More to Say on G-F Beer…….

It’s March!  The month of St. Patrick’s celebrations! And, what is St. Patrick’s day without the opportunity to share beers with friends? And, lots of strangers too!  But, if you have CD you may be finding that all of the places you like to gather don’t have any offerings for you to enjoy.
It’s a bummer.  Plain and Simple and Irritating.  
While I was cruising information sites today in search of news on G-F beers I came across this post (link below) from GLUTENDUDE.COM that somehow I missed previously.  So, I thought I’d share it up here.

At the same time I’m asking the community of friends to our website to share where they are finding their favorite G-F beers in their neighborhood bars and restaurants so that we can create a guide list/map to assist us all in our search!

I’ll start us off with what I know….        

The Fairmount in Cleveland Hts., Cedar Hill area, offers Bard’s
Harvest Kitchen in Solon offers Bard’s and also has Glutenberg listed on their menu.
Jilly’s Music Room in Akron offers Bard’s
Skye Bistro in Mentor offers Redbridge
Lopez on Lee in Cleveland Hts. offers Green’s

Additionally, I’d like to shout out to all our readers to open a discussion with their thoughts about how we can promote more establishments to offer legitimate G-F beers to their guests.  Petitions, phone calls, personal requests when dining, letters, emails, notes left at your table???  Any others!


Philomena Bake Shop at Phoenix Coffee – Coventry

When your next trip to Coventry Village in Cleveland Hts. guides you to have breakfast/lunch/dinner at Tommy’s, browse books at Mac’s Backs, grab a laugh at Big Fun, check out music at Record Revolution, consignment share or get a haircut/tattoo/piercing make sure to leave yourself time for a stop at Phoenix Coffee!  The pastry case now carries baked goods from Philomena Bake Shop.

Today’s options included 3 varieties of cookies – Chocolate Chip, Cinnamon Sugar, and Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk as well as 2 muffin options – Sweet Potato Fudge and Apple Streusel.



Let’s Cook! Making Stocks

recipe by Chef Mariann

For a basic stock, you will need:

a large pot or dutch oven with a lid

water  – 12 cups/3 quarts
celery – a full head
onion  – one large or two medium
carrots – 6/8 
     other vegetable options – garlic, fennel, parsnips,                                                       leeks, shallots
fresh thyme and parsley – 6/8 stalks of each
bay leaves (2)
peppercorns (6)

To the soup pot, on low heat, add the water.

Rinse and trim all vegetables to remove any sandy parts or damaged parts…… 

Remove the bottom of the head of celery  and discard.
Trim the stalks of any damaged parts – rough chop the stalks, include the leaves and add to the pot.

Trim the tops from the carrots, discard or save for other uses – scrub them clean, rough chop the carrots, add to the pot.

Remove the skin from the onion, rough chop, add to the pot.

Add the herbs to the pot.

Cover the pot and allow the stock to simmer about an hour to an hour and a half.  Vegetables will be tender and limp when done.

When done: remove the solids from the pot.  *Strain the hot stock into separate containers to allow it to cool before storing in the fridge or freezer.  I freeze in quart size containers.  If you like you can freeze in cup size or even ice cube trays for smaller recipe uses.

*NOTE:  You should be storing the stock in the fridge within two hours of taking it off the heat.  I ladle it into separate 6 cup glass baking dishes to allow it to cool faster.  

When I want a protein based stock I will add to the pot, along with the vegetables, the remains of a couple of roasted chickens, or a ham bone, or beef soup bones that I get from the butcher and roast to use in the stock.   I save the chicken bones after roasting whole chickens and reserving the meat for other dishes.  The bones are bagged and frozen for use when I am ready to make a stock.  This recipe could use two reserved chickens or a single ham bone from a 12 lb. ham or 5-6 beef soup bones.

Increase the simmering time to 2-3 hours or more for the protein based stocks – the longer you can simmer them – some chefs simmer them for 24 plus hours – the better for flavor and nutrient values.  


New Event: Cooking Classes at Cafe Avalaun!

Chef Brian writes:

Classes at Cafe Avalaun has been a dream of mine for some time. We envision all types of educational opportunities to develop. Why I want to do this is simple; build community through sharing information and ideas for the good of all. Our first class on Feb 26th is all about Anti-inflammatory dietary guidelines. A primer for this powerful lifestyle change that is easier than you think! This dietary focus was the turning point for Chef Brian and his wife Jennifer when we embarked on our journey towards better health. The other class we have on the calendar is a lecture/demo on transitioning to a Paleo style diet on 3/12. 

OH! BTW, we have a really fun kids story time in partnership with Usborne books. Registration is free and managed by Usborne. Here is the eventbrite

And here is the FB event

Cafe Avalaun ‘Fresh Meals’ Club

Warrensville Hts.
4640 Richmond Road
Suite 200
Warrensville Heights, Ohio 44128
(216) 245-6666

From Cafe Avalaun’s site:

Every week you’ll receive 2 portions of 3 paleo style dinners based on your 3 choices.
Typically each meal consist of a 6 ounce of locally sourced Free range/grass-fed protein and about 2 cups (approx 10 oz) of 2 sides per meal.
Some meals are more like a one pot wonder with a side salad.
If you’re worried that there won’t be selections you’ll like or can eat due to other restrictions we offer alternatives.
So, if you can’t eat pork then  just get another beef or chicken dish.

Mariann writes:

I round out my weekly cooking with Fresh Meals.  Order ahead for meals that are prepared and packaged with instructions on heating and serving at home.  Your order will provide you with 2 portions of three options. Orders are due by Fridays at 5:00 and ready for pickup after noon on Tuesdays. Chef Brian Doyle is now offering a monthly menu where you pick 3 of about 10 entree options.  This past week we picked up Cioppino (italian seafood stew), Roasted Chicken with roasted garlic cauliflower mashers, and Pork Chops with chili whipped sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts.  All were voted to be excellent!

NOTE:  Cafe Avalaun has a fully gluten-free kitchen – no gluten ever – where they also accommodate vegan, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy free diners.




EuropeVikingCruise2015 174   gfGermany2

In the spring of 2016, I took a trip to Eastern Europe.  I traveled to cities and countries that were part of the Soviet bloc until the fall of the Berlin wall.  Since then, the cities and countries have developed and modernized financially, culturally, and socially.  Economic advancement and freedom have changed these countries significantly.  Would I find gluten free food easily in my travels?  I had some successes and some disappointments, but, I managed to eat well and even have local dishes prepared gluten free.

Berlin was the first stop on my trip to Germany followed by Magdeburg, Potsdam, Dessau, Wittenberg, Meissen, Dresden, and Bad Schandau.  All cities were formerly behind the “iron curtain.”  Generally, this part of Germany is still recovering from abject neglect under the communist regime.  Run down, shabby houses, farms, and buildings are everywhere.  But, so are new, modern, and refurbished buildings.   Much of this is thanks to the taxes from the former West Germany.  Also, attracting new industry from around the world is providing jobs and a much needed income stream.   Refurbished communist plain grey utilitarian apartment buildings are now sporting balconies, larger rooms, insulation, bright colors, and exterior artwork.  Dubbed “commie condos” by visiting Americans, these housing units dot the landscape everywhere in the larger cities of the former Soviet bloc.

Not surprisingly, gluten free is not easy to find.  You should prepare before embarking on a trip to Germany.  For shopping purposes, Aldis, (a German based supermarket) is found in most of the large cities of Germany (as well in the U.S.)  They have a good supply of gluten free products.  Kaisers, another supermarket chain in much of Germany carries gluten free.  The Apothekes (German drug stores) are plentiful everywhere.  However, unlike the Farmacias (drug stores in Italy) availability of gluten free food is spotty to mostly none.  Smaller towns in Germany are generally very difficult places to find gluten free items to buy as well as restaurant food.  If you are stuck and have to take what is available, find someone in the restaurant who speaks English to translate for you so that you can explain food preparation without cross contamination.  Also, some mom and pop smaller stores will carry a limited selection of snacks and packaged food that is gluten free.  Schar products are found everywhere gluten free products are carried.  Italian gluten free pasta is the most popular and plentiful.  A few American brands such as Bob’s Red Mill, Glutino, and Genius Bread are available.

A note about sausages in Eastern Europe, they are a staple food in the countries I visited.  Many types are made from a variety of meats and are abundant everywhere.   Most restaurants and all stores have them.  But be careful, contrary to much of the sausages, wursts, and kielbasas being gluten free here in the states, this is not the case in Germany and other Eastern European countries.  Rather gluten free sausage is the exception.  Most sausages contain barley or wheat thickening.  Always make sure that the sausage you are served is “glutenfrei.”

Plan to stay in larger, well known hotels that cater to Americans.  Most will serve a large breakfast in the morning that will have many gluten free options.  They will have gluten free bread and a few will also offer gluten free baked goods.  The bread and bakery is usually individually packaged.  You can take some of it with you for later in the day or to supplement your gluten free meal that evening.  Just like the sausages, many of the deli-like breakfast meat slices offered at the buffet may have gluten.  Although bacon is gluten free, the European way is to drain the fried bacon on slices of bread.  Find the chef or hotel restaurant manager to help you determine the gluten free options.  They usually speak English (servers knowledge of English is hit or miss.)  You will have no problem finding English speakers among the hotel desk personnel that will advise you on how to get to the restaurants you have found that offer gluten free.  The larger American based hotel chains offer gluten free in their lobby restaurants.  The staff speaks English and the chef is usually familiar with the diet.  Although a more expensive option, it may be your best choice in smaller populated areas of East Germany.

My hotel in Berlin was situated next the Gendarmenmarkt which was centrally located and was a great shopping area.  There were several restaurants with gluten free offerings near me.  Maredo (Italian) and Cha Cha (Brazilian) were two that had a few other locations around Berlin.  I ate at Augustiner which was a traditional Brau Haus.  There was no gluten free beer, but they did have hard cider.  I had gluten free bratwurst and red cabbage with horseradish mashed potatoes.  Augustiner also has several locations around Berlin and its environs.

Your gluten free choices in the former West Germany are more plentiful and English is spoken by a greater amount of the populace.  A selection of many more westernized restaurants that offer gluten free is available.  Before leaving for your trip,  google “gluten free Berlin Germany.”  Maps, blogs, and suggestions for where to eat and buy will pop up.  Restaurants may close so make sure you are looking at information that is less than 6 months old.  Two apps that I like to have with me on my tablet (or phone) are Gluten Free Roads  and Find Me Gluten Free.  Both use GPS to find gluten free shopping and eating near your location.  Always carry protein or snack bars with you to insure that you have something to eat.  Another great option are small metallic bags of non-refrigerated tuna or salmon.

One more note on finding gluten free.  On a previous trip to Germany, I visited Nuremburg.  On the main square in the middle of the city is a year round farmers market.  There is a stand that sells gluten free Lebkuchen cookies.  Nuremburg is where the spicy, citrusy Lebkuchen originated.  The gluten free version is plain or covered in chocolate.  Yum!  Look for the cart with the red and white striped awning advertising “Glutenfrei.”





Going Out? Tips for Eating GF

Taken in part from: with edits from Network Members

For those newly diagnosed with celiac disease, restaurants can be particularly difficult, especially for those who are shy about asking questions.

1. Don’t start out hungry. The hungrier you are, the more likely you are to make a mistake. If you must go to a restaurant hungry, bring some GF crackers to munch on while everyone else is filling up on the rolls.

2. Be familiar with the gluten-free diet. This means not only knowing which grains to avoid but also where they’re likely to be hidden and the need to protect yourself against cross-contamination.

3. Select the right restaurant. Look for the menu online. If you’re still not sure whether anything safe will be available for you, call ahead, preferably when the restaurant isn’t busy around 2-3pm, and speak with the chef or the manager.

Note: If you’ll be dining at an Italian restaurant, call to ask whether they have GF pasta. Could you bring your own? Many restaurants will happily prepare your gluten-free pasta and top it with their own fresh sauce.

4. Tell your server you’re on a special diet. Don’t try to explain your needs to a server who’s standing on the other side of your table. Ask him or her to come closer so you don’t have to shout.

Celiac disease is not an allergy, but if you think they don’t understand, now is not the time to explain autoimmune. Tell them you can’t have wheat or barley, and you are on a gluten free diet.

Consider bringing along a GF dining card to explain what you can and cannot eat. Cards are available in a wide variety of languages (Triumph Dining is 1 example).

5. Pick a few dishes on the menu that look as if they might be safe, and ask questions. You might find it easier to be the last person in the group to place your order. That way you’ll know the server is going directly back to the kitchen and is less likely to forget what you’ve told him. Start by saying something like:” I can’t have anything made with wheat & barley like flour, or bread crumbs, or soy sauce. Could you please ask your chef whether the _______ would be safe for me?” Don’t assume that anything is gluten-free. Even if a menu item looks safe, you might not realize that the chef’s secret recipe includes gluten.

6. Here are some additional questions to ask:

DUSTING- Ask if any of your food, especially meats, have been dusted with wheat or other gluten containing flour before being sautéed or fried. Avoid anything that says it has “Grille Baste” on it.

EGGS – Request that eggs, no matter the style, are prepared in a clean pan and not on the grill so as to avoid cross contamination. Be cautious when ordering an omelet as some contain pancake/waffle batter to make them fluffy. If ordering scrambled eggs, ask if they are made from fresh eggs or from a mix as some egg mixes may contain flour thickeners.

HERBAL TEAS – may contain barley.

ICE CREAM – Request that a cookie is not put in or next to it. Ask that a clean scoop be used for your serving so “cookies and cake” crumbs from previously scooped ice creams are not still adhering to the scoop.

BACON – Is it cooked in the oven or deep fried? If deep fried, is the fryer “dedicated” so no other items that have breading or wheat flour are cooked in it? Is the bacon drained on bread? (Restaurants that make their own croutons sometimes drain on bread to capture the flavor from the drippings.)

BACON BITS – Are they or other “meats” on potato skins and in salads artificial? If so, they must be avoided.

BBQ SAUCE – Be cautious as some contain beer or other “secret” ingredients that may contain gluten.

HAMBURGERS – In addition to requesting they be cooked in a clean pan to avoid cross contamination from a shared grill, do ask if there are bread crumbs in them. Some restaurants incorporate bread into their ground beef to make it more moist.

PIZZA – Be especially cautious if you are eating in an independently owned pizza restaurant. You definitely need to call ahead to find out if they are purchasing pre-made GF pizza crusts that are kept separate from their “regular” ones. If the restaurant makes their on GF dough, it must be made in a separate area as wheat flour remains in the air for up to 24 hours and the fine dust will settle into and onto everything. The mixer must be dedicated to GF dough. Toppings and sauce must be from separate, GF containers; the pizza pans and prep utensils must be dedicated to GF pizzas and ideally will look different from their regular pizza pans. Some people with celiac disease will only eat pizza from restaurants with separate, GF ovens due to concern something may fall on their GF pizza from the ceiling of the shared oven.

BAKED POTATOES – Ask that your baked potato be brought to the table uncut to insure a knife used to slice bread is not used on your potato.

FRENCH FRIES – Must be made in a dedicated fryer so other items that are breaded are not in the same oil. If the fryer and its oil are “dedicated” and thus gluten-free, ask if the used oils are drained separately or combined with the other fryers for draining at night.

MASHED POTATOES – From a mix or from fresh potatoes? Do they contain flour to thicken them?

REQUEST that no croutons, breadsticks or crackers be placed on or near your plate. Ideally, your dining companions will request no croutons as well so that a crouton does not accidentally get bumped onto your salad from an overloaded serving tray on the way to your table. If salads are mixed in a prep bowl in the kitchen, ask that yours is done in a clean, separate bowl to avoid crouton or meat-coating crumbs from previous salads.

DRESSING – Ask if it is made in house or is commercial and check to see what it contains. Malt vinegars, which are made from barley, contain gluten. Some dressings use flour to thicken them and some citrus-type dressings contain soy sauce.
CHICKEN and tuna-style salads – may contain wheat.

SALSA – Especially when traveling outside of Ohio, ask if the freshly made salsas are GF as some kitchens put wheat flour in them (for example in New Mexico.)

SEAFOOD – Always ask if it is in a salad, soup, or similar dish as you must avoid imitation crab and seafood as it contains gluten.

SOUP – Is it totally made from scratch? Is a powder or canned commercial starter used? If so, does it contain gluten? If it is a creamed soup, check to be certain a wheat flour roux was not used to thicken it. If it is a gazpacho, ask if fine breadcrumbs have been incorporated to thicken it.

SPECIAL INGREDIENTS – If the menu or waitstaff indicate the dish contains a chef’s special/ secret ingredient, you must inquire as to whether it is GF. If the staff will not disclose what it is, then it is best to ask them to leave it off or for you to choose something else since it may be a spice blend with a wheat flour thickener or breadcrumbs or beer or soy sauce, etc.

VEGETABLES – If steamed, be certain they have not been immersed in hot, used pasta water.

7. Caution the restaurant staff about cross-contamination. Remind the server and the chef that your food must be prepared on a clean cooking surface, using clean utensils. Many restaurant staffers will not realize the risks of cross-contamination unless these are pointed out to them. All places stock foil. Ask them if they could cook your entree on a piece of foil if it is cooked on a grill with buns, etc.

8. Be prepared to eat something that isn’t your first choice.
Sometimes nothing on the menu will be safe. Ask if the cook can sauté some plain meat or fish in olive oil or butter and steam some vegetables for you. It won’t be the tastiest meal you ever had, but your goal should be to eat food that won’t make you sick, and enjoy your companions and the fact you don’t have to cook or clean up!

Want more? Read: Venturing out of the house: Restaurant Realities by Danna Korn

When Eating at the Homes of Relatives and Friends
It can be challenging to dine at a friend’s or relative’s home. If possible, it is beneficial if you can assist with meal preparation so you see exactly what is going into each menu item. This also enables you to catch the inadvertent cross-contamination from shared prep utensils, pots and strainers that are not totally gluten free due to specks of previous food. In addition, you will see if a previously opened container, such as mayonnaise or jelly, is being used since chances are, there are gluten crumbs in them from the “double dipping” of knives and utensils.

If your host does not want you to actually help prepare food, you may be able to sit close by with a beverage to chat while the meal is being assembled. In situations where guests are each bringing a dish, you may want to isolate your contribution and put a note that it is gluten-free or just bring a separate container for yourself in
addition to the dish for all to share. If your host indicates they will have gluten-free foods available for you, it is best to explore what and how they will be served so you don’t see a delicious, GF item surrounded by regular crackers or placed next to something laden with crumbs.

Depending upon the situation, you may also be able to ask your host if you can “start” the buffet line which will lessen the chance of accidental cross contamination from people ahead of you as they use the various serving utensils.

When spending the night, just assume you should have your own box of GF cereal with you. If bringing bread, also have your toaster sleeves so you can use the host’s toaster.

“Toast It” Toaster Bags come 2 for $4.50 + shipping on their website. Also available on Amazon. Each bag can be reused multiple times. A must have if you are traveling– using the toaster at the continental breakfast bar or family/friend’s house.

Northeast Ohio Celiac Network

The Northeast Ohio Celiac Network is dedicated to people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, their families, and the gluten free diet.

This greater Cleveland group has been active for over 20 years, formerly a chapter of the Celiac Disease Foundation and previously known as Northeast Ohio Celiac Support Group. As the group grew, the meetings moved from members’ homes to library meeting rooms.

Past events have included presentations, GF restaurant meals, sporting events and a vendor fair. green_ribbon-155x193

Are you new to living gluten free?  We hope the website resources will be of help to you.

See our calendar for upcoming events.

Please consider volunteering by joining the steering committee. Our committee is full of caring vibrant members who work to raise celiac awareness and help to educate those following a gluten free diet. See our event calendar for the dates and locations of our meetings.

Other volunteers help with events, the website, and mentoring.  Let us know how you would like to help by contacting us.

Become a member of our network by reading the information on this website.  Consider telling us about a dining experience or a new product.  Please add your comments in the form on most of this website’s pages to contribute to the community on your own time. We look forward to hearing from you.


April 2015 Vendor Fair