To be fair, the relationship has been strained for years. We've even gone through a trial separation.
While Cleveland will always be home, New York will always by my love - even if my latest visit there reminded me of the pleasures of the great American Midwest, with it's cars and lack of trash on the street. But oh, New York. Seeing the skyline makes my heart ache, and as I gazed at the art deco geometrics of the George Washington Bridge sweep across the Hudson River and into the clear blue sky, I longed to be a part of the city again.
I could fill volumes on celiac eating in New York. It's successes - the quaint gluten free speciality restaurants - as well as it's drawbacks - the language barriers for one, and the fast pacedness of some suspect places that makes you hope they took you're gluten free request seriously, and then there are the prices. Yes, being gluten free in New York City is a story unto itself. But it's a story for another day. Right now, it's all about my new find, Mr. Miceli in Rockville Centre, Long Island.
Of all the wonders of finding a great pizza place in the middle of a busy town, the thing that surprised me the most was that Mr. Miceli is a regular, no frills, pizza joint. From it's basic table and chairs, to ordering at the counter, to the tongue in cheek paintings on the wall that depict scenes from classic movies with a pizza twist, it doesn't strike you as a place that would cater to a celiac population.
Originally, they didn't. It wasn't until the owner found out he had a wheat allergy that Mr. Miceli became an equal opportunity eatery. And while I wouldn't wish such an abdominal restriction on anybody, I'm sure glad I was able to get such a great meal there.
They have gluten free pasta - good, white rice, tastes pretty darn similar to the real thing gluten free pasta - and can make any of their pasta dishes with it. The pizza takes 35 minutes to make, and honestly we were too hungry to wait. But having an 8 hour car trip to look forward to the next day, we easily justified getting a pizza for lunch on the road (and oh, it was such a welcome alternative to Perkins' potatoes or whatever it is I try to scrape together as food on the highway).
My huge plate of angel hair pasta arrived full of chopped garlic, fresh broccoli florets, and enough just olive oil to coat the noodles without making my dish needlessly greasy. (Picture not included, as though my camera made it to New York, my memory card sat lonely at home. Had I been able to, I would've snapped a picture of the kind and helpful people working there, too). The pasta was...pretty great. And enough for two meals.
But, the pizza. Real gluten free New York pizza. Yum. My parents are native New Yorkers and so New York Pizza has always been a big deal in my house (note the capital letters to punctuate the importance). Midwestern pizza, with it's thick bready crust, is simply a paunchy, bloated imitation of it's far superior thin crusted cousin.
I stowed away a few pieces of Mr. Miceli's pizza in my freezer for a rainy day, and I'm sorry to say it will probably be some time until I go back again. But your fate doesn't have to be mine. If you get a chance, if you're in Long Island, or if you're willing to travel a bit for good gluten-free food (and service!), make sure you stop by Mr. Miceli; I know I will the next time I'm in town.