Sal Rose – Italian for the gluten-intolerant

I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed Italian food, but we haven’t been out to an Italian restaurant in nearly two years. Full of pasta and pizza as they are, they’re not generally friendly places for the gluten-intolerant amongst us. I had a work event the other night, and as it was finished by 8.30pm and we had a babysitter, my husband and I decided to take the opportunity to grab a quick dinner on the way home. One of our older children had mentioned that they thought they had seen the magic words “gluten-free” on the menu of Sal Rose, so we thought we’d give it a try.

Sal Rose bills itself as “country Italian” and we’ve been there numerous times in the past. It is located in Mt Albert, near to the Rocket Park (and just across the road from the excellent Parkside Cafe), so is a ‘local’ for us. The decor is friendly and unpretentious, the wait staff generally very good and the food of a consistent high standard.

I was delighted to look at the menu and see that certain items were identified as gluten-free, and also to see “gluten-free pasta available” and under the pizza section “gluten-free bases available”. Yippee!! I fondly remembered their caramelised onion and cheese flatbread, so my first question to our waitress was “is this available gluten-free?” She was lovely, responded with enthusiasm and went away to check – the answer was yes. So we got one of those, and a gluten-free pizza to share between us (we were quite full of popcorn, so didn’t really need a full meal).

The food was excellent and service speedy. Even though we were the last diners to come in, they didn’t rush us. In fact, when we were about to leave (stuffed! I’d noticed lots of people leaving with doggy bags, testament to the generous servings) a waiter was offering us the dessert menu, and encouraging us to have dessert, even though they were packing up the restaurant. It was really nice to be somewhere where the wait staff didn’t make me feel as though it was a problem for them that I wanted gluten-free options. And the food was great. I think that the pizza bases were Venerdi, but those taste very good so it wasn’t an issue.

So full marks to Sal Rose, and next time we’ll try the gluten-free pasta and report back.

Disclaimer: I don’t know whether they have a separate gluten-free preparation and cooking area. This post was NOT sponsored by Sal Rose.

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