Since this review comes so close on the heels of my first one, I'll direct you to that post (at this link) for the scoop on the restaurant's intuitive take on allergen free dining. I'll go ahead and reiterate that this bakery, cafe, and deli is a 100% dedicated gluten-free establishment.
Ever the pizza connoisseur, I gave their full array of menu offerings a mere glance before settling on my favorite food. After all, I'm always on the lookout for a truly great gluten-free pizza. Although they offer vegan cheese (Daiya) for their blue menu pizzas (non-dairy), I opted to go without the cheesy stand-in as my initial encounters with it were not so keen. I chose the veggie pizza of the nine varieties they offer, which comes with a colorful assortment of green peppers, red onions, and mushrooms atop a red sauce base.
One bite was all it took to sell me on One Dish Cuisine's take on pizza. There are no words to accurately describe the delicious taste and spot-on texture of the crust that proves that gluten-free food can and should be better than it's glutenous counterparts. Not paper thin, the crust was perfectly chewy towards the center and crunchy towards the thick crust. The red sauce has a nice, rich tomato flavor and the toppings were fresh and flavorful. Needlessly to say, I polished off the entire pie in one sitting, and spent the rest of the day in a pizza perfection induced state of bliss.
Especially after my last visit where I arrived only to find them fresh out of muffins, I emailed in a special request a week out for muffins: 2 pumpkin, and 2 lemon poppyseed, both of which were new to me, and 2 more chocolate chip (which was featured in my earlier post). The first flavor I sampled was pumpkin, wanting to get in on the seasonal pumpkin craze that has swept the nation this year. I loved the course sugar crystals on the top of the muffin which provided crunch and a sweet taste that complemented the not-so-sweet taste of the muffin. The pumpkin flavor is rich and unmistakable and complemented by the taste of spices such as cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and others. The muffin was perfectly moist and had a nice density to it that was far from brick-like or crumbly which often are distinguishing qualities of gluten-free baked goods.
Lemon poppyseed, a muffin flavor I have not had in over 4 years, was a "first" for me since going gluten-free. I loved the light lemon flavor that was not too overwhelming or too sweet. Here, I didn't like the sugar crystals on top as much I did on the pumpkin because they didn't work as well will the lemon flavor in my opinon. However, I loved the texture of the poppyseed in the muffin cake which provided crunch and texture. I am so happy I can enjoy these muffins again because they were always my favorite growing up.
Before heading out for the day with my stomach full and a half dozen muffins to-go, my aunt and I were lured by the bakery case, which was loaded with fresh-baked and inviting treats. My aunt selected pumpkin doodles and I selected pumpkin cookies to get yet another taste of pumpkin. After talking with Maureen, One Dish Cuisine's owner, I also picked out a brownie cake after she informed me that they were not too sweet. Normally avoidant of brownies because I haven't been able to get a taste for them, I was excited to sample the rich, chocolate cake that just looked too good to pass up. I loved the small morsels on the top of the cake which provided crunch and a burst of chocolate. The cake itself was dense, but moist, which I liked. Definitely for dark chocolate lovers, the cake scores high marks in the cocoa department. While I enjoyed the whole slice in one sitting with no regrets after a particularly stressful week, it's definitely large enough to be split into 2-4 portions for prolonged enjoyment.
As it happened, when I got back to my dorm, I realized that the chocolate chip muffins I ordered were switched up and I got blueberry instead. After a quick call to rectify my order (it was a simple mistake), my aunt and I ventured back over to the bakery to pick up chocolate chip muffins. Since the blueberry muffins had left the premises, I could not bring back my original order and swap; with two extra muffins on hand, I gave one to my first gluten-free friend in college and decided to keep one for myself. While dining for lunch, both Maureen and her husband Dave came over and made conversation about being gluten free and my reservations about non-dairy cheese. Vowing that I will branch out and try non-dairy cheese on my next visit, I took their words of encouragement to heart and decided to branch out muffin-wise. A lifelong hater of all things blueberry (except smoothies), I cautiously approached the muffin but it quickly grew on me. The muffin base was simply amazing and I loved the sugar crystals on this muffin for taste and texture. The blueberries were not mushy or soft and had a nice, sweet flavor. While not topping the list of my favorite muffin flavors, I learned my lesson of the importance of trying new things and keeping an open mind. I am excited to know I can now put blueberry muffins on my list of foods I can enjoy.
All in all, I cannot say enough about how awesome One Dish Cuisine is for anyone with any kind of food allergy, intolerance, or challenge. They really understand the unique needs and procedures that must be put in place to maintain the integrity and safety of a product from creation to consumption. It's a worthy stop for anyone living in or around the Baltimore/Columbia area or those just passing by. I am eagerly awaiting my next visit and cannot wait to report back on what other delicious dishes I enjoy.
Update 1/31/15: Returning back for my second semester, I was able to squeeze in breakfast at One Dish Cuisine. You can find that review at this link.
Cuisine: Sandwiches, pizza, pasta, salad, appetizers, baked goods
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner, Snack (Sunday Breakfast/Brunch)
Price: Most baked goods run under $7/piece, prices on restaurant items listed above on menu board (here)
Accessibility: Easily wheelchair accessible
Special Features: Seasonal and current offerings change periodically so call ahead to see what's in stock. Specialty items can be ordered in advance as well.