Nov 25, 2019
Gluten-Free Philadelphia with Michael from Gluten-Free Philly
I'm excited to feature Michael Savett, from Gluten Free Philly, for this episode of Travel Gluten Free! I've been hearing about Gluten Free Philly any time I mention I'm traveling to Philadelphia to another friend or acquaintance who is gluten-free.
My guest Michael is the father of an 18-year-old son with Celiac Disease who was diagnosed at age 3. He is an attorney practicing law in New Jersey and a member of the Business Advisory Council of Beyond Celiac.
He began publishing Gluten Free Philly in March 2009, with the mission of creating and maintaining a comprehensive reference for gluten-free-friendly restaurants, bakeries, stores, and events in the Delaware Valley. In addition to his blog, he also shares weekly features on items of interest to local and national readers.
Given the reader's interest in finding safe gluten-free options in the Philadelphia area, he decided to develop a mobile app, Gluten-Free Philly, which has more than 1,700 business listings throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and all of Delaware. This is the best resource I've found if you're gluten-free and eating in these areas. He is a fantastic resource to use if you are traveling to Philadelphia or the surrounding tri-state area: Delaware, New Jersey, and southeast Pennsylvania.
In this episode, we chat about our favorite places to eat in Philadelphia, which offer gluten-free or dedicated gluten-free menus. One of my favorites, which we talk about, is Wawa, a convenience store in the Philadelphia area which not only has gluten-free offerings but a variety of paleo food choices as well! As a kid, I would ride my bike to Wawa at least once a week to buy - what else - candy! Besides candy, they offer a range of healthy snacks and foods for all types of diets. Michael gives us the 411 about Wawa beta-testing a gluten-free sandwich!
Gluten-Free Reading Terminal Market
Another one of our favorite places to eat is Reading Terminal Market. RTM is an authentic Philly experience and offers a variety of dishes that are not only gluten-free, but the eating establishments are also from many different food cultures, which I love! When you're there, definitely check out Fox & Son. The owner, Rebecca, created a dedicated gluten-free restaurant that features such delicacies as funnel cake, fried Oreos, gluten-free corn dogs, and white birch beer. Birch beer is a northeastern beverage, similar to root beer, but on a more mouth-awakening level.
While you're at Reading Terminal Market, check out these other restaurants which have safe gluten-free options Bassetts Ice Cream, Flying Monkey Bakery, Hatville Deli, Kamal’s Middle Eastern Specialities, and the Tea Leaf. So much variety in this small space! You can eat a gluten-free cheesesteak (BYOBun) at Spataro’s Cheesesteaks!
Gluten-Free Soft Pretzels at the Italian Market in Philadelphia
If you're in Philly, definitely stop by the Italian Market on 9th street in Philadelphia. Like Reading Terminal Market, the Italian Market offers a variety of food establishments in Italian food! There are fabulous gluten-free finds at the marketing, including the traditional Philadelphia foods such as gluten-free soft pretzels! Get your fill of gluten-free soft pretzels at Taffets, who also carry a variety of gluten-free baked goods such as baguettes.
If you're looking for gluten-free soft pretzels in New Jersey, head over to Bleu Bear in Haddonfield for soft-pretzel bites! Dedicated gluten-free and delicious, you'll find a variety of baked goods at Bleu Bear. When you're there, check out their gluten-free breakfast, including waffles, gluten-free doughnuts, and crepes.
Gluten-Free Subs and Hoagies
When you're a native to Philadelphia, such as Michael and I, you most likely also love another Philly native food item, the hoagie. For those of you who do not live in the northeast, a hoagie is similar to a sub but stuffed with much more meat, cheese, and other toppings. Hoagies are a veritable feast in a roll.
If you're looking for a safe hoagie or gluten-free sub sandwich, check out Jersey Mike's Subs. This is a franchise chain that has adopted safe for celiacs practices after one of the owner's children had celiacs disease, and they tested out a gluten-free bun. They now offer gluten-free sandwiches at all their locations using Udi's gluten-free bread! Michael and I chat about their process for cleaning their machines for celiacs.
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