Doesn't that look amazing? But business before pizza pleasure. Just a little, I swear.
I'm apparently on the email list from the good people at my local Whole Foods. I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm not complaining. Especially when I get to pass information like this on to you:
You are cordially invited to attend our upcoming FREE Gluten-Free Tour at Whole Foods Market in University Heights, for an opportunity to learn about our store and enjoy delightful gluten-free samples!
Wednesday, January 14th, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (Free - registration is required)
Learn about the extensive array of gluten-free products that Whole Foods Market offers, from meals and menus to snacking and desserts! Let us guide you through the many options for gluten-free cooking and entertaining, as well as yummy sides and desserts to accent your meal. Attendees are invited to sample gluten-free nibbles, and will even be sent home with a free goodie bag! Space is limited - please visit customer service or call 216-932-3918 before January 13th to reserve your spot. Gluten-Free Tours are conducted on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. (Tour departs from Café)
For more information, please visit: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/cleveland/storecalendar.php
Be honest, they had you at goodie bag.
A final note of PSA business. I certainly hope anyone who made it out through the snow thoroughly enjoyed this months Greater Cleveland Celiac Association's meeting - especially since the theme was bread. Oh how jealous I am that I missed out on a fresh baked bread competition - but between the snow and my bum ankle (yes, a new injury - I seem to collect them like gluten free recipes it seems), it just wasn't feasible.
But injuries and snow aside, I recently revisited Ann Arbor. Going gluten free on the road is journey often fraught with great failures and moderate successes. Yes gluten free traveling is difficult, but on my past trip I experienced the near unbelievable; I was actually lied to by the restaurant with whom I booked my New Years Eve reservations. I spoke to the chef on the phone and he personally told me he had a roommate with Celiac, that it would be no problem. ...But when I arrived, I found complete lack of understanding about the issues Celiacs have to deal with, from cross contamination disasters to providing one of the 5 promised courses - a soggy portabello mushroom top as an entree - and was actually charged $50.00 for the "meal".
Yes, it's amazing what people will do when it comes to providing - or not providing - for the gluten free.
Take Stadium Market for example....
I'd heard about this place online and even had some nice Ann Arborite email me about it. Great gluten free pizza? Deli style sandwiches on gluten free bread? I absolutely had to try it.
Located in a strip mall of sorts, Stadium Market is beyond unassuming. A warehouse of imported liquors, wines, beers, and jarred foods, I had to wonder if we were in the right place. All the way in the back sat a deli counter, display filled with sandwiches sitting abandoned for lack of buyers, and we approached it, hoping for the best but me a little wary of expecting it.
But, the best is what we got. While we had to wait about 30 minutes, my pizza was made to order specifically for me. And I mean the crust itself was prepared while we waited. And while I had options to add a myriad of toppings, I stuck with plain cheese this time and was glad I did. I got real, pure, perfect pizza - pizza with herbed crust, pizza covered in a cheese blend, pizza in a box, pizza that tasted like pizza.
Don't believe me? Think I'm just a pizza crazy girl? Well maybe I am, but besides the fact that my gluten-loving boyfriend ate multiple pieces himself, Stadium Market has thank you letters from their loyal pizza loving patrons - children no less, because who knows good pizza better than kids? - tacked upon their wall.
This pizza is good. Great. I've said it before, Ann Arbor is just 3 hours from Cleveland - two and a half if you're a Westsider - and really, if you're going to take a day trip, its great to know you can go somewhere to get something to eat. (Of course, you can actually eat in Stadium Market, but there's no reason you can't eat it in your car. I certainly wanted to.) While you're there, you can check out the pizza at Silvio's Organic Pizza and indulge in your own gluten free pizza taste-off.
...And if you're really just going up North for a gluten free pizza tour? Ann Arbor has enough points of interest to fake your gluten-eating friends - the ones who just don't get the allure of a fresh baked pizza pie - into taking a road trip with you.