I attended this years (2012) event not knowing exactly what to expect and would like to share my thoughts. Here’s little info about me to assist you in formulating your opinion about my review. I have been diagnosed with Celiac disease for almost 13 years now and have made it a priority in my life to understand my condition. My mother, sister and I all have CD and I have elected to keep my daughter on a Gluten Free diet for the time being. I took 4 years of food and nutrition back in high school, food and cooking are my passions in life and I would consider myself an amateur “Foodie.” My Review: First and foremost I enjoyed this event and would recommend to anyone who lives a GF lifestyle relatively close to Philly that they attend this event at least once. I attended this event with my mother. I wasn’t a huge fan of the venue, the old Strawbridge’s building. I didn’t know where the “main stage” was and it was not in sight from the main entrance so I missed the first chef demo. The bathroom facilities were outside, trailer style. Other than those two items the venue was fine, mainly just a big room with tables. The place was packed instantly which was exciting at first. I couldn’t believe how many people, who could possibly be just like me, that I was surrounded by. We anxiously scooted over to the first un-crowded table and received our first bite of Gluten Free goodness; a piece of a GF Chocolate chip cookie and it was great! We quickly identified that each table was sponsored by and manned with representatives from either a local restaurant or company that manufactures GF products. We went row by row and table by table trying many wonderful samplings. Of course we were most excited to try desserts; cakes, cookies, brownies, mousses, puddings etc. Unfortunately many of the children in attendance made navigating these tables a little harder. As the day progressed the lines at each table became longer and the facility became very congested which was a bit frustrating after a few hours. I would have really enjoyed a large area of tables and chairs to have a seat, enjoy some of my selections and encourage conversation and spark relationships with other guests in attendance. On the upside everyone on the event staff, the restaurant reps and the vendors were very friendly and generous. The samples really were endless there was an innate excitement in the air. Honestly it was just fantastic to not even once have to utter the words “Is this Gluten Free?” My only complaint about some of the restaurant offerings was the overabundance of tacos/tortillas. Many tables offered similar renditions of tacos, nachos or food served on a tortilla. After a while I just skipped over these tables. I have eaten foods of this nature for years and consider them to be a thoughtless substitution for glutenous offerings. I was really hoping for “breaded” items or GF renditions of foods usually on the forbidden list. For example: I wanted a chicken finger, bread pudding, slider on an amazing GF bun, sandwiches, french toast, garlic knots, egg rolls etc. My challenge to the local chefs in years to come: Forgo the selections that are already GF in nature and make me wonder: “How could what I just ate possibly be gluten free!” Next stop, beer garden. I enjoyed a Redbridge and sampled a few favors of Woodchuck that I didn’t know existed. It was fun to have a beer and was a nice break from the food. I didn’t drink too much as honestly I wanted to save more room for food. I kept waiting to be blown away by a food offering. At the end of the day I really enjoyed a crab cake, that first chocolate chip cookie was the best one of the day, and a really soft light sandwich bread. I went home with tons on restaurant menus and business cards, coupons for GF products sold in stores, a decent amount of takeaway free samples and of course a full belly. It was an interesting day. I’ll go again in a few years just to see how things have changed and see what new products are available. Hopefully next time some inspired chef will make me ask: “Are you sure this is Gluten Free?” I hope you enjoyed this review from – A girl acting silly with Celiac!
$50 WAY to much to spend, sorry