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eeyor_fan

My gluten-free Visit To New York City

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Wasn't sure where to post this, but I hope it helps others as well.

Hugs

Bridget ;)

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When I first heard about the gluten-free bakery in NYC called “Happy Happy Happy” from this forum a few weeks ago, I started making plans to go in and check it out. Well yesterday, December 17th/ 2005, I did go in and see it for myself. I was picturing in my head a large, typical bakery with many things in display cases all ready to sell. Well, for those who are looking for a place like that, you won’t find it. It is a quite tiny storefront and they deal mostly on orders placed the day before. Do not get me wrong, it is still a wonderful place, just not what most would expect. I talked with “JOE”, I believe the owner (and 1 of two employees there) and he says they have been very busy since they were featured in the newspaper (and there were people going in and out the whole time I was there). Everything they make is all natural, Gluten-Free, Dairy/ Lactose Free, Wheat Free, Yeast Free, has no hydrogenated fats or trans fats, has no artificial preservatives, contains no guar/ xanthan gum, contains no dyes or food coloring, and is baked fresh that day (and getting sold out early, may I add). I tried a cookie made for dunking in drinks called “The Bones Of The Dead” which was very good, and I fell in love with their chocolate cup cakes and their “Madeline’s.” They also make special occasion cakes and do ship orders if you’re not in NYC. Joe is a really nice guy; a fellow celiac and can give lots of great advice. I’m definatly going there again. The only draw back was a nasty lady who came in after 4 pm and gave a horrible attitude when there wasn’t much left and she was told they deal mostly in pre orders and the stuff they do have for sale to the open public goes early because they bake on a daily bases only…she walked out loudly stating “I could bake it myself at home!” I’d highly recommend the delicious treats at www.happyhappyhappy.com - 157 Allen Street, NY 10002 (212)254-4088. When asked about Gluten Free dining in New York , Joe recommended “Bistango’s” at 415, 3rd Ave (212)725-8484 and told me to ask for the manager Anthony (tell him “Joe at Happy Happy Happy sent you”).

Before we went to dinner we slipped into a place called “Lederhosen” at 39 Grove St, and we sat by the fire on comfy couches to warm from the cold and had a nice visit. Then we went on our way to go see this “ANTHONY”. My friend was making fun that it sounded like one of those mob movies “Yo Anthony, Joe from Happy sent us!” LOL

I must say I was a little frightened being since diagnoses I did not have the guts to eat out and I became a solid homebody. When we got to “Bistango’s” I was really scared. Understand that “Bistango’s” is not strictly a gluten free place. When we got inside Anthony actually greeted us and when he heard “Joe at Happy Happy Happy sent us” he knew exactly why and wanted to know which one of us was celiac. While everyone else was eating their bread, and drinking their wine Anthony say patiently with me; Asking how my recovery was going, pointing out that he could make anything on the regular menu gluten free (even the pasta because he has rice pasta) except the pizza. I had the grilled chicken, with roasted red peppers, on a bed of spinach, onions and tomato ; Anthony made it himself to make sure it wouldn’t be contaminated. He even made sure everything was ok when I did not finish my spinach…it was just I had eaten too many cookies from Joe! This restaurant is a beautiful place with fresh roses on the table, a beautiful atmosphere, dishes around $10 to $15 dollars a piece, and a manager named Anthony who exudes total charm and makes Rocco DiSpirito look ugly!! I highly recommend this place too, just make sure they know you are celiac and need Gluten Free; then you will be treated like a celebrity. I even got a hug when I was leaving and Anthony told me to keep in touch so they could know how I’m doing.

After dinner we went to see the tree in Rockefeller Center and view some of the other Christmas sights. Then we went in to a cabaret called “Roses Turn” (can‘t remember the address); I’d been there once before and my friend Steve is a regular there. I drank water, but loved the music, and one of the Piano players/ singers there named Michael Issaks ( a cross between Pete Frampton and Elton John) is always a sight to see and a show in himself (totally hyper and funny). It is a great place to go and one of the lady bartenders (Terri) is also a Broadway star. It is something when they get rocking on the piano and the bartenders are singing back up/ playing the tambourine. As I was leaving Michael Issaks even gave me a big hug and a kiss on the cheek/ told me I was lovely person who made his day!

I have to admit, when I got home and away from all the prying eyes. I burst into tears and had a good long, soul wrenching cry…not at sadness but at what a special day I had. That was the first time since diagnoses when I wasn’t afraid, that I felt real normalcy in my life again, where celiac wasn’t the only aspect of life; all that was left in my world. They always talk about three wise men or the angels at Christmas; well I had 4 of them (Richie and Steve who took me to New York and were my bodyguards in a crazy city, as well as Joe and Anthony who taught me that it will be ok). No words ever invented will ever express just how much their kindness meant to me, and it was a day I will never forget! We all need a lot more days like that!

Hugs

Bridget

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Guest nini

I'm getting all teary eyed just reading your post!!! How wonderful that you had such a lovely day in NYC and felt some normalcy in your life!

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I'm glad to hear you had such a wonderful time in NYC. I've been meaning to go to Bistango. I went to Happy Happy Happy when I was first diagnosed and had the same expectations and reaction to the appearance : )

Come back and visit us again soon. You need to try Risotteria!

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I'm glad to hear you had such a wonderful time in NYC. I've been meaning to go to Bistango. I went to Happy Happy Happy when I was first diagnosed and had the same expectations and reaction to the appearance : )

Come back and visit us again soon. You need to try Risotteria!

I only live 10/ 15 minutes away but it seems a lot longer with the traffic...only been into NYC twice this year and everyone keeps telling me I should come in more often. I should try Rissotteria, but I think Anthony got me hooked (you'll see)!

I really owe a huge gratitude to Steve and Richie though for persuading me to go in, making that day possable...I have a great support team!

Bridget

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I only live 10/ 15 minutes away but it seems a lot longer with the traffic...only been into NYC twice this year and everyone keeps telling me I should come in more often. I should try Rissotteria, but I think Anthony got me hooked (you'll see)!

I really owe a huge gratitude to Steve and Richie though for persuading me to go in, making that day possable...I have a great support team!

Bridget

I'm having the Greatest Week!!

My GI just called and with my latest tests my anti bodies are back at a normal level, which is alot better than the 70 (normal is 20 and under) I was testing at in late September. That means my body is responding to treatment (gluten-free DIET) and healing all the damage celiac caused and I'll live a long, normal life as long as I stay gluten-free ( it is a huge relief because a month ago the doctor was concerned I had refractory sprue, the type of celiac that does not respond to the gluten free diet and continues attacking the body). Thankfully I AM GETTING WELL, and my anti bodies have dropped 30 points. YEE HAW!!!

This is all the Christmas Gifts I'll ever need. It has been the greatest week for me!!

Hugs

Bridget

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Bridget--Glad you had a perfect NY day, and congrats. on the tests!! Merry Christmas :) --Patti

Merry Christmas to you too.

Big Huggies

Bridge

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