Saturday, March 28, 2009

Restaurant Review: Chill Bubble Tea

Chill Bubble Tea located at 145 E. Franklin Street offers a different type of drink. So, what exactly is bubble tea? I found the following on their website:

“Bubble Tea is a delicious combination of fruits or teas, blended together into a smoothie and poured over tapioca pearls. Tapioca pearls are small chewy pieces of tapioca which are made fresh at every Chill Bubble Tea store.”

I’ve been to Chill once before and got the almond flavor. It was delicious. They offer a variety of classic teas that include: avocado, cantaloupe, cherry, coconut, french vanilla, green tea latte, honeydew, lychee, milk tea, taro, and watermelon. The fresh fruit bubble teas include: strawberry, kiwi, banana, mango, and pineapple. I see on the homepage that there is a mocha bean bubble tea that I can’t wait to try!

If bubble tea isn’t your thing, they also have loose leaf teas. A list of flavors can be found here.

I contacted Chill yesterday to get the most up-to-date gluten free information. After calling corporate, I received this email:

To answer your questions, we do not use any wheat or gluten in any of our products. The only exception may be some of the toppings for the Chill Swirl frozen yogurts, such as the cereal toppings. As far as our bubble teas, loose leaf teas and our actual frozen yogurt, they are wheat and gluten free.

Please feel free to contact me with any other questions. Have a Chill day!


As you can see above, the options are plenty with the exception of some of the creations toppings and cereal toppings.


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 15, 2009

Restaurant Review: Spanky’s

Spanky’s Restaurant and Bar located at 101 E. Franklin Street is a place I often visit. I decided to call Spanky’s before going tonight so that I could have the most up-to-date gluten free info. The hostess who answered the phone was very knowledgeable. She told me that the ribs, barbeque plate, and hamburger without bun were all gluten free. I was told that customers often ask about gluten free options and I know from experience that servers are always very helpful. The hostess told me that any dish could be modified to be gluten free if I asked. Also, she offered to let me speak to the chef if I had a question about a certain dish. Tonight, as usual, I got the Carolina BBQ Plate with coleslaw. Just make sure to order fresh fruit instead of cornbread.

Spanky’s is open for lunch from 11 am to 4 pm seven days a week. The dinner hours are from 4 pm to 9:30 pm Sunday to Wednesday and 4 pm to 11 pm Thursday to Saturday.

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