Pala -- New York City

Pala, NYCI'm not sure anyone is reading the gluten-free restaurant and bakery posts on my blog yet. Let's face it, I only went gluten-free a little over two months ago, and I'm no expert. But I do know what I like, and Pala goes on the list. Thanks to a very welcome tip from a friend, I rushed over to Pala to check it out one Friday night. Note, Pala is really crowded on Friday night, too crowded to even squeeze in at the bar during peak hours. Clearly the word has gotten out about this place. So I went back for a hot date about a week later. We're both gluten-free, and the menu got us pretty excited. Literally, it seemed like everything on the menu was available gluten-free. They have dedicated ovens and fryers too, so this is for real.Pala, NYCWe tried some appetizers, but all I really cared about was the pizza. It doesn't look "gluten-free," does it? Sure, the texture might not be exactly what you're used to if you're a recent convert like me, but I was still ecstatic. I was eating pizza! The varieties are great. This is the Funghi e Salsiccia, which I actually tried on a subsequent visit (alone at the bar -- no shame because, as mentioned, I'm just happy to be eating pizza!). I've tried a few others as well, and I bet I'll work my way through the whole menu eventually.Pala, NYCI don't have enough perspective yet to say if this is the best gluten-free pizza in the city, but I don't much care either. Pala wins a special place in my heart because they're embracing the gluten-free community. I love that when you enter, they ask you right away if you have any food allergies, and when they bring your pizza, it says "gluten-free" right on the handle of the wooden board for a bit of extra mental comfort. They get it, and it's sad, but overall, New York City does not. There, I'm saying it -- NYC is not gluten-free friendly. But maybe others will catch on when they see how popular places like Pala are. Or, as I love to joke, I could just move to Seattle already...