I thought this day would never come; surely I wouldn't ever be able to order a pizza again. No, not when you have a gluten and dairy intolerance. Those days are gonzo. You're stuck with being the pain-in-the-ass one who has to discuss everything on the menu with the waitress, send her to the kitchen and back and then modify whatever dish you do choose and make sure the chef doesn't cross contaminate. I hate that feeling. I used to be the girl who would order right off the menu. I used to be the one who would scoff at my friends who were picky eaters. I used to eat anything, really -- anything.
But things change and intolerance's catch up with you, leaving you with a stomach that looks three months pregnant and pain that I wouldn't wish on anyone. So almost a year and a half ago, I had a choice between being a pain-in-the-ass when going out to eat, or feeling eternally sick. I chose the former.
But at a select few restaurants I don't have to be that girl. I don't have to feel the anxiety I sometimes get when visiting new restaurants. Some places I can order off the menu and feel good and confident that my food will fill my belly happily and keep me healthy. New England and Hawaii gluten-free peeps, I introduce to you: Flatbread. With six locations in New England and one in Hawaii, this chain of restaurants doesn't have the chain feel; it feels local, and taken care of -- like this was once just a dream for the owners that has now come to fruition -- there's a lot of love here. Allie, over at "Sorry I can't eat that" is another local GF blogger, and Jenny, of Sugar and Spice and My Gluten Free Life, who happens to live in the same city as me, told me about Flatbread; an awesome restaurant that really thinks about their food. They put effort into making their foods organic, using free range and nitrate free meats, vegetables from local farmers and educating themselves on different food intolerance's. In other words, this is my type of restaurant. The photo above is from the page in their menu where they talk about their gluten-free pizza crust.
And the photo below is of my gluten-free, vegan pizza and it was goooooooooooooooooooood: slightly crispy crust, perfectly flavored sauce with just enough vegetables in each bite.
I visited the restaurant on a Friday night. They don't take reservations for less than ten people, so we did "call ahead" seating. About a half hour before we arrived, I called and put our name in and we waited less than five minutes for a table once we got there. The waitress was super pleasant and happily answered our questions even though it was a really busy night. We all shared salads and ordered our pizzas. The one unfortunate thing was that our pizzas all came out at different times, and my bro-in-law got his pizza after we all finished ours, but the waitress was extremely apologetic and gave us a coupon for a free pizza on our next visit.
It truly was a great experience. I really like to support restaurants like this one, their purpose and values are clearly stated on their website and clearly seen in their restaurants. Flatbread -- thanks for doing what you're doing.
Oh, P.S. They had gluten-free beer and gluten-free whoopie pies when I was there too.