HEY BOYS, Quit texting, go shower, pick up the phone and take me here:
Are you seeing what I'm seeing?
Saliva in my mouth. Sexy, no?
This lovely delicacy is one of the many delicious treats I tasted at Independence Square in Independence, MO a few weeks ago. Not only is the Square home to quite a few adorable Truman sites, it's a shopping destination filled with quirky antiques, fun home-goods stores, a funky bowling alley, AND many a gluten free fare for ma lady.
This risotto (still salivating) is from Cafe Verona, one of two yummy Italian restaurants on the Square. I know what you're thinking - wtf, Italian? Cue the gluten-free-pasta-in-the-contaminated-water panic - but no! Just wait! Cafe Verona's gluten free menu is pretty extensive! They haven't ventured into the gluten-free pasta arena yet (and frankly, I'm okay with that due to said panic) but it seems likely that everything else on their menu is of similar quality to the risotto, meaning, it's divine.
When you go I HIGHLY suggest the risotto (if you couldn't tell) but they've also got a ribeye dinner and a chicken dish for entree choices as well. Yes, there are plenty of salads as well, but if you're looking for something else to devour, go with these caprese skewers! They're not technically on the menu, but the chef is super nice and will make them especially for you (or your date - boys, call ahead).
Adorable, delicious, fresh, gluten-less.
On to the next stop!
Which to the g-eaters is a sensible name - the g-ful pizzas are literally in the shape of squares (and/or rectangles). How cute is that?!
I love to get behind a clever brand, but I especially love the clever brand when they serve me delicious g-free pizza.
Most gluten-free pizza I've tasted in my day is fairly similar - tasteless, usually soggy crust compensated by artisanal toppings (to appease the hipsters.)
But this, my friends was like real pizza. The greasy, salty, sinful delight that we have been stripped of thanks to our effing inept insides. The toppings were classic and the crust was just as good as a g-ful thin crust. I felt like I was 10 again at a friends birthday with no care in the world except inhaling this pie in front of my face.
I tried a few different toppings, but I gotta say the cheese was my favorite (as it was when I was 10…)
Last on my tasty tour was Ophelia's. Do you see this? Do you see what's happening below?
That. Is. Poundcake.
With some kind of sugary glaze on top with berries. Mother loving berries.
Boys, seriously. Step up your date game!
The Ophelia's gluten-free game is of pretty similar style to Cafe Verona's - they've got some nice options on their gluten free menu, but really, if you want something specific chances are the chef will make it for you. That's the beauty of visiting local restaurants like the ones at the Square. Since the chefs have no ties to some mega corporation they've got some wiggle room for pleasing their guests.
This poundcake is technically not on the menu, but I bet if you called ahead and requested it, the kitchen staff would be able to run down to Gilbert Whitney & Co, a specialty grocery store on the Square, and grab some gluten-free flour to whip these up.
And I know your next concern - but is the kitchen clean? Contamination? We all know that's always going to be a concern, but the folks at Ophelia's are knowledgable. They know how this monster (I mean, celiac disease) works and they won't prepare something on an unclean surface or with an unclean utensil.
I'll be honest, when I was first invited to try out some gluten-free fare on the Square (rhyme intended, of course) I was hesitant. They couldn't possibly mean gluten-free fair for the celiac - I knew I'd likely have to pass on one dish or another due to cross-contamination issues.
But even after my standard interrogation the staff at each of the restaurants were prepared with the correct answers and genuinely seemed to care about my food safety. And the true test? No reaction. To anything! What little faith it seems I have.
Have you been to the Square yet?
P.S. - Admittedly, I haven't tried this place out yet, but there's a TACO PLACE new to the Square called El Pico. Perhaps the next g-free tour crew should venture there for some delicious meats wrapped in fresh corn tortillas?? I'll let ya'll know what I find out - it's on my list!