I tend to spend a fair amount of time up in the Hudson Valley throughout the year and I am always on the hunt for new gluten-free locales to sample. Just a few years ago the area was truly lacking in any significant gluten-free options but in the past five or so years there has been an explosion of restaurants either with dedicated gluten-free menus or at the very least an increased knowledge when it comes to handling diners with special dietary needs or food allergies.
A recent visit to Hudson, New York, a sweet little town with lots of great small specialty shops, allowed me to visit Baba Louie’s. As always, I did my research before the visit to get a handle on their menu and gluten-free options. There are actually quite a few gluten-free options and all are clearly noted on the menu –everything from sandwiches to pizza. Not only are the gluten-free items clearly marked on the menu but gluten-free diners also receive a laminated card that explains the kitchen procedures to ensure that diners will have a safe experience. Of course, in a shared kitchen, nothing is 100%, but I was extremely comfortable with the steps they were taking to make sure I would be just fine. Additionally, that laminated card also details where there gluten-free pizza crusts come from (Better Bread Company) and the full ingredient list. Nice.
I had a hankering for pizza when I visited. I created my own gluten-free creation of Gouda, Parmesan, Canadian bacon, and basil. The combination made for a delicious flavor combination. The mellow Gouda paired perfectly with the bold Parmesan and surprising subtle Canadian bacon. A generous top-layer of fresh fragrant basil rounded out this creation. The crust was perfectly cooked and crisp and actually one of the better pre-made crusts I have come across.
Baba Louie’s has three locations – two in Massachusetts (Pittsfield and Great Barrington) as well as the Hudson, New York location. Funny enough, I had eaten in the Hudson location when it was a different restaurant years ago – though the name of that place escapes me – likely why it is no longer.