In December I created the Gluten-free in Delaware County MeetUp group and after seeking input from those signing up, I picked Uno Chicago Grill in Newtown Square PA for the site of our first gathering in January. I hadn't eaten at Uno's in years, mostly because there are plenty of chain and non-chain comparable places closer by, at least in my pre-diagnosis days. Post-celiac diagnosis, I've had to come up a new fondness for chain restaurants, since they are in general more likely to have a gluten-free menu. Uno's gets a lot of play on the web for their GF-friendly status, and since I am on the quest for the best restaurant GF pizza experience, I thought that this was a good choice and centrally located for those who would likely attend the gathering.
But it turns out that I had a chance to visit Uno's before then. Our family took a road trip to the Inner Harbor in Annapolis for a visit to the National Aquarium during the week between Christmas and New Year's. We had originally planned to visit Seasons Pizza in Elkton on our way home, but timing was such that lunch fell at a weird time (3:45 pm) and we didn't want to wait to eat. Enter Uno's, right on the harbor. Because it wasn't prime dining time, we got a table with a great view and got to watch the sun go down over the harbor as we ate. Our server James helped talk me through the GF menu, and also provide advice on the fancypants mac & cheese and whether he thought the 10 and 8 year-old pallets among us would enjoy it. I was disappointed that the only GF soup that appealed to me -- the black bean -- wasn't available that day (and I learned on my MeetUp trip that it's made with chicken stock, so out of the running anyway). In the end we all ordered pizza and salad and a side of steamed broccoli. Jenn and the boys each got an individual-sized pan pizza, and I ordered the vegetarian GF pizza.
As you can see from the picture, my pizza was of generous proportion and served on its own ceramic plate, I presume to provide some measure against cross-contamination. The crust had a really good flavor -- adequately salty and very much like a regular thin crust pizza in taste (Jenn verified this assessment.) It was suitably bendy, and though it was much better fresh and hot, when I reheated my leftovers in the microwave the next day, the crust still performed well.
So I was looking forward to my visit to Uno's for the MeetUp. The gathering was fun, and we all learned a bunch of stuff from John from GlutenFreeWorks.com. Pretty cool that we have a resident expert in our midst! Karen and I split the GF veggie pizza, and unfortunately it wasn't as good as my Annapolis pie. It was a tad on the soggy side, but still tasty and I had no trouble polishing off my half of it. If there had been more, I'd have eaten that too! I'm glad there wasn't (see my blog post about my inner mean girl invading my brain after an afternoon of pizza and diet coke.) I'm very happy to add Uno's to my list of restaurants I think my family would enjoy -- Seasons is more affordable I think, but I signed up for coupons from Uno's, so that will hopefully be an equalizer. Seasons also has more GF Italian food options, and I definitely want to check those out. So, while Uno's pizza is as good or better, all things being equal, I'd pick Seasons for my next family meal out to eat.
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