Wednesday, June 4, 2008
One last stop on our gluten free tour of New York City!
We have to leave Wyman House today - our home away from home - we wish! But maybe we can come back one day. For now, there is the matter of deciding where to have our last meal in NYC, for now anyway. There are three diners in Manhattan (that I know of) with gluten free menus. By far, the one I've heard the most fabulous things about is Peter's Gourmet Diner on the UES. So we decided to enjoy our last meal of the trip there. A car was picking us up at 1 pm at so we had to eat a very early lunch. We set off around 10:30 am to catch the bus that takes us across town, within two blocks of Peter's. It's very cold, windy and rainy today. Needless to say everyone is taking the bus and so it's slow going....twenty people were cramped into the covered bus stop, trying to stay dry. Since the bus was packed, it stopped at every stop but we finally get off and practically sprinted to Peter's.
We enter the place to find we're the only ones there, except for three employees. We were seated and handed a massive menu, with things marked only if they are NOT gluten free...how neat is that?! I haven't been able to order pancakes out in over two years but when I asked what gluten free brand of mix they used, the server said he didn't know and didn't offer to go find out. He seemed like he was having a bad day so I ordered chicken fingers and onion rings - but they were out of onion rings. So I ordered potato skins instead my husband ordered a patty melt with gluten free bread. The chicken fingers were coated with a cornmeal batter that I didn't care for, but the skins were scrumptious! However, the patty melt was unbelievable....my husband assumed that they'd messed up the order and served it on gluten bread. But they hadn't so I got to taste it...I would not order anything but a sandwich if I ever went back to Peter's. I can't believe this place is baking their own bread so please tell me if you know what brand they use. It's fabulous and probably one of the many gluten free breads that I've heard great things about, which are not sold in the South. I left half my meal on the table because I couldn't eat it all, so we didn't inquire about dessert. But trust me, they have a LOT of them!
The bus ride back over to our side of town took forever so we literally ran three blocks to get back in time for our car. We actually arrived about 12:50 but after we ducked inside, the Inn owner noticed our car passing by without stopping. She called the company immediately and the driver circled back to get us. We loaded everything in the roomy town car and headed to Laguardia. I was sort of glad it was cold and rainy, and that I was not super impressed with Peter's. I wanted to get home where it was warmer.....and I wanted to think we have it as good in Atlanta as the gluten free set in New York do. But of course, this is not true.
Atlanta probably ranks in the top ten cities to live in the US, if you're gluten free for whatever reason. But we've got a LONG way to go to compete with those lucky New Yorkers. I know we'll never beat them...probably won't match them either. But we'll have fun trying, and we'll make life easier for every Celiac that comes after us in the process!
There are way too many people to thank for making our gluten free tour of New York one of our best vacations ever. But I've got to mention several who went above and beyond to help us in every way they could. Bruce and Pedro at Everybody Eats - we'll never forget your gluten free pinata and we are so excited that some of your products now sold in the Atlanta area! Debra - your advice about everything was a home run - we agree with you about the bakery too - thanks for everything! Julie - thanks for telling us about two places that not one other New York Celiac seems to know about! To an unnamed listserve member - 'Cesca was amazing...you're lucky to have such a fabulous place in your neighborhood and happy anniversary! Jonah at PizzaBolla - I'd love your chocolate chip cookie recipe. Liz - thanks for organizing the pizza party for the Meetup group! Dave at Mozzarelli's - you should be selling your gluten free biscotti nationwide! Enzo at Tini's - thanks for making our anniversary so special...we hope to try Opus one day!
Finally, to my fellow (and much more professional) bloggers - Shauna, Catherine, Erin, Kelly and Jamie - you each helped me plan and enjoy this trip in different ways, and for that I'm very grateful. But most of all I'd like to thank each one of you, for everything you do for our community. You are all proving that together we can make a difference! Rock on gluten free ladies - rock on!!!!!
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