Omnivore - Celiac disease, breakfast tacos, Publix redesign

Some odds and ends

I had a conversation this morning with Frank Bragg, the owner of Radial Cafe, for this week's "Grazing." He told me that he recently put gluten-free pancakes on the menu of his popular breakfast-and-lunch spot — and they're selling like hotcakes.

I noted that gluten-free items are showing up on menus everywhere. I find that surprising since the incidence of gluten intolerance (celiac disease) is relatively uncommon, even if under-diagnosed, according to many articles I've read.

Bragg said that the community is "very organized here." After an article about his pancakes appeared, "sales skyrocketed — maybe increasing 10 times in a few weeks."

The author of the article, Jennifer Harris, is Atlanta's doyenne of gluten-free dining. Check out her many articles on Examiner.com....

Here's an urgent email from a reader, Matthew:

Been meaning to send this to you for , oh, the last 20 yrs or so (maybe we can work on my procrastination problem next...................nah, it can wait).

OK, you would be the guy to know this: where can i get good Texas-style breakfast tacos in Atlanta? I traveled to Austin and Houston and enjoyed those little meat-egg-cheese tacos. Small and cheap and before you knew it, you devoured 3 of 'em in 10 minutes. Any ideas? Much thnx and I've enjoyed your writing thru these many years.

How well I remember those during my years in Houston. There was a takeout spot next to my office. I stopped almost every morning. I broke the addiction before I had to loosen my belt a notch.

Actually, I'm not sure who does these in town with finesse. I confess I've ordered them at Taco Cabana a couple of times and found them barely acceptable. Stone Soup Kitchen in Grant Park offers a Southwestern-inspired breakfast that includes a burrito, but no taco. Ditto, I think, for Gato Bizco in Candler Park. Maybe some readers can help.

And coincidentally, I read Matthew's email just after working with a client on his procrastination....

Another urgent email (via Thomas Wheatley), this time from the Publix on Ponce in Inman Park:

Please don't forget that we will be closing early tomorrow, Tuesday 3/8 at 7pm and will reopen at 7am Wednesday 3/9. We will be resetting the entire store in one night. While we understand this will be very confusing to most in the beginning, but in the long run it will be very beneficial to the customers. We will be integrating the Natural/Organic items into the aisles, we will be improving the flow of aisles as well as adding close to a 1000 items into the set. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and I look forward to seeing all of you next time you are in the store.

It's interesting that the "natural/organic" products are being integrated with the usual others, meaning they'll get more exposure. Typically, the items are more expensive, so the move is good marketing.