Gluten-Free Clam Chowder at Hog Island Oyster Co.

Posted on January 9th, 2013 by Alison | Posted in Dining Out, Restaurants/Stores, SF Bay Area | Comments Off on Gluten-Free Clam Chowder at Hog Island Oyster Co.

I often get asked for gluten-free food recommendations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Well, I got a nice surprise recently at Hog Island Oyster Co. Bar, which has two locations. One is in the Ferry Building in San Francisco and the other is in Oxbow Public Market in Napa. (The actual Hog Island Oyster Farm in located on Highway 1 in Marshall).

A friend had picked this spot and at first I was a little wary because it didn’t seem like there were a lot of gluten-free options. When we were told that the clam chowder was gluten-free, I was sold! Doesn’t it look fabulous, piled high with fresh clams, and surrounded by potatoes and other vegetables, and bacon? It was delicious. (For those new to the gluten-free diet, you should know that most clam chowder is made with flour.)

There are other gluten-free options on their small menu – the salad I had was really good and fresh. And there are, of course, the oysters. Other than raw, I was told that the steamers are sometimes steamed with beer, sometimes white wine, but it’s no problem for them to accommodate. The baked oysters and the oyster stew are also gluten-free. On Sundays, they serve a gumbo, which is NOT gluten-free and there may be other specials that contain gluten. As always, be sure to double check for yourself. Don’t forget to pair with some nice California wines, and if you go to the Ferry Building location, grab a gluten-free baguette from Mariposa Baking Company to dip in the chowder… heaven.

For more information, see the Hog Island Oyster Bar sample menu and visit their website.


zpizza – gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free

Posted on August 19th, 2012 by Alison | Posted in Dairy Allergy, Dining Out, Egg Allergy, Restaurants/Stores, Soy Allergy | Comments Off on zpizza – gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free

Most of America takes for granted the ability to go out for pizza or have it delivered. Most families I know have pizza at least once a week and it is the standard food for birthday parties and sports team outings. If you have to avoid gluten, finding pizza gets a little more challenging, but there are more and more options out there. If you also have to avoid eggs and/or dairy, however, it becomes almost impossible to find a good, safe pizza.

zpizza, a pizza chain started in southern California, offers not only a gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free crust (made by Venice Bakery), but also offers Daiya cheese for those who want a non-dairy cheese option (it is also soy-free). They offer a gluten-free menu online and in the stores, as well as a vegan menu.

I really liked the pizza. The crust was crunchy but not crackery, and the toppings were really fresh. The meats are nitrate-free, the tomato sauce is organic and the veggies options are interesting, like arugula, shitake mushrooms, caramelized onions and capers.

But the best part of all was that my gluten-free egg-allergic daughter could order a pizza. It’s the little things!

Note: zpizza states that they are not a gluten-free environment. While I was at the Petaluma, CA location they seemed very careful and used dedicated pans in the oven, but please dine at your own risk. If you have nut allergies please note that they use peanuts and pine nuts in some of their sauces.

 


California Pizza Kitchen stops serving gluten-free pizza … for now

Posted on September 12th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Dining Out, Restaurants/Stores | Read 2 Comments - Add Your Own »

Two months ago I reported that California Pizza Kitchen had started serving gluten-free pizza and mentioned that I hoped they were fully trained in how to safely serve the gluten-free diner. Since then, there has been a firestorm of angry comments, accusations and blog posts surrounding the safety of the pizza for those with celiac disease. (I was even accused on Twitter of “purposely cpkmisinforming” my readers about CPK!) The crust itself was never the issue, but rather the practices of the individuals making the pizzas which led to cross-contamination. The training of the staff varied from store to store, according to gluten-free people who were sampling the crust all over the country.

Well, it seems that the complaints have resonated with California Pizza Kitchen, as they have now stopped serving the crust, according to their website (pointed out to me by a reader) and a phone call I made to their marketing department.

Here is the statement CPK has on their website regarding this issue:

“We sincerely appreciate the very valuable feedback we have received from our guests regarding our Gluten-Free pizza crust, which we have temporarily stopped serving in all of our restaurants. To assure our gluten-free guests that we are able to provide an enjoyable, safe dining experience, we are working closely with the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) to review our Gluten-Free pizza crust preparation processes, procedures and training materials. GIG’s experts have inspected our kitchens and are in the process of providing us their feedback. Once the review process is completed and any recommended improvements are fully implemented, we will once again offer the Gluten-Free pizza crust.”

Additionally on the phone I was told that it is still a goal of CPK to provide customers with a gluten-free crust option and they anticipate being able to do it — right this time — by the end of November. The marketing person I spoke with recommended that people follow California Pizza Kitchen on Facebook, Twitter or check back on their website for the re-launch of the gluten-free pizza crust.

I personally am pleased that they will still pursue the gluten-free crust and that they are working with GIG to make it safe for everyone.


California Pizza Kitchen offers gluten-free pizza

Posted on June 29th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Dining Out, Restaurants/Stores, Travel | Read 7 Comments - Add Your Own »

California Pizza Kitchen has officially launched a gluten-free crust. In an email sent to me today, it was announced:

“The wait is over! Today California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has launched gluten free pizza crust, making 29 of their original pizzas available gluten free.

cpkCPK has taken notice of the increased demand with more than 3 million Americans affected by Celiac Disease and created a specialty menu with various gluten free items. Among the 29 different gluten free pizzas available is America’s favorite, The Original BBQ Chicken pizza, the Pear & Gorgonzola pizza and the Wild Mushroom pizza. CPK also offers other gluten free appetizers, soups, salads, specialties, kids items and desserts to choose from on their current menu.”

On their website, it states “Gluten-Free crust available upon request” and that the pizzas that not gluten-free are the Thai Chicken and Roasted Artichoke + Spinach.

There are over 230 CPK locations in the U.S., so hopefully there is one near you! I have no idea if they are fully trained in how to safely serve the gluten-free diner. Let’s hope so, and that they are aware of the emotions of the gluten-free diner! If you go, be sure to report back here about your experience!