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Bites Nearby: Relish

Relish lets gluten-free eaters say goodbye to gluten without bidding farewell to flavor

A gluten-free diet used to mean saying goodbye to carb comforts like bread, pasta, crackers and cookies. But now, due to a heightened awareness of the gluten-free diet, most restaurants have adapted their menus to reflect customers looking to eat gluten-free.

Still, there are few local spots that have the same kind of variety you might find on an Applebee’s or Red Robin menu. Luckily, thanks to new hot spot Relish in Upper Macungie, gluten-free eaters can say goodbye to gluten without bidding farewell to flavor.

I’ve never been a gluten-free eater, and neither has the friend who accompanied me to Relish last Saturday, so were a little nervous. I’ll admit I’m a carb-oholic so I was worried that my dish at Relish wouldn’t leave me as satisfied as my usual favorite dishes. What’s great about Relish is that, if you’re really unwilling to try gluten-free, every menu item can be made with gluten, too.

To err on the side of caution, I ordered a personal pepperoni pizza. (Points already, Relish, for having pizza.) On the menu, pizza is listed strictly as the plain cheese variety, but you can add toppings for an extra charge, and every pizza is made in house and from scratch. I was warned my pizza would take roughly 20-25 minutes to make, but with freshness like that, the wait was worth it. My pizza came out still hot from the oven, and covered in cheese and some very generous helpings of pepperoni. One thing I’ll say—this pizza is definitely not personal. You can split an eight-piece pie between two people and not have a growling stomach all afternoon. Overall, I enjoyed the pizza, but the only thing missing for me was the crispy crust I relish (no pun intended) so much. The crust was much more doughy, but it didn’t take away from the general taste.

My friend chose the Island Salsa Chicken Wrap, sliced chicken breast with Caribbean jerk seasoning, chipotle mayo, pineapple, jalapenos, apples, Mandarin oranges, cheese and tomatoes. I have no idea how they fit all of that into a wrap but somehow, they did. The wrap came with a side of potato salad, which she raved about long after we left, but she also was surprised at how much she didn’t notice a difference in her gluten-free meal. We both agreed that our dishes tasted so fresh, and although we might not choose gluten-free over Olive Garden’s never-ending pasta bowl, we were pleasantly surprised.

If you’re eating gluten-free and have a sweet tooth, Relish is a great place to visit for that, too. Their desserts, including the yummy waffle sundae, all sound so tempting, and they’re a great way for you to still get your fix, without the gluten.

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