Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Special Diet? No Problem! No Special Diet? Not to Miss! Pala Pizza

Vegan and gluten free are not restrictions in my diet. I'm a NY style extra cheese slice kind of girl, but my recent meal at Pala Pizza just might turn me.

Pala Pizza, located on Allen Street just south of Houston, is a modern rustic style pizzeria catering to both the gluten free and vegan communities. The atmosphere is one of clean lines and warm tones. Exposed brick walls and dried herb centerpieces the industrial looking open kitchen area.

My dinner mates each had different restrictions - one vegan, one gluten free and all three vegetarian. As the only bread eating carnivore at the table, I can tell you, I wasn't want for a thing.

We started the meal with the handmade potato chips (simple but truly tasty) and also tried the zucca antipasto, a oven roasted mix of butternut squash, onions, green peas, basil and raisins (though my taste buds tell me they were cherries - yummy non the less).

Then came the pizzas. They offer gluten free crusts and go as far as to not use the same oven to bake their wheat based brethren. First I will answer the question that all gluten consuming readers are asking - what is a gluten free pizza base? It’s a mix of garbanzo beans, tapioca, fava beans, potatoes, rice, and white sorghum flours and it’s amazing. The crunch was reminiscent of the perfect thin crust pizza but it didn't carry any of the dryness that can so easily come with achieving that crust. Another bonus - where the sauce was, the crust wasn't soggy. The gluten free crust doesn't soak up the moisture of a fresh sauce/tomato that ordinary yeast based crusts do.

We ordered a romana and an arrabiata. The romana included field mushrooms, tomato sauce, daiya cheese (soy and dairy free “cheese” made from plant based (cassava) ingredients) and fresh parsley. The second "pie" was fresh cherry tomatoes, hot pepper, garlic, and more daiya cheese.  

A simple glass of Syrah served in a casual stemless glass rounded out the meal for the perfect pizza night out.

So, maybe I won't turn on my carnivorous and gluten full lifestyle, I would recommend Pala to anyone looking for a great atmosphere and an even better pie.

Pala Pizza
198 Allen Street
New York, NY 10002

M-Th 4pm-12am
F 4pm-1am
Sa 12pm-1am
Su 12pm-12am

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