Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Restaurant Review: Red Mango Frozen Yogurt (nationwide including 25 locations in NJ )

After my recent dinner at Opa’s in Wayne (review), one of my friends and I decided to stop by Corrado’s and check out their gluten free section. Unfortunately, they were closed already, but we noticed a Red Mango frozen yogurt shop. I had been seeing Red Mango pop up on some other gluten free restaurant lists but never investigated assuming that they wouldn’t have anything dairy free. Boy was I wrong.

It turns out Red Mango offers two sorbettos which are dairy free: raspberry and dark chocolate. These are in addition to their rotating menu of dairy containing frozen yoghurts. All of their frozen yoghurts are gluten free (even the cookies and cream flavor) but be careful as not all of their toppings are GF. Each serving station label contains the gluten free status of what is loaded there as well as other information about the flavor (kosher, added sugar, etc.).
Gluten Free / Dairy Free Sorbetto at Red Mango

The nutrition information on their website is outstanding and very easy to use. Each entry has a listing of allergens and even a specific entry for Gluten Free (flagged yes/no). It also details which probiotics are present in each item. This information is also broken out by 1oz serving, ½ their small cup, a full small cup and a full large cup. [Although their small container isn’t that small, their dairy free offerings are still only 50-80 calories for a full container!]

The toppings bar is an area of concern as it is self serve and the gluten status of items are unlabeled. However, we observed that it is refilled from containers kept under the counter. If cross contamination is a concern, you could probably ask the staff to provide you toppings from there and cut down the risk. [I say cut down because there is no telling what their procedures are when they prep the toppings so they could already be contaminated.]

Since there are already about twenty five of these in New Jersey, I suspect I’m going to have dessert all summer long!

Red Mango on Urbanspoon

There aren’t many other places with GF/DF desserts but you could try:

Gluten Free at Papa Ganache

Don't forget to check out my list of stores selling gluten free, my list of gluten free bakeries and even my gluten free fast food / chain list!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Restaurant Review: Opa Greek Cuisine (Wayne, NJ)

I just had dinner with a couple of gluten free friends at Opa Greek Cuisine (37 Berdan Avenue, Wayne, NJ 07470) and greatly enjoyed it.

Gluten Free Greek Beans and Gluten Free Stuffed
Grape Leaves at Opa Greek Cuisine
Opa stars the gluten friendly items on both their online and in restaurant menu. For a couple of the items there are instructions on how to make them gluten free (no pita, etc) but the majority are already gf. The starred items on the menu includes all of their salads, a soup, five out of six side dishes, nine out of ten cold appetizers, five hot appetizers, seven souvlaki options (again, without pita) and eight entrees. Dairy free was a bit more difficult to navigate but we managed (with a trip or two to the kitchen by our waitress to double check).

Gluten Free Roast Chicken and Potatoes
at Opa Greek Cuisine
We had stuffed grape leaves and greek beans as appetizers. I had the half roasted chicken with lemon potatoes while my friends each had souvlaki (one chicken, one beef). I even got to try some of the Greek fries which are fried in a dedicated fryer! [For those who haven’t been to Opa’s yet, their Greek fries are essentially perfectly cooked steak fries seasoned with herbs and lemon juice.]

Sadly, they don’t offer any gluten free desserts, but there is a Red Mango three blocks down the road!

This is definitely somewhere I’ll be back to eat!

Opa on Urbanspoon

Other restaurants you may want to try:

Gluten Free at La Riviera Trattoria (Clifton, NJ)

Gluten Free at Janice A Bistro (Hohokus, NJ)

And don’t forget to check out my full list of NJ Gluten Free Restaurants.