Oh how I would love a fancy supper out. One that is safe for me (of course!!) Last night I got my wish. We went out for a belated birthday dinner (mine) in Easton. I had heard comments about Pearly Bakers and wanted to explore them as an option. Their very nice website menu has clearly noted gluten free options, not a lot of them but enough to make me feel comfortable that they might be doing the gf thing properly. Still, you never know until you try. I did look at some other Easton eateries but no sign of gluten free choices so I went with a place that was making an effort for those of us who must eat gluten free.
Out into the frigid night we went, to Easton’s Center Square. No parking open on the circle but we parked in the garage around the corner, cost us 75 cents. There is a front eating area which is reminiscent of a pub. Tall tables, lots of beer taps and a fairly noisy convivial atmosphere. We ate in the formal dining room, my choice for a slightly quieter dining experience. I had been there for dinner many years ago when it was Charlies. The dining room seems very different, new colors maybe? I sat facing an old painting of a boat burning on the Delaware River at Easton in 1860 or so. Impressive.
I was equally impressed with the menu, not lengthy which generally tells me the chef is not using a lot of frozen foods. There were three gluten free entrée options as well as several sides and one appetizer safe for me. We passed on apps as I tend to get too full on them. I chose the ginger teriyaki salmon but I requested several modifications. I just wasn’t in the mood for fried rice or radish cuke salad. There was mashed potatoes with the pork loin so I requested that for my starch choice and the caramelized Brussels sprouts were right up my alley so a request was made for that in combination with the salmon and potatoes. Their willingness to alter an entree like that was a sign of a responsive chef. They didn’t even charge me extra for making it as I desired.
We sat enjoying our drinks, I had the house pinot grigio which was quite tasty. Joe had his favorite lager; not in the mood, apparently, to try one of their many interesting looking beers. Our food came pretty rapidly; not too fast though; we had time to chat a bit and relax. He ate a roll. I suffered from roll envy….
Then plates were delivered and I got over my envy because my entrée was awesome looking. I totally forgot to take a picture in my eagerness to dive in. It was a large oval of mashed potatoes with small roasty looking brussels sprouts sprinkled all around the potatoes and on top too. A decently sized fillet of salmon was plonked down on top of the mashed. There were the peas and corn that came with the salmon as it was described on the menu and my fish was also sprinkled with slivers of red onions and cuke. I dug in, finding great flavor in my fish and really perfect mashed tatters. The salmon was of good quality and cooked to perfection. I loved the veggies. I know, it was a tad odd to have mashed with ginger teriyaki flavors, but it worked wonderfully; I scraped every bit off my dinner plate! I think they should add this combo to their gf choices. My only request would be to maybe caramelize those sprouts just a tad more next time.
Joe had fish and chips; he loved it and the roll he ate beforehand. He couldn’t finish it and had to take a doggie bag. He claimed later that the potatoes wedges were his veggie but I say they were a starch. I pointed out that I had all my veggies and one serving of starch. He had the breading on his fish, his roll and his chips. It was understandable that he felt that starch overload sleepiness that can come over me when I overdo the starch. I didn’t and I felt full but awesome. I gave him a taste of my salmon and I think he had entrée envy although he refrained from saying so out loud!
The atmosphere was festive and relaxed, the service was perfect; friendly helpful server and well timed food delivery. Most importantly the food was delicious. Memorably tasty and safe for me as a celiac. That combination is tough to find here in the Lehigh Valley. I know I will be returning to Pearly Bakers, maybe in the spring when we can enjoy a post meal stroll along the river.