Saturday, February 07, 2009

Stone Hearth Pizza

The Friday before I started the diet, I met up with my friend Julia to try out a new-ish pizza place that she had heard about called Stone Hearth Pizza.There are three locations in MA -- Cambridge (Porter Square), Needham & Belmont. We went to the Cambridge location - it's tiny, but cute. Cool place too because they use all organic, local and sustainable ingredients.

We were psyched - on the menu there was a Gluten Free beer called Bard's (I had this in the past, Bard's Tale Ale -- I think they went through a re-design, very cute new packaging)... they also had appetizer options, pasta and pizza! yaaay.

Our waitress told us right away it was her second night, and she literally seemed overwhelmed by her TWO tables.... we were like, Really? Anyway - we each got a beer, yum, and decided on splitting a salad, a pasta dish, and two pizzas (I was all about pigging out pre-diet).

Salad came out - we shared a spinach avocado... Then our pasta came out. Uh-oh -- there is bread on the plate (not touching - pasta was in a dish, bread was on a plate).... So we ask - OH, do you have gluten free bread? She goes to check..... never comes back, we have to ask again, she disappears again - and says, No, sorry - the bread isn't gluten free. So I ask, well, is the pasta gluten free? Why would they serve that with it? She says yes. We taste it - hmmm... tastes different, a little like real pasta.... Julia asks her again - Waitress disappears, returns - YES, it's gluten free. We decide because it's coated in cheese & sauce it just tastes better.

Pizza comes out - YUUUMMMM. Honestly - this is the most delicious gluten free pizza I've had. It's paper-thin crunchy crust - and there is something about the tomato sauce that is just perfect - very "tomatoey"- to make up my own word.

Dinner ends - Julia decides to ask the kitchen what kind of GF pasta they use - she tells them we really liked it --- They tell her Tinkyada. Hmm, weird - didn't taste like Tinkyada..... you see where all this foreshadowing is going?

Chef comes out to our table with this look on his face that is not good - He tells us we were accidentally served REGULAR pasta. EEEEK... We just looked at each other and said SH*T.

Chef was extremely apologetic and felt terrible - when Julia asked about the pasta, he then realized he never made GF pasta that night -- our DUMB waitress put the order in as regular, despite us ordering GF and asking her THREE times if it was -- AND she obviously just pretended to ask the kitchen and never did.

Anyway - the Chef/Owner took away our $60 bill, we did not leave a tip - and he said our next meal there was also on him.  Another waiter came over to apologize, and then our slacker waitress came over and mumbled some kind of apology. It was obviously her fault.... I don't want to fault the entire restaurant because of HER mistake.... But that was pretty bad. I'm glad the Chef came over & owned up to it - he could of just let us leave and not say anything - that would be shady... he also assured us the pizza WAS gluten free. 

Julia and I booked it out of there to get home & just wait to be sick. I called my sister and she was shocked and told me to not think about it - because I would definitely get sick if I just sat there & waited for it. An excellent point -- because I was thinking about going home to make myself sick.

Somehow -- I didn't get sick at all. Crazy, I know -- I honestly think sometimes my insides must be made of steel, because I KNOW it's causing me harm, but I just don't feel it.... poor Julia though, was not as lucky -- she was pretty sick until about midnight that night, then felt better.

So - that's my Stone Hearth story. I think I WILL go back - but I will be super crazy about asking to make sure it's GF - maybe even heading back to the kitchen to confirm. I imagine that waitress will be more careful from now on after that - if she's even still working there.

OH - and I suggested to the Chef that he keep GF pasta as one shape - and regular pasta as another, like penne -- so if you see penne, you know it's regular, and if it's spirals, you know it's GF. That would just be an extra precaution....  Wow - longest post in ages! Have a great weekend!


sallybranwyn said...

Bummer! See, this perfectly illustrates the reasoning behind why I'm paranoid about eating out, even at restaurants with GF offerings or even GF menus (thanks PF Changs, for f-ing up so many times and making me sick for a week!)
Well, thanks for passing along the info and I hope you're still feeling okay and that your friend is better now.

Liz said...

Oh boy. I'm so glad the owner owned up to it. What a crappy thing to happen. Good suggestion on the different shaped pasta!

And, I'm glad the pizza was delicious. That will make me venture there :)

Allie said...

sally -- i know! i thought of you when writing this. i was wondering if I would get sick a week later or something, but I never did, so weird!

liz -- yeah, I will definitely go back and give them another chance, it really was that waitress' fault.... and hopefully he will take my pasta suggestion!

Julia said...

Excellent recap-too bad it really did happen though:(

I will still go back even after getting sick but like you said be super careful because the pizza was worth it!

Amanda on Maui said...

Bad waitress. What if she'd done that to someone with a peanut allergy or something? She could kill someone.

Jonathan said...

I am one of the owners of Stone Hearth Pizza, and want to offer our sincere apologies for this HUGE mistake. We take all of our customers' health so seriously, and have taken additional precautions since your experience. We do have a different pasta noodle for GF, but clearly the issue here was in the taking and entering of the order. All GF orders must now be signalled to the Manager on Duty. We have doubled down our training with the team and also have a GF process description handout that we will give to all GF customers explaining what we do and how we do it. This goes into effect this weekend. I am always grateful when customers take the time to share their experiences with us, and it is really the negative ones from which we can truly learn, so thank you for commenting. If we are lucky enough to have you give us another shot, you and Julia will dine on the house - your names are at the register in Cambridge.

My sincere thanks and apologies.

Anonymous said...

So, wait, you just wrote this whole long post about this restaurant not serving you gluten-free food and you didn't even get sick. Maybe you don't have a problem with gluten and thus you have nothing left to blame your parents for.

Allie said...

Anonymous -

i was diagnosed with celiac after an endoscopy, so I do have it.

Before I was diagnosed, I tended not to get stomach issues though - mostly anemia/vitamin deficiency, so I wouldn't get an upset stomach most of the time, but the damage was still being done... that doesn't mean I don't have it.

I was lucky not to be throwing up after eating here, unlike my friend - but unfortunately the damage was done internally and it took my body a couple of weeks to heal.