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April 2012

Are you familiar with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness's GREAT Kitchens Program? This is a 5-year-old program in which NFCA rigorously trains both chain restaurants as well as independent restaurants in the intricacies of providing gluten free meals. Their "Train the Trainer" course for chefs and food service managers provides the knowledge and tools to educate their entire kitchen staff on safe GF food handling and preparation. At GlutenFreeTravelSite, we've recently worked with NFCA to further get the word out about these GREAT-trained restaurants by adding them to our site. As you know, typically a restaurant or other business must be reviewed by someone in the GF community in order to appear on our site. However, with NFCA's GREAT Kitchens-trained restaurants, we've made an exception. We are confident in NFCA's strict protocols for training and vetting restaurants and want visitors to our site to learn about these designated restaurants. We can look forward to more safe choices in gluten free dining, since today NFCA announced the expansion of their GREAT Kitchens gluten free credentialing program. Af few of us had the opportunity to speak with NFCA Founder Alice Bast and her team this morning, and they are very committed... Read more →

As many of you know, Biaggi's is a favorite restaurant of mine. The only downside is that they don't have any locations in our immediate we just have to look forward to trips that take us near one of their many locations! Their Gluten Free Menu is among the best, with 2 pages of appetizer, salad, pasta, pizza, and entree options -- all gluten free! And this isn't a restaurant where you'll have to order anything "plain." Biaggi's offers at least eight savory sauces that are gluten-free! Each Spring and Fall, Biaggi's updates their menu, and each time, they try to work all new items into their Gltuen Free Menu as well. Yesterday they unveiled two new entree items for Spring: North Atlantic Cod (served over a bed of whipped cauliflower and sauteed spinach -- and drizzled with a lemon caper viniagrette) and Smoked Hanger Steak (10 oz cold-smoked and grilled, served with tomato chutney, herb-roasted fingerling potatoes, and seasonal vegetables). Other unique items on Biaggi's menu that you won't find elsewhere include Chicken Piemontese (grilled chicken breast stuffed with imported Italian ham aand smoked provolone and Gouda cheeses -- topped with lemon-basil butter sauce and served with sauteed... Read more →

Our family dined at Glory Days Grill a couple night ago. Glory Days -- with 22 locations across Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia -- is one of our favorite places to go for a delicious and reliable "All American" meal. The Gluten Free Menu at this sports-themed restaurant is one of the best in the area, offering things like gluten-free wings, ribs, and fries -- which aren't always easy to find. Glory Days uses dedicated fryers so these items aren't fried in the same oil as the chicken nuggets and onion rings, for example. There are burgers (although no GF bun offered yet), salads, and plenty of entree choices. Ironically, I always order the same thing from the Gluten Free Menu: the Fresh Grilled Salmon with a mustard remoulade, served with two sides. The salmon is always cooked to my liking -- and never greasy or fishy-tasting. The mustard sauce is delish! The rest of our family almost always orders the gluten-free ribs, which I agree are awesome -- tender and tangy. But something caught my eye on the table the other night...a sign advertising some new desserts, including a gluten-free Petite Chocolate Torte. Here's the description, "A velvety and... Read more →

Removing toxins from the body. Restoring nutrients. Fortifying the immune system. Nourishing the body. I can't tell you how long I've wanted to try some sort of cleansing program or "detox" diet. But it just never seemed like the right time. After all, it's usually a bit of work, requires you to eat new and different foods (and depriving you of some of your favorites!), and can make any social plans revolving around food a real challenge. I also wondered how I'd feel on a cleansing diet...if I'd have "withdrawal" headaches, be cranky, or feel energy-deprived. My husband happened upon Dr. Alejandro Junger's "CLEAN" program last year and gave it a try -- by himself. One of my husband's clients is a health-related company, and he wanted to try the cleanse to see what it was all about. For various reasons, I decided to wait until another time to join in. Fast forward a year later, and we decided to do the program together, somewhat of a "Spring cleaning" of our bodies, if you will. This time, instead of doing the full 3-week cleanse program as my husband had done last year, we deciced to "split" the Clean program and... Read more →

Most of us think long and hard about the donations we make to worthy charitable causes, weighing various organizations against each other to determine who might benefit most from a donation. In leaner economic times like these, the decisions are even harder. Add that to the fact that many organizations are being forced to do more with less as donations don't come in quite as rapidly as they have during other, more prosperous, times. If you like to make donations to causes you believe in, then what better cause than a gluten-free bakery looking to purchase equipment to meet the growing demand for their GF products? Part of this expansion includes being abe to offer online ordering. The bakery is eban bakery, and even if you don't live near their location in Columbus, Ohio, perhaps you, too, will be able to experience their wonderful gluten-free breads and baked treats -- if they raise the money needed. eban bakery makes their gluten-free breads and baked goods using all natural and organic ingredients, which is something I've always look for when buying food -- gluten-free or not. Their goal is to raise $25,000 by April 26, but any amount pledged -- even... Read more →

If you're looking for a different kind of vacation -- whether as a couple, a family, or group of friends -- you may want to consider a week at an authentic western ranch. But let's face it, even if you've been intrigued by the prospect of an adventurous vacation like this, you've probably quickly dismissed it on the grounds of your gluten-free diet. Enter White Stallion Ranch in Tucson, Arizona... This authentic western ranch is not only well-run with fantastic accommodations, but their friendly staff gives their guests with special dietary needs the royal treatment. In fact, one recent guest who visited the ranch back in January submitted a review to our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, and raved about her experience, from the food to the activities. Guests at White Stallion Ranch will find that all meals, rides, entertainment, activities, and even transportation to and from the airport are included in their stay. Only a very few services, like massages, are available for an extra fee. Most meals served at the ranch are naturally gluten-free, and everything is fresh and homemade. When an item such as bread was offered, gluten-free substitutions were always availabe, and care was taken to keep the GF... Read more →