Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This Sunday: Chef to Plate Awareness Campaign

Support Your Local "Gluten-Free Aware" Restaurant!

In case you hadn't heard...this Sunday offers an opportunity to say "thank you" to restaurateurs who support people on gluten-free diets. Organized by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), the Chef to Plate National Awareness Campaign urges you to patronize these supportive restaurants [PDF] on Sunday, May 3, 2009. The goals of this event are to
  • Spread national awareness of celiac disease and gluten intolerance conditions during May, Celiac Awareness Month
  • Spread recognition and awareness of restaurants with gluten-free menu options
  • Bring Peace of Mind to persons with gluten intolerances when dining out
  • Join restaurants across the country in a day of awareness
  • If you'd like to join with others on Sunday evening, the New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group (NYCCDMG) will gather for a prix fixe banquet at GustOrganics.


    Sunday, April 26, 2009

    Coming Soon: The G-Free Diet

    Blog Runs Early Book Review

    It's the ramp-up period for Elisabeth Hasselbeck's book The G-Free Diet (to be released on May 4)—and a Celeb Fridge interview with Hasselbeck appears in May's Every Day with Rachael Ray.

    If you're really curious about the book, you can check out this "preview review" by Winnie McCarthy and the ensuing discussion at the blog Watching the View.

    I must say I got a kick out of misslingdow's comment "Looks like she is rocking the “zoolander face”.

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Long Island Vendor Fair 2009

    I just thought I'd post this reminder about the Long Island Vendor Fair 2009, the fundraiser to be held this Sunday in Hauppauge. To make the most of the experience, bring cash and coolers to carry away frozen goods. Um...and get there early to have the greatest choice "while supplies last." And, uh, pace yourself with those samples—taste them to keep yourself from getting stuffed too fast.

    If it's anything like the 2007 fair, you can expect cannolis, gourmet chocolates, and outstanding rolls and bagels and English muffins.

    Here's an updated version of my Long Island Vendor Fair map from the last vendor fair, back in '07.

    And in case you're interested, my map of Gluten-Free NYC is here—it's one of the Top 100 Map Builder maps!

    Monday, April 20, 2009

    Zagat Time

    You've still got time to participate in the 2010 Zagat Survey of New York City Restaurants.

    If you register and vote by the May 17 deadline, you can give your favorite restaurant(s) a hand and get yourself a free copy of the survey when it comes out—but not a moment sooner!

    Saturday, April 18, 2009

    Report: Starbucks to Add GF Dessert

    MSN Money/AP reports that Starbucks is to offer a wrapped, gluten-free Valencia Orange Cake starting May 5, in response to customer requests.

    Starbucks previously test-marketed a gluten-free brownie in New York City and spent years considering what it should do to cater to gluten-free customers.

    You can find previous coverage here.

    Photo: David Marc Fischer

    Thursday, April 16, 2009

    GFRAP Welcomes Nice Matin

    A French Restaurant on the Upper West Side

    The number of GFRAP restaurants on the Upper West Side just doubled: Nice Matin (201 West 79th Street) just got with the program!

    Nice Matin is, like Hell's Kitchen GFRAP restaurant Nizza, a venture of partners Simon Oren and chef Andy D'Amico. Both restaurants offer cuisine from the same part of the world: Nice (France) and Nizza (Italy). Nice, huh?

    The participation of Nice Matin in GFRAP is not coordinated with an area group. The restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.

    The other GFRAP restaurant on the Upper West Side is Sambuca, which participates in cooperation with the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group (WCSSG).

    Sunday, April 12, 2009

    Cautious Kissing?

    When is it medically safe for someone with celiac disease to enjoy a deep smooch with someone who has, say, just eaten some gluten-containing cake or chugged a six-pack of Bud? I think it's hard to know for sure, but some recent allergy research may shed some light on the subject.

    As reported in various places including Please Don't Pass the Nuts, Parenting a Child with Food Allergy, Medscape, and the website of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), a recent peanut allergy study looked at peanut butter residue in saliva. Led by Dr. Jennifer Maloney of New York City's Mount Sinai Hospital, the study found that, apart from avoiding peanuts in the first place, the most effective method of eliminating peanut butter residue in saliva was to wait several hours, then eat at least one peanut-free meal. And just in case you're wondering: Toothbrushing alone did not do the trick. Nor did gum-chewing.

    How would the findings relate to gluten residue from food and/or drink for people on medical gluten-free diets? I'd like to see some studies done—immediately! In the meantime, the safest approach to, um, swapping spit would be for the smoochers to be gluten-free—and the second safest approach would seem to be for them to be gluten-free for at least several hours with something gf to eat or drink before the smooching starts. Those hours without gluten might make a difference when it comes to mouth-clearing. And, of course, otherwise keeping a strict gluten-free diet does keep any minute quantities of ingested daily gluten from adding up to dangerous levels.

    It's easy to see how one might feel that an ultra-hygienic approach to kissing can be unromantic or just plain, um, suck. As suggested above, research might provide some insight into the properties of gluten residue as opposed to peanut butter residue. And GFNYC continues to feel that sympathy, creativity, good humor, and safe expressions of sensual affection can go a long way in rewarding partners who respect the medical concerns of the gluten-free.

    So what do you think? Even this very serious "How To Kiss" video addresses hygiene.

    Source (2:18)

    Friday, April 10, 2009

    Restaurant Inspection 2009

    Have you been wondering what happened to GFNYC's annual round-up of restaurant inspection results from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)?

    Wonder no more.

    As always, the restaurants on this list—New York City eateries on the roster of the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP)—continue to be way ahead of other Big Apple restaurants in recognizing the health concerns related to gluten in their foods.

    The lower the number score, the better the inspection results, with a score of 28 or higher constituting a failing grade.

    Topping the list are Asia de Cuba (albeit with a rating from 2007) as well as Tuttoriso, Candle 79, and Risotteria. Many restaurants did worse this year than last year, but (unlike last year) none received a failing grade. Not available at this time is an inspection report for Nizza.
    02 11/21/07 Asia de Cuba (Manhattan) no new inspection
    04 01/16/09 Tuttoriso (Staten Island) newly inspected
    09 01/08/09 Candle 79 (Manhattan) up 7
    10 06/12/08 Risotteria (Manhattan) unchanged
    12 03/20/09 Sambuca (Manhattan) down 7
    13 12/05/08 Peters' (Artaki) (Manhattan) up 4
    13 03/10/09 Lili's 57 (Lili's Noodle Shop) newly listed
    15 01/04/08 Outback Steakhouse Chelsea (Manhattan) no new inspection
    15 07/17/08 Outback Steakhouse Brooklyn (Brooklyn) up 65
    18 11/12/08 Bistango (Manhattan) down 2
    18 09/08/08 Outback Steakhouse Queens Boulevard (Queens) down 9
    19 11/29/08 Outback Steakhouse (Staten Island) down 3
    20 12/22/08 Outback Steakhouse Third Avenue (Manhattan) down 2
    20 12/05/08 Lumi (Manhattan) down 10
    22 11/20/08 Carrabba's (Staten Island) down 1
    22 03/09/09 Gus' Place (Manhattan) down 14
    25 05/14/08 Friedman's Deli new to list
    25 11/03/08 Outback Steakhouse Bell Blvd. (Queens) down 12
    25 01/05/09 Lilli and Loo (Manhattan) down 14
    27 03/16/09 S'MAC new to list
    27 09/22/08 Gusto Grilled Organics new to list
    27 04/29/08 Bloom's (Manhattan) down 14
    NA --/--/-- Nizza no inspection found
    For the most current DOH inspection records, click here.

    GFRAP restaurants can be found here.

    Wednesday, April 08, 2009

    Passover Product Watch 2009: Frank's Mini Eclairs

    Plus: A Gluten-Free Passover Cookbook

    Days ago, the ShopRite at Morton Village in Plainview, Long Island, received what was probably its last delivery of Passover products—including the return of frozen Mini Eclairs from Frank's Gourmet Bakery! Even if you set aside the gluten-free pastry dough made from potato and tapioca starch, these little treats would still not be "classic" eclairs in the sense that the filling isn't made with dairy products. But Frank's version—thawed or frozen—is still good enough for gluten-free me. I'm glad to see them back.

    But why, oh why, is it so hard to find the rest of the gluten-free product line from Frank's Gourmet Bakery?

    In other news, Gluten Free Bay is excited over Tamar Ansh's kosher gluten-free cookbook Pesach~Anything's Possible!.

    Monday, April 06, 2009

    A Visit to Supersol

    Kosher Outpost on the Upper West Side (and Elsewhere)

    Having already ventured into Brooklyn to find gluten-free Passover products at Pomegranate, I followed up on another lead from the New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group (NYCCDMG) and paid a visit to the Supersol supermarket on the Upper West Side. (There are also Supersols in Flushing, Lawrence, and Scarsdale.)

    It was a madhouse on Sunday afternoon, but I made my way up and down the narrow aisles and found a number of familiar products (including Frankel's frozen foods and baked goodies from Oberlander's and Shabtai) as well as some items that were new to me. From Noam Gourmet there were potato-y Passover Bagels as well as Passover Pizza Bagels, which I'd also seen at Pomegranate.

    And I found yet another faux matzoh ball mix—this time under the Haddar label.

    Photo: David Marc Fischer

    Saturday, April 04, 2009

    GF Jocks: Glenn Singleton and Kate Smyth

    Top kayaker Glenn Singleton and Olympic marathon runner Kate Smyth were athletic ambassadors for Australia's Coeliac Awareness Week 2009 (featuring mascot MOJO, right).

    Singleton [PDF] experienced fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, sporadic anemia, and nutritional deficiencies before his general practitioner ordered the tests that led to his diagnosis and subsequent adoption of a gluten-free diet. Since then, Singleton says, he has experienced improved well-being and improved his time by a whopping 15 seconds.

    Smyth [PDF] says she improved her marathon time by nearly six minutes after getting the tests that led to adopt the gluten-free diet that relieved her lethargy, bloating, chronic anemia, and nutritional deficiencies.

    Here's Glenn Singleton on the Australian morning talk show 9am with David and Kim.


    Thursday, April 02, 2009

    NBC New York: Gluten Free Menus Gain in Popularity

    On Tuesday, Tracie Strahan of New York's NBC News did a segment on celiac-friendly restaurants including GFRAP's Sambuca and Risotteria as well as Opus, on the Upper East Side. Here it is!

    Thanks to Shari of the New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group (NYCCDMG) for the lead.

    Source (1:45)