Friday, July 17, 2009

Stuff to Eat in the Suburbs: Cambridge—Stone Hearth Pizza

Sometimes it can be hard to take a gluten-free friend out to lunch or dinner. Pubs usually deal in foods that are fried with some sort of flour-based batter, any kind of sandwich is automatically off the menu, even salad dressings can sometimes be a dicey prospect and almost all Italian food is right out. Yet this Bostonist recently accompanied her gluten-free friend to a little pizzeria in Cambridge called Stone Hearth Pizza and discovered a new world of deliciousness, with a side of tasty gluten-free fare. Stone Hearth Pizza has locations in Cambridge, Belmont, and Needham; and is dedicated to providing customers with organic and local fare whenever possible. If you download a menu from their website you can see all the local farms they support, even their beers and wines are local.

Their dedication to local businesses spills over to their customers. What originally brought us to their door was the promise of their gluten-free pizza crust, which it turns out is crispy and light, without a hint of the grittiness that can sometimes accompany gluten-free bread products. Clearly, someone worked hard to get the consistency of this crust just right.

The restaurant's Neapolitan style fire-grilled pizzas are both inventive and well put together without an overabundance of any one ingredient, which creates a nice balance of flavors. The cheeses are fresh and well blended, and in this Bostonist’s opinion, their sauce is just right: not too sweet and not too salty.

There are several pre-imagined options available on their menu, or if you’re in the mood to be creative, just go ahead and make your own concoction from their extensive ingredient list.

The sandwiches at Stone Hearth are just as noteworthy as their pizzas. While the restaurant does not carry gluten-free sandwich bread, these sandwiches really prove that a good sandwich is all about the ingredients. Wraps are not normally this Bostonist’s thing, but it looked so delicious that she had to give it a try, and the chefs were very accommodating when we wanted to add fresh mozzarella to our California wrap. And wow, was it worth the risk!

The California wrap is a simple enough sandwich with romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, avocado, shaved red onions, and lemon Dijon dressing. Somehow the food artists at Stone Hearth Pizza managed to make this simple sandwich into something spectacular; all of the ingredients were chopped very finely and then mixed together with the dressing so that every bite contained a little bit of everything. The wrap was fresh and chewy; it (thankfully) lacked that slightly stale taste and texture that often afflict wraps. The most amazing thing was the avocado, clearly cut fresh as the sandwich was being made because it didn’t exhibit any of the watery loss of flavor that can happen with a pre-cut fruit. Somehow they managed to mush it just enough so that it still maintained enough integrity to not dribble out of the wrap but instead to cling perfectly to every other ingredient to hold the sandwich together. Every bite of this huge wrap was a joy and we kept eating it long after we were full just for the flavor of it.

Stone Hearth Pizza also offers baked pastas, both standard and gluten-free, and some very tasty salads with amazingly good homemade dressings.

The Stone Hearth Pizza in Cambridge delivers to areas of Cambridge and Somerville, so check in with your local Stone Hearth Pizza to see if they deliver to you. We highly recommend this gem to everyone and are happy to be able to suggest a gluten-free pizza option to our gluten intolerant friends who are missing their pizza fix.

This post originally appeared on the Bostonist

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