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Event review: Taste of Atlanta hits it out of the park!

Happy 16th Birthday Taste of Atlanta and here’s to many more! This three-day festival packs 90 restaurants and more than 200 bites, sips and samples from Atlanta’s diverse culinary scene (including a number of newcomers and soon-to-open restaurants) into one massive event.

What a unique opportunity to try diverse cuisine (Italian, Indian, Mexican, Venezuelan, Persian, Mediterranean, Barbecue, Southern, etc.) from Atlanta’s restaurant scene. And the weather was just perfect. Its new and permanent home in the Historic Fourth Ward park, right across the street from Ponce City Market, is beyond spacious and easily handles the crowds leaving plenty of room for dancing and noshing.

The digital wristbands are in full force making paper tickets obsolete and  purchasing effortless. Chefs work their booth, so determining the gluten-free status of a particular food is easy. And some of the restaurants added a “GF” to their signs making the process even easier. The gluten-free options were on point with choices of bratwurst, fried chicken, falafel, tacos, quinoa salad, grits, lamb meatballs, paella, meat and veggie bowls, gelato, and much more.

The event has space for a long list of sponsors serving up swag and free samples. Blue Diamond Almond Milk, Cook’s Warehouse, M&M Mars, Peach Dish, Sprouts, and Welch’s were my favorite stops. The quinoa salad from Peach Dish was my first bite of the day and it was glorious. The grits made with unsweetened almond milk topped with maple syrup from Blue Diamond was a creamy, sweet surprise. Sprouts sampled its homemade sausage free of fillers or additives, and Welch’s debuted its new line of coconut water juice in white grape and grape. I picked up some swag from the M&M Mars booth and entered to win pots and pans from Cook’s Warehouse.

The Atlanta Marketplace was filled with gourmet food vendors whose products can be purchased around Atlanta and added to the gourmet gift baskets from Sensational Baskets.

Did you know Jamaican rum cakes from Wicked Jack’s Tavern are available gluten-free? These buttery cakes don’t skimp on the rum! I am a big fan of the gluten-free goodies from Marilyn’s Gluten-Free Gourmet and the Southern foods with a gourmet twist from Merrilily Gardens was a new find for me.


Here is a run down of my other favorites:


  • Peach Dish was on hand with their meal kits and sampling quinoa salad bright with flavor and texture. Such a refreshing and light bite.
  • I inhaled the homemade sausage from Sprouts Farmers Market before taking a photo – whoops. It is free of unnecessary fillers and additives and full of flavor.


  • There was a long line at Revolution Gelato for a good reason. Their coconut-based vegan gelato is creamy, flavorful and no one was missing the dairy. The cardamom kisses is insanely delicious.
People with food allergies/intolerance should definitely attend this three-day food festival loaded with gluten-free cuisine from Atlanta’s top chefs and restaurants.


What was your favorite dish from Taste of Atlanta?


Disclosure: I received no compensation for this review, but I did receive free entry into the event. In no way did this influence my opinions and views, which are derived from my personal experience at the restaurant.

Nosh on: Atlanta’s gluten-free news – October 6, 2017

The Giving Kitchen has launched an additional relief effort – the Hurricane Irma Emergency Assistance Fund. This new effort expands their coverage to the entire state of Georgia, including aid specifically for workers in the mandatory evacuation zone that spans the entire Georgia coast – and the 1000+ restaurants that serve the area. Grants for those who qualify will provide $500 to help them through this challenging time. Full details on this new grant program are available at www.theGivingKitchen.org/Irma.

Bantam + Biddy is set to open its first out-of-state location in Downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, at 728 Market Street this fall. Bantam + Biddy is the first restaurant planned for the Market City Center property from developer Boyd Simpson of The Simpson Organization

This month, DoubleTree by Hilton hotels began offering Homefree® Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies at guest check-in as a nut-free alternative to their iconic chocolate chip cookies. Homefree’s cookies are free from peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat and gluten – and they are a crunchy delight!

Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall is now offering Pure Knead’s allergen and gluten-free hamburger buns for sandwiches. Ladybird offers outdoor dining in one of their five ‘mess halls’ with ping pong tables and campfire decor. The outdoor-themed bar and restaurant in the Old Fourth Ward serves brunch, lunch, and dinner.

Treat yourself to a delicious new lunch option along the Boulevard! Oak Steakhouse is now open for lunch Monday – Friday, 11AM to 2:30PM. And they have gluten-free buns for sandwiches and gluten-free mac ‘n cheese.


Every Wednesday at Table & Main features a new Paleo entree – perfect for a healthy mid-week pick me up. Here are the entrees for the next two weeks:

  • Oct-11 | Coffee-braised lamb shank, smashed garlic cauliflower, maple roasted root vegetables
  • Oct-18 | Big Green Egg Smoked Turkey Breast, orange ginger glaze, roasted carrots, broccolini

True Food Kitchen’s Fall menu is out and features several seasonal gluten-free options, like: squash pie topped with coconut whipped cream, butternut squash pizza with smoked onion, organic kale, vegan almond ricotta, and dried cranberry, and winter squash toast on gluten-free bread topped with Brussels sprouts, caramelized onion, lemon, saba (an Italian syrup made from cooking down grape must), and hazelnuts.


Nosh on: Atlanta’s gluten-free news – October 13, 2017

Brazi Bites’ Brazilian cheese bread product line launched nationwide to Target stores at 222 locations this month, including Minneapolis, Miami, Milwaukee, Denver, Atlanta, Austin, Houston, Dallas, and more. Now shoppers can purchase three of their popular flavors in the freezer section: cheddar & parmesan, garlic asiago, and 3 cheese pizza. Made from tapioca flour and a short list of ingredients, these cheesy breads are naturally gluten free.

According to The Atlanta Business Chronicle, Caravaca Market, a new gourmet food hall from Puerto Rican chef Harry Pagancoss, is planning to open late fall at the new Trace Midtown apartments at Peachtree and 5th streets. And they will be serving Mexican pizzas and other gluten-free fare from its several concepts: Taste Bar, Harry Bakes Cafe, Wine Bar, Craft Beer & Pizza, and Provisions Market. Stayed tuned for details as they become available.

The Atlanta Jewish Times is report that Formaggio Mio, an Italian Kosher bistro, plans to open sometime in the fall in the Toco Hills Shopping Center. The bistro will be a full-service restaurant providing quick-service options, including a pizza bar with gluten-free dough.

Hampton + Hudson is celebrating fall flavors with a four-course vegan Sunday Supper on Sunday, October 29, 2017 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Executive Chef Savannah Sasser has created a menu full of seasonal vegetables with creative texture and flavor parings. And they can accommodate gluten-free diners too!  Reservations are required and available for $40 per person. Here is the menu:
Amuse Bouche:
Fried Sweet Potato and Chickpea Fritters with Chipotle Agave Aioli

1st Course

Creamy Vegan Coconut Cauliflower Curry

2nd Course
Fall Vegetable Galette, Kale Salad with Pecans, Beet Vinaigrette and Cashew Cheese

3rd Course:

Roasted Sweet Potato and Green Bean Quinoa Buddha Bowls
Roasted Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts, Cornbread

4th Course:

Pumpkin Pie Tart with Cookie Crust

Osteria di Mare
has opened in Peachtree Corners to rave reviews. From the same owner as Taqueria del Mare, Andrew Hoppen, this upscale restaurant offers traditional Italian fare including gluten-free pasta, small plates, entrees and desserts. They serve dinner Tuesday – Saturday and brunch on Sundays. And there is a full bar, extensive wine menu and cocktails.

Rize Artisan Pizza, soon to be renamed, is open and serving up gluten-free pies on fresh, not frozen dough from Wild Flour Bakery in Colorado. This is real dough, not a par-baked shell, that is cold proofed for 48 hours allowing it to rise prior to being baked on a dedicated heat resistant peel. A finished pizza has lovely air pockets making it sturdy, but not cracker like, with a bite that is soft and light on the inside. 


The month of October is breast cancer awareness month, and Bar Margot is giving back! From October 1- 31, Bar Margot will be offering a pink cocktail that will support the Georgia Cancer Center for Excellence at Grady (GCCE). The Blush Angel ($14) is a gin-based drink with edible roses. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each cocktail will be donated to GCCE to fund their ongoing research efforts to find a cure for cancer.

Batter Cookie Dough Counter
is bringing the edible cookie dough trend to Atlanta when it opens at Ponce City Market later this fall. They will be directly across from Honeysuckle Gelato on the first floor with regular, vegan and gluten-free dough varieties. According to Eater Atlanta, Batter comes from partnership between Atlanta native Julie Abes and local company High Road Craft Ice Cream. Unlike dough that’s baked to become actual cookies, Abes’s product is eggless and made with heat-treated flour. Batter’s dough will be available by the scoop for in-store consumption or by the pint to take home. Excited to learn about their gluten-free and vegan varieties and love that I eat the batter or take it home to bake up later.

Atlanta Hard Cider Co. has released its first cider, Crisp Apple, tthe Atlanta market. Starting September 27th, this easy-drinking hard cider will be available in kegs and six packs of 12 oz. cans for purchase in area bars, restaurants, and retailers such as metro Atlanta Target stores. Atlanta Hard Cider has six ciders in the making: Dry, Hopped, Pomegranate, Ginger, Honey, and Tart Cherry. They plan on releasing one of these flavors in the very near future, so stay tuned!

Bulla Gastrobar has opened its first Atlanta location at 12th & Midtown on Peachtree Street. Bulla (pronounced “boo-ya”) serves up a menu of Spanish tapas with small plates and larger signature entrees. And all of the gluten-free options are noted with a GF. Menu highlights include braised short ribs (with tetilla cheese, potato foam, cipollini onions and red wine sauce) and a Spanish Omelet (Potato Tortilla) with roasted garlic aioli.

Pledge to share a homemade baked good with a loved one or someone in your community and King Arthur Flour will donate a meal to Feeding America. I think their gluten-free baking mixes are outstanding and have already made a pledge – 1 pledge = 1 meal and 32,640 meals donated to date! It only takes a minute or two, so please make the time.

Congrats to Mediterranea Restaurant & Bakery for making Eater Atlanta’s list of Atlanta’s hottest new brunches. Brunch is served Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 


Treehorn Cider has plenty to celebrate this weekend with the grand opening of its tasting room and its second anniversary party. Oh, and they are launching a new seasonal cider, Miyabi, as well. The fun starts at 5 p.m. on Friday with 5% of the proceeds from the weekend benefiting Hurricane Irma relief efforts in Georgia. There will be plenty of swag, games, tunes and good times to be had. Kids are welcome, and they have a dog-friendly patio. Opening weekend hours are:

  • Friday, September 29th 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 30th 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 1st (Official Two Year Anniversary Celebration) 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

2B Whole Gluten-Free European Bakery has a great Fall mini-pie sale going. Buy 3 mini pies and get the fourth – free! Choose from Razzle Me (blueberries, strawberries and raspberries) Sassy Apple, and Southern Peach Cobbler. Use code MINIPIE5 at checkout. Limit one per customer.





Blaze Pizza, a fast-casual artisan pizza concept, recently opened its first Atlanta location at 2131 N. Decatur Rd. in the Emory Commons Shopping Center. All of the pizza and salad ingredients are free of artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and they offer gluten-free dough and vegan cheese. There safe handling procedures seem questionable, so ask questions before ordering.

Chipotle Mexican Grill’s got queso! It is preservative free, without added colors or flavors, and made with all-real, all-delicious ingredients. And it is gluten free. And so are the chips. Check out the ingredients here!

Culver’s, the Wisconsin-based quick serve burger restaurant, is opening two locations in metro Atlanta. One of the new restaurant will be located just off Cobb Parkway at 2454 Kennesaw Due West Road in Kennesaw and the other in Braselton, in Gwinnett. The new burger restaurant will be located off State Route 211 (Old Winder Highway) in an out-parcel of the new High Point Medical mixed-use development. They offer Udi’s Gluten Free individually wrapped buns that are heated and served sealed. They are an interesting concept because they offer coleslaw and green beans as sides and a number of intriguing salads.

Festivals Jerk Chicken Grill is open and serving up gluten-free jerk chicken, pork, tacos on corn tortillas, pizza on gluten-free dough and more. Check out their menu and head down for some authentic Jamaican cuisine!

Marilyn’s Gluten Free Gourmet cheese straws, get that perfectly crisp texture from rice flour, have a new flavor – cheddar and chive. Pick them up direct from the Roswell bakery, or at Whole Foods.

Mikey’s launched grain-free, vegan tortillas last month. An eight pack costs $5.99, which is a pretty great deal for tortillas made from cassava flour and six other ingredients: water, coconut flour, high oleic sunflower oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and xanthan gum.

Salata, a next generation salad bar, opened at Atlantic Station September 21st. This is their first Atlanta location with another planned for Glenridge Point. This is not your average salad bar because their dressings, soups, and sauces are free of preservatives and made fresh daily. Choose from nutritional proteins like falafel, salmon, and quinoa. Top your salad with interesting vegetables like jicama, bean sprouts or avocado. All of the salad dressings and soups are gluten free as are the majority of the proteins and toppings.

Throw back Grand Patron margaritas at Tin Lizzy’s Cantina and raise money for Hurricane Irma survivors. For every Grand Patrón margarita sold now through Oct. 8, Tin Lizzy’s will donate $1 to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey and Irma relief. Tin Lizzy’s Grand Patrón margarita ($11.50) packs top-shelf power using Patrón Silver, Grand Marnier and a splash of sour mix. 

Udi’s Gluten Free is launching a new larger gluten-free bread that appears to be a new formulation noting a better texture and mouth feel in January 2018. Not sure if this is the right move for a company that is plagued by consumer complaints about holes in their bread products. Maybe they have solved the problem? 


Product Review: Schar’s 10 Grains & Seeds bread

I have been a fan of Schar’s gluten-free products for almost as long as I have been following a gluten-free diet – 20 years. Their breads, cookies, crackers, and pastas are head and shoulders above their competitors in quality, nutrition, and selection. And they are free of preservatives and GMOs.

I was stoked to hear about the new 10 Grains & Seeds bread because it is made with whole and ancient grains, which are a good source of fiber, but mainly because it is a sourdough recipe. Man, have I missed sourdough bread. The bread, which is dairy and egg free, contains:

Rice Flour, Quinoa Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Chia Seeds, Millet Flour, Buckwheat Flour, Quinoa Flour, and Amaranth Flour

Loaded with seeds you can actually see, the new brown bread has a lovely sour and wholesome smell. It it soft and pliable right out of the package and ready to be topped with sandwich fixings, turned into avocado toast, or eaten plain without any heating. It tastes so good, like a cross between sourdough and whole grain. I immediately made a turkey bologna with mayonnaise and lettuce sandwich – a favorite of my youth. And it didn’t disappoint. Like all of their products, it tasted just like I remember, maybe even better. Seeds in bread usually bother me, but not in this case. They add to the enjoyment of this nutritionally balanced bread. 

Another great thing about Schär is they use the ELISA R5 Test on the packaging that enters their dedicated gluten free facilities. And more than 95% of Schär products have a gluten content below 5 parts per million(ppm) gluten. The remaining test at between 5ppm and 10ppm.

Do you want to try this fantastic new bread? Head over to their website to print a $2 off coupon. Look for it on the shelf at Sprouts Farmers Market and other stores.

Keep up the good work Schar!


The gluten-free menu at Lula, Georgia’s At The Tracks Restaurant is getting rave reviews. It includes gluten-free fried fish, chicken tenders, onion rings, sandwiches and burgers on Pure Knead’s allergen-friendly bread and homemade desserts. Even the beer batter for the onion rings and fish is gluten free. If you find yourself in the area, make the effort to stop in.

FIGO Pasta, the Atlanta-based pasta chain, has closed their location on East College Avenue in Decatur. According to Tone to Atlanta, local sources indicate the restaurant quietly closed earlier this week with no advance notice to patrons. A sign on the restaurant’s door confirms that the restaurant is permanently closed and directs patrons to the company’s location off Moreland Avenue in the Edgewood Retail District. A true bummer for those who enjoyed their gluten-free pasta, meatballs, and daily specials.

Noble Fin Restaurant is bringing back Prime Rib Dinner starting September 15th. Every Friday and Saturday from 4-7 p.m.(or until they run out), diners can order the prime rib dinner served with seasonal greens and mashed potatoes for $29 per person.

In addition to the gluten-free red velvet cupcake that is available daily, Sprinkles is offering a gluten-free lemon blueberry cupcake through the end of September. Lemon cake is bursting with wild blueberries and topped with lemon cream cheese frosting. Both cupcakes contain dairy.

Table & Main’s paleo Wednesdays continue to delight with creative options all sans gluten and dairy. Check out the next two weeks of entrees:

Sept-13 | Braised Lamb Shank, garlic new potato, okra, peppers, green harissa

Sept-20 | Salmon Cakes, smoked dill aioli, rosemary beets, Fuji apple, watercress, toasted pecan

True Food Kitchen is donating $1 from every herb hummus sold during the month of September to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief. They are looking to raise $20,000! Of course, the hummus is gluten-free and can be served with crudites instead of bread. While you are there, save room for dessert. Their flourless chocolate cake is served warm on a puddle of caramel, topped with ice cream (dairy-free too) and cacao nibs. Swoon worthy! 


Send gluten-free food to Hurricane Harvey survivors

Today I sent a box of gluten-free food to the San Antonio Food Bank in support of the victims of Hurricane Harvey. They are accepting donations by mail because they understand gluten-free food is necessary for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Can you imagine what it would be like to try to find gluten-free food during a disaster? How hungry would you have to get before you were forced to eat something that wasn’t safe?

If you would like to donate shelf-stable food, not food that needs to be refrigerated or frozen, here is what to do:

  • Pack up breakfast cereal, shelf-stable bread, such as Schar, Sun butter, snack bars, dried fruit, shelf-stable meals, such as Tasty Bite, instant oatmeal, granola, snack mix, etc. The food bank does not have any special requests, as they are in need of most everything. (Note: they have an ample supply of shelf-stable “milk” of all kinds, including soy etc.)
  • Mark the outside of the box “Disaster Relief/Gluten-Free Food” in large bright letters. These boxes will be kept separate from other food donations and will be sent to where they are needed as requests are received.
  • Send the box to: 

San Antonio Food Bank

5200 Enrique M. Barrera Parkway

San Antonio, Texas 78227

Every little bit helps, so please send whatever you can!


Bezoria, an Atlanta-based Eastern Mediterranean fast-casual chain, is planning a new location in Cumberland Mall. Expected to open in February 2018, the Cumberland location will be Bezoria’s third in Georgia. The 2,370-square-foot Bezoria space adjacent to Jason’s Deli near the Sear’s mall exit will be accessible from inside and outside the mall. Thanks WhatNowAtlanta for the information. 

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry fundraising campaign is back in gear working to end childhood hunger by ensuring students start each day with a healthy meal. Nourishing young minds starts with good nutrition, and that’s where Marlow’s Tavern locations and Dine Out for No Kid Hungry join the class. During September, Marlow’s Tavern guests who make a donation of any amount to No Kid Hungry will receive a $5 coupon redeemable on an upcoming visit between October 1 and December 31, 2017. Dine on Marlow’s gluten-free cuisine and donate throughout the month. One coupon per donation per person per visit.

Marlow’s Tavern has signed a long-term lease for its newest location in the expansive Peachtree Corners Town Center mixed-use development. The Town Center is a 21-acre development scheduled for a 2018 opening.

Pure Knead’s allergen-friendly Jumbo Buns are being served at Snack*ology 101 Markets at the Mercedez-Benz Stadium. There is a Snack*ology 101 Market on all three levels for better gluten-free snacking:

  • ​100 Level | Section 116
  • 200 Level | Section 209
  • 300 Level | Section 348
Taste of Soul Atlanta’s citywide free festival takes place in one of Atlanta’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods on September 2nd. This family festival, located at the foot of Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, celebrates soul and southern foods, hosts live mu
sic, art, games, and Atlanta’s best people watching. For more information, click here


Ted’s Montana Grill is participating in Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry fundraising campaign. During September, Ted’s Montana Grill guests who make a donation to No Kid Hungry will receive a $5 coupon redeemable on an upcoming visit between October 1 and December 31, 2017. A burger on a gluten-free bun with a side of fries sounds really good right about now!

Twisted Kitchen Pasta & Noodle Company, a fast-casual create-your-own-bowl dining concept, offers gluten-free pasta and an array of fresh meats, cheeses, vegetables and sauces. Choose from their Twisted Favorites, or create your own bowl of pasta, fresh salad, or combine the two. Ask staff to change gloves prior to preparing your order.



2B Whole Gluten-Free European Bakery has begun teaching baking classes at their Alpharetta location. The next class, cupcake decorating, is on September 9th from 3-5 p.m taught by Toula, the owner. Students will top cupcakes with a variety of toppings with Vegan and paleo cupcakes available. The cost is $30 per student. Reserve your spot before it sells out!

Yes, there are places in Atlanta to get gluten-free nachos, like Bantam + Biddy. Breaded or grilled chicken sits atop a bed of fresh chips coated with jalapeno cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream. That spicy cheese sauce sends these nachos right over the edge. And they have plenty of televisions and a full bar perfect for college football viewing! 

According to ToneToATL, BRIO Tuscan Grille plans to shutter its Dunwoody restaurant just a few short weeks after closing its Buckhead location.   Sources confirm to ToNeTo Atlanta that the Dunwoody restaurant, located on Ashford Parkway just off Ashford Dunwoody, is expected to close after dinner service on Sunday, September 17th. 

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse in Buckhead has done the unthinkable. By adding Parmesan rosemary bread and hand-rolled potato gnocchi with organic mushrooms, basil, white truffle oil, they have become the only place in town offering fresh gluten-free pasta and bread. The aromatic bread is soft and delicious, and perfect for dipping into pasta sauce! The restaurant has offered dried gluten-free fusilli pasta for years, so adding a hard-to-make fresh pasta dish to the menu is a revelation for the Atlanta gluten-free dining scene.

The gluten-free pizzas at Galla’s Pizza are legit. Made on Venice Bakery’s crusts, gluten-free pies are cooked on a screen in their stone pizza ovens. Tongs are used to remove the pizza and a clean utensil is used for cutting. Gloves are changed before using shared ingredients to make gluten-free pies, but I didn’t have a reaction. They have several white pies to choose from, my favorite, or you can create your own from a long list of ingredients and cheeses, not just mozzarella.

Rize Artisan Pizza in Sandy Springs is no more; however, the former director of culinary operations, Edward “Eddie” Russell, is the new owner and plans to rename and reopen the restaurant. I hope when it reopens the restaurant will have a more cohesive ordering process and freshly prepared gluten-free pizza will be on the menu. Thanks ToneToATL for the update.

Treehorn Cider’s tasting room is almost a reality. It is scheduled to open in early September with an expansive patio, a bar crafted out of reclaimed wood and tons of seating.