Tag Archives: pizza

Gluten Free Pizza Quest – DC

So excited to post my first official eating out entry from Washington DC!

When I moved to DC I knew that one of my first orders of business was to find some decent gluten free pizza, since that is one of my favorite things to eat out.   In NYC I tried a ton of pizza (Risotteria, Mozzarelli’s, Slice, Naked Pizza), and narrowed it down to Pala Pizza as my favorite.  The first place that I tried in DC was Ella’s Pizza.

Pluses = they have a number of unique toppings (caramelized onions, gorgonzola and rosemary), they have gluten free beer (Redbridge and St. Peter’s)

Minuses = when you add $2 for the gf crust, it can get expensive for a 10 inch pizza, so I would recommend sharing.  But the biggest minus is that the crust is kind of bready and soggy.  I know it seems odd to describe something gluten free as “bready”, but it was.  I prefer my pizza thin and chewy though, so if you like a thicker crust you may like it.

Ella's margherita pizza

We also got the mini eggplant, parmesan and ricotta rolls as an appetizer.  These were alright, I guess.  They tasted good, but nothing that’s going to blow your mind.

Ella's eggplant rolls

Now, the second place that I tried might be the overall winner – trumping Pala Pizza in a surprising underdog victory.  What is this drool-worthy pizza?

Open City

First of all, I love that you can eat outside here and enjoy a Redbridge with a scenic view.

They also have a lot of other gf options on their gf menu that look amazing – like the Grilled Salmon with Coconut creamed corn & sautéed spinach.

And lastly, every Wednesday night they have a Gluten Free Pizza Party (squeal like a little girl).  When all of their gluten free pizzas are half priced.

The pizza is truly to die for.  It’s one of those things that make you stop and question for a second if it could really be this good and gluten free.  Then you just forget about it, push that thought out of your head, and shove another piece in your mouth.

Next time I’ll have to take a better picture…

Phone picture fail

This time I got the Julienned Vegetable pizza with zucchini, squash, carrots, pesto, parmesan & mozzarella.  I shared it with a friend and I still had a piece left over to take home.  This one was great – very cheesy and a good amount of EVOO spread throughout.  The thing that I love about this pizza is that it has that really great crust that is a bit hard to bite through, and then takes awhile to chew thoroughly.  I asked for a side of marinara to dip in, and next time I think I’ll get a tomato based pie.  Plus then I can take a better quality picture 🙂

Update (8/2/2011):

I went back to Open City with the Gluten Free Grazer, and got a traditional cheese pie with broccoli added. Even though it was no doubt a healthier alternative, I still preferred the greasy and cheesy julienne vegetable one 🙂


Ella’s Pizza

901 F Street NW, Washington DC

Gallery Place, Chinatown Stop Yellow, Red & Green Lines

Open City

2331 Calvert St. NW

Woodley Park, Red Line Metro

Syracuse, Gluten-free…kinda

This title is semi sarcastic, because last weekend it was rough going scavenging for gluten-free food in Syracuse, NY.  Since it was freeeeeeezing, there wasn’t a lot of time to walk around and check out spots for gluten-free friendly places, so I tried to do my research ahead of time.  I had Empire Brewing Company on my list – so we headed there our first night out.

They have a gluten free menu, but it honestly wasn’t that impressive.  When you see “mixed green salad” as the first menu item, you kind of know that you’re in trouble.  They did have Redbridge beer, however, so at least I could kick back with a brewski while we waited for our table.  The bartender looked like I was a bit crazy when I ordered it though – so they obviously aren’t a gluten-free “hot spot”, so to speak.

Since the menu was so limited, I really didn’t find anything I really wanted.  So, with the help of the waitress, I made up my own entree – tofu tacos!  They had tomatillo-braised tofu in another dish, so I asked if they could use it in their tacos and substitute in corn tortillas.

Does that look good?  Yeah, I didn’t think so. Sadly, it tasted pretty much like it looked.  I would have loved to have the fish tacos, but they fried the tilapia…sigh.

The next day we had breakfast at the hotel, which was pretty terrible.  Then headed to the Syracuse-Villanova game, which was also pretty terrible.

After the game, we were planning on ordering from Alto Cinco – which has gluten-free burritos.  I’ve been craving a burrito for about….three years or so…and I was so excited to get one!  However, after the game they said they had a TWO HOUR wait!  Blast!  We had to abandon Plan A, and move on to the unknown Plan B.

After a little Googling, we found appeThaizing.  Thai food is always celiac-friendly, but this place actually had a gluten free menu!  (Which was actually just the normal menu that someone had written on with permanent marker, but tomato-tomahto).

By this point I was so hungry I didn’t have time to take a picture.  But, I got tofu red curry, extra broccoli.

The next day I was hungry, tired, and ready to eat an actual meal.  I had brought a bunch of Larabars with me for the weekend, but I had yet to have a real-deal meal.  On the way home we had a few hours to kill before the bus left, so we kicked it high school style and went to the Carousel Center Mall.  Where I picked up some an unneeded beauty product, Moroccan Oil.

Then, like a suburban chain-store beam of light, came a Uno Chicago Grill.  I’ve known that Uno’s has gluten free pizza for awhile, but generally avoid it because there are so many truly awesome gf pizza places in NYC (Risotteria, Pala) that it seems sinful to go to a chain.  But at that moment it was just the right place for me!

I got a Redbridge, in a frosty pint glass! (squeel!) I never get one of those!

Then I ordered a veggie gluten free pizza off of their gf menu.

They also had bananas foster and black bean lentil soup, which sounded good.

The pizza was…..generically delicious.  Kind of like microwave pizza, or pizza hot pockets – good, but also terrible.

After three pieces of pizza and a beer, I was ready for a nice long nap on the bus ride home.

I really don’t think that I could spend any more than a weekend in Syracuse, since it seems like most of the restaurants were bread-heavy chains.  But for a couple of days, I survived.  Thank goodness I went to school in the crunchy city of Ann Arbor 🙂

Take me home – Michigan gluten-free

I don’t usually think that I’m going to be able to find any specialty gluten free items in Michigan that I wouldn’t be able to find in New York.  There were a few highlights this time that were a pleasant surprise over my Christmas break.  Next time I will definitely have to do some more research before heading home so I can try all that the mitten has to offer!

1. Little Tree Sushi in Royal Oak

They had tamari soy sauce!  I had been there before, but figured that they wouldn’t have anything but Kikkoman, so I never asked.  This time I was a bit more bold, and it worked out in my favor.  Quality sushi that I can eat, without toting around a bottle of soy sauce all night = win!

2.  Gluten Free Pizza at Buddy’s and Cottage Inn!

Now, this was something that I discovered after I had returned to NYC, but it totally shocked me!  Buddy’s used to be one of my go-to places for pizza because they have that great Michigan crust like Jet’s pizza, but they have a really great sweet tomato sauce.  And Cottage Inn…I used to be able to eat half of a pizza in the time it took to drive it back to my apartment.  I’m going to have to go to both places when I go home next and share it with my family.

3.  Kroger (!)

I’ve been getting updates throughout the year on the construction of a new Kroger by my house, and I finally got to go and see what all the hubbub was about.  Basically, it’s a normal 21st century grocery store – which is great for me because they had a lot more gluten free options!  They even have a list on their website of the gluten free Kroger-brand products on their website, and labels on the gf products on their shelves.  Plus, they have Redbridge gluten free beer (wayyyy up on the top shelf), so I don’t have to go on a wild goose chase every time I go home (they do have it at Oxford Beverage in Grosse Pointe as well).

I was able to get all of the ingredients to make gluten free Chex mix!  It was a huge hit with my family, and I missed the snack-ability of this yummy treat!

Gluten-free Chex Mix

4.5 cups corn Chex

4.5 cups rice Chex

1 cup gluten free Cheerios

1 cup gluten free pretzel twists (I used Glutino)

1 cup mixed nuts

6 T. butter

2 T. Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins is gluten free, so don’t bother buying the specialty stuff)

1 1/2 t. seasoned salt

3/4 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. onion powder

Heat oven to 250°F. In large bowl, mix cereals, nuts, pretzels and bagel chips; set aside. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in seasonings. Gradually stir in cereal mixture until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool, about 15 minutes. Store in airtight container.

Naked Pizza – Miami

This weekend I was in Miami, and had a chance to get some really great gluten free pizza!  Naked Pizza has some really darn fantastic pizza!  It looks like there has been a location awarded to New York City, so there should be one here soon!  While they have a ton of suggestions for pies to get, we decided to build our own.  With a whole load of toppings:

Wacky shot

This shot was taken walking through the Lincoln Road Mall with about a million people dressed up in costume on Halloween.  We finished the whole thing by the time we got back to the car!  Cheddar cheese, spinach, artichokes, fresh basil, garlic, red onion = YUM!

Get some yourself if you’re in Miami, or wait until it comes to your area.  It looks like they’re about to really blow up and expand to a lot of new locations.

Naked Pizza – Miami Beach

1260 Washington Ave.
Miami, FL 33139


Gluten Free Birthday Treats

What a birthday day week this has been!  It was filled with yummy sweets, surprises, and exploring the city.  I’ll give a quick run down of the heaps of goodness that happened:

Monday my coworkers and I celebrated my birthday, and another member of our team’s wedding with a whole table full of gluten free sweets.  My friend made white chocolate, almond, and gluten free pretzel cookies (?), or brittle (?) Chocolate mousse cake, and buckeyes.  I love being able to join in the fun at a work party!  Plus there were tons of extras to keep me fueled up throughout the week.

Tuesday morning, I got woken up with breakfast goodies from Tulu’s Gluten Free Bakery!  A blueberry-cranberry muffin with almond crumb topping and coffee cake!  The muffin was so moist, and I hardly ever treat myself to pastries, so it was a perfect way to start the morning.

The week was filled with more gf finds – like the pop-up food stands at Madison Square Park for their Harvest Market!

Out of the corner of my eye I saw “gluten-free crepes”… did an about-face… and had to get one!  I left not knowing what the place was actually called, but the nice guy making my crepe told me that they had a permanent location at Chelsea Market, so I deduced that it must have been Bar Suzette.  The guy also told me that they were made from rice, lentils, salt, and water – so they should taste similar to sourdough.

The only other time I went to a crepe bar (Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes in Detroit) – they told me that they had tried everything, and couldn’t come up with a way to make good crepes gluten free.  Guess they were wrong!

I got a nutella crepe – which they sprinkle a little sugar on for a little crunch.  Paired with the chewy layers of crepes, it was the perfect “snack”.

Picture of the actual crepe to come!

That night we went back to Pala Pizza for calamari and fungata pizza – which I didn’t take pictures of because my hands were too busy stuffing pizza in my face.  I didn’t like this pizza as much as the last one I got.  This one was a little dry tasting (?).  I don’t know how that’s possible because there was so much cheese on it, but once I asked the waitress for a side of marinara to dunk it in, I was all set.

So many fun times, friends, and good eats this weekend!  Even though I didn’t get to blow out any candles, I can’t think of anything else I could wish for! 🙂

Pala Pizza

Based on the recommendation of some helpful Yelpers – Nick and I hiked down to the Lower East Side to try out Pala Pizza.  I didn’t mind the trip though because we got to see the sights and sounds of Washington Square Park on the way. 

Washington Square Park


We started out with the arancini, which are risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella cheese and spinach, then they’re fried in a dedicated fryer.  There are a ton of other options for appetizers as well, but according to all the reviews, these are a must-have.  They were like a more sophisticated mozzarella stick…crispy outside, arborio rice that sticks to your teeth, and a sweet tomato sauce to dip in.  My only complaint about this dish is that there weren’t more of them!  $4/risotto ball is pricey no matter how you cut it.  

Then the big decision on pizza – Nick loves meat toppings, of course, but they wouldn’t let us get a half and half, so he left it up to me to choose 🙂  I picked one with spinach, ricotta, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic and parsley pesto.

Now this…was a pizza.  The best gluten free crust I’ve had.  Not to diss my old-faithful, Risotteria, but this pie really takes the cake.  For a second I panicked, thinking that they gave us the wrong pizza because there was no indication that it was gluten free.  This crust has the slightly crunchy/chewy bottom, takes some effort to pull apart (in a good way), and has yummy written all over it.  The creamy ricotta, fresh tomatoes, and stringy mozzarella were just right.  

They also put a bundle of oregano on the table, so you can sprinkle it fresh right on your pie:

Somehow, after finishing the pizza, we still had room for dessert.  So we got the apple tart:

Apple tart with vanilla ice cream


The tart was…alright.  Although I don’t think I’ve tasted anything remotely like pie crust in years, so I was satisfied.  The crust is kind of like a shortbread, then there’s boiled apples with cinnamon on top.  They also had an almond cake with chocolate sauce, that I’m regretting not getting in retrospect.  

Ah well…the pizza made up for it. 

Thanks for the recommendation!  I will definitely be back!  

Try it yourself:  Pala Pizza – 198 Allen Street.