Gluten Free Pizza: Ribalta

IMG_1969I work near Ribalta and frankly during a football game you can’t miss it – there are Italians cheering and yelling out the door! Every time I walk by this place it makes me feel like I AM IN ITALY. The combination of attitude, music, noise, and Vespas parked out front transport you thousands of miles a way. And all of that heart is in the menu with things like truffles and other delights that are part of the unfolding of seasons that Italians count as standard.

And I guess that is the point. It feels like the owner has established an outpost here in NYC and convinced all of his friends – both new and old to join him.

So how is the Gluten Free PIzza?  Its good. Its different than my favorite place – Keste – which is odd since this is the same set of owners. But I feel that some people might like this place better for a variety of reasons.

First, the crust at this place is crisper. Its not stretchy like Keste. Second the environment. This place can be wild and probably very fun if you are looking to hang and watch football (soccer for us Americans) one afternoon. And finally if you are in Union Square..and don’t feel like heading south in to the village this place is a good pit stop. They are quick and very efficient. The service is excellent – the owner often comes by and checks on you.

And I would say that it feels really joyful in there. People are having FUN and because you are sitting there you feel yourself joining in.

Neighborhood: Union Square

Address: 48 E 12th St

Website: http://www.ribaltapizzarestaurant.com/ 

HU Kitchen: A Gluten Free DREAM

Human Element MuffinsIf you are gluten free you have dreams about things that you miss. For me, I WISH there was a place to sit quietly over a cup of tea and slowly eat a muffin in the morning. A place where I could get an excellent coffee – not a mediocre EXCELLENT – and an delicious muffin gluten free.

It turns out THIS IS NOT A DREAM!!!

Enter Human Element.  Its rare that I am stunned living here in NYC but this morning I could not even speak as I stood there taking in that the entire place was gluten free.  Not only could I get a muffin or a breakfast sandwich (yes you are reading this correctly!!) I could order GF French Toast, GF Pancakes. I could order lunch…dinner…..maybe I will move in?

This is a gluten free breakfast dream. This is DREAMS becoming a reality.

This place is cool as well – NYC cool. Its somewhat spacious for the city, has a great vibe and seems like a great place to caffeinate, eat, and perhaps have some wine and a treat. HU calls its food “human conscious”  - clean healthy food without GMO’s, with a focus on particular oils… it is a healthy place. BUT ITS ALSO A GLUTEN FREE DREAM because its good.

Go there. Now!

Neighborhood: Union Square

Address: 78 5th Avenue 

Website: http://hukitchen.com/

Omission Beer: Nerds WIN

LovingGFLifeOmission

Omission Beer is really GOOD….because it is real beer.

And while this review is certainly going to express my views on Omission’s GLUTEN FREE beers I am stunned to share that Omission’s lager just won an award this week for 2nd place in the Lager category at the 2013 Great International Beer & Cider Competition. Not Gluten Free Lager – this beer won against gluten filled beers! WOW!

A few nights ago I opened up the case I was sent by the creators of Omission and tried all three flavors and behold!! Gluten free people of the world we have an amazing thing right here!! Even the husband (not GF!) was like wow – this is real beer. 

Full confession – I was a bit freaked out about the whole idea of removing gluten. I was like wait they TAKE OUT the gluten? What?

And then I thought wait a minute….the NERDS WIN!! Yippee!! Omission crafts this beer the traditional way and then removes the gluten. AMAZING! I also want to add that Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) has stated that this is OK for Celiacs!

These guys (nerds!!) have gone to the end with the details on this beer – detail as a fellow nerd that I can appreciate! They post the test results on each batch of beer for your review. Just pop over to their website and look up your bottle. Mine read UNDER 10 gluten peptide. So hardly any GLUTEN…and that number rests safely UNDER the FDA standard of 20 parts per million approved back in August (NYT’s Article)

Omission is brewing beer the old style way and then inviting the nerds to come in and take out the “bad stuff.” I love this – going right at the “problem” instead of trying to re-create the whole system.

What is next for me? Finding a omission in my hood. Handy MAP here helped me figure out there is a place near by!! I am quite surprised who has decided to take on this brand locally – places like Blue Smoke. YES! And feel really excited about the possibility of having some BBQ and a beer soon?!?

Life is good! Thank you Omission for the test pack – I don’t know if I would have believed it without trying it myself.

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Gluten Free NYC Restaurant: Pala Pizza

IMG_0369I haven’t been to Pala for a while… and that was a mistake.

Things have dramatically improved since my last visit with new things like MEATBALLS and ARANCINI being added to the menu. These pair beautifully with the Roman style pizza.

Pala’s is a great place on a warm afternoon. Its a wide open door - literally a garage door that opens onto Allen street where you feel the fringes of the Lower East Side in a good way. I recommend this place for a spring or fall afternoon/evening.

And yet, here I am writing about this on February so its perfect any time really.

I indulged last night ordering meatballs, arancini (which needed some salt) and a roman pizza with Bresaola, arugula, and pecorino. Yum.

Neighborhood: Lower East Side

Address: 198 Allen St

Website: http://www.palapizza.com/