Sunday, December 31, 2006


Back in November, the Gluten Intolerance Group stated its goals for the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) in 2007. The organization said the program "Will add 75 new restaurants in 20 states, and Canada, and 5 corporate chain restaurants during 2007."

That would be in addition to the 40 or so restaurants already on GFRAP and the 8 corporate chain restaurants already listed at the GIG website.

So far I've been to every GFRAP restaurant in New York City except Tini--but I hope to remedy that situation soon.

Here's a recent review of another Upper East Side restaurant--Lumi-- by Catherine of Gluten Free Guide, which got off to a roaring start in November.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I just received the sad sad sad news that the Gluten Free Bread Basket--the GFRAP bakery in Chester, New York--will close on Saturday, December 30, 2006. From the bakery's email newsletter:
We regret to inform you that as of Saturday, December 30th, 2006 the Gluten Free Bread Basket will be closing.

For the past year and a half we have enjoyed creating and serving our fresh gluten free baked products for you. Our decision to close was a very difficult one to make but one that has become necessary.

Our original vision was to create a bakery with fresh-baked gluten free breads, cakes, cookies and more. We have delivered on this vision and this has truly been a labor of love. As we do not use any commercially available mixes and prepare all of our recipes ourselves from scratch, the process to create the best gluten free products is a very labor intensive one.

Unfortunately, the intense hours and labor involved have begun to take a toll on ourselves and our family life. It is with this in mind, that we have made the decision to close the bakery. If we cannot serve our customers as well as we would like, then we feel it is in the best interest of the business to bring it to a close.

We have enjoyed meeting the many of you who have been able to travel and come to our shop. We have come to know so many of you personally and we will miss serving you.

We are open for business Thursday December 28 through Saturday, December 30

As a farewell gift to you, we will be having a sale on all our gluten-free packaged products. All packaged products (pasta, cereals, pretzels, etc) will be discounted 20% during this time. We will not be taking any orders for shipping during these final days.

Thank you for supporting our bakery. We hope we will get a chance to see you before Saturday to help you stock up on our breads and other baked goods. And, of course, to say a proper good-bye.

Best wishes,

Kathy Iozzino & Marisa Frederick
I still remember when Kathy and Marisa proudly introduced some of their delicious baked treats to a very enthusiastic crowd at a meeting of the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group. I finally visited the bakery itself last November, as the first stop on a road trip. It was a cozy, friendly place where my traveling companion and I were able to take out our cold cuts and enjoy them with fresh breads that offered hearty sustenance during and after the journey.

To my surprise, I spotted a flock of rare gluten-free black-and-white cookies on display along with moist bundt cakes. I planned to feature the above photo of the cookies in a post about that trip and hoped to make the bakery a regular stop on future upstate excursions, so now I'm very saddened that the photo is making its debut in this context, as the Gluten Free Bread Basket joins Happy Happy Happy as an outstanding and responsible gluten-free bakery that shut down in 2006.

Here's how the CeliacChicks covered the bakery in March.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Here's a Power of Food segment for The Food Network that features Shauna James of the blog Gluten-Free Girl. Here's what she wrote about the taping.


Sunday, December 24, 2006


For two days I searched Manhattan supermarkets for Anheuser-Busch's new gluten-free beer but came up empty-handed. Then, just last night, I dined at Risotteria, where it was readily available!

Redbridge is an amber beer that, yes, comes across like a normal United States brew. Its website says that "Redbridge is a rich, full-bodied lager brewed from sorghum for a well-balanced, moderately hopped taste." That sounds valid, although based on my sampling (and clumsily attempting to use beer-taster lingo myself), I'd say it doesn't have a strong taste or aroma and its finish is also on the simple side, ending on a slightly bitter note. That might not sound as good as the company line, but the beer is really fine--I enjoyed drinking it!

My chief label reader quickly noted that the bottle is not labeled gluten-free; however, it does include the lines "Beer Made From Sorghum" and "MADE WITHOUT WHEAT OR BARLEY."

In the short run, this is another piece of good news for gluten-free beer drinkers. Anheuser-Busch, which is a mammoth beer producer, plans to boost awareness of celiac disease and make donations to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, which now includes Heidi Collins as its national spokesperson. However, I'm concerned that, over time, this development might prove challenging to other gluten-free beermakers, large and small, in the United States and elsewhere. Risotteria is currently selling gluten-free beer in six-pack samplers--I hope that we will continue to be able to choose among an assortment of gf brews.

Here is some information about celiac disease posted at the Redbridge website:
Facts about Celiac Disease
Celiac disease affects approximately one in one hundred thirty three Americans – most of whom are misdiagnosed due to atypical symptoms.

Celiac disease is twice as common as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined.

Celiac – left untreated – could lead to infertility, osteoporosis, lymphoma, depression & neurological disorders. Celiac disease is more common in individuals with type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease or anemia

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Your faithful blogger has already directed your attention to a gluten-free Knaidel Mix that can be used for matzoh ball soup. But now the spotlight falls on a different dumpling: a gluten-free German Potato Dumpling Mix spotted at Koglin German Hams, the German food vendor adjacent to Murray's Cheese at the Grand Central Terminal Market.

As you can see from the photo, Werner's Raw Potato Dumplings sport a gluten-free emblem on the upper-left corner of the package front. On a side panel, the words
without gluten
sans gluten
invite you to give this mix a chance.

Many potato dumpling recipes call for egg and/or flour, but in this case the ingredients are "potatoes, potato starch, salt, spices"--so it's safe for many people with food allergies or intolerances. (You can't really taste the spices, in case you're curious about that.) When you add water to the mix, drop the dumplings into boiled water, and wait about 20 minutes, you wind up with buoyant and gummy potato dumplings that are great for soaking up gravy.

Werner's also makes a gluten-free potato pancake (kartoffelpuffer!) mix.

Keep your eyes peeled for the brand wherever German potato products are sold. Online vendors can be found here and here.

Friday, December 15, 2006


In September it was sailing. Now it's skating. Lucky celiac teens!

$20 covers admission, skates, and snacks at the event, which is scheduled for Central Park's Wollman Rink on Sunday, January 28, 2007 from 3 to 6 pm. (The raindate is Sunday, February 4, 2007.)

Registration continues through January 24, 2007.

You can find details here.

This is the fourth session of the Club Celiac Teen Workshop Series hosted by the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Here's a video by The Hannies, shared in the spirit of good fun....


Friday, December 08, 2006


Remember how the 2006 Zagat Survey for New York City includes references to gluten-free foods at two GFRAP restaurants? Well, there's still time to contribute to other area guides--but hurry if you want to hit the Long Island deadline!
Long Island: December 10, 2006

New Jersey: December 17, 2006

Connecticut/Hudson Valley: January 7, 2007
All participants get free guides; don't forget you can enter write-ins; registration is required.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


"Celiac Disease will be featured on WABC News, Channel 7, at approximately 5:55pm (EST) TONIGHT! This segment will feature the Murphy Family and the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University! We hope you can tune in!"

So sayeth Samantha Hoyt of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

UPDATE Here's an online text version of the story, including some links for additional information. [Further update: Video has now been added!] The segment turned out to be a concise family profile that made some worthwhile points: celiac disease runs in families; it can remain undetected by doctors who won't test for it because they pre-emptively rule it out as a rare disease; untreated celiac disease can result in osteoporosis and other health problems in children as well as adults.

There was a suggestion that one child's "developmental trouble, learning disabilities and seizures" might be treatable with a gluten-free diet; although that wasn't fully established in this story, I can say from personal experience that, at celiac meetings in Westchester and Manhattan (at Columbia Presbyterian), I have heard medical case studies of remarkable improvement in some infants and children with those symptoms who were examined and diagnosed with celiac disease and subsequently put on a gluten-free diet. I've heard that some parents of children with autism put their kids on gluten-free diets without seeking a diagnosis of celiac disease--I'd recommend that they actively look into a celiac diagnosis with an informed doctor before putting their kids on such diets.


Over at the lively message board hosted by The New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group, Erin just announced a "taste test" being conducted in Manhattan by a Florida company called Qualitative Intelligence. Here are the basics....

Arico Natural Foods Company is seeking participants for a taste test to evaluate some new gluten-free food products. Participants should be people who suffer from celiac or wheat allergies or care for a family member with those issues. The purpose of the research is to create great tasting gluten-free products.

Interested in participating? Make sure you qualify for the research by contacting Tina Brogdon via email ( or phone (727-393-7991). The session, scheduled for the YMCA at 224 E. 47th Street (212-756-9600) on December 11th at 6:15 pm, is expected to last between 60 to 90 minutes. (If there is enough response, a second group wil be conducted at 7:30 pm.) There will be a cash incentive of $35 as well as free Arico products.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


The CeliacChicks have posted pix from the buffet at the Museum of Natural History--plus some tasty news tidbits--here and here.

'Nuff said!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


The website Medscape "offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the Web's most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools." But you can use it even if you aren't in Medscape's target audience. It's a valuable resource.

By signing up under the specialty Gastroenterology, you'll have access to a number of reports and other items related to that field. Celiac comes up on a regular basis.

One recent posting is a case study/quiz about A 43-Year-Old Man With Progressively Worsening Pruritic Papules and a History of "Irritable Bowel".

I bet you can already make the diagnosis.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


How would you like a good gluten-free bagel? You might be able to snag one (or more) at the Sunday, December 3 meeting of the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group.

The meeting is scheduled to run from 2 to 4 pm at the auditorium of Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow (accessible by car or a beautiful Hudson River train ride on Metro North), but arrive by 1:30 pm to purchase from Joan's GF Great Bakes (outstanding bagels) and Orgran (love that muesli!) as well as America's Healthy Meals, The Kitchen Table Bakers, and Gluten Free Naturals.

The guest speakers will be Ann Whelan of Gluten-Free Living and Anne Lee of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. Topics include
Food labeling

Eating healthily on the gf diet

Celiac disease, diabetes and the gf diet

Managing the gf diet at school and at work

News on grains, nutrition, and ingredients from the recent symposium
Here are driving directions to the hospital. By Metro-North, you can go to Tarrytown (and take a taxi from there) or go to Philipse Manor and walk about 40 minutes, mainly through an attractive and somewhat hilly suburban development (check a map in advance before doing that).

Thanks to Sue Goldstein for spreading the word!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Living gluten-free in NYC is a lot easier because of people who don't just look out for themselves but work on behalf of others, too.

I really appreciate the efforts of the individuals who volunteer to benefit the gluten-free community, so today I give special thanks to Shanel and Erin of The New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group (founded by the CeliacChicks) and especially special thanks to the active members of the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group and the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program, which welcomes volunteers as well as donations (hint hint).

Friday, November 17, 2006


Do celiacs dream of eating rye, barley, and wheat?


QUESTION I think I've had one or two such dreams, though the details aren't coming to mind. How about you?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


You've read his book! You've seen him on CNN! And, if you're a patient of his, you've quite possibly had him stick a thin tube down your gullet!
Dr. Peter Green
"Celiac Disease: An Emerging Epidemic"
92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Ave., New York, NY
Tuesday, November 28 at 6:30 pm
Admission $10 ($5 May Center members)
This is a good chance to see Dr. Green in New York City, regardless of your insurance coverage (or lack thereof).


It wasn't very long ago that I heard a rumor that a TV newscaster was a celiac. Since then, I've learned of two: MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and CNN's Heidi Collins, a patient of Dr. Peter Green.

The CNN transcript of Monday's post-symposium interview between Collins and Dr. Green can be found past the halfway mark on this page. (You can also use the Find function to locate the phrase Millions of people.)

The CNN transcript of Tuesday's follow-up chitchat between Collins and anchor Tony Harris can be found past the halfway mark on this page. (You can also use the Find function to locate the phrase We wanted to follow up.)

Video links can currently be found here and here at the website for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. (They didn't work very well for me, but maybe you'll have better results.) CNN also offers video for pay (though free trials are available) at CNN Pipeline.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Monday, November 13, 2006


You might be hearing more about the African grain teff in times ahead. You might even be eating it, too.

Over the years, I've tended to think of teff as less of a food than as an almost abstract word referring to an alternative to wheat that just wasn't very available at the local grocery or health food store. (It's common in the Ethiopian bread injera, but never assume that Ethiopian restaurants in the USA serve gluten-free bread.)

However, at last week's symposium, Gluten Intolerance Group Executive Director Cynthia Kupper mentioned that the Gluten-Free Certification Organization had given its approval to teff tortillas made by La Tortilla Factory. She gave the impression that they're top-notch. I haven't seen much more about the product at the GFCO and La Tortilla Factory websites, but I figure it'll show up sometime soon.

Teff also came up during a talk by Frits Koning, Professor of Immunology at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands. Koning was almost casual when alluding to Dutch celiacs who already include teff in their diets. From what he had to say, it seems that teff was an excellent alternative to wheat that just hadn't gained much traction in North America.

But that situation might be changing.

Have you or have you not tried teff? If you have tried it, what was it like?

Saturday, November 11, 2006


While I catch my breath (and some shut-eye) after three days of intense celiazation, here's an article on the International Celiac Symposium from The New York Sun.

And Sue Goldstein recently announced that Dr. Peter Green will appear on CNN on Monday, November 13, at 11:30 am EST.

Finally (for now), here's a Reuters item about the link between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Whatever I learn at the celiac disease symposium I want to share with you, my dear reader. So here's the very first thing I learned after arriving at the Hilton this afternoon: Arrive early for lunch!

You see, by the time I got there, greeted a friend from the Westchester Support Group, and registered...the gluten-free box lunches were gone--all gone! D'oh!

Memo to the organizers: You really don't want to run out of food at a multi-day conference for people on medical diets. It's a good thing I've been to enough celiac events to know to head straight for the exhibition room, where I was able to subsist on food samples until I finally feasted at tonight's delicious buffet at the Museum of Natural History. To my regret, I missed out on the pumpkin soup, but I think I sampled everything else. I especially liked the potato-crusted chicken croquettes and the berry-and-cream dessert.

Earlier in the day, there was much food for thought. Here are some general impressions: The world of celiac has changed dramatically (for the better, it seems) over the past twenty years and especially over the past five years. The testing methods improved, more people seem to have gotten correct diagnoses, and the quality of life for the gluten-free seems to have improved, too. At the same time, what we understand as celiac disease seems more and more multi-faceted--especially when one considers international perspectives on the condition.

One intriguing presentation came from Swedish doctor Anneli Ivarsson, who traced the dramatic upsurge in infant celiac disease in Sweden from around 1988 through 1994. (I'm summarizing from my own notes, so feel free to correct me if I've gotten this wrong.) Medical authorities took on the problem and decided to fight it by encouraging parents to continue breast-feeding while gradually introducing gluten into infant diets. After the implementation of this strategy, the number of celiac diagnoses among infants subsided to previous levels. This strongly suggests that breastfeeding, when combined with slow introduction of gluten, can prevent or delay celiac (follow-up studies are ongoing)--but that there is still a baseline population that seems to be unaffected by that particular strategy. One approach worked for some but not all of those Swedish celiac kiddies--you know?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


With the International Celiac Symposium just around the proverbial corner, here are some tips for attendees--I hope I haven't posted them too late!

If you're attending the conference and you've got questions, feel free to ask them here; maybe I or another visitor can be of assistance....

EXHIBITORS Here are some highlights of the exhibitor list:
Bard's Tale Beer
BI-AGLUT Heinz Italy
Carlsberg Breweries
Everybody Eats (good crusty breads!)
Foods By George
Glutino/Gluten-Free Pantry
Kinnikinnick Foods Inc.
Whole Foods Market
GLUTEN-FREE NEW YORK CITY This here blog you're reading has a companion website--yeah, it's not pretty...but it should be pretty functional as a celiac guide to the city.

COMPANION MAP Here's my crazy map of local restaurants that have gf menus supervised by the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program or its equivalent.

RESERVATIONS Call restaurants in advance to make reservations or at least let 'em know when you plan to come. Communicate to avoid showing up when a place is closed or overcrowded.

GF FOODS CLOSE TO THE HILTON As you can see from these dining and shopping lists, there are many gluten-free oases in New York City. Following are four of the closest major destinations; none of the others are very far.

The closest restaurant with a "supervised" gf menu (ask for it!) is the Outback Midtown East (919 Third Avenue on 56th Street, 212-935-6400), where one of the desserts is a chocolate gf brownie topped with ice cream, whipped cream, and sauce.

For groceries, there is a well-stocked health-food store--Westerly Natural Market--at 8th Avenue and 54th Street. There is also a Whole Foods Market inside the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, off the southwest corner of Central Park. The Whole Foods carries frozen items from its Gluten-Free Bakehouse and carries other gf items throughout the store. Inside the store there is a cafe where you can microwave frozen food and eat it on the spot. This particular Whole Foods does not carry beer.

Back to restaurant land: Tropica Bar and Seafood House (200 Park Avenue at East 45th Street in the Metlife Building; 212-867-6767) offers some tangy dishes on its supervised gf menu (ask for it!)--it's closed on weekends, though.

BAKED GOODS If you decide to go to Brooklyn to try out Josefs Gluten Free, call 718-336-9494 in advance and confirm that it will be open. (It closes for the Jewish Sabbath.)

You should be able to find some Josefs products at the aforementioned Whole Foods Market, too.

Some restaurants offer gf baked goods, too. At the popular Risotteria (in the West Village), you can usually get bready breadsticks, carrot cake, cheesecake, and brownies and cookies, plus some surprises. Cheesecake (crustless) is also on the menu at Peters' on the Upper East Side. I'm obsessed with the decadent and shareable Latin Lover dessert (pictured) at midtown's Asia de Cuba, but you might want to call 212-726-7755 to learn more about dining gluten-free at this particular restaurant. Candle 79 (212-537-7179) offers unusual vegan desserts.

GF BEER Whole Foods Chelsea sells gluten-free beer; Whole Foods Union Square probably does, too--call 212-673-5388 if you want to confirm. Other places where you can get gf brew include the restaurants Risotteria and Peters' as well as the Ninth Avenue Vintner (moderate walking distance from the Hilton) and the hipster bar Heather's (506 East 13 Street, 212-254-0979), which also carries gluten-free hard cider. In Park Slope, Brooklyn, there's Bierkraft.

TOURIST TIPS The Hilton is just south of magnificent Central Park. Inside the park but about 30 blocks north of the hotel is the magnificent Metropolitan Museum of Art--where the admission policy is always "pay what you wish."

Another cheap thrill is a pilgramage to the original Winnie-the-Pooh at the Donnell Public Library.

Just blocks away from the Hilton are the Museum of Modern Art, American Folk Art Museum, and the Museum of Arts & Design. The first two offer free admission on Friday evenings; the Museum of Arts & Design offers free admission on Thursday evenings. The Museum of Television & Radio (which hosts screenings and talks and houses large recording archives) is also nearby but potentially frustrating unless you have hours to spend there.

Interesting in getting high--by which I mean going to the top of a skyscraper? You might be tempted to go to the top of the Empire State Building, but beware the cost and the long lines. Instead, consider Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center--you get great views in a relatively elegant setting that's closer to the Hilton. It'll still cost ya, but it's more pleasant in many respects.

If you're into classical music, consider attending Carnegie Hall (the Stern Auditorium) or the Metropolitan Opera House, where the acoustics are outstanding.

I could go on...but I'd better post this before the symposium begins!

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Ever get a hankering to get out of the city? Here's a way to do just that, spend hours admiring one of the great wonders of the East Coast, and treat yourself to a funky (and affordable) gluten-free lunch--all without a car!

It's simple: All you need to do is board a Metro North train to Poughkeepsie. You can start your trip at beautifully restored Grand Central Terminal and then seat yourself on the west side of the train for a great ride--much of it alongside the scenic and historic Hudson River. There are views of the Palisades and, farther north, the picturesque Hudson Highlands (including the island ruins of Bannerman Castle). There are some engineering marvels, too: many bridges and the track itself, which at times runs very close to the river. Foliage views make autumn a good time to make the journey; if it's a cold winter, the ice floes on the river can be fascinating--but the excursion is worthwhile any time of the year.

At the end of the line is Poughkeepsie, the home of Soul Dog, a newfangled hot dog joint affiliated with GFRAP restaurant. It's just a short uphill walk from the south end of the train platform--you can check the restaurant's website and phone for more details. (Soul Dog can probably be reached via one of the taxis hovering around the station, too.)

Choosing from the varied menu, I started with a beef hot dog on a homemade gf bun with a bottle of New Grist. I ordered no less than three of the many house toppings: Chipotle Cream, Caramelized Onion, and Roasted Poblano Pepper Salsa.

Then came the crispy, seasoned Soul Fries--most excellent!

I followed the fries with a chicken dog with only one topping: a Spicy Peanut Sauce (with scallion and cucumber). For Soul Dog first-timers, I recommend this one-topping approach, so you can familiarize yourself whatever single topping interests you most.

For dessert, I enjoyed an amazingly moist pumpkin cupcake that I washed down with a warm cider. (These items aren't always available.)

I bought some of Soul Dog's other baked goods to take home with me--my two faves were the spice cookie and the snickerdoodle.

And then it was time for the train ride back--on the west side, of course!

Note: Soul Dog offers a gluten-free pizza, but it has to be ordered in advance.

Also note: Soul Dog lists Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Soda as gluten-free--yippee!

Photos: David Marc Fischer

Monday, October 30, 2006


Do you remember my March post about Lieber's Knaidel Mix--said to be the best for making gf matzoh balls?

I finally tried the mix this year. Basically, we're talking potato dumplings. At first I wasn't thrilled but then I became addicted, adding them to my soup (or maybe adding my soup to them) on a daily basis. I think that seasoning (for example, adding parsley flakes) may be the key to making the most of the balls.

You may wonder: Why is today different from all other days? Why wouldn't you post about this matzoh ball mix next year, closer to Passover?

Well, here's the skinny: I understand that now could be the ideal time to request it from your local grocer so that you'll get it in time for next Passover.

Friday, October 27, 2006


Last June's celiac vendor fair on Long Island was a great success--and Suffolk County Celiacs has already scheduled a follow-up for 2007--to be held at SUNY Farmingdale on Sunday, April 29, from 11 am to 5 pm.

Dr. Peter Green is the scheduled speaker, with some proceeds to go to the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Mark your calendars!

Friday, October 20, 2006


The good news about the 2007 Zagat restaurant survey for New York City is that the reviewer comments actually acknowledge the existence of gluten-free food. Risotteria "sets the standard for gluten-free dining" and Sambuca "also offers a gluten-free menu - 'is that an oxymoron for Italian?'"

It's too bad, though, that the guide doesn't acknowledge gluten-free food in its Cuisines and Special Features sections. The book subdivides restaurants into dozens of Cuisines, including many (from Afghan, African, Australian to Tibetan, Tunisian, Ukrainian, and Yemenite) that are represented by only one restaurant. Yet there's no Gluten-Free category even though the guide has six listings associated with GFRAP/GIG.

Here they are, ranked by food (and, coincidentally, service) rating. As you probably know, a 30 is the highest possible score. (A 28 is the highest given in this year's edition.) The cost estimates at Zagat have been questioned recently, but--for what it's worth--the average dinner-for-one cost of all the Zagat restaurants came to $37.61. The average tip is, reportedly, 18.9%. The upper-case letters for Asia de Cuba indicates that it is a Zagat "top spot" due to its popularity and importance as well as its high rating; it's kind of weird that the often-busy vegan restaurant Candle 79, which had the best food and service ratings in the pack, didn't make that cut.
Candle 79
Food: 24
Service: 23
Decor: 21
Estimated dinner for one: $40

Food: 23
Service: 20
Decor: 25
Estimated dinner for one: $56

Food: 21
Service: 19
Decor: 18
Estimated dinner for one: $49

Food: 21
Service: 18
Decor: 10
Estimated dinner for one: $23
Sample comment: "sets the standard for gluten-free dining"

Food: 19
Service: 18
Decor: 15
Estimated dinner for one: $36
Sample comment: "P.S. it also offers a gluten-free menu - 'is that an oxymoron for Italian?'"

Outback Steakhouse
Food: 15
Service: 16
Decor: 13
Estimated dinner for one: $32
All the restaurants earned outstanding or at least respectable ratings with the exception of Outback--and I think that might be somewhat unfair. It could reflect a survey prejudice against chain restaurants. Or perhaps the limited options available to gluten-free patrons keep me from even trying some of Outback's less impressive dishes.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Let's give a warm welcome to the first imported gluten-free beer to be sold in the Big Apple (at least as far as I can tell): Toleration, brewed by Nick Stafford's Hambleton Ales in North Yorkshire, England.

Made from sugars without malt, Toleration is a sweet and lightly carbonated brown beer. I actually hesitate to call it a beer because its taste is so unusual. So far the brew hasn't gone over very well at ratebeer and Beer Advocate, but that's no reason not to give it a try--especially if you're not married to conventional beer flavors. The brew reminds me of the old-style Ramapo Valley Honey Lager with its sweetness, but it's smoother. I welcome the variety!

Available in Hell's Kitchen at the Ninth Avenue Vintner's beer and cheese annex (671 Ninth Avenue between 46th and 47th Streets), Toleration is a little pricey at $10 (plus tax), but at least the bottle is somewhat oversized--1 pint .9 fl.oz.

And the Ninth Avenue Vintner's a nice little wine shop, too.

Photos: David Marc Fischer

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Did you catch the CBS coverage of celiac disease last Friday? I was impressed! Here, from the CBS Evening News website, are some of the major points:
"Celiac is one of the most common of diseases — in fact, one out of every 100 Americans has it — yet many don’t know they have it. Only 5 percent of cases are diagnosed properly.

"Detection is important because, left untreated, celiac can lead to a variety of health problems...."

"The reason so many people — close to 3 million — have no idea they have the disease is because celiac disease has not been on doctors’ radars for very long. The screening blood tests have only been around for 10 to 15 years.

"Doctors used to be taught that celiac disease was a very rare condition and caused severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Now doctors know that it’s somewhat common and can cause all sorts of subtle symptoms that don’t even involve the belly.

"Although 99 percent of Americans don’t have the disease, a person shouldn’t be afraid to raise the possibility with a doctor and consider testing if there are unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, if there is already a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, or if the person has any of the nongastrointestinal symptoms associated with celiac disease, which include not only migraines, infertility and osteoporosis, but also short stature, and even recurrent miscarriages."
The CBS Evening News website includes video of the news segment, plus many links.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Monday, October 09, 2006


Dr. Joseph Murray of the Mayo Clinic is one of the leading celiac specialists in North America. Yet, despite his considerable knowledge and experience, Murray was surprised by a recent Mayo Clinic case study analysis that considered 13 patients with celiac disease and found a possible link to their cognitive decline.

In the case study analysis, the most common neurological symptoms were amnesia, acalculia (the inability to perform basic calculations), confusion, and personality changes; of the 10 patients with ataxia, 4 also had peripheral neuropathy.

This news release from the Mayo Clinic quotes Murray as follows:
"There has been a fair amount written before about celiac disease and neurological issues like peripheral neuropathy (nerve problems causing numbness or pain) or balance problems, but this degree of brain problem -- the cognitive decline we've found here -- has not been recognized before. I was not expecting there would be so many celiac disease patients with cognitive decline."
Murray theorizes that the correlation between cognitive decline and worsening celiac symptoms could be attributed to nutritional deficiency, inflammatory cytokines (chemical messengers of inflammation that could contribute to problems in the brain), and/or an immune attack on the brain.

The median age at the onset of cognitive impairment was 64 years (range, 45-79 years). In 3 of the 13 cases, the cognitive decline reversed or stabilized after the patients committed themselves to a gluten-free diet. Five of the patients received a brain autopsy or biopsy that revealed no Alzheimer's disease or any other well-known cause of dementia.

Dr. Murray does not recommend that people with cognitive decline go on gluten-free diets unless they have received a confirmed diagnosis of celiac disease. The standard diagnosis involves a series of blood tests and, if necessary, an endoscopic biopsy.

Dr. William Hu of the Mayo Clinic suggests that, "For patients who come in with atypical forms of dementia, we need to consider checking for celiac disease, especially if the patients have diarrhea, weight loss or a younger age of onset -- under age 70."

The case study analysis
appears in October's Archives of Neurology.

Friday, October 06, 2006


As you might already know from the celiac mailing list, Dr. Peter Green is scheduled to appear on a CBS Evening News segment tonight. On the East Coast, the show starts at 6:30 pm.

This could be the first time in recent years that CBS Evening News covers celiac disease. I can find at least two examples of previous CBS network coverage--on The Early Show. Here they are:
Gluten Allergy Widespread (February 19, 2003)
"Although it's common in Europe, the perception has always been that celiac disease is a rare disorder in the United States. But a new study suggests that it's much more common than we thought. Researchers looked at more than 13,000 adults and children.

"They found that more than 1.5 million Americans may be affected. The disease was present in one out of 22 people who had a close relative with celiac disease and in one out of a 133 people who were not at risk...."

Communion Mom Looks To Vatican (August 19, 2004)
"An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none, violating Catholic doctrine...."

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Friday, September 29, 2006


As you (yeah, you) might recall, the Greater New York City Celiac Support Group (CSA/USA, Inc.) called out for new leadership earlier this year. Due to the lack of response, the group has suspended its formal meetings for the time being. But the group's dinner meetings (not to be confused with the dinner meetings) will continue at
Bistango Restaurant
415 Third Avenue (at E. 29 St.)
Thursday, October 12, 2006 at 6:30 pm
RSVP by October 10 to Merle (212-662-2464) or Mary (212-304-1026).

Friday, September 22, 2006


Melinda Smith's video coverage of celiac disease for Voice of America in "An Ancient Genetic Disorder Gets Modern Day Attention" (September 5, 2005) starts off typically, with a shopping scene. But in just over four minutes, her Voice of America report touches on some unusual angles, including the impact of slow diagnoses, the importance of interpersonal efforts in boosting awareness of celiac disease, and the potentially harmful use of wheat in relief efforts.

Friday, September 15, 2006


The folks at Food & Wine might have been going a little heavy on the wine when they published Erin McKenna's recipe for Raspberry Scones. "Spelt, which is loaded with manganese and riboflavin, gives these wheat-free scones a wheaty taste," gushes the gulled magazine in its September 2006 issue.

I guess nobody managed to inform Food & Wine that there's a simple reason why spelt gives scones a wheaty taste: Spelt is actually a form of wheat.

In the same issue, Food & Wine also defines spelt flour as "A flour alternative for people with wheat allergies," parroting reckless marketing-speak while ignoring organizations such as the FDA and the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, which states
Spelt is an ancient wheat that has recently been marketed as safe for wheat-allergic individuals. This claim is untrue, however. Wheat-allergic patients can react as readily to spelt as they do to common wheat.
Food & Wine isn't alone in making such serious mistakes when covering McKenna and her Babycakes bakery, which has marketed spelt cupcakes as being free of wheat. Earlier this year, New York wrote that a Babycakes cupcake was free of wheat even though spelt was among its ingredients. More recently, Manhattan User's Guide described Babycakes as a "gluten-free bakery" despite its use of spelt.

These days, the BabyCakes website includes this disclaimer:
BabyCakes menu is ever expanding to create safe options for all. Although we try, we are unable to accommodate every allergy. Ultimately, it is the consumer’s responsibility to check all ingredients to ensure safe indulgence. Although Agave Nectar is known to be a healthful sugar-free alternative for those with diabetes, not all diabetics are the same and should check with their doctor to make sure Agave Nectar suits their diet.
Silver lining time: At least the other two McKenna recipes in Food & Wine--for Brownie Bites and Cinnamon Banana Bread--are okay for people on medical gluten-free diets.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I just couldn't keep myself away from Cooking Cute.

Here's Beary good friends.

Here's Blog Day bento.

And, for old time's sake, here's the Totoro!

Previous coverage here

Friday, September 01, 2006


There is a well-established test protocol for celiac disease: A physician takes a set of blood tests during a period when the patient has not been on a gluten-free diet; then, depending on the results of the test, a physician might proceed with an upper endoscopy, long known as the gold standard for a celiac diagnosis.

The reason the blood tests must be taken when the patient has not been on a gluten-free diet is that the tests measure the patient's reaction (or lack of reaction) to gluten in the diet. (The longer a patient has been gluten-free, the less chance there is of measuring anything and getting useful results.)

Some physicians might want to take only one or two blood tests, but the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University recommends the following set to maximize the chance of getting accurate results:
Anti-gliadin antibodies (AGA) both IgA and IgG
Anti-endomysial antibodies (EMA) - IgA
Anti-tissue transglutaminase antibodies (tTG) - IgA
Total IgA level
When it comes to the biopsy, care must be taken to ensure that at least 4 to 6 biopsy pieces be taken, that the orientation of the biopsies be done properly, and that, in the words of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, "If the biopsy interpretation does not match either the clinical impression or serologic results the biopsy should be re-interpreted by a pathologist expert in the interpretation of gastrointestinal pathology." In other words, if the results of the testing seem to be inconclusive, an expert pathologist should review them.

Genetic tests are not a substitute for the above diagnostic process. At present, genetic tests can, at best, determine whether a patient is extremely unlikely to have celiac disease. They will not tell whether a patient has it.

In fact, no other diagnostic tests have yet been proven to be equal or superior to the blood test/biopsy protocol. One might, for instance, find references on the Internet to a stool test offered by Enterolab, but as of the time of this writing this test has neither been accepted by the medical community nor independently shown to be more reliable than the aforementioned protocol.

As recently as last June, Dr. Alessio Fasano of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research had the following exchange in the Clan Thompson Celiac Newsletter (Issue #83/June 21, 2006):
Dear Doctor, I was recently diagnosed with gluten sensitivity through a stool test. Simple, non-invasive, and cheap! While it doesn't tell me if I have intestinal damage, I really don't care because the treatment will be the same, regardless. I have reversed my bone density loss with a (nearly) gluten free diet, have no digestive complaints, and feel great. Why are stool tests for antibodies not used more frequently since they are so darn cheap? Is the mainstream medical establishment opposed to their use for some reason? Thanks, Jenny

Hi Jenny: The only reason why the stool tests are not as diffuse as the classic blood test is that they are not validated and, therefore, they are not recognized by the official organs that govern the laboratories [sic] activities. I am pretty sure that if other labs and other scientists will validate the stool test, it will be likely that this test will be used more wisely. Unfortunately, after many years, nobody has been able to reproduce the validity of this test. Sincerely, Alessio Fasano, M.D.
And just yesterday, Andrea Levario of the American Celiac Disease Alliance shared the following on the international celiac disease mailing list:
The tests being conducted at Enterolab are not "definitive" for celiac disease. In reviewing information on the Enterolab website, it states they are testing for "gluten sensitivity" and not celiac disease.

There are well accepted criteria for the detection and diagnosis of celiac disease. The tests used to fulfill these criteria have been subjected to scientific scrutiny and validation. To our knowledge tests of antibodies in stool or saliva have not been validated as a robust test for the diagnosis of celiac disease. Many insurance companies base their decision to cover the costs of testing on the scientific evidence that supports the testing of that individual (indication) and the actual test used (validation).

Our organization relies on the expertise of its physician members, as well as the recommendations of the:
- American College of Gastroenterology;

- North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,

- Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN);

- NIH Consensus Panel on Celiac Disease; and

- Childrens Digestive Health and Nutrition Foundation
for the most current scientifically proven information on the diagnosis of celiac disease.
Alternate testing methods are being explored, but at present the diagnosis of celiac disease is best done by well-informed medical professionals using the blood test/biopsy protocol.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Bard's Tale Beer is now at Risotteria!

This is possibly the first time that three gluten-free beers have been available at the same time in one restaurant in New York City.

Isn't that an encouraging sign? Not long ago (perhaps three or four years), no gluten-free beers were commercially available in the United States!

Friday, August 25, 2006


Celiac grownups may get to drink gf beer...but celiac teens get to go sailing!

Registration has opened for gluten-free teens to go on a 2-hour sail on the schooner Adirondack scheduled for Sunday, September 10, 2006, from 12:30-3:00 pm.

The deadline for registration ($20 per teen) is Monday, September 4, 2006.

You can find details here.

This is the third session of the Teen Workshop Series hosted by the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Photo Source

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


The new newsletter of the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group (WCSSG) announced the following events for the coming months:
General Meeting
Sunday, September 10, 2006 (2-4 pm)
Theme: Eating Out
Vendors include Maxwell's Kitchen, The Ultimate Cookie, The Really Great Food Company
Phelps Memorial Hospital, Sleepy Hollow, NY

Tribute to GFRAP'S Pat MacGregor (RSVP required)
Sunday, October 15, 2006 (2 pm)
Featuring premiere of Susan Cohen's documentary Generation Gluten-Free
Vendors include Food by George and The Gluten Free Breadbasket (preorders taken)
Phelps Memorial Hospital, Sleepy Hollow, NY

XII International Celiac Disease Symposium
Thursday, November 9 through Saturday, November 11, 2006
Hilton New York
New York, NY

General Meeting
Sunday, December 3, 2006 (2-4 pm)
Theme: TBD
Vendors: TBD
Phelps Memorial Hospital, Sleepy Hollow, NY
More information can be found at the WCSSG website.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Wow! I finally tried out a bottle of Green's Discovery--a gluten-free brew made in Belgium but marketed in the United Kingdom--and I'm thrilled!

Due to my own efforts and the amazing helpfulness of globetrotting friends, I've tried seven gluten-free beers so far. This is the first that's a dark beer, with a thick head and a hearty flavor. As the Gluten Free Beer Festival people put it, it has a "Hazy brown appearance," "Very discreet appley aromas," and "Slight fruit flavours becoming increasingly bitter."

Now I'm really curious about Green's Explorer, the gluten-free stout that won a blue ribbon at the beer festival.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Now, about that International Celiac Disease Symposium....

Just kidding.

A woman on the International Celiac Mailing List recently compiled a list of her favorite blogs. Gluten-Free NYC wasn't on it! And neither was I Am Gluten Free! Oh well--no accounting for taste! Sob.

I won't vouch for all of her recommended blogs--one of them actually claims that strawberries don't belong on a wheat-free diet! But among the links that she did post was one for Cooking Cute: a bento blog. Bento is, typically, a Japanese box lunch; the blog's proprietress, Ngoc started cooking gluten-free in July 2006 in order to help out her husband. So let's hear it for Ngoc, who's coming through for her spouse by being informed about the diet and coming up with some very attractive gluten-free bento meals, including a cute Totoro! (What's a Totoro? Click here and here.)

And there was Food, cooking, eating, and me, which includes a gluten-free cocktail recipe. Many, many cocktails are gluten-free, but what the heck--the more the merrier! Provided you drink responsibly, of course.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Yet another reminder: Early registration for the XII International Celiac Disease Symposium (November 9-11, 2006) will continue through August 15!

If you've been following this blog, you probably know what I think: This is a great opportunity for laypeople as well as medical professionals in the New York City area.

Let's say you're a celiac civilian interested in the Clinical Forum. For $195 (the early registration fee) you can attend panels from Thursday through Saturday, enjoy gluten-free snacks and meals at the symposium, and attend receptions in the company of others who have similar interests. For such celiac solidarity, that's $65/day including food--and $100 less than the normal registration fee.

In years to come, you can expect this major conference to take place far away from New York City and involve significant travel and lodging expenses. But this November, for those of us who live nearby, it'll arguably pay for itself--especially if you take advantage of early registration.

Previous coverage here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Exciting news: Lentini Restaurant is the latest New York City restaurant to participate in the Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program! It's at 1562 Second Avenue, by 81st Street.

Here are comments on the restaurant from Menupages and Citysearch.


Bargain-hunting procrastinators rejoice: Early registration for the XII International Celiac Disease Symposium (November 9-11, 2006) has been extended until August 15!

As pointed out previously, early registration can mean substantial savings.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I first learned of verē sweets from a thoughtful friend who had spotted the attractive packaging via Treehugger and noticed that they're gluten-free.

Like Celiac Chick Kim, I'm a fan of the little "brownies"--specifically, the walnut variety. (Just so you're clear on this: They're much more like truffles than conventional brownies.) As is the case with verē's other sweets, they're on the expensive side: A six-pack at Manhattan's Conran Shop costs $9, or $1.50 per chocolate.

However, free verē samples are currently available downstairs at The Conran Shop, situated by the Manhattan anchorage of the Queensboro Bridge at 407 East 59th Street and First Avenue (212-755-9079). That's a long way to travel for some chocolate morsels, but a sweet deal if you "happen" to be in the area.

According to a verē web page, verē sweets are now available at nine Manhattan locations plus one up the Hudson in Cold Spring and eleven outlets in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I found this homemade video on YouTube and thought I'd share it. Be warned: The lyrics include (gluten-free) obscenities.


Thursday, July 20, 2006


Remember that early registration for the XII International Celiac Disease Symposium (through August 1, 2006) can save you $100-200 per person. You can then send a portion of your savings to me!

Previous symposium coverage.


Dr. Peter Green is a guest on the radio show The People's Pharmacy, airing this very minute on WBGO (88.3 FM). Sorry for being so late with this info!

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Ellen from I Am Gluten Free recently visited New York City and enjoyed gluten-free dining at Candle 79, the GFRAP vegan restaurant on the Upper East Side. Here's what Ellen wrote. Her one piece of constructive criticism:
I suppose the only bit of advice I would give the restaurant (and I did leave them a note) was to include gluten free bread items. I might've chosen the black bean burger had there been a gluten free roll to put it on. There are so many great gluten free bread options, especially in NYC. Why not take advantage of them? I would've liked seeing something on the menu that included, for example, a corn tortilla with some sort of black bean mixture for the insides of it. Their menu is so creative, I'm sure they could come up with something for us Celiacs that included bread.
That's a good point. You can get gf bread (though not a bun, and with a surcharge) at Peters' on the Upper East Side, but you have to bring your own bread or do without at Bloom's. I'm sure it can't be hard for a GFRAP restaurant to keep gf bread frozen and then microwave it (and maybe toast it) for its gluten-free patrons. After I called Café Botanica at the Jumeirah Essex House--not a GFRAP establishment--to go over my needs for an event there, the manager simply got some gf bread at the nearby Whole Foods and served it to me.

Kudos to those restaurateurs who arrange to give gluten-free patrons a "complete dining experience"--from the equivalent of a welcoming breadbasket right through at least one or two desserts. Joe at Risotteria (where I enjoyed a gf strawberry shortcake last night) is outstanding in this respect--everyone now gets delicious gf breadsticks upon arrival. I've also been pleasantly surprised by the small gf antipasto dish provided at Bistango. I'm not quite as thrilled by the gf rolls at Sambuca, but I definitely appreciate the effort. So many people must take breadbaskets for granted, but even getting a single slice of gf bread can warm my heart and even bring tears of gluten-free gratitude to my eyes.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


It's pretty much as it was last winter: I'm informed that Asia de Cuba is offering three-course gluten-free lunches (including a choice of sorbet or the luscious Latin Lover dessert, above) at $24.07 on weekdays through Labor Day. Call to make reservations and confirm that you will be satisfied with the available options.

No other GFRAP restaurant is offering a deal on gluten-free meals.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Saturday, July 08, 2006


When is a product labeled gluten-free not gluten-free? It can happen when the labeler of the product screws up--intentionally or accidentally.

Ivan F. Delbyck wrote about Wellshire Farms's Lemon Herb Turkey Breast in the April 2006 newsletter of the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group. The product, found in the freezer case of the Whole Foods at Columbus Circle, was clearly labeled as gluten-free; however, after Ivan brought the turkey home, his wife Ricki checked the ingredients and found that barley malt was listed among the ingredients. Ivan and Ricki brought the discrepancy to the attention of Whole Foods, which contacted Wellshire Farms. Weeks later, wrote Ivan in a portion of the article that was truncated from the newsletter, "we were told by Whole Foods that they received a response from Wellshire Farms and were told by their corporate management that the product had been mis-labeled and did have gluten in it."

Ivan's conclusion: "The bottom line and moral of this story is to always read the label." But I'd like to point out that the bottom bottom line might be that manufacturers, food preparers, and food distributors must be vigilant and honest about labeling their foods. This goes for Wellshire Farms and Whole Foods as well as smaller operations such as Babycakes.

Sure, celiacs can read labels and search for discrepancies. But ultimately they're still reliant on the quality of the labels themselves. Every party in the food chain shares responsibility for correct labeling.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Registration has been extended for this Sunday's Teen Summer BBQ hosted by the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. Registration was to have ended today, but it will continue through 12 pm on Friday, July 7, 2006.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Years ago I stopped drinking Snapple because the company was dodgy about whether or not any of its drinks were gluten-free. Now that I've gotten this note from Snapple Consumer Relations, I'm going to feel free to enjoy the company's drinks again.
Thank you for contacting us about the presence of gluten in our Snapple products. Consumer inquiries such as this are appreciated because they provide valuable feedback about our brands.

Gluten is a mixture of complex proteins found in the grain of wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, corn, and other grains. All of our Snapple products are gluten free.

We appreciate your inquiry and hope you will continue to enjoy our Snapple products. For more information about our company, please visit us on the web at
Photo from Snapple promotion in Bryant Park: David Marc Fischer

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Chains can be liberating--at least for people on the gluten-free diet. Knowing that Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Legal Sea Foods, P.F. Chang's and a slew of fast-food establishments offer gluten-free menus can ease trip planning as well as ordinary and business dining. It's especially reassuring to know that a restaurant has developed its gluten-free menu by working with a reputable outside organization, as is the case with the Gluten Intolerance Group and Outback, Carrabba's, and Bonefish Grill.

When I saw that the July 2006 Consumer Reports ranked dozens of chain restaurants according to reader surveys, I thought I'd share the results for restaurants with gluten-free menus. The highest score is an 88; the lowest is a 65. (See the magazine for more details.)
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Score: 86
Taste: 5 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Approximate Price: $20-24
Note: Carrabba's got special notice for takeout.

Bonefish Grill
Score: 85
Taste: 5 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Approximate Price: $25-$29
Note: Bonefish Grill got special notice for "special occasions."

P.F. Chang's China Bistro
Score: 84
Taste: 5 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Approximate Price: $20-$24
Note: P.F. Chang's got special notice for takeout but a "black eye" for crowds.

Legal Sea Foods
Score: 82
Taste: 4 out of 5
Service: 4 out of 5
Approximate Price: $25-$29

Outback Steakhouse
Score: 80
Taste: 4 out of 5
Service: 3 out of 5
Approximate Price: $20-$24
Note: Outback got special notice for takeout but a "black eye" for long waits.
So far Outback is the only one of the above five chains to establish a presence in New York City. However, among the magazine's top-ranked chains, several are already in The Big Apple. Even though they're not cheap, wouldn't it be great if they'd adopt gluten-free menus?
GFNYC's List of Chains Ripe for Gluten-Free Menus
(All got top marks in Taste and Service)

The Capital Grille (Score: 88; $40 plus) already in NYC
Ruth's Chris Steak House (Score: 87; $40 plus) already in NYC
J. Alexander's (Score: 86; $20-$24)
Houston's (Score: 86; $25-$29) already in NYC
McCormick & Schmick's (Score: 85; $30-$39) already in NYC
Pappadeux Seafood Kitchen (Score: 84; $20-$24)
Morton's, The Steakhouse (Score: 84; $40 plus) already in NYC
If you're aware of other celiac-friendly chains (those with gf menus), feel free to note them in the comments.


Two more cents....

First, I want to take note of the numbers. According to Consumer Reports, there are 779 Outbacks, 209 Carrabba's, 133 P.F. Chang's, and 108 Bonefish Grills. According to its website, Legal Sea Foods has more than 30 restaurants. So the effort to hammer out five gf chain restaurant menus yielded more than 1259 celiac-friendly restaurants--an average of about 252 restaurants per menu!

Second, because I'm budget conscious, I'll also take note of the seven "good food at a good price" restaurants listed by Consumer Reports--even though none has a New York City location at present:
Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy (Score: 84; $15-$19)
Red Hot & Blue (Score: 82; $15-19)
Famous Dave's (Score: 82; $15-$19)
Claim Jumper (Score: 82; $15-$19)
Romano's Macaroni Grill (Score: 82; $15-$19)
Johnny Carino's Country Italian (Score: 81; $15-$19)
Texas Roadhouse (Score: 81; $15-$19)