves and prepare my sandwich on a separate surface like wax paper or something.   Last week was a day like any other, I ordered my usual gluten-free BLT with avocado and even noticed they now sell loaves of Udi’s gluten-free bread for around $12 or something.  However, when I got my meal it came with this lovely “legal” notice.

jasons deli gluten free sandwich gluten free jacksonville

What?  AFTER I have purchased my sandwich is the time to spring this legalese on me?  I just don’t understand.  Didn’t we learn anything from the Dominos Pizza and California Pizza Kitchen debacles?  Why even offer gluten-free at all if you are not taking precautions to make it available for everyone who is gluten-free.  I just don’t understand why you would have something that is gluten-free when the people who need it most can’t even have it.    On top of that, tell me on my sandwich that I already paid for!

I wonder if this is in response to dietary discrimination investigations going on around the country that are being spearheaded by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

I am very disappointed and feel like Jason’s Deli is taking the easy way out, when all they have to do is implement a few procedures to avoid cross contamination. Heck, they could even limit the number of sandwiches that are gluten-free.  I am also sad that my list of places that are safe for me is getting shorter and shorter.  Good bye Jason’s Deli...

Jason's Deli on Urbanspoon

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New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

I really hope everyone is enjoying special time with family and friends.  I spent the rest of 2012 up in Chicago with my boyfriend’s family.  It is freezing up here but I have also gotten to see some snow so it is worth it.  The food here is great, and I love being in a big city where almost every restaurant we go to is educated on gluten-free.

(If you are ever in the area, Meli’s is one of my favorite breakfast places.)

While 2012 was full of challenges, I also have so much to be thankful for.  As I look forward to 2013 I can’t help but be reminded I still have so much more to learn and I still need to take steps to reduce the amount of times I get sick.  Here are a few of my New Year’s resolutions and wishes:

  1. I hope to be more prepared.  This means relying less on pre-packaged foods and making more of my own foods from scratch.  This also means less meals out and more meals at home.
  2. I wish that more restaurants knew what “gluten-free” means.  Yes, I can have potatoes, no I can’t have soy sauce, no I can’t have fries that have been fried with battered onion rings.
  3. I will have more willpower over sweets.  Perhaps I can incorporate sweets a little every day so I am not so deprived I go and spend $30 at Cookie Momsters.
  4. I want to exercise more.  There are some days I have been glutened, I am tired, grouchy, my stomach doesn’t feel good, but after exercise I feel so much better.

What are your gluten-free New Year’s resolutions?

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Best of 2012

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs we prep for the ball to drop, thought I would share with you the top posts from my blog in 2012.

Publix: Where “Gluten Free” Shopping is a Pleasure!
Travel Dining: Marmalade San Juan, Puerto Rico
Gluten-Free Baby Shower
About Me and My Blog
Celiac Support Group
TacoLu(ve)
Happy Birthday to Me! Mama B’s
Complaints About a Gluten-Free Diner
Gluten-free Wine Dinner at Bistro AIX was AIXtra Special!
Gluten-Free Seasons 52
A Cookie Momster Christmas

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Larry’s Giant Subs Now Offering Gluten-Free Subs

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Earlier this week I found out that Cookie Momsters had partnered with Larry’s Giant Subs. I was so excited. I can’t remember the last time I had a sub. Yes, I have had sandwiches, but I miss the days of sandwiches ordered in inches.  There is just something about the nostalgia of subs for me.  In my youth, we would opt for the healthy alternative after volleyball, softball or basketball practice instead of heading out to McDonalds or Burger King.

The closest location to me is the Southside store across the street from Tinseltown movie theaters.  I was a little worried that they may just add the rolls without taking other precautions to avoid cross-contamination. I was happily surprised to find out that the cashier was knowledgeable on the subject and told me they wipe down the area and change their gloves.

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Larry’s Giant Sub’s motto is “Home of the Big One.” The gluten-free sub rolls come in one size, 8 inches, and there are many sandwich options to choose from. Many of their meats are gluten-free. I opted for the turkey breast which was touted as gluten-free, hormone free, antibiotic free and vegetarian fed. I added lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard.  While in no way was this “THE BIG ONE” my sub was delicious. The bread, while a tad dry and in need of some salt, stayed together, had a nice consistency, wasn’t too thick and was toasty and warm. I love dipping my sub in hot sauce. They plenty of hot sauce options that I tried which helped spice it up and give it a little moisture.

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As I expected there is a $2 up-charge which made the typical sub combo go from around $9.50 including tax to $11.53.  I am not a huge fan of up-charges, but I understand that because it is made locally and it is a specialty item that there is a need to charge an additional fee. A $1 up-charge is more appropriate in my opinion. I think Larry’s offers a lot of coupons in the mint, Jaguar Teal Deals, so I am going to be on the lookout for those.

According to Cookie Momsters here are the locations where you can find gluten-free rolls:

Southside:
Larry's Giant Subs on Urbanspoon
4479 Deerwood Lake Parkway #1
Jacksonville
(904) 425-4060

Five Points (next to the Sushi place, across from Wendy’s near the main intersection of Five Points):
Larry's Giant Subs on Urbanspoon
1509 Margaret Street
Jacksonville
(904) 674-2794

Baymeadows:
8616 Baymeadows Rd
Jacksonville, FL
904-739-2498

Roosevelt:
5733 Roosevelt Blvd
Jacksonville, FL
904-446-9500

Palatka- not sure where the Palatka location is, it doesn’t show up on Larry’s site.

All in all I loved it and am excited that the Southside location also has a drive through for convenience. I will be back, but hopefully with a coupon in hand.

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Summer Memories From my Phone

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Summer is quickly coming to an end.  It makes me sad, but thought I would share some of my summer memories from my phone…

1.  My pepperoni and sausage gluten-free dairy-free pizza I found at Native Sun

2. Wonderful outdoor dinner with great friends

3. Cliffs of Moher from my trip to Ireland this summer

4. Brunch at Publican in Chicago this summer

5.  French Meadow gluten-free dairy-free brownies

6.  Corner Taco  food truck gluten-free tacos!

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Complaints About a Gluten-Free Diner

I have to share this story with you.  A close friend of mine is a server at a local fine dining establishment.  Recently she waited on a woman who said she had a gluten-allergy.  My friend, who is very educated on gluten-free ingredients, worked with the woman making sure there was no cross contamination, sauces were left off that had gluten, dressings were substituted, spices were gluten-free, etc.  She went way out of her way to make her meal as safe as possible. The entire meal was gluten-free, until dessert, when the woman ordered ice cream with cookies and ate the cookies knowing full well they were not gluten-free.

What are your thoughts on this?

My friend was happy to accommodate her needs, but was confused that she spent so much time going over the menu and took extra steps to make sure this woman’s meal was safe, only to watch her eat cookies at the end of the meal.

Personally, I think this hurts people who really are living their entire lives gluten-free and may cause restaurants not to take gluten-allergies seriously during food prep for others who truly are gluten-free.

What do you think?

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Pei Wei: Gluten-free Lunch Review

On Monday I decided to go out to lunch at the much anticipated Pei Wei.  The restaurant is located between Beards Jewelry and Charles Schwab near Chipotle and Bento (two great gluten-free restaurants) at the Town Center.imagePei Wei is owned by PF Changs and you order at a counter and then they bring your food out to you.  The prices are less expensive than PF Changs and the flavors and ambiance are very similar.

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I asked the woman behind the counter for a gluten-free menu.  She handed me a small menu with 6  items on it.
imageThere is an electronic menu on the stand where you order with all of the items on the regular menu so you can see what things cost and what is in each dish.  There is no extra fee for ordering gluten-free (at PF Changs they charge about a $1 extra for all of their gluten-free menu options).  The woman behind the counter said they take extra precautions for people who order gluten-free.

I ordered the Vietnamese Chicken Salad Rolls and the Pei Wei Spicy with Chicken for my lunch .  Both items and a drink came out to $18.  That is not too bad, considering I had left overs for lunch the next day.

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The Vietnamese chicken salad rolls were fresh and healthy tasting.  They were yummy, however they came out super fast and had some sort of peanut sauce on them and the menu said to get them without the peanut sauce.  I probably should have asked or verified that they were gluten-free but it was all over my receipt that it was gluten-free.  My advice if you order these is to double check that there is no peanut sauce on them.  I do not get sick right away so it is hard for me to know when I have been glutenated.  However what I ate of it was really tasty.  These are cold and not fried and they are a nice alternative to fried egg rolls.

imageMy main entree was the Pei Wei Spicy with chicken and brown rice.  The outside of the chicken was slightly crispy.  According to Lauren Teague a follower on my Facebook page, the proteins are dredged in potato flour.  Overall the dish was quite yummy, though I would have liked some different vegetables maybe peppers or broccoli rather than carrots and snowpeas.  Even though the name leads you to believe this is super spicy, it was not really spicy, I could easily have added a little more spice.  The flavoring was similar to sweet and sour chicken.

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I really wish they had a gluten-free rice noodle dish.  The gluten-free menu seems a little limited.  I would also love to learn what procedures they take to make it safe for those of us with gluten-allergies.  It appeared that they used separate plates, but I am not sure about that.

I enjoyed my time at Pei Wei.  I haven’t had lunch by myself out at a restaurant in a while so it was nice to sit and look out the window and enjoy my meal.  You will definitely need a to go box. Portions are quite large for just one person.  

Have you been?  What is your favorite thing to order?

Pei Wei on Urbanspoon

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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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Travel: Gluten-Free Wrigley Field

Recently I attended a Cubs Baseball game in Chicago, IL.  If you haven’t been to Wrigley Field there is no baseball park like it.  My boyfriend is from Chicago and a HUGE Cubs fan.  This was my 3rd time being in the stadium, and while the Cubs did not win, it was my best experience yet.  Each game I look forward to the 7th inning stretch, hearing “Go Cubs Go, Go Cubs Go” at the end of a winning game and the sound of the old score board as it counts balls and strikes.

gluten free wrigley field chicago

While driving into lively Wrigleyville, I did a little research in the back seat on my smart phone.  I found information on the blog Not Even a Crumb that in March of 2011 they had implemented designated gluten-free spots in the park for beer, hot dogs (including buns) and other snacks.

gluten free wrigley field chicago

Around the corner from our seats on the mezzanine level just outside the bleachers in center field, I found this little nook of a concession stand that had gluten-free beer and snacks.  Next I was on my journey to find the gluten-free hot dogs.

gluten free wrigley field chicago

Sheffield Grill!!! Located on the bottom floor between the bleacher seats and right field seats it is pretty easy to find.  They had gluten-free hot dogs, hot dog buns, corned beef sandwiches, bbq sandwiches and all of the fixings.  I was so excited to have a Chicago style hot dog with peppers, mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes with my boyfriend.  It was AWESOME!  Being able to have gluten-free hot dog with a gluten-free beer made me so happy.

gluten free wrigley field chicago

I wish I had taken a better photo to document this momentous occasion but we had to get back to the game and I was so hungry, I couldn’t wait a second longer to have this yummy treat.  While the bun in no way compares to a gluten-containing bun and I made a complete mess, the hot dog was hot and the fix-ins were fresh and flavorful.  You will need to eat it over a plate and have lots of napkins on hand but all in all it rounded out a perfect night at the old ball game.

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904 Fitness June Edition: Hidden Sources of Gluten

Wow- does this look good?  Haha.  Check out my June contribution to 904 Fitness Magazine.  Learn what is considered safe and the hidden sources of gluten.  Where do you find gluten hidden?

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