My Gluten Free Girlfriend

Gluten Free Recipes & Reviews

Mandy’s Gluten Free Pizza And Subs Review ~ Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

Mandy's Pizza Squirrel Hill Allergen Free Pizza

Have you ever been on a really long road trip and gotten tired of eating out of a cooler? Well that’s how we ended up at Mandy’s. Alan and I took a three week road trip in our van. We brought the Coleman stove and ate well, but sometimes you just want the comfort of a hot meal you don’t have to cook and clean up after.

We sought out gluten free pizza in Pittsburgh PA. Mandy’s intrigued me because I noticed it is corn free as well. Actually Mandy’s accommodates  corn free, egg free, nut free, casein free, dairy free ,soy free , and vegan diets. Their new Squirrel Hill location had just opened that weekend which made it all the more appealing to the blogger in me.

We unfortunately arrived to hear some terrible news… they were out of gluten free pizza crusts. This was frustrating since it had not been easy to find street parking for our behemoth of a van that was close by. We almost gave up the quest for gluten free pizza out of frustration and by that point ravenous hunger.

Google maps and a few quick calls led me to their original location in West View. We decided the pizza sounded so good that it would be worth the twenty minute drive.

The shop is small and plain with only a handful of booths. Many of the tastiest places I’ve eaten in the ‘burgh are similarly skeptical looking though.

I did not question there dedication to gluten free in the least. The owner created a gluten free pizza for his son when he was diagnosed with a wheat allergy. They have since expanded to selling their own brand of allergen free baking mixes as well.

Mandy's Pizza Allergen Free Baking Mixes

I was particularly intrigued by the offering of gluten free hoagies. We ordered a gluten free Hawaiian pizza and a gluten free steak hoagie. It was priced in line with other gluten free restaurant fare. We double checked with the cook that he understood gluten free to which he gruffly answered “I don’t make people sick.”

Mandy's Pizza Gluten Free Menu Allergen Free

The pizza was one of the best gluten free pizzas I have tried. The crust was a good combination of crispy and chewy. Most gluten free pizzas lack the chewy gooey where the cheese and sauce meet the crust. This pizza had that. It reminded me more of the texture of a normal pizza.

Mandy's Gluten Free Hawaiian PizzaMandy's Gluten Free Hawaiian Pizza

Mandy’s does not skimp on toppings for their pizzas either. The cheese was stretchy and abundant, the sauce was just enough, and the ham and pineapple were plentiful.Mandy's  Gluten Free Hawaiian Pizza

The gluten free sub bread was thick and chewy. I believe it would have made fantastic garlic bread or french bread style pizza. For me it was a bit heavy for a sub. Don’t take that the wrong way I loved the bread. The flavor was great I am just a dreamer and could see so many other possibilities that would suit it. The meat on the sub was adequate, but the large thick bread hid the flavors a bit. Next time I’m in the area I’ll try an Italian and see how the stronger flavors come through.

Mandy's Gluten Free Pizza Pittsburgh, Pa Gluten Free Steak Hoagie

All in all I really enjoyed Mandy’s and definitely  recommend their pizza and subs for those with allergies.

Birch Tree Cafe Dedicated Gluten Free Bakery ~ Bethany, Delaware Restaurant Review

Birch Tree Cafe Sandwiches on Birch Tree Bakers Bread

Birch Tree Cafe

31826 Good Earth Lane
Clarkesville, Delaware

Birch Tree Cafe Dedicated Gluten Free Restaurant and Bakery Is Absolutely DeliciousAt least once every road trip I search out a special gluten free treat. This time I had a strong craving for a cupcake. That craving led me to the Birch Tree Cafe Delaware’s only gluten free dedicated bakery and cafe. While enjoying my lunch, I had the pleasure of chatting with Cathy, the owner and a fellow celiac.

Birch Tree Cafe Dedicated Gluten Free Cafe and Bakery, Delaware

The Birch Tree Cafe is located inside Good Earth Grocery in the pretty beach town of Clarkesville near Bethany, Delaware. If you are in the Ocean City area it is well worth the drive to this magical little place. The drive inland from the coast is pretty and peppered with nifty little shops.

We arrived just before the lunch hour and had the small cafe all to ourselves. This gave me the opportunity to chat with the friendly and knowledgeable cashier.

Birch Tree Cafe Sandwiches on Birch Tree Bakers Bread

We ordered chicken salad on Birch Tree Bakers homemade gluten free bread. We also ordered a BLT on Birch Tree Baker’s Gluten Free Rye bread. Both sandwiches were dairy free as well as gluten free. Cathy uses Veganaise and other healthy natural ingredients to increase nutrition and eliminate many allergens from her menu.
While we waited for our sandwiches we drooled over fresh-baked gluten free cupcakes, brownies, and muffins.

Birch Tree Cafe Gluten Free Muffins Bethany Delaware
We were going to get our food to go as we had our dog Gypsy with us, and were pleasantly surprised that we could eat our food out on the patio with our pooch. Eating good food on a sunny day on a patio surrounded by a magical organic garden was the perfect accent to our day. Gypsy loved getting to see the live chickens that roamed the property as well.

The owner Cathy was out on the patio finishing up some labels when we sat down to devour our sandwiches. She was  eager to speak with us about our blog, our life on the road, and her passion for wholesome gluten free food.
Cathy really understands how important nutrition is to a gluten free diet. So many gluten free breads and bakery items are made with an abundance of starches and lack whole grains. As the chef of the Birch Tree Cafe and creator of Birch Tree Bakers breads and desserts, Cathy bakes foods with great taste, texture, and nutrition.
Our lunch tasted fantastic. The Birch Tree Baker’s breads were soft and full of flavor. The mock rye was my favorite as I have been aching for a good rye style bread since my diagnosis. The Original Gluten Free Bread was some of the best I have tasted too. The texture is soft and light unlike most heavy crumbly gluten free breads available commercially.

Birch Tree Baker's Bread
Cathy was so amazing at answering questions about ingredients too. I was afraid I would not get my cupcake when the cashier informed me of confectionaires sugar in the icing. Cathy only uses Wholesome Sweeteners in her baking and took time to double check its corn free status. She really knows her stuff!  She was able to verify that the confectioneries sugar in the icing was corn free and I got my cupcake wish! Birch Tree Cafe Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcake
We left The Birch Tree Cafe with full bellies and happy souls. We also left with tons of baked goods for snacking. We purchased four luscious muffins, two gluten free chocolate pecan brownies, and my chocolate cupcake with white icing.
I of course went to town on that cupcake as soon as I was settled in the van. It was heaven. I have not had icing since going corn free and it was everything I remembered. The cupcake was moist and richly chocolate-y. Alan took a bite and let me inhale the rest.
We saved the muffins for breakfast. They were hearty, filling, and delicious. Alan chose chocolate chip as his favorite, while I liked the lemon poppy seed best.
The brownies may have been even better than the cupcakes. I am a huge pecan fan and they set off the fudgey flavor exquisitely.
I highly recommend visiting the Birch Tree Cafe. It is a not to miss spot for anyone who lives in Delaware and has a passion for great gluten free food. Don’t live nearby? Cathy can ship you some of her awesome breads and goodies to devour as well. When you do stop by take some time to say hi to Cathy for me and tell her I sent you.

Rating by Laurie Clark: 5 stars

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Pies and Pints Review Charleston, WV

Pies And Pints Charleston WV

Pies and Pints

222 Capitol Street
Charleston, WVA

While on vacation we came across this awesome restaurant in Charleston WV. We were looking for Gluten Free Pizza and this hit the spot. When you walk in you are greeted by an upbeat and friendly staff. We came around dinner time on a Thursday night and did not have to wait for a table. We were seated at a table for two in the back. It was cozy. The restaurant is bright, modern, and comfortable.

Pies And Pints Table Charleston WV

We were greeted by our server who was extremely nice and knowledgeable about the gluten free options. Almost the entire menu can be made gluten free! We ordered the antipasto salad and gluten free garlic bread for appetizers. We were famished! The server had to go ask if they could do the garlic bread as a gluten free option and came back quickly saying that they could. I have not had garlic bread since before my celiac diagnosis so this was a real treat for me. The salad came out first. We ordered a small but it was large enough for 2 people to have large portions of. I can’t begin to imagine how massive a large salad would have been. We couldn’t decide on dressing so the server kindly brought us both the vinaigrette and the creamy gorgonzola. I liked the vinaigrette best. The salad was amazing with a large portion of meats and veggies.

Pies And Pints Gluten Free Antipasto Salad Charleston WV


The garlic bread came out next. It was basically a gluten free pizza crust with garlic oil and cheese on it and a large bowl of tasty marinara for dipping. The crust is thick and chewy and amazing so it translated well to garlic bread.

Pies And Pints Gluten Free Garlic Bread And Marinara Sauce

We ordered two gluten free pizzas. The pizzas were small but since we had eaten garlic bread and salad we still could only eat half a pie which is 2 slices before we were full. I suggest if you are only going for pizza then order 1 per person to fill you up. They have so many unique pizza flavors I had a hard time choosing just one. I wanted to try the red grape, the chicken gouda, or the steak and mushroom. Since alan wanted to try the steak I ordered the steak and mushroom. He ordered the Mediterranean Shrimp pie. The steak and mushroom had large juicy pieces of steak and large pieces of mushroom with gorgonzola cheese and horseradish sauce. It was amazing!

Pies And Pints Gluten Free Pizzas

Alan loved his shrimp pie with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, shrimp, garlic, lemon, and herbs. He had never tried artichoke hearts or kalamata olives and found two new foods he likes!

They also offer many beers. We were going to be driving so we did not partake in alcohol. The gluten free beer that was available was Green’s Trippel which I have had before and remember liking a lot. They also had woodchuck cider and one other organic cider that I can’t recall the name of. They do have desserts but I did not ask if any were gluten free as we were already stuffed. We only choose to eat out once on any given vacation and carefully choose our restaurant. I am so glad we found Pies and Pints. It was a great atmosphere with friendly knowledgeable servers, quick service, and amazing food. We will visit other locations for sure when we see them on our travels! Way to go Pies and Pints for making it fun and easy to eat gluten free safely!

Rating by Laurie Clark: 4.0 stars

Pies & Pints on Urbanspoon