Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mandy's Pizza - Pittsburgh

Twice last year, we traveled to Pittsburgh, which is a great city for gluten free dining and shopping.  

That feeling of being home always sets in when I see the Franco Harris statue at the airport.

As soon as we got off the plane in our hometown over Thanksgiving break, my mother-in-law picked us up, and took us to Mandy's Pizza, which was recommended by Pittsburgh Celiac.  It is her favorite restaurant for gluten free dining in Pittsburgh, so I had to try it.  There was no mistaking that I was back in the Burgh when I saw the sign telling me where I could order.

Mandy's gluten free allergen-friendly menu includes pizzas, hoagies, fries, chicken nuggets, pasta meals, and chicken wings.  They also have an extensive vegan menu.

You know that you are in a restaurant that cares about food allergies when you see a sign like this.

When I dine out, I tend to worry about cross contamination, but I had read about Steve Negri, the owner of Mandy's Pizza, and felt safe eating there.  You can read the full story about the development of their allergen-free menu here.

Mandy's Pizza is a very small restaurant, and has limited seating, but thankfully, we managed to find four chairs at a table that we shared with a sweet couple that was there for the gluten free food.  They highly recommended the hoagies, which we will have to try the next time we are in Pittsburgh.  We also talked to two nice gentlemen at the table behind us, who spoke full blown Pittsburghese.  Oh, how I miss my hometown.  My husband would have loved to have been there, because he loves to break out his Pittsburgh accent when he is around fellow Burghers.

My daughter Katie and I ordered a gluten free BBQ chicken pizza, but this was no ordinary BBQ chicken pizza, because it is topped with breaded chicken and fresh-cut fries.  We both thought the gluten free crust was very good, and what's not to love about the combination of BBQ sauce, pizza cheese, chicken tenders, and fries.  Even my gluten-eating father-in-law was impressed by the leftovers.  He said he loved the pizza, and would never have known it was gluten free if my mother-in-law had not told him.

One of the things I have missed most since my celiac diagnosis is garlic parm wings, so I asked if they could make them for me.  Mandy's Pizza has garlic butter wings on their menu, which is what these were, with some Parmesan sprinkled on top.  They were crispy and delicious, but next time, I will ask for way less butter and more parm.

Overall, we had a great dining experience at Mandy's Pizza, which is located in Westview, a short drive from downtown Pittsburgh.  The food was good, the people were friendly, and I felt completely safe eating there. 
You can read more about Mandy's Pizza on their website here.  According to their Facebook page, they might have some gluten free dessert options too.  

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Mandy's Pizza?  


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