I was near the MetLife Building last Friday and I needed to grab a quick something for lunch. I stumbled upon a midtown Hale and Hearty, a soup spot that has a bunch of stores in the city.

I haven't been in a while but their three-lentil chili used to be very good. Their policy from the beginning has been to list whether a soup is V=Vegetarian; L=Low fat; or D=Dairy. Back in the day I was concerned mainly about a soup’s veggie-tude [and nuts of course] but not dairy or wheat.

Of course that’s all changed: bring on the meat, hold the wheat and dairy, etc. So I popped in thinking maybe if they had an ingredient list somewhere I’d get something, perhaps even my old favorite chili. At my turn at the glass counter, I asked if perchance they had an ingredient list for their three-lentil chili [which they still make all these years later]. Totally unfazed, which I love, the nice soup lady walked me over to the soup container and lifted the small card/label that was stuck on top. Behind it was a full list of ingredients. And I mean full, everything from olive oil to sherry to carrots and lentils. Hurrah!

Lunch is a bit more complicated when you can’t grab a sandwich. Especially as certain areas are just dead zones for decent non-bready fast food. Good to know Hale and Hearty is an option.

Another lunch option may be Au Bon Pain as I was just informed by one of my faithful spies. She said: “I picked up a ready made sandwich at au bon pain the other day. On the label was listed every ingredient for each part of the sandwich including the dressing plus the now-becoming-usual "food allergen" alert.” I went to their website under nutrition found all I ever needed to know about their ingredients which specific allergen listings.

They are clearly making an effort to offer healthy food options. Whilst not organic nor unprocessed, listing every single ingredient and potential allergens is a great start for a chain/franchise like Au Bon Pain.


Heather said…
That's great to know about Hale and Hearty. I haven't been there in years, but I used to like their soups a lot (and I'm not even a soup person). It's so common for commercial soups to have hidden gluten in some form or another.
Allergic Girl® said…
yes absolutely. interesting to see how allergies are driving the marketplace--yay actually.
Nat said…
If Chipotle has made it near you, it's a good option for the gluten-free option. Everything is GF except the tortillas and there's distilled vinegar in the hottest salsa. Everything can be served in a bowl instead of a tortilla.
I don't know about nuts or dairy.
The food is good, and it's cheap!

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