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Monday, March 28, 2011

Local Review: Rafferty's Pizza

When I found out that a local pizza cafe, Rafferty's Pizza, was now offering gluten-free pizza, I was really excited! It's very, very rare that we get to eat out and when we do there are not that many options...finding gluten-free, wholesome foods at restaurants is not always easy.

I contacted Rafferty's Pizza and asked them if they would like to participate in our Gluten-Free Awareness School Event and was thrilled when they said they would provide us with gift certificates and menus for our goodies bags!! What a special treat that will be for all the school children at the event!

Little Chef and I stopped by the cafe today to pick up the items and while we were there they treated us to lunch so we got to test out the gluten-free pizza, which was so much fun for Little Chef because he's currently obsessed with all things Leprechaun!

Before we even got out of the car Little Chef saw a leprechaun on the sign and he started yelling "Let's eat there so I can find his gold!!!" As soon as we walked in we were greeted by.....a leprechaun!

Little Chef eyed the pot in his hands for a long time before finally saying "I don't think his gold is in there, all I see are menus. He's trying to trick me!"

The manager and staff were very courteous and polite. I was impressed with their knowledge of what gluten-free options they offered. They really took time to make sure we were happy with out order and did not rush Little Chef when he couldn't quite decided what toppings he wanted on his food - there were so many choices!

They offer a size small, gluten-free crust which is 10 inches and you can either choose your own toppings or order one of their specialty pizzas. I was also told that you can order the pizza unbaked so that you can take it home to cook or for $5 you can also buy just the gluten-free crust so you can take it home to make your own pizza. Wonderful options!

They have a large selection of fresh toppings for their pizzas and salads. Little Chef loves salad so he was happy when he found out that he could also build his own salad. He ordered his own salad and pizza and we were just about to head back to our table when he saw the cookie display. Uh oh. He asked if he could have one but I told him they had gluten in them. He made a face but I reminded him that we had our own gluten-free cookies in my purse and he was happy again. We found a booth in the corner and sat down to wait. Little Chef decided to wander around a bit looking for gold. He looked inside plants and under tables but had no luck. He even looked in the bathrooms. lol (Which were really clean by the way.) The whole restaurant was really tidy and comfortable. Soft music was playing and the other guests were talking quietly so I think it would be a safe place to bring Brother Chef without causing him to have a sensory overload, so we'll have to bring him some time soon.  Little Chef also checked out the game corner and had fun driving a race car.

He came back to the table when his salad arrived. It was massive and the vegetables were really fresh and crisp. (There is nothing I hate more than soggy tomatoes but these were in tip top condition.)

He was very content with his salad and kept telling me how good it was! In fact, when the pizza came he didn't even look up, just said with a mouthful "I'll eat the pizza when I'm done with this yummy salad!"

The pizza looked and smelled amazing! It's been a long, long time since I've had pizza that wasn't made by my own hands so I was drooling in seconds. The first bite was pretty heavenly! The crust held together perfectly and had a satisfying crunch to it. The sauce was wonderful and there was a good amount of toppings. I was hooked but what did Little Chef think?

He said "I like it! I like the salad better but I like this too." He ate that huge salad and three pieces of pizza so I'd say he enjoyed it quite a bit.

All in all it was a great experience. The service was amazing. The food very tasty and the ingredients were of highest quality. The dishes, facilities, and restaurant were very clean and the atmosphere relaxing. We will definitely be back as I think it's the perfect family friendly place to eat. In fact Little Chef asked me "Can we bring everyone back soon? And we can all pick our own salads!"

Before we left he walked up to the leprechaun, stared at it some more, and finally started taking all the menus out so he would check to make sure the leprechaun hadn't hidden his gold under the menus! :-)

Thank you Rafferty's Pizza for supporting our gluten-free awareness event and for the amazing gluten-free lunch! Our only advice would be to consider offering some gluten-free cookies so that children who order the gluten-free pizza can have a dessert too.

Readers: If you would like to try their delicious pizza they have 5 locations in Minnesota: Brainerd, Nisswa, Crosslake and Grand Rapids. Check out their WEBSITE for more information. 

~The opinions written here are ours. We did not receive any monetary compensation for this post & were not under any obligation to give a positive review of the product.~

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