Marks & Spencer Gluten Free Sarnies – too expensive?

M&S Gluten Free Sarnie

M&S Gluten Free Sarnie

Bought these gluten free sandwiches in M&S at the weekend. Pretty tasty – although the bread fell to pieces a bit. But at £3.75 I think this is too expensive for a sarnie.

As I mentioned in the post on Warbutons gluten free bread the other week, I think we’re getting charged too much for gluten free products. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.

Everything you’d expect from Warbutons bread – without the gluten or wheat

Hot on the heels of Genius, Warbutons, the UK’s leading independent baker, have launched their own gluten free bread. And Gluten Free Blog was lucky enough to be invited along to the recent launch breakfast, at London’s Covent Garden Hotel, hosted by the celebrity chef and gluten free expert Phil Vickery.

Warbutons Gluten Free range

What did we eat? Well, it was an early start. So we tucked into tiny slices of toast topped with salmon and egg, bacon butties, sausage sarnies and toasted teacakes. And, as you’d expect, it was all quite delicious.

Warbutons decided to build their first gluten free and wheat free bakery in March 2010, in response to customers’ requests for a tasty, gluten free range. “We’ve thrown ourselves into this project with the same passion and care we show for all our products” says Jonathan Warbuton, Chairman of the family-run company. “The whole team is really pleased with the results and it’s our hope that you will be too!”

Phil Vickery is working with Warbutons to launch the new range and as you know, we’re fans of Mr V here at Gluten Free Blog. So it was great to meet the man himself and talk all things gluten free cooking. We also chatted about salad cream and crisp sandwiches, which both of us used to enjoy as kids!

Our goodie bag included Phil’s latest book, Seriously Good! Gluten-Free Baking, which we can’t wait to tuck into. And our bag also had a white loaf, brown loaf and a packet of tea cakes which were tested on the guys as soon as we got back to the office. And all got a thumbs-up.

Warbutons Gluten Free Bread

Warbutons Gluten Free Bread

So what’s in the Warbutons gluten free range? So far sliced white and sliced brown in 400g and 600g sizes; sub rolls in white and brown; crumpets; and fruity teacakes which are all available in all UK grocery stores.

One of the gripes, I guess, is the price. The 600g loaf retails at £2.89, the sub rolls at £1.99 and the crumpets and teacakes at £2.19. At the time of writing the small loaf (400g) is on special offer in Asda for £2 although it normally retails for £2.49. And yet the same size loaf of ‘normal’ Warburtons bread costs a measly 67p. Hmmmmm. If Warbutons really want those with coeliac disease not to “miss out on this tasty daily staple” we’d really like to see their prices come down a bit.

Read the follow up post here. Warbutons gluten free bread – falling apart?

Gluten Free in NYC

Freidman's pastrami sandwich and sweet potato fries

Freidman’s pastrami sandwich and sweet potato fries

Friends of GFB, Wendy and Paul, recently made their annual pilgrimage to the amazing city of New York and Wendy, being gluten intolerant, was kind enough to write some notes about the places she visited that were GF friendly.

Freidman’s Lunch

A great café inside the foodie Chelsea Market. Many items on the menu can be adapted to be gluten free. I had a yummy pastrami sandwich and sweet potato fries. The bread they use was much tastier than anything I’ve had in the UK.

They also do bagels for breakfast/brunch but only at the weekend. And they stock a bottled gluten free beer called Redbridge which was really good.

Very reasonably priced.

S’MAC (short for Sarita’s Macaroni & Cheese)

S'MAC - New York's best Macaroni & Cheese

Great little place in the East Village serving only mac ‘n’ cheese – they position themselves as “New York’s best Macaroni & Cheese” on their website.

All dishes are ‘build your own’ where you choose your own cheese combinations and additional ingredients and can all be made with gluten free pasta. I had a ‘nosh’ size (the smallest size) though I wished I’d had the ‘major munch’ as it was so good! Only negative was that on their website they say they offer a vegan/non dairy cheese option but they didn’t have this on the day we visisted – (I shouldn’t really have dairy but did).

A filling and tasty cheap lunch.

Bar Breton

Bar Breton, 250 5th Ave, New York

Bar Breton
UPDATE: Apparently closed now unfortunately
A smart but cosy French restaurant open for lunch and dinner on 5th Avenue not far from the Empire State Building which specialises in traditional Brittany buckwheat galettes.

Absolutely delicious and they also have a dedicated gluten free fryer for their herb fries! We had a salmon galette with horseradish cream and also a Gruyère and Black Forest ham. Traditional Breton cider to drink served in a teacup!

Reasonably priced for the great quality.

Babycakes NYC

Babycakes NYC, 248 Broome Street, New York

Babycakes NYC

Oh my God! Heaven on earth! Cute bakery on the Lower East Side selling the most delicious breads, cookies and cupcakes and all made with healthy ingredients. They don’t use eggs or dairy instead using healthy coconut oil and only use agave nectar, never sugar.

Almost all of their cakes are gluten free with the exception of a few which are made using spelt – though the cabinets are all clearly labeled and the staff always ask about intolerances when serving.

I had carrot cupcake and pumpkin bread (as it was Halloween) – really amazing and deliciously moist with the subtle taste of coconut. We need one of these in London!

Babycakes NYC cupcakes

Babycakes NYC cupcakes

I also bought the Babycakes book (Babycakes: Vegan, (Mostly) Gluten-Free, and (Mostly) Sugar-Free Recipes from New York’s Most Talked-about Bakery) by founder Erin McKenna so will be testing out my baking skills over the coming weeks – I just need to source some of the ingredients online first which are not as easy to find in the UK – they have great online suppliers in the US.

Other places we ate were all very helpful by adapting dishes to exclude specific ingredients to ensure that they were gluten free.

It sounds like Wendy and Paul had a fantastic time in New York and we thank them for taking the time to send us their experiences.

Get yourselves over there to try out some of these places. It’s getting cheaper and cheaper for us in the UK to visit the States. And of course, let us know if you discover or know of any other great places in New York.

New gluten free sandwich at Starbucks

If you’re a regular reader of this of this blog you’ll know we’re big fans of Genius gluten free bread.

Gluten free sandwich from Starbucks

Cheese and coleslaw gluten free sandwich from Starbucks

Starbucks have been using Genius bread for a while since they started selling the classic tuna mayo earlier this year. This week they launched a new sandwich: cheese and coleslaw made with mature cheddar and red Leicester cheese with crunchy cabbage, carrot and red onion coleslaw topped with mixed leaf salad. Perfect for summer.

“We take the health and wellbeing of our customers seriously and we’re committed to offering choice, including a great quality gluten free sandwich. We’ve received really positive feedback from our customers and this product has enabled us to provide more options for our coeliac customers but also for other customers too,” said Sarah Dunne, corporate communications manager at Starbucks UK and Ireland.

Free from artificial flavours and colours, Starbucks cheese and coleslaw sandwich using Genius brown bread is available from all UK Starbucks costs £2.95 for take away or £3.45 eat in.

Have you tried Starbucks’ cheese and coleslaw sandwich yet? What do you think?

Gluten free tea at Claridge’s. Mmm…Genius

Gluten free tea at Claridge's

Gluten free tea at Claridge's

Do you remember last week we told you we’d been invited to tea at Claridge’s courtesy of Genius gluten free bread? Well, we went on Monday and we have to say it was absolutely delicious.

We enjoyed smoked salmon with horseradish and dill; organic chicken with lemon remoulade; dorrington ham; and cucumber and rocket – all with the crusts cut off, natch. And they were all made with Genius gluten free bread which will now be available as part of Claridge’s afternoon tea. (Just ring in advance and let them know.)

Gluten free cakes and pastries

Gluten free cakes and pastries

As if that wasn’t enough we then tucked into gluten free scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry preserve; fruit tartlets; and to-die-for chocolate ondulay cake. These were all to Lucinda’s recipes although not part of the Genius range (yet!).

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne Genius Founder

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne Genius Founder

We managed to grab a few words with Genius’s founder, the lovely Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, who told us the sales of gluten free sandwiches in Starbucks (made with Genius bread) were selling really well. In fact, non-gluten-free-people were buying them without even realising! And she told us about new products in the pipeline, namely brown and white rolls. We can’t wait. Of course, the next step is to roll (no pun intended) Genius gluten free bread out internationally.

On the way out we received gorgeous goodie bags containing a couple of loaves of Genius bread and Lucinda’s fabulous book How to Cook for Food Allergies: Understand Ingredients, Adapt Recipes with Confidence and Cook for an Exciting Allergy-Free Diet.

Not tried Genus gluten free bread yet? It’s now available in all major UK grocery stores.