Tag Archives: gluten-free groceries

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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My Gluten-Free Trip to Target

gluten free items at target

I am hesitant to write this post, for fear the shelves will be emptied, but it is my duty to share this with you. Today during a quick trip to Target off Marsh Landing Parkway I found some very reasonably priced gluten-free items. I typically like to make everything myself, but occasionally I need a quick option. Here is what I got and how much I spent.

gluten free jacksonille evol burritos

I found evol. burritos (Love backwards, how cute) in the frozen foods section and each individually wrapped burrito was only $2. These are delicious. However, they are best paired with a little salsa because they can come out a little dry.

gluten free jacksonville belgian style cider wood chuck
I found a Belgian White cider by WoodChuck. This is the first I have seen of this cider and with Labor Day approaching, I had to try it. This is not a deal, a six pack was $9.49.

gluten free jacksonville vans gluten free waffles
It is hard to find Van’s Waffles for under $3.50 but I found them for $2.99. I love these waffles; they are the closest to the real thing I have found.

gluten free jacksonville vans gluten free waffles
Thai Kitchen noodle dishes are so delicious for a quick lunch option. Occasionally I will add extra veges or some chicken to it for an extra kick. I usually see these in the $4 range. At Target only $2.34.

Thank you Target! I hope this is just the beginning!

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Beaches Green Market in Neptune Beach Gluten-Free Offerings

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market

Living with Celiac disease, or any gluten allergy, can get frustrating.  It is often tricky to know what to eat and eating the same things over and over can get boring.  Much of my frustration stems from the fact not all things that say they are gluten-free are actually safe for people with Celiac and severe gluten allergies.  When I feel bored, frustrated and overwhelmed I know I can always rely on fresh vegetables.  We are so lucky to live in a climate and region where you can get fresh produce that is grown locally and tastes delicious.

I have really tried to make an increased effort to eat produce that is in season and take advantage of the freshness and lower cost.

Last Saturday I checked out the Beaches Green Market in Neptune Beach for the first time.  I have driven by many times but have never had a chance to stop in.

The Beaches Green Market is from 2-5pm every Saturday at Jarboe Park.  It was a super hot day but the place was bustling.  In addition to produce and unique prepared foods there were a few vendors serving fresh iced tea, lemonade and popsicles to keep everyone cool.

When I walked in there was quite a line around the produce tents. I got to the market around 2:15 and I could easily see how many of the items could sell out.  There was quite a demand for fresh produce so I recommend getting there relatively early.

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market ugly cupcake muffinryI decided to walk around and see what my options were and wait until close to the time I wanted to leave to purchase my produce, since it was so warm.  The first place I noticed was the Ugly Cupcake Muffinry.  They had a few signs that they had gluten-free muffins, they were over-sized and looked delicious.

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market short and sweet cupcakes

Around the corner I saw Short and Sweet.  They did not have any gluten-free cupcakes available but they can take special orders.  The gentleman manning the booth did let me know that there is some cross contamination so these were not safe for those with Celiac.  They are made using all natural fresh ingredients.  They had quite a selection of unique flavors.  In addition to their booth they also have a store front off of University that is shaped like a giant cupcake!

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market produce fullwood farms grits

My favorite discovery of the day was finding all natural, gluten-free, Celiac safe grits from Fullwood Farms out of South Carolina.  I have had the hardest time finding grits that are safe for me to eat.  Most grits, which are made of corn, are ground on the same equipment as wheat and flour.  I was happy to know that they only mill corn products.  It is not cheap, but for $7 I was able to get a big bag that should last me quite a while.

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market produce fullwood farms gritsgluten free jacksonville beaches green market produce alvarez farms okra

I then headed over to the booth featuring produce from Alvarez Farms and loaded up on some goodies:

gluten free jacksonville beaches green market produce alvarez farms jalapenos

 

gluten free jacksonville green market produce alvarez farms tomatoesgluten free jacksonville green market produce alvarez farms okra

gluten free jacksonville green market produce

Here I am with my loot!  In addition to the okra, grits, tomatoes and jalapenos I also got eggs, a cucumber and a butternut squash.  The whole thing came out to $19.50.  If you take out the specialty items grits ($7) and eggs ($4) all of that produce was only 8.50.  Not too bad and I am sure much cheaper than in the grocery store!

Have you been to the Beaches Green Market?  Who is your favorite vendor?

Remember- share your favorite gluten-free food pictures on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #glutenfreejacksonville!

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Maintaining a Gluten-Free Home

My boyfriend and I recently moved into a house at the beach.  We had a discussion about how we would handle food in our house.  I have Celiac disease and am dairy free, gluten-free and shellfish-free.  He likes pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs in addition to pretty much anything I cook.  I wasn’t completely stressed about the conversation, however in my mind I was thinking: how would we wash the dishes together?  Would we have to separate out items in the dish washer, would we have separate dish sponges, or would we have to use separate utensils or plates?  Then the thought of friends coming over began to really stress me out.  Having to be strict and educate friends on what to use and what not to touch did not sound fun for me or for them.

We decided to maintain a 100% gluten-free household. My boyfriend was fine with getting his pizza, hot dog or hamburger fix for lunch, when we go out to eat or when we eat separately.  That was music to my ears. The expense of cooking gluten-free for an entire household can be quite costly. However, it is worth it to feel safe in my own home and cooking at home still costs less (most of the time) than dining out.  It really isn’t that hard to make gluten-free meals at home that taste yummy. Most people don’t even realize what I make is gluten-free.  I enjoy finding new recipes and using fresh ingredients.  Cooking is fun for me. And being healthy is important. So far I have had no complaints…

How do you maintain a safe kitchen? Is your kitchen 100% gluten-free? Do you take steps to keep gluten-containing foods and utensils separate from the gluten-free foods and utensils?

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Publix: Where “Gluten Free” Shopping is a Pleasure!

My neighborhood Publix just re-opened.  When I say neighborhood I truly mean it.  A group of men have been gathering there for coffee since the old one opened, and during their remodel, the regular staff worked at another location and would often say hello, and ask me if I am excited for the re-opening.  Was I excited, YES!  I live close enough to have seen the progress, it was going to be bigger and better than most brand new Publix stores.  Publix is also very convenient for me when I need to get the occasional bottle of wine to have a glass with dinner.  The Publix I am referring to is the one at 5858 Atlantic Blvd- near the intersection of University Boulevard and Atlantic.

Much to my excitement, when I went in on the day they opened I discovered an entire section devoted to packaged goods that are gluten-free;  I LOVE THIS.  Rather than having to go up and down every aisle searching for crackers, cookies, soups, pastas that are gluten-free there is one place devoted to this.  They have special sections on each aisle devoted to organic/natural items and some gluten-free stuff, but in this special section almost everything is devoted to “Certified Gluten Free” items.  There is a difference between Gluten Free and “Certified Gluten Free.”  For instance Amy’s brand of soups and organic foods are gluten- free, but they are made in the same area where gluten containing foods are prepared.  This Publix has gone above and beyond to get more of the “certified gluten-free” items for its customers.  My favorite find Glutino’s Gluten Free Chocolate Vanilla Creme cookies (see photo above).  These are essentially Gluten Free Oreos.  THEY ARE AMAZING!  A gluten eating friend claimed they were better than Oreos.  These cookies make me so happy.  They are not healthy by any means, however as someone who has been deprived of a lot of foods, this was an amazing find.  Way to go Publix.  Now if they could just get a chiller for their white wine it would be close to perfect.

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