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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Baker Street

Have you been to Baker Street? When they first opened, I was quick to check their menu online, and wasn't too hopeful for the GF among us to be able to eat there. How long has it been now? No clue. BUT I noticed some time back that they do offer a GF menu. I linked it on my page and moved on with my life... until now. I inquired about what practices they have in place to prevent cross-contamination and also asked about sauces and other little details on the GF menu. I have included the response I received below. They are very diligent with managing potential cross-contamination. For now as they are fine-tuning their GF menu (don't worry, I've sent questions and other thoughts to help with this process), I would recommend continuing to ask questions about ingredients, sauces, etc., but I think you can absolutely have a very enjoyable dining experience there- just make sure you're verifying everything on the GF menu for now. I'll be sure to put the word out when they have a new GF menu. If you've eaten there (I'm a little broke right now, so I have to keep it cheap), I'd love to hear your experiences!


The training and food handling procedures we have in place begin with education and knowledge.  Most importantly, the fact that if you touch something with gluten you now have to wash your hands before you can touch another product or you have just contaminated it.  We take extra care when preparing gluten free items.  Whether it is pasta that is boiled in its own separate pan of water or something fried that is prepared in fresh grease not used for anything else.  (The fried option is not always readily available as we do not take any chances.  Unless we know beyond a shadow of a doubt the grease hasn't been used we will not make it)

The soy sauce we carry does have gluten in it.  We are however sourcing different providers to try to find a suitable replacement.  Our bordolaise sauce also has a small amount of gluten in it.  However, our Worcestershire sauce is gluten free.  I am not sure what other sauces would typically contain gluten.  But if you have any questions, I will be sure to diligently research to make sure we are serving the safest menu possible. 

We will be updating our GF menu shortly.  When we do I will try to make sure we email a copy to you.  Thank you again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm a Bakery on Main Fan with Nothing to Hide!

Just to clarify, this is all about Bakery on Main's newest delight, True Bar. You'll see from the wrappers that they really do have nothing to hide- both in the phrase printed across the front and in the fact that the wrappers are clear, so you can see exactly what you are about to eat. Nothing to hide- AND nothing to complain about.

Not even walnuts.
I hate walnuts.
They stink.
I only ate my Walnut Cappucino Bar because I got it for free.
I want another one.
I have nothing to hide.

See what I mean?
Even though I hate walnuts and they're the FIRST ingredient on the label... I like them!!!

Let me be up front: they want me to blog about True Bar. Obviously they're also hoping I'll say good things. I refuse to lie on here though, so their control over this blog ended when they put that package of True Bars in the mail to me. I fully anticipated turning up my nose at the Walnut bars and telling you to judge for yourself. You still should, but I can tell you that I like them all. Really, I do.

Here are the lovely bars I got from Bakery on Main to sample:

Blue: "I'm a Fruit and Nut Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Green: "I'm a Coconut Cashew Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Yellow: "I'm a Walnut Cappucino Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Orange: I'm an Apricot Almond Chai Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Red: I'm a Hazelnut Chocolate Cherry Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Pink: "I'm a Raspberry Chocolate Almond Bar with Nothing to Hide"

Okay, I told you about the fluke of the Walnut bar. I really didn't intend to even eat it, but my 15 month old was with me, so I wanted to eat something I could easily share. It had the smallest chunks of nut of the ones I had left at the time, so I dared to unwrap it. This was also the case with the dreaded Coconut Cashew bar- ew, coconut! Same story: even with the least favorite ingredient being the first listed on the label, it was more than just bearable, it was enjoyable. Bakery on Main has some magic going on, that's all I can say.

I think it goes without saying that if the least-anticipated bars were amazing, the ones I CHOSE to try first were darn good too. I would not regret purchasing a single one of these.

Speaking of regret: they all range from 150 to 190 calories. Enough to satisfy without regret. They have substance to them- I could see them being handy to carry in my purse when I go somewhere in case they have little available that I can safely eat. They make a fun, meaningful snack too. Kids like it too- or at least based on my one toddler sampling.

Other selling points (I'm just copying these here):
Omega 3 from Chia
Good source of fiber
Made with many low-GI ingredients such as brown rice syrup, agave nectar, chia seed, and a variety of nuts
GFCO certified gluten free
Dairy and casein free
Low sodium
Kosher ou Parve
All natural
Wheat free
No transfats or cholesterol
Low in saturated fat

The website states:
"The suggested retail price is $1.99 per bar, these will be available on our website July 1 and will begin appearing on store shelves in September."

So wait, I can't get more yet?? Hmmm..... time to use my Grandpa's line when he's trying Grandma's cookies: "I'm not sure if they're good or not. I need to try another one." Please??

I did say I'd be honest, so here's the negative stuff:
They do contain soy. This means my brother can't eat them. He would love them too, so that's disappointing.
The packaging will not strike you immediately as being Bakery on Main. Having "nothing to hide" leaves little room for the stripes and bakery picture you may recognize this brand for.
One of the bars has walnuts, which are disgusting, and another has coconut, which is also gross. Oh, wait- I already determined that in spite of this, they are awesome!!

Sorry to tease you with all that. I'm sorry, I have no more left, so you can't even try to steal them from me. You'll have to wait until July 1 to order them online. When you see them in town in September, feel free to post a comment on here to let people know. I believe right now The Health Food Shoppe has the best selection of Bakery on Main products in town. You can also find some at A&B Naturals Foods, Walmart, and the Co-op. I don't believe anyone in Fort Wayne carries all of their products yet- at least not at last check! So go enjoy a Soft & Chewy bar (Health Food Shoppe and A&B) while you wait for the next great thing coming out of this company... and maybe start campaigning for more places in town to start carrying more of their products!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Good Things on the Horizon at Casa

As if the pasta wasn't good enough- heck, just the Casa Salad is worth a visit- more good things are coming our way at Casa's!

I went to Casa twice at the end of April/beginning of May and started hearing right AFTER that about the new cheesecake. Why, oh why, was I left out?

Well then I heard that they're carrying Redbridge beer also, and I knew I just needed to check on things.

An email from Tom Parisi, Director of Operations, confirmed it all: the caramel cheesecake was on a trial basis in April and May (I still wish they had "trial"ed it on me!), and it was such a success that it will be added to the menu. They are in fact carrying Redbridge. Aaaaand......

The new menu, which will be out by the third week of July, will also include three gluten free pizza choices.

I'm extremely hesistant to try any of the other GF pizzas- ahem, pizza CRUSTS- offered locally after "getting glutened" a year ago from one. I used to work in the pizza business- I know how that darn flour operates (can be airborn for up to 24 hours)- but I just may give this one a try.


For one, they're offering a gluten free PIZZA, not CRUST. Additionally, Casa has always treated me well on the GF dining- I feel safer eating there than most places in town.

Exciting gluten free times in Fort Wayne!

GF Rice Krispies

GF Rice Krispies have made it to town! We've had a sighting at Meijer on Lima Road; they have not yet made it to the Southgate Kroger. Let us know where you find them- and be careful to check the packages- don't accidentally start buying the old ones with malt!

***6-15-11: They have also been found at Walmart in Decatur.

GF Tacos? Yes, please!

GF tacos? Yes, please! But where? Share your thoughts in response to this post I received today on the Facebook page: "I am in the planning process of operating a gluten free street taco cart in Fort Wayne Indiana, Friday..Saturday and Sunday. Any ideas on the best location to set up my cart? We have located some really great GF products to use and most important they taste great !!"

Monday, June 6, 2011

GF at the Farmers' Markets

Pembroke Gardens/Pembroke Bakery is at the West Main Street Farmer's Market on Fridays, South Side Farmer's Market on Warsaw Street on Saturdays, and the East State Farmer's Market at Tecumseh Library on Sundays. Their most interesting offering in my opinion is the banana split bread- lots of banana, dried cherries, chocolate chips, and ground up walnuts (not too big, so walnut haters like myself can survive it).  They also have a cinnamon raisin bread and just regular bread too. They will be opening up a bakery downtown this summer- probably by August- where they will offer some gluten free goodies such as these.

If you're south of town, you have options too. The Decatur Farmer's Market at the Riverside Center on Thursdays 3:30-6:30 and The Bluffton Farmer's Market in the Dutch Mill Plaza on Saturday mornings will feature GF baked goods and noodles. You know how us city folk like to get all excited about Amish cooking? Oh yeah, how about gluten free! She's taking requests for what to make, so get out there!

I might have to try to venture out to the Decatur one sometime this summer because I'm excited to try this stuff out. You know it's going to be awesome when it's made by someone who has to be GF too. Hmmm.... must check with my Celiac friend in Decatur for a good spot to get dinner down there on this road trip....

Do you know of other good GF finds at the local markets this summer? They're great places for us to visit for fresh produce anyhow, but picking up some bread or noodles too makes it even better.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Keeping It Real

To anyone who may actually be following these blog posts (are you out there yet???)- I apologize for my recent silence. Work has been busy, and I've been battling pneumonia!! Now on to today's rant....

I want to put the caution out there again- it can't be said enough- to be careful who you listen to out there, especially HERE on the internet. Remember that anyone with a modem and a keyboard can post anything online these days, and they do. Just because you see it in writing does not make it gospel, does not make it gluten free.

I started this page- actually, the myspace page years ago- as a centralized resource for the gluten free in Fort Wayne, whether it be people dealing with Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, or autism. Obviously the GF bandwagon has gotten crowded in recent years. This is good and bad for those of us who need to take it seriously.

It's good because the more demand and awareness there is, the more options we have.

It's bad because lots of people try to be experts and not all of them are. Just because someone claims to be GF does not mean they know it all. It means they eat food. Just because they post a blog does not make them somehow superior to you in the ways of gluten avoidance. It means they know how to post words online.

I say all of this knowing that it may come across as sounding as if I think I'm somehow better than the people I caution against. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. That's up to you to decide, I suppose. Are you in this because of Celiac Disease? You better be very discriminating in who you trust. Are you in this because you've gotten the impression that GF somehow equates to healthy? Well, yeah.... uh.......

I try my best to not overstep my bounds online in being an expert. I try to just have the internet platform serve as a collection of resources. Want an expert? Try some of the Celiac links at the bottom left of the page. Want to know what's out there locally? Try the links on the right side of the page, but know that not all of those places are created equally. There are places linked that I've never had the guts to step foot in. They offer something GF, but that doesn't mean I'm trusting it. Heck, a big motivation in starting to link so many online resources was to create a centralized database for MYSELF! I'm just nice enough to share it.

That's what I keep this page going for- sharing. Big ramblings such as this will appear here on the blog. Little tidbits, such as Udi's buns now being at the Co-op, show up on the Facebook page. I try to spread the GF word of FW as I hear it. I'm not trying to make money or anything; I'm just trying to make my own life easier and maybe yours too.

It just worries me because so many new things and people seem to be popping up lately that I DO NOT trust. But on the surface, they're as legitimate as anybody else. I'm concerned that the people who really need good information are going to be misinformed- not intentionally, but still...

So please- be careful out there!

And hey..... if you're out there listening, drop a comment on here or on FB so I know I'm not actually just talking to myself.  :)