Bard's Sorghum is now available at Burnhearts bar.
Bard's Sorghum is now available at Burnhearts bar.

Celiac beer lovers can rejoice over more gluten-free choices at Burnhearts

Two years ago,'s Molly Snyder wrote an article called "Milwaukee caters to gluten-free diets." The piece reported that an estimated 2.2 million people in the United States are living with Celiac Disease, a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food, and even more have it but do not know it.

This group, along with those who suffer from food allergies or certain types of autism, are restricted to a gluten-free diet.

Snyder  found that several Milwaukee-are restaurants and grocery stores are doing their part to make eating and living comfortably a little easier for those seeking breads, pastas, cereal, desserts and even lip balm made without gluten.

But what about beer? This is, after all, Milwaukee.

Lakefront Brewery released its gluten-free New Grist, made from sorghum and rice extract, in 2005. It was the first among the first of its kind available in the Milwaukee market, but more recently, beer-loving Celiacs have gotten the attention of the craft brewing industry resulting in a much broader selection.

Burnhearts, 2599 S. Logan Ave., has upped the ante with its expanding gluten-free inventory. Co-owner BJ Seidel believes everyone has the right to enjoy an ice-cold beer, no matter what their dietary restrictions suggest.

"I began ordering more gluten-free products because I noticed an increase in demand. I had had only a cider on tap for the longest time and began to feel guilty directing all my Celiac customers to the one, in my opinion, mediocre option available," he says.

With the gluten-free lifestyle crossing into the dietary mainstream, the adult beverage industry has been lead into exciting new directions to accommodate a new breed of drinker, he says.

"I was thrilled to find a wide array of quality craft products brewed specifically with these folks in mind. In addition to micro-brewed apple and pear ciders, I have included some top quality an…

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There's really no missing it when The Fast Foodie truck pulls up to your office parking lot.
There's really no missing it when The Fast Foodie truck pulls up to your office parking lot.
The Fast Foodie hosted a soft opening in late September.
The Fast Foodie hosted a soft opening in late September.

The Fast Foodie introduces us to the globaco

October is the fourth-annual Dining Month on All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delicious features, chef profiles, unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2010."

To really understand the concept of The Fast Foodie, the latest player in the ever-expanding local street food game, is to first understand the concept of the globaco.

Simply put, the globaco is what you get when you combine the words "global" and "taco." More specifically, the arrival of the globaco to Milwaukee means the chance to eat international cuisine on your lunch break (if you happen to be in proximity to the truck, that is.)

The idea came to owner Jackie Valent a couple years ago as the food truck trend began its explosion.

"Everyone was talking about the Kobe Korean barbecue truck in L.A., which is an interesting fusion dish and I thought, let's take it 10 times further and let's focus on global cuisine."

That, she did. The globacos at The Fast Foodie make up an eclectic menu, with dishes representing Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Austrian, German, Korean, Italian and Indian flavors. The Big Sexy, for example, combines fried pork cubes marinated in Adobo, Puerto Rican rice and fried plantains. The Jamaican Me Crazy mixes curried beef and rice with hot sauce and broccoli slaw.

As a self-described "life-long foodie" with culinary training and experience in the restaurant business, Valent personally contributed to the menu, then rounded it out with family recipes collected from a diverse group of friends. The menu, she says, is subject to rotation as new, fresh ideas come in from customers. She'll also create specials based on what she can source locally and seasonally.

The price points range between $2 and $3 per globaco. And don't forget to get an order of the Belgian frites with a variety of dipping sauces like curry ketchup and wasabi mayonnaise.

Because of the sheer size of her operation -- a pickup truck pulls a…


Milwaukee Ballet announces Harmony Initiative

The Milwaukee Ballet has teamed up with the UWM Peck School of the Arts and the Medical College of Wisconsin to launch the Harmony Initiative, a new vision for Milwaukee's performing arts and education community.

The initiative will help establish a nationally recognized destination for Milwaukee's fine arts and higher educational institutions and satisfy a critical need to develop a unique business model that better addresses funders' and audiences' needs, while allowing the city to utilize its creative community as a force for civic engagement and economic development.

As part of the project, the Medical College intends to develop a full sports medicine clinic within the space that will serve as the new home for Milwaukee Ballet and its school.

UWM's Peck School of the Arts will amplify its partnership with the Ballet by providing students a state-of-the-art space to stage public dance programs, heightening its accessibility and visibility within the dynamic arts district in downtown Milwaukee.

The Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation has announced a $1 million gift, which allows the partnership to take critical next steps that establishes a project cabinet, considers additional creative partners, and identifies a studio site, while also pursuing an architect of record.

Gumbo for a good cause, anyone?
Gumbo for a good cause, anyone?

The Gumbo Git Down raises Gulf money

After months of agony, the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico has finally stopped, but the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill will likely be felt for generations to come.

What we do know is that hundreds of miles of shoreline and sensitive marshland have been fouled, thousands of sea creatures and birds have died, nearly one quarter of the Gulf's Federal Waters have been closed to commercial fishing and surface oil slicks continue to appear and migrate.

Still, the full effects of underwater oil and the millions of gallons of potentially toxic dispersants is not yet fully known. The exact environmental and economic impact of the spill is sadly still unfolding, but a handful of Milwaukeeans aren't waiting any longer to offer support from the North.

Paul or Lori Fredrich operate "Burp! Where Food Happens," a local food blog that focuses on seasonal cooking with "real" food that is locally-sourced. But this Oct. 10, the foodie duo is shifting its food focus due south by helping to organize the Gumbo Git Down, an afternoon of delicious Southern fare and music in support of the Gulf Restoration Network.

The Gumbo Git Down happens at American Serb Hall from 3 to 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door, with all proceeds going to the Gulf Restoration Network.

"The fact is, Gulf fisherman and others in the food industry have been greatly affected by the BP Oil Disaster -- and mitigation in the Gulf region will persist for years to come," says Lori.

"One of our goals in assisting the Gulf is to ensure sure that Milwaukee area restaurants (and consumers) are able to source fresh healthy seafood from the Gulf region in years to come. That motivation alone was enough to get us involved!"

Partnering with, the Fredrichs gathered a group of Milwaukee restaurants, including Fishbone's Cajun & Creole Restaurant, Crawdaddy's, Maxie's Southern Comfort, Roots, Ginger, On the Right Track Roadhouse Cafe and Beans & Barley, to prepare gumbo and…