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Mama's & Cafe Baci - Hackettstown Nj
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i used to be a foodie before my dx 2 years ago. i used to look up menus and drool til we got to the restaurant and i was willing to try all sorts of strange and unusual foods.

i am freaked out by eating out anywhere anymore - i think i have eaten in a restaurant maybe 4 times and been extremely nervous doing so. but i really REALLY wanted to find some gluten-free pizza when i went to visit in northern new jersey this past week so we went to mama's & baci cafe in hackettstown nj. they are open late, thank goodness, (till 11 or 11:30) because by the time we got there, it was 9:30. the place was not packed (wed night) so we were seated right away. the waitress came and i said i needed a gluten free menu.

she brought me a freaking book!!!!!

fried calamari (yes, fried!), pierogies, mozzerella sticks, 3 different kinds of eggplant, including rollantini, all kinds of bready, battered deliciousness. what to order, what to order......!! what a terrible problem to have!!! so i got the fried calamari :) sister ordered 'regular'fried zucchini and when i got mine, it had a few fried zucchinis mixed in with the calamari: DISASTER! didn't they have a dedicated fryer??? i flagged down the waitress and asked her - she assured me that my food didn't come anywhere near anything with gluten in it: the fried zucchinis were a little addition and also gluten-free. i started eating cautiously....it was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside just like it's sposta be - yummmmmmmy - then the owner/chef came to our table and introduced himself. he said there were 4 other celiacs in the restaurant *right now* (i was all like "where?? where??" as i have never seen any lolz) he says they average 30 per day and many are repeat customers/regulars.

he leaves and a few minutes later, complimentary gluten-free mozzerella sticks arrive - omgosh they were to die for. the breadcrumbs were like italian seasoned panko :)

we order our dinner: RAVIOLI for me w/rosa sauce (creamy pink sauce akin to vodka sauce) the other 3 in our party order off of the (humongous) 'regular' menu. while waiting for our dinner, the waitress comes back with complimentary (pasta for them, risotto for me) sampling of the wonderful champagne sauce - yummy yums! i had ordered a salad for me and the hubs to split - good thing b/c it was huge - with prosciutto and provolone... delicious! at this point i'm wondering how i'm going to fit my dinner into my belly. until i took the first bite and then i couldn't stop feeding my face :D

everybody had to take some home; the portions were giant sized. the waitress said 'gluten free cannoli' and naturally i had to take some home :P and a pizza lolz

the hostess (the place seemed very family-run and everybody knew their stuff) gave us each a little gift bag with a coupon for free appetizer for next visit and discount card for 10% off each visit and a gluten-free menu and regular menu. husband was the last one out the door and the owner had given him a qt jar of the pink sauce - complimentary!

the best time i ever had eating out at a restaurant since i have been diagnosed. most of the time i feel like a freak trying to explain (what my food can't have in it or touch or please can you bring me the bottle or can i quiz the chef, blah, blah...)

if you live or visit north jersey, DO go and eat there. i was like a blind dog in a meat house = biting on everything. :) thanx for a great experience, mama's!!

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Thank you so much for telling about your experience there. Never tried it but the stuff on the menu sounds absolutely delicious.

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alex: when she brought out the gluten-free bread w/garlic & herb butter, i almost cried!! at the same time as the gluten eaters got their bread basket :) they sell the sauces, pasta and breads there, too. yayy!!!

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Wish there was a Mama's in CT...sigh...

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So I finally tried Mama's, Heaven!!! I have a problem going out places so my husband went there and ordered it. All four of us had sandwiches. mine was a proscuitto melt and it was absolutely delicious. We also got the pierogis (since Easter is coming up and we wanted to try them beforehand) and mozzarella sticks and I too was amazed that it was gluten-free. My husband also treated me to a cannoli since that is one thing that I still really miss from gluten days.and it was absolutely amazing! There was also a sample of the risotto with champagne sauce and the 10% discount card. I was incredibly impressed and would definitely go back again.

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