Saturday, October 15, 2011
I keep a list of gluten free restaurants in my phone. It's a mixture of places I've tried and places I've been wanting to try. It has the restaurant name, type of food, and location. With this list I can satisfy any food craving or find a place to eat within a 20 minute radius of whichever Manhattan neighborhood I am in. It has come in helpful time and time again. It it much longer than the list of restaurants I have reviewed here, but I'm working on adding them all to this site.
Pala Pizza has been on my list since I first went gluten free over a year ago. I'm not sure why I'd never been until yesterday, but I finally made it there. The menu has appetizers, salads, pastas, and pizzas. Just about everything can be gluten free. Not only do they have gluten free pasta and pizza, but they have three varieties of gluten free pasta - which is very exciting for us gluten free folks. They also have a large vegan menu if that suits your fancy.
I had the risotto ball appetizer and gluten free spaghetti with meatballs for my entre. I liked the risotto balls. They were crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and served with a marinara dipping sauce. The spaghetti and meatballs were fine, which was kind of disappointing because I was hoping it would be great. The spaghetti itself was good, but the sauce had a really strong taste that I couldn't identify. The portion was also a bit small in my opinion.
I left a little disappointed. The guy next to me had ordered a gluten free pizza that looked pretty good, so I did the fat kid thing and went back today to try the pizza. I didn't want to review the place as "meh" without having tried their specialty. I ordered the zucchini pizza with goat cheese and cherry tomatoes. It was good. It was served on this pizza board, which clearly marked it as gluten free:
They go out of their way to ask if anyone at the table has any food allergies and make you feel comfortable that your food will be safe. This is a plus for the very gluten sensitive folks.
Even with going back to try the pizza, I wasn't overly excited by this place. It is good, not great. Fortunately for me, but unfortunately for them, there are many places in NYC that serve good gluten free pizza. That being said, it is a good restaurant to keep on my list in case I find myself in the Lower East Side needing a place to eat. I'd like to try more of their pastas, and I'm kind of wishing I had some of those risotto balls to eat right now. It's also close to Babycakes, which is a plus for dessert (although I like Tu-Lu's better).