Thursday, October 14, 2010

Disappointed Dining

This is not my most timely article, but I feel the need to express my frustrations and in the mean time educate others about the potential pitfalls of dining at this particular establishment.  This summer a dedicated Gluten Free Bakery/Restaurant opened up here on Long Island.  The word went out early about the coming establishment and I can't tell you how I researched and essentially stalked this place.  It doesn't hurt that it is near my friend Sheri's home and the park that we frequently go to, making it much easier to drive by.

It's the Bare Naked Bakery and I believe it's the only dedicated Gluten Free restaurant any where near us.  I was so excited I took Ceci to the grand opening after our Stroller Strides class for lunch.  That day I ordered several items to eat in and take home because I have no self control and I love to be able to order lots of different things (a joy not often found for a life long Celiac.)  That day we found one of our new favorite dishes, the Sicilian Pizza, soft, pillow-ey crust, with a delicious sauce and yummy mozzarella.  On the other hand the bagels had a yeasty taste to them which was impossible to over come, and the cupcakes especially the chocolate ones had a course texture that made them slightly unappealing.  The saddest crime was the extremely crunchy chocolate chip cookie.  I held out hope that these were just artifacts of the opening day jitters, that maybe they pushed really hard to get the store open and would be able to balance out their recipes in a short time.

Ceci and I went back a few more times, and each time we drove up to the bakery, she would shout from the back seat "I want deep-dop! (pizza)"  Obviously the Sicilian slice made a big impression on her.  The last time we visited the Bakery there had been many changes and I have to admit most were not for the better in my opinion.  The first issue I had was that the operating hours had changed to offer breakfast, which would have been fine, but lunch service did not start until noon.  Explaining to a hungry toddler why she can't have the pizza she is expecting for another 45 minutes is not my idea of a fun time.    In the mean time we ordered a bagel, which still had the horrible yeast taste to it, nothing changed there, so Ceci wasn't very interested in eating it.  She got very restless and the Chef had come out to the counter and noticed her being squirmy, he asked if she needed a high chair.  I said "No she's ok, but she really wants some pizza, that would actually help her behave."  He let me know he had actually just pulled a pie out of the oven and could bring us a slice now.  Thank god!  My last big issue was finding out that they no longer offer the Sicilian pie by the slice, we would have to order a whole pizza, and to the tune of $28, I was not prepared for that.  We finished our regular slice, which had the same horrible yeast taste as the bagels, and sadly headed home.

I have not been back since, I have come to a point in my gluten free life where I will not put up with bad food.  When gluten free products were rare and hard to find, I would eat substandard food just because I was happy to have something available to me.  Now with the huge boon of Gluten Free products on the market, I see no point in eating something that tastes bad!  No one should suffer through bad food because they think they have to, you don't!  There is a lot of good Gluten free food out there, and right now it's not at Bare Naked Bakery.  I was really looking forward to the joy of walking into a bakery and being able to safely order anything on the menu, instead I will continue to shop the frozen aisles at the grocery store, or make my own, for better flavor and texture of items.

I should mention that I have visited their website and the menu currently states that they offer Sicilian pizza by the slice.  If this is the case I could be convinced to go back at some point but I do not hold out much hope for the rest of the food served there.

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