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Harrisburg, Pa Gluten Free Restaurants And Food Options
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Since I didn't see a thread addressing this city, I'm going to start this one and try to update it as I find more.

So far, the restaurants that have responded more than happily to my request for gluten free foods are:

Cafe Fresco - downtown Harrisburg, PA - will make anything you need - just go back and talk to the chef. He has no problem using new gloves, cleaning an area just for your food, etc.

Marie's Cafe - Carlisle Pike, Camp Hill, PA - willing to make anything you need, just ask Marie, as she is usually there (this is a breakfast and lunch cafe)

Piazza Sorrento - Hershey, PA - this one I just heard about on the radio, and if you go on their website, they offer a full menu of gluten free items, and are willing to do anything it takes to make you comfortable eating there. Anxious to try this one.

I won't list chain restaurants, as those are addressed here on the site.

Also, for college cafeterias for those of you heading to college or have kids going to college, Wilkes University had thus far been great in their willingness to meet my needs while I'm on campus.

Great gluten free stores: Wegman's, Giant, Gluten Free Source, LLC in Dillsburg, PA, and the Healthy Grocer in Camp Hill, PA (though they are VERY expensive in comparison to the others).

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Holy cow, gang! Piazza Sorrento in Hershey, PA is amazing! We just got back. My experience:

We walked in, and the hostess greeted us. They sat us within 5 minutes (we had reservations - definitely recommend for weekends), and I asked the gentleman that sat us if I should order off the paper gluten-free menu I'd picked up in the vestibule. He immediately whisked away the menu he's laid on the table for me, and was back within seconds with a special gluten free menu. The menu looked just like the regular menu, in a heavy faux leather folder. When the waitress came to our table, she already knew that I would be ordering gluten free, and placed my gluten free roll on order. Before she even took our order!

The gluten-free menu is huge. Lost of selection: pastas, pizza, salads, appetizers AND desserts! Everything sounds great, but I'm not a picky eater. I went with the Garlic Shrimp over Penne, with a house salad with the house dressing. The roll was - if I had to guess - kinnikinnick, possibly. Not bad, but not thrilling either. However, I dipped it in the bread spices, and it was lovely. (My husband said the gluten rolls were fantastic). The salad dressing was a spicy italian, and very pleasant.

The meal tasted great - the noodles were cooked al dente, the shrimp was plump and juicy, and the presentation very nice. One thing I really love: each gluten free dish comes with a tag on it that says, Special Gluten Free Dish on it. It's another way for them to make sure they are giving you the right meal.

They have to gluten-free desserts: Tiramisu and Creme Brulee with fresh fruit. I wanted to try them, but I was too full! I got a doggie bag to go. For two meals, one alcoholic beverage the total came to 43 bucks and some change. Not cheap, but well worth it.

What I enjoyed most was that I could relax. They gave a full explanation in their menu of how they view gluten-free dining, and they immediately recognized my needs and worked hard to make sure I felt confident in what they served. Not to mention, the service was excellent. The place ran like a well-oiled machine. Our waitress took the corner into the room at an odd angle, and she dropped an entire tray of meals (not ours, but four or five entrees). Embarrassed, she immediately reported it the kitchen, the busboys and shift manager cleaned it up quickly, the explanation was made to the table, and the evening resumed. Truly amazing team work.

Overall mood: busy, active atmosphere, appropriate for children though they'll need to be on their best behavior as the space is narrow between tables. No Indy 500! A bit noisy, simple, elegant interior. Closed Sundays.

HIGHLY recommend this restaurant if you are close to Hershey, PA, or driving through. Google them on the web.

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I believe I've posted about Pizza Sorrento as well. I second the recommendation!

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I agree, my gluten-free spouse and I have enjoyed Piazza Sorrento several times, and were disappointed in September when we drove there on a Sunday to discover they aren't open that day!

My wife loved the gluten-free tags on the dishes, I think that is an awesome idea and it makes one feel confident in what they're eating. We're looking forward to going again soon when in Harrisburg, and highly recommend it.

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Thanks so much!!! I live in Shippensburg and appreciate the fact that there is restaurants willing to cater to gluten-free's. Thanks again for your review....I will definitely be trying this one!

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Thanks so much!!! I live in Shippensburg and appreciate the fact that there is restaurants willing to cater to gluten-free's. Thanks again for your review....I will definitely be trying this one!

If you are in the mood for pizza, Jo-Jo's on the main drag in Mechanicsburg, PA has gluten free pizza. It's made on very thin, crispy dough that is on a metal tray. So far, I feel fine on it, and it tasted pretty good. Definitely a very thin crust though. But I'd eat there again. It was nice to let my husband have a sub, and I got to enjoy food that fit the atmosphere.

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Thanks so much!!! I live in Shippensburg and appreciate the fact that there is restaurants willing to cater to gluten-free's. Thanks again for your review....I will definitely be trying this one!

Hey, Madiva87...I live just outside of Shipp in Newburg! Small world!!! I can get the Betty Crocker cake and brownie mixes at the Shipp Wal-Mart but nothing else. I get all of the rest of my gluten-free bake mixes and flours at the Dutch Country Pantry just outside of Newville. Seems kind of weird that an Amish store will carry stuff for Celiacs and the large chains are unwilling!

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Hey, Madiva87...I live just outside of Shipp in Newburg! Small world!!! I can get the Betty Crocker cake and brownie mixes at the Shipp Wal-Mart but nothing else. I get all of the rest of my gluten-free bake mixes and flours at the Dutch Country Pantry just outside of Newville. Seems kind of weird that an Amish store will carry stuff for Celiacs and the large chains are unwilling!

Weis in Shippensburg recently re-vamped and they have a "small" selection of gluten free. I've requested some more....we'll see. Right now I get most of my things at Giant in Chamberburg - Norland Ave. They have a pretty good selection. I've been to Dutch Country Store a few times also. I understand Wegmans in Mechanicsburg has a Gluten Free section also, I haven't visited it yet. It's a shame we have to travel just to get food!!

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Weis in Shippensburg recently re-vamped and they have a "small" selection of gluten free. I've requested some more....we'll see. Right now I get most of my things at Giant in Chamberburg - Norland Ave. They have a pretty good selection. I've been to Dutch Country Store a few times also. I understand Wegmans in Mechanicsburg has a Gluten Free section also, I haven't visited it yet. It's a shame we have to travel just to get food!!

Figured Weis wouldn't have much so I really didn't even bother looking there. I checked out the Shipp Giant but it's pretty much hopeless in there. I do the bulk of my shopping at the Shipp Wal-Mart. As a whole, that chain has pledged to do more in the way of labeling of their store brands as to what is gluten-free and what is not. They also carry Boles rice pasta (penne & spaghetti only), Betty Crocker gluten-free brownie and cake mixes, Kozy Shack gluten-free pudding and some wickedly tasty gluten-free sausages made by Bistro Sensations. Otherwise, I pretty much shop in the fresh meats and veggies sections.

I've tried to convince the manager to bring in Glutino pizzas...or ANY brand of gluten-free pizza...but he keeps telling me there's just "not enough market" to rationalize the addition to their shelves. About now, I'd kill for a slice of pizza!!

Although, a friend tells me that Taormina's in Fayetteville is now serving a gluten-free pizza. I've been too afraid to try if for fear that there's cross-contamination issues. I guess I will eventually because it's either go there or all the way to Uno's Chicago Grill in Hagerstown.

Yeah, I'd really like to see a Wegman's come to Carlisle so it wouldn't be so danged far to drive to find a decent gluten-free section in a grocery store. The special foods are already 2-3 times more expensive than the "regular" food and it only gets worse when you add in the $2.65/gallon for the 75 or so mile round trip to Wegman's.

I'd also love to have a real sandwich again, too. Not a loaf of gluten-free bread to be found around here. I did try the Bob's Red Mill gluten-free bread mixes that are available down at Dutch Country Pantry but didn't really care for them like I did the pancake, cookie, brownie and all-purpose bake mixes. I also went to Lulu's Bread Basket on Orange St. in Shipp. They'll make gluten-free bread on special request but the loaf I had was very dry and hard and, well, I haven't been back to get any more.

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Figured Weis wouldn't have much so I really didn't even bother looking there. I checked out the Shipp Giant but it's pretty much hopeless in there. I do the bulk of my shopping at the Shipp Wal-Mart. As a whole, that chain has pledged to do more in the way of labeling of their store brands as to what is gluten-free and what is not. They also carry Boles rice pasta (penne & spaghetti only), Betty Crocker gluten-free brownie and cake mixes, Kozy Shack gluten-free pudding and some wickedly tasty gluten-free sausages made by Bistro Sensations. Otherwise, I pretty much shop in the fresh meats and veggies sections.

I've tried to convince the manager to bring in Glutino pizzas...or ANY brand of gluten-free pizza...but he keeps telling me there's just "not enough market" to rationalize the addition to their shelves. About now, I'd kill for a slice of pizza!!

Although, a friend tells me that Taormina's in Fayetteville is now serving a gluten-free pizza. I've been too afraid to try if for fear that there's cross-contamination issues. I guess I will eventually because it's either go there or all the way to Uno's Chicago Grill in Hagerstown.

Yeah, I'd really like to see a Wegman's come to Carlisle so it wouldn't be so danged far to drive to find a decent gluten-free section in a grocery store. The special foods are already 2-3 times more expensive than the "regular" food and it only gets worse when you add in the $2.65/gallon for the 75 or so mile round trip to Wegman's.

I'd also love to have a real sandwich again, too. Not a loaf of gluten-free bread to be found around here. I did try the Bob's Red Mill gluten-free bread mixes that are available down at Dutch Country Pantry but didn't really care for them like I did the pancake, cookie, brownie and all-purpose bake mixes. I also went to Lulu's Bread Basket on Orange St. in Shipp. They'll make gluten-free bread on special request but the loaf I had was very dry and hard and, well, I haven't been back to get any more.

Funny you should mention Lulu's, I ordered some bread and I kinda think it was CC. I've had some issues since eating it. I tried the Schar brand bread from Giant, but wasn't impressed. And like you, I would love some pizza. I have an appt at Hershey Medical next week and am going to try the Piazzo Sorrento that was mentioned. I looked at their menu and it looked great! I wouldn't drive that far just for a meal but since I'll be there anyways, I'm going to check it out.

Don't know if you like donuts, but Giant - norland avenue - carries the Kinnikinnick brand donuts in cinnamon sugar, vanilla frosted and chocolate frosted in the freezer section of the Natural aisle. I had a cinnamon sugar today and either I was starved for a donut or it was exceptionally good!!! Also, Food Lion on Rt 11 in Chbg also has a small selection of gluten-free now in the Natural section.

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Hey gang - Giant in Camp Hill, PA & Mechanicsburg, PA has some decent stuff. They also have sub rolls by kinnikinnick. They will also cut deli meat for you and clean the blades before doing so.

For pizza - check out the Healthy Grocer in Camp Hill for pizza crusts you can load yourself, or I recommend Jo-Jo's in downtown Mechanicsburg. I did not get sick at ALL on their pizza. I just finished the rest of mine today.

Is the Amish store cheaper for flours? I use the Gluten Free store in Dillsburg for some things, and buy others at the WalMart (Mechanicsburg's has a decent boxed selection) or Wegman's.

By the way - Wegman's and giant is a toss-up. Wegman's has more dry foods that are gluten-free, but Giant has more frozen stuffs. And if you are curious about something, let me know and I'll check for it when I go shopping and let you know. :)

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Funny you should mention Lulu's, I ordered some bread and I kinda think it was CC. I've had some issues since eating it. I tried the Schar brand bread from Giant, but wasn't impressed. And like you, I would love some pizza. I have an appt at Hershey Medical next week and am going to try the Piazzo Sorrento that was mentioned. I looked at their menu and it looked great! I wouldn't drive that far just for a meal but since I'll be there anyways, I'm going to check it out.

Don't know if you like donuts, but Giant - norland avenue - carries the Kinnikinnick brand donuts in cinnamon sugar, vanilla frosted and chocolate frosted in the freezer section of the Natural aisle. I had a cinnamon sugar today and either I was starved for a donut or it was exceptionally good!!! Also, Food Lion on Rt 11 in Chbg also has a small selection of gluten-free now in the Natural section.

Agreed, I wouldn't drive to Hershey just for a meal, but if I was going to be there anyway, why not? Sure sounds like Piazza Sorrento is a fabulous place!

Thanks for the lead on the gluten-free donuts at Giant Norland. I'll have to check it out next time I'm in Chambersburg. I'll take a peek in the Shipp Giant, too, and see if they have them.

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I have to add some glutenfree stuff from Carlisle, since I used ot live there for quite a while. Now I live 12 miles up north from Carlisle, but still go there at least once a week. Here it goes:

Rillo's Italian Restaurant offers glutenfree menus. According to the waitress they also do have glutenfree pasta. And even though I eat there once per week, I never had the chance to substitute glutenfree pasta on any of their menus, since I'm there for a business meeting and they have a group menu prepared ahead, where they are not able to substitute, because things need to be speeded up. However I go there once a week since November 2009 and haven't been glutened... ever.

Then there is Amy's Thai Restaurant on High Street. They know what glutenfree is and can prepare it for you. In fact some of their menus are naturally glutenfree. If the waitress shouldn't know by any chance, ask for the cook or Amy.

There is a Natural Food Store on intersection High Street/Pitt Street. Very good, but quite expensive. However they have a basket in the back of the store with items, that are about to expire. And every once in a while I find some glutenfree goodie there heavily discounted.

Giant in Carlisle, isle number 9 all the way back on the left of isle number 9 the entire shelf is dedicated to glutenfree. Awesome!

WalMart has the DeBoles glutenfree pasta as well as glutenfree Brownies and Muffins. I have not checked out Betty Crocker yet, as Lukas always tears down the entire baking section, because of the chocolate, I try to avoid even going in there. And most of the time he's with me, so there won't be any chance checking this out any time soon. But feel free to go ahead, while you're in Carlisle checking out the rest of the glutenfree goodies/restaurant.

Enjoy!

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HA! Stef, you are on my wavelength -- I just was talking about trying Thai. I'm so going to do that at Amy's Thai.

ZPizza in the Target/Wegman's plaza is also good for gluten free pizza. I don't think the crust is as good as Jo-Jo's in Mechanicsburg, but their toppings are amazing, so I suffer through. They are also very gluten conscious and do a good job looking out for us gluten-free nuts. ;)

I have been to the Appalachian Health Store, but you are right -- expensive! And I find that the organization there is bizarre. The Healthy Grocer is easier for me to use, and I find them more competitive pricewise, though Wegman's almost always has them beat (even better than giant). :)

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So true, so true, whenever you go to Amy's, let me know. I met have the time to join you. I'm thinking about Amy's at least twice a week now, cause I haven't been there in ages and would love to go again.

It's true, Wegman's is cheaper than the Appalachian Food Store. I never thought I'd say that, but it's true for the gluten products. And I like their pizza, even though, it's frozen.

I've never heard about ZPizza, I have to check that out.

Oh, by the way, I send you another message with my phone number, cause you said, you can't see, when you're getting a message. Hopefully you're reading this.

Talk to you later, Stef.

P.S.: I'm glad, I'm finding people like me in our area ;) This way I don't feel that lonely with the gluten thing.

HA! Stef, you are on my wavelength -- I just was talking about trying Thai. I'm so going to do that at Amy's Thai.

ZPizza in the Target/Wegman's plaza is also good for gluten free pizza. I don't think the crust is as good as Jo-Jo's in Mechanicsburg, but their toppings are amazing, so I suffer through. They are also very gluten conscious and do a good job looking out for us gluten-free nuts. ;)

I have been to the Appalachian Health Store, but you are right -- expensive! And I find that the organization there is bizarre. The Healthy Grocer is easier for me to use, and I find them more competitive pricewise, though Wegman's almost always has them beat (even better than giant). :)

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I have more restaurants to report on!

Amy's Thai Cuisine, Carlisle, PA

I've never had Thai food before, so my first experience was without comparison. My favorite thing about Amy's Thai? They speak English! I usually could care less, as long as I can get my order across...but when you are gluten-free, it complicates things. Very easy to order, they know exactly what you can and can't have, and the Pad Thai and Thai slaw was WONDERFUL. Love the tapioca pudding too. A bit pricey, but I'm finding that is the case with all foreign foods. It was lovely, and I've been back once so far. (Steph, we must do that together sometime!)

Tokyo Diner, Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg, PA

I LOVE sushi, and Tokyo Diner was my first sushi experience earlier last year. Now I've eaten at enough sushi restaurants, I think I can judge the good from the bad. I've eaten at both Tokyo Diners, and they are probably my favorite so far. Tonight, I visited Mechancisburg's Tokyo Diner with my 13 year old stepson and we had a blast. He loved sushi -- his first time -- and the server spoke and understood English very well. I took my own soy sauce, ordered the California roll with mackerel instead of crab (tastes even better!) and tuna roll, and did not get sick on iota. LOVE this place! Prices are steep, but not out of line for sushi.

The Melting Pot, Harrisburg, PA

What a joy to eat at a restaurant that has a HUGE gluten free menu! What fun! We ordered the couples special, which included all courses. Looking back, I prefer just the cheese, salad and dessert, but the experience was worth it. It's very $$$$, so bring plenty of greenbacks with you. But the service was excellent, food was superb, and I had a great time. My only "sad" moment was I did get a little sick afterwards -- hard to tell what from though, as I'd had beef jerky earlier in the day that didn't sit well with me, so who's to say what it was? I didn't get "majorly" ill, so I'm planning on going back to give them another shot. The food is AMAZING.

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Hi everyone, I am new to finding out that I have celiac and I have been on the diet since April 5th, 2011. My husband and I eat out A LOT and I have been making my rounds. I will do my best to post on here frequently (maybe a summary at the end of each month).

For the month of April 2011, here is my experience:

Garrison's at 400 Forster St., Harrisburg, PA 17102: We got burgers without buns and coleslaw as a side, glass of wine. My meal was completely gluten free but do be careful, my husband's burger came out on a bun and when told this was a mistake, they took it back, pulled it off the bun and brought the same burger right back out. Luckily, I am the one with sprue and not him. Don't get the fries, same frier as the breaded stuff.

Char's Bella Mundo at 540 Race Street, Harrisburg, PA: Excellent experience. The waitress, without solicitation sent the chef to the table. He substituted risotto anywhere there was pasta; he advised me that I could not have the soup because of the chicken stock; he advised my husband that his dinner would also be gluten free. Yes, we had wine and everything was 100% gluten free.

Cafe El Sol at 18 South 3rd Street in Harrisburg: Unfortunately, the margarita I got either directly contained gluten or was contaminated by it. I suspect it was contaminated from metal shaker and other containers used to mix the drink or by the glassware itself. While sipping on this drink and waiting for the ceviche, I had very loud and progressive belching. Of course, the next day I have the typical (for me, ankle pain, steatorrhea, diarrhea, mild anxiety sensation). I did have the ceviche and corn chips and then had them again two days later without symptoms, which is how I narrowed the problem down to the margarita. I did not touch my dinner which was beef tongue on corn tortillas because at this point, I didn't trust the bartender's definition of gluten-free. For this restaurant, I would suggest that you talk to someone higher up than your bartender or waitress and ask them to clean the glassware and shakers and not do it in the baths behind the bar.

Mangia Qui at 272 North Street, Harrisburg: One of our favorites, thankfully, we still can eat there. My husband had the tuscan grill and I had the lamb. Both excellent and completely gluten free. Our waiter did convein the information back to the kitchen. There was also one gluten free dessert, a mousse, that we had and it was excellent. The only caution is that the waitstaff may help each other and someone may bring bread to your table.

The Cellar at 433 North 21st Street, Camp Hill: I had seen this restaurant on the local GIG. Excellent and large menu with many gluten-free options including rolls for the table. The waitress tells me that the couple that owns the restaurant has a daughter with celiac. The food was excellent and they did gluten-free just right. There was no need to clarify or specify because the wait staff is trained to understand gluten-free needs. I had eaten at this restaurant shortly after it opened and back then, it wasn't altogether there. My, have things changed. Wow and whoa. The food was very, very, very good and on the caliber of Mangia Qui and Char's. Did I mention it is BYOB?

Five Guys Burgers & Fries at 4810 Carlisle Pike, Mechanicsburg: As I have seen on other forums, this place guarantees 100% gluten-free fries 100% of the time. They were right on. Also, ordered a cheeseburger with all the toppings in black and no bun. I clarified that no contamination was too occur. They did good.

Roberto's Pizza, 2000 Market Street Camp Hill: I have gotten two of the chef salad and have been clear no croutons and no garlic bread even by mistake to touch the salad. Both salads were 100% gluten-free.

McDonald's, various: I only do the shakes, including the Shamrock, Vanilla and Strawberry. No problems.

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Too bad I didn't see this earlier, I stopped in Mechanicsburg today on a drive home from WV to New York. Stopped at Chic Fil A and got the grilled no bun and fries. Boy was it good! Can't get CFA in New York! Checked out the Wegmans gluten-free section in the same strip mall since I had heard so much about it. Surprisingly, nothing special compared to what we can get in NY, Fairway, Shoprite, etc.

Where I was in WV no chance in hell of getting any gluten-free food, everything there is fried. I took a weeks worth of food from whole foods and cooked myself.

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I just realized to my shame, that I haven't been here in ages. I also lost my job roughly a month ago <_< and have been looking for a new job ever since. Now my new job, starting today, caused me to stop by here, since I can need all help in the world from the celiac community in and around Harrisburg. My new job is news author for gluten free for Harrisburg at examiner.com . Now here's my problem. Even though I can write an article every 3 days for them like they require, I do not have the money to check out each and every restaurant. I mean, who has? And on top of this the job is not a full time job. It is on an independent contractor basis. So I'm still scrambling along with food stamps here and was wondering, if some of my glutenfree friends on here were willing to let me know their glutenfree experiences, which I could then post on my news page? After all, it's publicity for us and what else can we ask for? Please, let me know, who would like me to write about their experience in a Harrisburg or surroundings restaurant.

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Oh, and here's another quick update on the Giant in Carlisle. The glutenfree food is not in isle #9 anymore. They had major construction and reassembling. NOW the glutenfree food is when you enter through the right entrance. It is right there in that first isle you look on. The frozen stuff is, when you walk back the isle on the left side of that glutenfree shelf, that you saw, when you came in. There's first the organic stuff on the left side and then there is a frozen section with glutenfree breads and stuff right at the beginning. They do have glutenfree Udi's bread there, which is delicious, even untoasted. I've never had that with any other glutenfree bread before. Please, check it out, you won't be disappointed.

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