Snap Custom Pizza

Wow, it’s been a while since I blogged. I’ve really been slackin’. I’m sorry, but I’m back!

I’m a little over halfway through my spring semester. It’s been going well, my grades are all A’s (except for chemistry with that dang C+, but I’ve got a couple weeks of quizzes and exams to get that baby up). Since I’ve been here at the good ol’ University of Delaware, I’ve been working my way through the restaurants on Main Street. There are literally so many choices, and a lot of them have gluten free options!

One of my favorites on Main Street is Snap Custom Pizza. They just opened at the beginning of last semester, and I could not wait to try it when I heard they would have gluten free crust! It’s a cool set up for a pizza place; it’s almost like a Subway but with pizza instead of subs. You pick the crust you want, the sauce, the cheese, the meat, and any other toppings you want, pick your finishing touches, then it gets put through the oven and in a few minutes, you have a nice fresh pizza! When you tell them you want a gluten free crust, they’ll ask you if it’s an allergy or preference. When you say allergy, they will change their gloves and apron and make your pizza separately in the back to make sure theres no cross contamination. They also have a separate pizza spatula (I think it’s called a peel?) to get it out of the oven and place it in a separate area to cut it with a separate pizza cutter. Needless to say, I love Snap Pizza.

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My standard pizza is usually this beauty: gluten free crust with pesto, shredded mozzarella, chicken, tomatoes, artichoke, and spinach, finished with roasted garlic oil. I mean, come on. Does that not just sound amazing?? The crust is one of the best I’ve had. The flavor is great, nice and thin but not too much so, and they always manage to get it perfectly crispy. The roasted garlic oil gives it the perfect amount of moisture and deliciousness. It is truly heavenly. My other go-to, for when I’m in the mood for your more typical pizza, is tomato sauce, shredded mozz, and pepperoni, finished with basil and parmesan. Also amazing. Now, I try to just treat myself to going to Snap every once in a while, but if you asked me if I’ve ever eaten there three times in one week…let’s just say I can not confirm nor deny that… 🙂

At Snap, you can either create your own pizza (which is my method of choice) or get one of their signature pizzas. But they’re not just all pizza, they also have salads and grain bowls, but when this girl goes to Snap, she wants to inhale an entire pizza. But you can see all their options on their menu. They have locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, so you can find out if theres one near you!

Now, in the recent past, I was very upset with Snap Custom Pizza. On the day before St. Patrick’s Day, my local Snap in Newark, DE was having a promotion for $5 pizzas if you wear green. So I changed my shirt and walked my way up to Main Street to find a huge line of at least 40 people pouring out the door. But I thought, “I came all the way here. I’m not in a rush. I’ll wait in line. It’ll be worth it.” Well, 45 minutes later, I finally make it to the front of the line. I ask for a gluten free crust. She tells me they ran out of gluten free crust. Excuse me…what??? You what???? I was very upset, and since I was already on Main Street I angrily made my way over to Panera and bitterly ordered a Greek salad and tomato soup instead (which, by the way, was actually delicious, just not what I intended on eating). Waiting in line also made me late for my 8pm Grey’s Anatomy, which is obviously very important. So I did what my mother taught me to do: I wrote an angry (yet polite) email. And guess what? It paid off! I got a response from a very sweet woman named Nicole from Snap’s corporate offices, who sent me a free pizza card to use at my next visit (thank you Nicole!!!!!). So I actually ended up with a better deal than I would have gotten if they didn’t run out of gluten free crust. Moral of the story: angry emails work.

And moral of the blog: go to Snap Custom Pizza! If I could eat there every day I would. I love how attentive they are to my allergy, and they’re always very friendly and understanding. Definitely one of my favorite restaurants on Main Street, and one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.

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Brick House

This past week was my brother’s 20th birthday (man he’s old). Every year for everyone’s birthday, the birthday boy/girl chooses their favorite restaurant and we go out to dinner. Unfortunately for Ryan and my parents, I’ve kind of limited their choices since they don’t really get to pick wherever they want—it has to have gluten free options. But that doesn’t mean we don’t go to some great restaurants!

brick house gluten free menu

This year Ryan picked the Brick House for his birthday dinner. I love the Brick House (their deviled eggs are heavenly, but we’ll get into that later), but I’ve had a couple issues with them lately. The past couple times I’ve been, they’ve messed up my order and given me something with gluten on my plate. Which then leads to me feeling very very bad about telling my waiter that they need to take my plate back and make me a new one, although I know it has to be done. I’ll talk more about the problems I’ve had a little later. They do have a separate gluten free menu, which has a decent number of options, ranging from appetizers to salads to entrees to sides. They don’t have any dessert listed, but they do have ice cream, which is always a good end to a meal!

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Every time I go to Brick House, I must get the deviled eggs. They are amazing. Even if my parents go here without me, I always make them bring me back an order of deviled eggs. They’ve got bacon and green onions and paprika on them, and how could anyone say no to that? I could eat a million of these if I had an endless supply, but unfortunately they only give me six of them. 😦

brick house gluten free entrees

I’ve tried a bunch of Brick House’s entrees. I’ll start with the picture in the top left corner. This is what I got when we went for Ryan’s birthday, because I wanted to try something different than what I usually get. This is the Black Rum BBQ Salmon. I actually don’t love barbecue sauce that much, which would probably make you question why I would order this, but I did enjoy it! Confession: I may have just ordered this because it came with potato salad and I love potato salad with all my heart. And this potato salad was great! Only comment: I think the potatoes could’ve been cooked a little more, because they were a little bit hard for my taste. Moving on to the bottom left pic, the Drunken Chops. I’m usually not a meat person, but I wanted to give these pork chops a try. And I’m glad I did, because they were great! Very well cooked, very delicious sauce, amazing mashed potatoes. It was just wonderful! Next, top right pic, Grilled Mahi Mahi. This is where my problems occurred. I love this dish; the fish is great and I love love love the little remoulade sauce it comes with. But multiple times I ordered this, even when I specifically mentioned that I was ordering off the GF menu and have a gluten allergy, they served me a side salad with croutons on it. Which, of course, since the croutons are on the plate with the fish, meant I have to get a whole new plate made. Well, one time when I sent it back for a new one, the new piece of fish had a large piece of plastic stuck to it. Now this isn’t a gluten problem, this is a general culinary problem. You shouldn’t serve someone a dish with a hunk of plastic on it. This made me so sad because I love this meal so much, and they messed it up for me numerous times. Finally, bottom right pic, Filet Mignon Salad. This wasn’t my meal—my aunt ordered it and allowed me to try it—but from what I tasted it was very good! She ordered it with a side of bleu cheese, which I don’t love, but she said it was great!

Brick House has 26 locations in Ohio, New York, Texas, Missouri, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and of course New Jersey. I may have had my issues here, but it’s still a great restaurant and have been very understanding and gracious when fixing what was done wrong (and I’ve never actually gotten sick after eating here, so they have done a good job of making sure that the meal I eventually got was gluten free). I think it’s worth giving a chance because the food is genuinely delicious, just make sure you make it very very clear that you are gluten free/have gluten allergy!

Koro Koro Rice Ball Cafe (+ Wedding!)

I had quite an exciting weekend! Saturday was a big day; my parents and I went to our neighbor Ashley’s wedding, which was absolutely beautiful and so much fun!! I took the opportunity to take my Canon Rebel SL1 on one of its first real adventures. And it was easy to take pretty pictures at such a pretty wedding!

The reception was a blast. It was my first time at a real big wedding, and I loved it! My concern at that point was what I would be able to eat. At cocktail hour, it was a little questionable with all the buffet-style food, so I stuck to the naturally gluten free veggies, meats, and cheeses. Side note: I learned that I like goat cheese. So after cocktail hour came the reception. We called the venue ahead of time to make sure they would have some options for me, and the wait staff was very knowledgable. For the first course we had a pear and arugula salad, which was really tasty! There were spiced pecans in it that were ridiculously tasty. For the main course, I had the beef tenderloin with mashed potatoes and spinach. This was sooooooo delicious!!!!! I loved it. I’m usually not a beef kind of person but this was amazing. And those mashed potatoes were the best mashed potatoes I’ve ever eaten in my life—not even exaggerating. As for dessert, none of the ones on the menu were gluten free so they made me a fruit plate. With this style of eating it’s important that the staff is aware of your allergy/sensitivity and know what they’re doing. As usual, it always pays off to ask questions. Overall, I felt super taken care of at this wedding, food-wise and fun-wise.

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We stayed overnight in a hotel near the venue in Jersey City, so the next day we had to find a place for lunch. In our pre-travel restaurant research, we found this place called Koro Koro that makes Japanese rice balls called Onigiri, and is completely gluten free (and we know what that means: no cross contamination possible!!). Now, I don’t know about you, but when I hear “rice ball,” I think of the Italian version with cheese that’s coated in breadcrumbs and fried. But these were made up of a filling of your choice wrapped in rice then wrapped in seaweed. We bought a whole bunch of different kinds. They look more like rice triangles than rice balls to me.

koro moro rice balls

We got the Cuban (Pork, Black Beans, & Plantains), Spicy Salmon (Salmon, Kimchi, Garlic Chili, & Mayo), Indian (Chickpeas, Carrots, Golden Raisins, Sweet Potato, Coconut, Curry, & Indian Spices), Yama Chicken (Chicken, Mountain Vegetables, Shredded Coconut, Cilantro, & Green Curry), Moroccan (Swiss Chard, Red Pepper, Golden Raisins, Toasted Pine Nuts, Fresh Ginger, & Balsamic Vinegar), Mediterranean (Artichoke Hearts, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Sundried Tomatoes, Black Olives, & Lemon Zest), and their special at the time, Mexican (I forgot to pay attention to what was in it but it had shrimp and veggies and Mexican flavors). We also got the Japanese Potato Salad (Potatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Onions, w/ Spicy Mustard & Mayo) and Koro Koro Cole Slaw (Cabbage, Pineapple, Wasabi, & Mayo) as sides. That may seem like a lot, but they’re not that big so we each got two and had one to share.

koro koro rice balls

I picked the Spicy Salmon and Mediterranean. I loved the salmon because it tasted kind of like a sushi roll, and I love sushi. Unfortunately, I didn’t really care for the Mediterranean; it was just a little weird and didn’t taste right with the seaweed to me. My mom had the Cuban and Yama Chicken. She loved both of them! I really liked them both too. My dad had the Indian and Moroccan and enjoyed them both. I’m not a big fan of Indian kind of flavors but I did like it, and the Moroccan was pretty good too. We shared the Mexican, which was really tasty. We all agreed that the Cuban and Spicy Salmon were the best. The only thing I would’ve changed is the size of the shrimp; they were whole so it was hard to get some in each bite. I loved the potato salad. I love potato salad in general but this was so good. The cole slaw was also very tasty—a little too spicy for me because of the wasabi but my parents loved it.

koro moro making rice balls

Watching them make these was pretty cool. They have these little molds, put everything inside them, and wrap it up. It’s also interesting the way they wrap them in the seaweed and plastic packaging. At first I had a little trouble opening it from the directions on the plastic itself. But they have a video on their website that helps you figure it out. I was impatient and couldn’t wait to eat it, so I didn’t watch the video and ripped my seaweed. 😦

koro koro rice ball instructions

Overall this was a very successful food weekend. I got to have a whole bunch of fun as well as try something new. I wish Koro Koro was closer to home so I could go there all the time! Hopefully I will get up to Jersey City another time soon so I can get some more of these awesome rice balls.

Link to Koro Koro Rice Ball Cafe menu

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

Before I get into the review, I thought I’d let you know what’s going on in my life right now. So I’m a senior in high school, and it’s about that time to be hearing back from colleges! I am happy to say that I’ve been accepted to all the schools I applied to! So exciting!! I got into Rowan University, University of the Sciences, Pace University, The College of New Jersey, Stockton University, and most recently, University of Delaware. So many choices. I will let you know my final decision when the time comes!

Well anyway, in honor of getting into UDel, I will be writing about Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, a wonderful place that we stopped in for dinner when I was visiting the campus!

So after our campus tour, we had to figure out where we were going to eat. The place we were planning to go that we’d visited before (Klondike Kate’s) was closed, so we had to change our plans. That’s when we found Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant! This was a pretty great discovery. They have a fairly large gluten free menu, which features salads, appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, entrees, and desserts.

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We decided to go for two appetizers—the Hummus and the Baked Chicken Wings. The hummus was so good; we were expecting to just get a bowl of hummus with some veggie sticks, but there was so much other stuff too! Now that I’m reading the menu again I realize all the additions are actually listed in the description, so obviously we didn’t read the menu very well! Anyway, it came with carrot and celery sticks, diced cucumbers, olives, tomato-pepper relish, and feta. I loved it! The hummus was so flavorful, and it was fun to mix it up and pair it with the different things. As for the chicken wings, I think I’ve said in a past review that if I go to a restaurant and they have GF chicken wings, it’s almost guaranteed that I will be ordering them. These wings were really good, and the buffalo sauce tasted great! If I had a comment, I think they could’ve been a little crispier, but when you’re baking them it’s hard to really get the outside good and crunchy.

Iron Hill Brewery gluten free appetizers

As for the meal, I got the Santa Fe Turkey Burger. This had on it guacamole, tomato, bacon,  pepper jack cheese, and ancho-honey mayonnaise. And it was on a gluten free bun! It was sooo yummy. I loved the flavor combination. Very Santa Fe-ish. I wish it had more of the ancho-honey mayonnaise though! It was delicious and I wanted more! The only real problem I had was with the bun—it tasted good and the texture was soft, but it was really crumbly and kind of fell apart in my hands. Otherwise, it was awesome!

Iron Hill Brewery gluten free burger

We skipped dessert since the only options were Creme Brûlée (which I’m not a fan of) and Ice Cream. Instead, we went down the street and got some gelato from Caffé Gelato, which was amazing. Who doesn’t love gelato?

I digress…back to the point. I really enjoyed Iron Hill. From beginning to end, it was wonderful. I would absolutely go back and try more of the items on that nice long gluten free menu! It’s actually a small chain with 12 locations in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania—visit their website to see if there’s a location near you!

It’s good to know that if I end up at UDel, I’ll have a great restaurant to go to. 🙂