I wouldn’t have expected this in a million years, but I had possibly the best gluten free pizza I’ve tried in Michigan a couple weeks ago. In an unassuming restaurant called Biga Pizza I ordered a wood-grilled pizza. I had pretty low expectations, considering some of my other experiences with gluten free pizza in Michigan, but I was truly blown away.
I got the farmer’s egg pizza with zucchini and ricotta. The thin crust and wood-grilled crispness made this pizza something special. My friend tried a slice and said that she really couldn’t tell the difference between the gluten free crust and the regular one. Next time I’ll make sure to stay for the Lemon-Raspberry Parfait– (gluten free sponge cake, layered with lemon curd, raspberries and rum marscapone mousse). Mmm.
Another find in Michigan was Commonwealth in Birmingham. I got a ratatouille omelet and sweet potato hash for breakfast. I have to figure out how to make that hash at home – it has roasted peppers, green onions, and red onions, all caramelized and a great savory/sweet mixture.
Commonwealth also has a quinoa tabouli, which you don’t see every day. The hunt for good gluten free food in Michigan continues, but this trip really impressed me!
I love that more and more gluten free products and specialty shops are making their way to my home state of Michigan. When I was home for Christmas, in addition to finding a new gluten free beer at Horrock’s, I found a freezer full of gluten free baked goods at City Market in Lansing.
I nabbed up a loaf of this Amish made gluten free bread from Sweet Season’s Orchard. They also had pies, cinnamon rolls, pizza crusts, etc.
The bread was sweet and eggy, with a beautiful golden brown crust. I think that the potato flakes in this bread made it extra dense and helped it stay moist.
It was used to make french toast for breakfast.
With strawberry syrup and pecans.
And a grilled cheese.
Since I don’t travel with my bread maker, it’s awesome to be able to find quality gluten free baked goods at home! Plus, at $6.50 a loaf it’s actually less expensive than buying a mix.
My favorite meal when I was in Michigan hands down was the triple decker tuna sandwich I got from Mudgie’s Deli in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit (where the cool kids live). It was love at first site for Mudgies and me – they only serve Faygo pop, they use local ingredients, and they have Udi’s bread to substitute in any of their amazing sandwiches. Too bad they can’t find a Michigan-based gluten free bread provider – I may have to suggest one to them.
Do you want to know the last time I had a sandwich in a restaurant?
Couldn’t tell you. A year ago? Two? Never?
Enter the Sorry Charlie: tuna salad with capers, Dill Havarti cheese, cucumber, tomato and mixed greens, served with a side of honey mustard dressing. And a McClure’s dill pickle (love).
Then I got a side of coleslaw to add to my sandwich. You know, since it obviously wasn’t big enough.
Yum – I love coleslaw when it’s like this, nice and crunchy. They also have some interesting soups every day, which they update and let you know if they are gluten free on their Twitter feed.
Runner up for my favorite meal was the reception dinner at the wedding of my friend. I waited patiently as the rest of the table enjoyed the bread basket, and was excited to see an interesting salad as the first course (no ice burg and ranch dressing for this girl!). This one had roasted pears, walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, and endive.
My special gluten free meal was a salmon pinwheel with risotto and asparagus, in some kind of delicious cream sauce. The wedding coordinator had come around before dinner and made sure she knew who I was, so I didn’t have to worry about a thing…besides how I was going to eat all of this food and not pop the zipper open on my dress that is.
It was also great to have such a filling meal. Usually you’ll end up with a plain piece of fish and vegetables, but I couldn’t even finish my plate, which is saying something since I’m usually the chairman of the “Clean Plate Club”.
1300 Porter St
Detroit MI 48226
I had so many places I wanted to try in Michigan when I went home last weekend that I had to prioritize. We’ll start with the most important meal of the day! On Saturday I decided to grab breakfast at Greengos in Grosse Pointe Park, even though their lunch menu looks so yummy. Especially the polenta souffle.
I’m actually kind of proud that a place like Greengos exists in my hometown. Detroit isn’t exactly known for its health food (as the 7th unhealthiest city in the nation, ahem), but Greengos makes everything in house and uses local, organic ingredients. They also have a ton of gluten free options.
All labeled and covered to prevent cross contamination. High five!
I picked up a pear currant muffin, and a cherry energy bar made with sunflower seeds.
But the real highlight of the trip was the latte that I got made from their homemade almond milk.
This was the frothiest dang latte I have ever had!
It was super rich and creamy, and the guy who made it for me took such care with it. I drink almond milk all the time, but this was in a class of its own. They have both raw almond milk and raw almond vanilla milk that they make in house – and just like that I have a new coffee obsession.
Additional things that I love about my hometown? That someone has this sign up in earnest as an advertisement for his law firm. Am I on the set of Gilmore Girls?
And that there are genius window displays like this one. Yes, that is a bald woman and her mannequin friend barbequeing a banana. Makes perfect sense…
I also still love the Pancake House, where I went for breakfast on Sunday. Even though I can’t eat the pancakes or crepes there that I used to love with an unsurpassed devotion, I’ve made do. Bananas with a side of whipped cream? That seems like a great idea.
More Michigan gluten free to come. I did a lot of eating last weekend…
There aren’t very many things that I like about the suburbs, but I am green with envy over people who have gardens in the summer. Unless of course that person is my dad and I can reap the benefits of said garden in the form of pesto and fresh tomatoes!
We chopped down two whole basil plants to make traditional and purple pesto (made with purple basil). Saveur magazine was devoted to pesto this month, and featured tons of variations, but we used the classic pesto Genovese recipe.
The only thing really unique about this recipe is that it calls for you to blanch the basil to take some of the bitterness out before putting it in the food processor.
Pecorino, parmesan, roasted garlic, pine nuts – can’t go wrong with that. Pesto pizza is one of my favorites, but I can also settle for just eating it right off of the spoon.
We taste tested with a little quinoa spaghetti and fresh tomatoes in fig balsamic; I felt like Mario Batali.
More on my other Michigan eats later!
Even though Friday is a good thing itself, there are always at least a few gluten free good things in my week that I have to share.
1. Rita’s Frozen Custard
Rita’s custard with hot fudge is so good. I don’t really get the whole “ice” thing that they have there – I tried some samples and it just tastes like watery ice cream to me. But I can get on board with the custard. I snagged this one from Rita’s in Chinatown.
2. One pan dinners
Sometimes you just have to throw a bunch of ingredients in a pan and hope for the best. This one pan dinner included: half a package of tempeh, a can of diced tomatoes, a big handful of frozen spinach, sauteed onion, and some chili spices.
And I may have eaten this straight out of the pan while talking on the phone. Don’t judge.
3. Tomato Season
If I took a shot every time I saw the word “heirloom” on a menu this month, I would be incredibly inebriated. Last night at Lincoln I ordered the Heirloom Tomato Risotto with roasted garlic, ricotta, and capers. Our waitress, Gabby, has Celiac’s as well, so she was super helpful. If you go there ask for her, and tip her well 🙂
This risotto was tomato-tastic. I was expecting a plain risotto with some tomatoes sprinkled in, but this stuff was about equal parts tomato to rice. Even though it was a small plate it left me totally satisfied.
Additional good things coming up this weekend are all happening in Michigan!
I’m planning on getting in as many gluten free meals out as possible. Definitely on the list are Mudgies and Greengos, possibly a stop at Arts Beats and Eats, and a late night pizza from Cottage Inn might have to happen as well. Plus the kickoff of Michigan football season, the wedding of a dear friend, and a night in a fancy shmancy hotel. My cup runneth over.
I was so encouraged by the reader responses I got to my best gluten free in Detroit post, that I had to share!
But first, another Michigan favorite of mine: Urban Attic! How perfectly fun is this?
I will take one of everything. I may even be more prone to gluten free baking if I had these fancy measuring spoons.
Just the sweetest place 🙂
Urban Attic at Ardmore Park Place
26717 Little Mack Avenue – Suite 4
St. Clair Shores, MI 48081
And now for the reader suggestions on more gluten free in the Detroit area! Mostly of the pizza variety 🙂 For a review of a few gluten free pizza places in Michigan check out this article in the New Baltimore-Chesterfield Patch.
Vince and Joe’s Gourmet Market
My friend says that they have “a ton of prepared gluten free food such as pasta sauce, baked goods including bumpy cake and other heat and serve meals.”
Locations in Shelby and Clinton Township
Dan Good Pizza
Seven locations across southeast Michigan.
This got the best reviews in the New Baltimore article, “The crust had crispy edges and a soft doughy texture in the middle. It tasted like a whole-grain, thin-crust pizza that soaked up the flavors of the toppings. By far, this was our local favorite, and worth the steep price.”
Birmingham and Berkely locations.
Can’t wait to get home to the mitten to try some of these myself 🙂