Triumph Dining Grocery Guide

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Information Round-Up

News of note: 

In addition to their gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free and soy-free bread offerings, EvaRuth's Bakery in Middletown is now offering YEAST-FREE BREAD! Here's a link to the ingredients label: Don't forget: you can check out EvaRuth's on FaceBook or Twitter!

Blackie's Bulldog Tavern, in Smithfield, is now offering a gluten-free menu, and I have a copy of it available at this link:

Happy 5th Birthday to A&J Bakery! This Friday, July 20, A&J will be hosting a two-hour party from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., in celebration of their expansion and birthday. They will be having give-aways throughout the night. Rumor has it that they'll be offering samples of new products.

 The Wall Street Journal posted an interesting article online about the Melting Pot restaurants, and their approach to handling gluten-free customers and orders. If they are as serious and effective as this article is describing, I would commend them! Here's the link:

Usually when I'm in the supermarkets, unless it's Whole Foods, I don't really pay attention to the people handing out free samples of food, because  – let's face it – nine times out of ten, it's not going to be gluten-free. But last week in Stop & Shop, I overheard one of these demonstrators telling someone that some of their products were gluten-free, and my ears perked right up. Aidells, advertises an all natural, no MSG, no nitrates, product with no added hormones. Not all of their products are gluten-free, but I bought a package of pre-made meatballs to try. Now anyone who knows me, knows that I prefer to cook/bake my own food from scratch, as close to organic as I can get. But there are those nights, when you've been on turbo speed all day, and all you want to do is eat and crash – in that order. That's why I'm trying this product – for those times. If you click on the above link for, you can scroll down to the bottom of the website and select "allergen info" to access their nutritional chart specifying which products are gluten-free.

From the "Food Notes" in the Providence Journal: Pane e Vino Ristorante in Providence offers a gluten-free menu, as well as a fixed price, gluten-free Trattoria menu with a dessert. Here's a link to their GF menu:

Not to be outdone, Potenza Ristorante/Bar in Providence has added three pizzas to its GF menu: Chef's Favorite (topped with tomato, prosiutto, Asiago cheese, artichokes and spinach); Central Italy (tomato, Gorgonzola cheese, mushrooms and arugula); and Traditional Margherita (with tomato, basil, Mozzarella and fresh herbs). Okay, now I'm officially hungry! Click the restaurant name above to access their GF menu.

Email me your questions, topics you would like to see discussed, and input at Don't forget to leave your email address, and I'll take the best suggestion or question and feature it here on CGRI, and the winning suggestion, question, etc. will receive a copy of the amazing Elana Amsterdam's "Gluten-Free Cupcakes" cookbook.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sampling Event at Healthy Haven in Tiverton this Saturday

Healthy Haven is hosting a


of baked goods by Shabtai Gourmet

           on Saturday, July 14, 2012 from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

Come sample a variety of decadent pastries: Ring Tings, Dessert Rolls (Chocolate, Raspberry, Apricot and Baby Swiss) and a 7-Layer Chocolate Cake.

Healthy Haven now has Birthday/Special Occasion cakes by Shabtai Gourmet. All of these baked goods are dairy, soy and lactose free. Some are free of corn.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Triumph Dining Guide review

Okay, I'm hooked. When TRIUMPH DINING asked me if I wanted to look over their dining guide, my first thought was: "With a state as small as Rhode Island, is it really necessary?" And the answer is, "Hell, yeah!"

This guide lists name, location and phone number, types of food available, websites...everything you need to check out a new place before you go.

Next to the restaurant description, there are icons, telling you if a GF menu is available on-sire, if GF specialty items are offered (such as bread, beer, pasts, etc.), if it is a 100% Gf establishment, and if it is a chain restaurant. They also note the type of menu (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack), and give an idea of price range.

The beginning chapters of the guide advise you on "How to get a GF meal anywhere," explaning how to build short- and long-term relationships with restaurants, and they also offer a "Dining Out Checklist"  in the back of the guide. They also mention "dining cards," and explain how they can help.

 The major portion of the guide is the listings of restaurants by state. After listing restaurants by state, the last sections of the guide deals with gluten-free "lists" and menus available at chain restaurants. For those of you who haven't experienced it, some restaurants don't have a GF menu specifically, they have an "allergy book" or "allergy list," which tells you which of the major allergens (including wheat) that are in their products. Some lists are well-organized enough to tell you what you can eat for specific allergens, but other list just show a chart, specifying which of the allergens are in each menu item (which can be confusing as hell!)

As tempting as it is to just go directly to your state listings in the restaurant guide, don't forget to go back and read the first chapters. They are a valuable resource. and can help you understand how to interact with the staff and servers at a restaurant to get what you need, without being rude or unclear.

My only disappointment with this guide: The listings are set up by state, then the major cities, then all other cities. When you get to the "all other cities" part, the restaurants are listed in alphabetical order by name, which is great. But what if you just want to know what restaurants are available in a specific city, one that isn't a major city? I would have loved to see an index in the back, which listed the states, then the cities in alpha order, then the restaurants in alpha order, along with page number. So if I want to find a restaurant in Warwick, Rhode Island, I don't have to look through the entire listing of "other cities" to find it, I can go to the index, look up Rhode Island: Warwick, and then see just the names of restaurants by alpha order, with a page number. Then I go to that page number, and look up the Warwick restaurants I want and not have to search the whole "other cities" list trying to pick out the Warwick ones.

For your convenience, I've provided a click-through ad on my page for the Triumph Gluten-Free Restaurant Guide, in case anyone wants to check it out. They also have a Triumph Dining Gluten-Free Grocery Guide, and I've provided you a click-through for that as well. On their website, they also advertise GF baking guides, dining cards (to educate your servers), and GF stickers to mark your food if you live in a household which is not completely GF.

My final thoughts: I LOVE this guide! I can take it traveling with me, and feel secure in knowing wherever I go, I can find somewhere to eat and know what to expect. And my relatives will feel better knowing I can suggest places that we can go for dinner without feeling like I'm taking a crap shoot with my health! I've found places in my state where I didn't even know that they had a GF menu. Now I can explore, but with the knowledge and security of being properly prepared. Thank you, Triumph Dining, for doing all the work for me!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fourth of July – Celiac Style!

Whether you're heading off to the beach, a cookout at a friend or relative's house, or staying home, Fourth of July is often a difficult time for a celiac, with gluten hazards around every corner. This year, take time to prepare ahead of time, so you can spend more time relaxing, and less time stressing.

This year, A&J Bakery, in Cranston, and EvaRuth's, in Middletown, are both offering GLUTEN-FREE HAMBURG BUNS. Make sure you bring your own hot dogs, and that they are gluten-free. Some brands to choose from include Ball Park Fat Free All Beef Hotdogs, Hebrew National and Oscar Meyer. Read the labels on your condiments closely: many have wheat ingredients. If you are grilling, make sure you have cleaned your cooking surface carefully, and keep a special place aside for your GF burgers and dogs, or wrap them in foil before placing on the grill. Check the ingredients in marinades as well – many contain gluten. If you are toasting your buns on the grill, make sure it has been thoroughly cleaned. If you are sharing a grill with others who aren't eating gluten-free, be careful to use separate tongs and spatulas to turn the meat. Remember: wood and plastic are porous and can retain gluten, so use metal utensils that have been properly cleaned. Pick up a six-pack of GF beer or hard GF cider, and make sure to bring yourself a dessert, so you won't feel so bad when everyone is having their goodies. Watermelon is naturally GF, and is really refreshing on a hot day, and corn on the cob is another delicious cookout food that is naturally gluten-free.

With a little preparation and an insulated cooler, you can have a safe and enjoyable cookout, without feeling anxious or deprived.

So on this Independence Day, enjoy your independence from gluten, and say a heartfelt thanks to the men and women in uniform who work tirelessly and risk or sacrifice life and limb for your freedom every day. God Bless, and enjoy your holiday!

Hamburg Rolls from EvaRuth's Bakery in Middletown RI