Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Pal, Joey's

Okay, for starters. I eat more than pasta, really I do. 

A firm gluten-free veggie burger, a fluffy quiche, a crunchy peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a baked potato loaded with veggies, the perfect poached egg, or even simple oatmeal. These are great meals that I love and eat often, Scout's honor. Yet, of the last 8 posts, a full forth have been on pasta. 

But be honest, you love pasta, too. 

There are times though, times you don't feel like standing over a stove, times you loathe watching your pot with hawk-like attention, burning your tongue and your finger tips as you hastily test those blasted rice noodles that so easily over cook. On those day, your not pasta's biggest fan. But what's a celiac to do? If your craving pasta (and you've gone to Maggiano's so many times the wait staff notices when you get a new haircut), you've got not choice but to make it yourself. 

That is, unless you've forgotten about Joey's

Nestled away in quaint Chagrin Falls, Joey's doesn't look like the sort of place that would accommodate to your gluten-free needs, much less, know what gluten is. The place is small, made smaller by it's perennially darkened interior. In the summer, the outdoor tables that line the sidewalk in front of Joey's seem more like the little restaurant has spilt out onto Main Street, rather than purposefully set out for al fresco dining. If that sounds chaotic, then I've described it right. Reminiscent of tiny places with an occupancy max of 100, yet favorited by some 20,000 New Yorkers, so too is Joey's a Chagrin Falls eating icon. 

Of course, if they give you that dreaded hour wait, it's not like you'll be bored. You're in beautiful Chagrin Falls after all, and if staring at the majesty of Northeastern Ohio's best known waterfall doesn't do it for you, you'll absolutely want to browse someone the shops that sell everything from absurd old clocks to gorgeous vintage furniture.  There the kind of shops I for one want to live in and absolutely can't step into without my wallet held by someone else.

When you do get your table at Joey's, the menu itself can be deceiving, as it doesn't advertise it's ability to suit your gluten-free needs. The fact is, they don't have gluten-free pasta every night. It is (as it always is!) best to call ahead, to alert them that your coming, to ask for them to set a serving of GF pasta aside for you.  (I, myself, ended up with the last serving of the night. Getting gluten-free pasta is serious business and I don't mess round. ) Of course, if your a meat eater, then eating at Joey's will be all the more easier for you - your waitress can get great information from the kitchen on which sauces are safe and which had trace amounts of gluten - but for the vegetarians among you, well, you're going to want that pasta. 

I enjoyed a dish of pasta Aglio e Olio (kinda funny, since I'd just made some myself) and asked for mushrooms to be added. It was really very good, very garlicky, not too oily, and beautiful, as fresh parsley clung brightly to nearly every noodle. Accompanied by as salad, it was the kind of meal you'd never know was gluten-free. And that's what it's all about, isn't it? Absolutely delicious, completely normal dining?

While your not charged more for your gluten-free pasta (always another nice way to feel normal eating out) the plate was somewhat smaller than the monster-sized bowls of pasta set in front of gluten-eating patrons. Trust me though, what you get is enough, more than enough, and well worth your money.  And the next time you feel like treating yourself with a night out, a great meal is waiting for you at Joey's. 

Joey's on Urbanspoon


H.Peter said...

All I need to see is the red & white checkered table cloth.

Red sauce Italian joint! I am in.

I wonder if a very small, very 100% GF place focusing mostly on Italian (in outstanding quality) could survive.

if a Pizza is so good that you don't know the difference, would regular folks eat it?

maybelle's mom said...

Wow, who knew that about joeys? great blog too. I am just learning about gluten free stuff as we have someone with celiac in the family. (in fact, we just had her over for GF pancakes.)

Brad said...

Joey's Is amazing. One of my favorites in Cleveland.

My Joey's Review

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