Thursday, March 26, 2009

Update on Z Pizza in Cary

Good News!  The Gluten Free crust drought is over!
Their supplier received a new shipment from the producer and diverted a truck to Cary with more than a week's supply.  As of Thursday at dinner, they are back in Gluten Free business.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Call Ahead for Z Pizza in Cary

I got an email from the manager of ZPizza in Cary today.  He asks that people call ahead to check for availability of the Gluten Free crusts this week.  He says that they are low on GF crusts but are expecting shipments later this week.

919 465-9009

Here is the full email:

My name is Ken Alexander.  I'm the manager of Zpizza of Cary at the Stone Creek Shopping Center.
We've been delighted at the response from the community now that we offer a 10" gluten free crust for our pizzas.  It's so rewarding to see the smiles on the faces of people who haven't enjoyed a pizza "out on the town" for years.  We'll do out best to continue to provide a quality dining experience to our patrons.

The response has been particularly strong this past week.  We find ourselves very low on the gluten-free crusts.  We'll get a case in by air on Wednesday the 25th, and five cases more on Thursday the 26th.  In the meantime, could you please ask your readers to call ahead to check the availability of our gluten-free crusts?  I would hate for anyone to make a special trip only to be disappointed.

We'll do our best to maintain a comfortable supply of gluten-free crusts on hand, so that your members will have a place to enjoy a tasty, and healthy, pizza.

Thank you for your help.
Ken Alexander
Zpizza of Cary
Stone Creek Shopping Center
Cary, NC  27519

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Restaurant Review: XIOS Authentic Greek Cuisine

XIOS, located in the Peakway Market Square at 800 W. Williams Street (HWY 55) in Apex, offers fantastic Greek food. Although they do not have a separate menu with Gluten Free items, I met with Chef Niko last week and he wrote out all the items that do not have gluten in them.

Dolmathes: Stuffed Grape Leaves
Tzatziki: Cucumber Sauce
Melitzanosalata: Eggplant Salad
Fasolakia: Green Beans with Olive Oil, Tomatoes, Onions, and Herbs
Hummus: Chickpea dip (without the pita)
All salads

Mythia: Mussels
Garides Souvlaki: Shrimp Skewers
Souvlaki: Lamb, Chicken, Pork Skewers
Loukaniko Psito: Grilled Sausage
Kotopoula: Grilled Chicken
Arnisia Paidakia: Lamb Chops
Melitzana Iman: Grilled Eggplant

We have had varying success with explaining to the wait staff about Gluten Free dining. However, my daughter has never had any problems after eating at Xios because we have learned what is "safe." Be sure to talk with your server and the chef about your needs.

As the weather gets warmer and the days longer, enjoy a lovely dinner outside on their patio.
Other than the great food, XIOS also has belly dancing on the 1st and 3rd Fridays! Check out their website for events and specials.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Petition to the Raleigh City Council - Food Allergen Poster

Over the last few weeks, I have been thinking about new ways to improve the lives of those with Celiac Disease and/or another food allergies. Dining out in restaurants is a big issue for the estimated 12 million Americans with a food allergy. For those of us on a Gluten Free Diet, we are well aware of the dangers of eating out.

About this same time, I saw an interesting article about something the City Council of New York City did. The NYC City Council actually passed a law which requires restaurants to display a food allergy education poster and will fine locations $100 for non-compliance. I thought this was a great idea and would be a good starting point in the education of food service workers in the food allergy arena. Of course this does not guarantee that food allergy sufferers can have a safe meal, but it is a start down that path. Food service workers need to know what the allergies are and how to prevent cross-contamination.

So, I decided to email the Raleigh City Council about the issue and my proposal. I offered up my services on the creation of the poster and anything else they would need. I have not heard back as of yet. In the meantime, I created an online petition to gain a little more ammunition. Please take just a few minutes to read the petition and to sign it. The more signatures, the more the City Council will take this issue seriously. Thanks for your time and support!

Click here to sign the Food Allergy Education Poster Petition to the City Council of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


15,900 - That's my estimate on the number of Celiac's in Triangle area.

15,423 - If you go by the NFCA's estimate that 97% of Celiacs are undiagnosed, this is my estimate of undiagnosed Celiac cases in the Triangle.

So here we are, 477 of us - with more coming each day thanks to increasing awareness and better diagnosis. From the statistics kept on visitors to this blog and the number of RSS subscribers, I would estimate that about 120-140 of the 477 are reading this blog each day.

I didn't just make these numbers up of course, new information was released today (see this article from the N&O) about Triangle population estimates. The Raleigh-Cary area now tops the nation in growth.
The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area, which includes Wake, Johnston and Franklin counties, grew by 4.3 percent from July 2007 to July 2008, and is now home to close to 1.1 million people. It well outpaced its closest rival, the Austin, Texas, area, which grew by 3.8 percent, to become the national leader.

The national growth average was just under 1 percent.

The Triangle has been near the top of the nation's growth chart for more than a decade, as newcomers poured into the area to take jobs in technology, tourism and academia. The resulting building boom, and the jobs that came with it, drew hundreds of thousands of new residents.

The Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area, which includes Durham, Orange, Chatham and Person counties, didn't make the Top 10, but its population continued to swell at a steady 2.5 percent, up slightly from the year before. Just fewer than 490,000 people live in that area.
So there are 1.59 million Triangle residents. Some estimates say that 1% of the population in the US has Celiac. So what does this mean to all of us? The Triangle has a formidable number of Celiacs and this information should help drive the market for Gluten Free products. I hope to see more and more restaurants, grocery stores, etc... catering to us in the future. With almost 16,000 of the most loyal customers ever created, how could they not?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rita's Ice-Custard-Happiness Review and Giveaway!

This beautiful warm weather brings on cravings for sweet cool treats. Rita's Ice-Custard-Happiness five locations around the Triangle offers a variety of Gluten Free options to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Rita's has ice cream, custards, Italian ices, shakes, and coffee drinks. You can check out their allergen information at
Obviously, we avoid the flavors with mixed in dough, all the cones, and most of the toppings.

My daughter likes to pick the brightest colored Italian ices... but Rita's has plenty of choices for those who don't base their food decisions on a particular shade of pink!

If you live in Apex and received the free Apex Monthly mailer for March, look on page 13 for two coupons for the Rita's located at Beaver Creek Commons.

Also, each year for the last sixteen years, Rita's has given away a regular size Italian Ice to every customer on the first day of spring.
Celebrate Spring at Rita's in :
First Day of Spring, March 20
FREE Regular Italian Ice to every customer
from noon until 10pm!

Beaver Creek Commons Shopping Center 1011 Beaver Creek Commons Unit 304 by Office Max

8204 Tryon Woods Drive suite 112

McCrimmon Corners Shopping Center 4141 Davis Drive

The Shoppes at Oberlin Court 1028 Oberlin Road Suite 228

1125 W. NC Highway 54 & Highway 401

Friday, March 6, 2009


More and more manufacturers are indicating Gluten Free on their labels.  I find it so reassuring to see those ten little letters!

Yesterday at the super Target in Apex, we walked by a HUGE display of technicolor PEEPS ( on sale .  My daughter flipped one of the packages over and announced:
"It says Gluten Free, so we have to buy it for me!"

Enjoy the very sweet marshmellow spring-time treat.  I am always happy for my daughter to be able to enjoy a "normal" treat that other kids eat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Restaurant Review: Five Guys Burgers and Fries

If you have never been to Five Guys Burgers and Fries, get there as soon as possible. The first Five Guys restaurant opened in the Washington, DC area where I grew up. When Five Guys started showing up here in NC, I teased my parents by telling them that I didn’t “need” to come home anymore because I could get Five Guys here! They didn’t think that was very funny!

Five Guys burgers are perfectly juicy and the fries are outstanding. They only use 100% beef and their fries are 100% potatoes fried in peanut oil. Just order NO BUN and your choice of free toppings. You will receive your burger wrapped in foil and a brown paper bag of hot fries. Delicious!

When ordering, keep in mind that a Little Hamburger or Little Cheeseburger is one beef patty and a Hamburger or Cheeseburger is two beef patties.

The front page of their website, , proclaims:

Zero Gluten, except for our buns.

I always appreciate any restaurant that makes it clear what does and what does not contain gluten. Plus, it helps get the word out about gluten!

Currently, there are 300 Five Guys locations in 25 states. We are lucky enough to have 5 of them in our area:

  • Cary at Stone Creek Village 1856 Boulderstone Way
  • Cary at the Barnes &Noble Plaza across from Towne Centre Mall 712 SE Maynard Rd
  • Durham at The Streets At Southpoint Mall 6910 Fayetteville Rd.
  • Raleigh at North Hills 4120 Main At North Hills St
  • Raleigh at Brennan Station 8107 Creedmoor Road
Five Guys is always a hit with our family. The laid back atmosphere and the bulk peanuts to snack on while you wait for your burger makes for a fun dining out experience.

The staff at the two Cary locations and the Durham location were very accommodating and did not think it was "odd" to order a bunless burger! (I have not been to the Raleigh locations).

*Five Guys realizes that some people are extremely allergic to peanuts and has signage to warn patrons about the peanuts available in the shells in bulk in all their stores as well as their use of peanut oil.

Restaurant Review: On The Border Mexican Grill

We can always rely on a safe place to eat at On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina. They have a location in Cary at 1102 Walnut Street and a location at Plantation Point in Raleigh at 3351 Cypress Plantation Train. (In addition, they have locations in 37 states and even Egypt, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.)

Talk with your server and they will bring you the Gluten Free menu which is also available at

Concerns about cross-contamination are addressed in the list of suggested beverage and menu options:
We have prepared this suggested list of beverage and menu options based on the most current ingredient information from our food suppliers and their stated absence of wheat/gluten within these items. Please be aware that during normal kitchen operations involving shared cooking and preparation areas, including common fryer oil, the possibility exists for food items to come in contact with other food products. Due to these circumstances, we are unable to guarantee that any menu entrée can be completely free of allergens, including tortilla chips and enchiladas.*
Over the past few years, we have noticed that the servers are more and more familiar with Gluten Free. It used to be a struggle to explain what we needed for our daughter and ordering usually took a significant amount of time. However, it is much easier now.

Special thanks to Jason Helms from the kitchen at the Cary location for always taking the time to talk with us about our daughter's needs when eating out. He never made my daughter feel uncomfortable about being different; he has always made our daughter feel special and important! He is one of the reasons that we keep going back to On the Border.

Typically, we create a meal from side items and the kids menu for our daughter. However, the salads and fajitas are flavorable and filing for adults and older children.

As a related note, you can also get allergen information about egg, fish, dairy, peanut, shellfish, soy, and tree nut from the website.

Accidental GLUTEN

Well it happened... my daughter accidentally ate something at a birthday party that contained gluten.  The result was upset tummy, fatigue, and a few pretty bad days. Afterwards, she got every cold that she came in contact with... So, it has been a rough few weeks.  Sorry for the lack of posting lately...but, now we are back to healthy.

Do you have similar symtpoms when you accidentally eat something with gluten?