Nestled a few blocks away from Johns Hopkins University is a gluten-free safe haven that is 100% dedicated to serving fare free from gluten. While I love finding restaurants that offer safe options using cross-contamination prevention procedures, it’s a real treat to eat an establishment that I know without a doubt will not make me sick.
Although Sweet 27 is free from gluten, almost all of their menu offerings can be easily adapted to accommodate those with soy and dairy free diets as well as vegans. Music to my ears, I eagerly looked over their extensive menu online unable to decide what I wanted to try from all of the tasty possibilities. When my mom and I solidified plans for her recent visit, I was sure to include Sweet 27 as an entry on our itinerary.
As Sweet 27’s main dining room is open only for dinner, we arrived shortly after they opened their doors at 4:30 pm. My mom and I both had a big appetite and were indecisive about what we were in the mood for. Refusing to settle for just one type of cuisine, the menu has a wonderful variety of offerings from all over the globe ranging from fish and chips and Indian delicacies to tacos and burgers on their homemade buns. Appealing to my acquired taste for Maryland’s delicacies, I had my eye on the crab cake appetizer which my mom and I decided to split for the fun of it. After all, the occasion is rare in which we both can eat off the same dish. Not quite ready to make our final selections for entree, the appetizer bought us more time to contemplate what dish would be the main act of our dinner.
When it arrived, the crab cake impressed us with its beautiful presentation featuring carrot peels, green onions and three accompanying dressings: mango chutney, coconut, and a sweet chili sauce. The cake itself was impressive in its formation and large enough for the two of us at least. Dividing it in half rendered the soft, packed interior surrounded by the crunchy outer shell. The crab mixture was seasoned with red onions which gave it a tasty flavor. Of the three sauces, my favorite was the sweet chili sauce which had a wonderful sweet and yet spicy flavor that perfectly paired with the crab cake and wasn’t hot in the least.
After enticing my taste buds with the crab cake and contemplating my entree selection, my weakness for pizza was too great so I gave in and went with the pesto vegetable pizza with chicken added for additional protein power. After all, how often can one get a gluten-free pizza made in a dedicated facility with dairy-free pesto? Talk about allergy-free heaven!
When it arrived at our table, the pizza was a work of art with the toppings carefully arraigned and the pesto artfully drizzled in a spiral. Though I’ve seen and tasted many iterations of gluten and dairy free pizza, this one was different from most of the ones I’ve tasted before because the crust was not the typical pre-made rice flour base often found at restaurants. Made in-house, the crust reminded me of french bread because it had a wonderful golden crust on the bottom and soft interior. Sturdy enough to handle the weight of the toppings, it soaked in the taste of the olive oil and pesto which further enhanced its flavor. The spinach, mushroom, green pepper and onion vegetable medley topping it was delicious and blended well together for my daily dose of veggies while the accompanying chicken had good flavor and a texture. The pesto was bursting with the flavor of fresh basil and reminded me just how much I miss this delicious sauce. I knew without a doubt that I’d be back sooner rather than later to indulge in another delicious pesto pizza. As fate had it, I had one the following day as an extra long doctor’s appointment left me needing a quick fix after missing my normal lunch time; it was just as heavenly the second time around.
Though I normally don’t feature the dishes my gluten and dairy eating family orders, my mom’s portabello mozzarella burger deserves a shout out because it was also completely gluten free. Topped with lettuce, tomato, balsamic vinegar and basil pesto and served on a homemade bun with a side of sweet potato fries, her meal while not dairy free (given the mozzarella) was gluten free and earned a rave review.
After a lovely dinner, we went next door to their main restaurant to tempt our taste buds at their bakery/cafe. My report from there will be coming shortly and will be posted there as soon as it’s published.
Sweet 27 is definitely a great choice for locals and visitors alike to the Baltimore area. While it’s a bit of a drive from the heart of the city, the rare treat of finding a dedicated restaurant is enough to lure celiacs, gluten sensitive, and allergen-conscious consumers from near and far. Thanks to the hard work and dedication from the owners and staff, I am so thankful that they have created a place that is truly safe for me to eat out without. It’s flexible enough for game day, take-out, and date night and there’s something for everyone on their menu.
Address: 127 W. 27th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
Cuisine: Indian, Asian, American, Latin, Pizza, Burgers, and more
Ideal For: Dinner (Bakery/cafe open all day)
Price: Prices on items range from $6-$19.
Accessibility: Restaurant is not wheelchair accessible. The front door is located up a couple steps while the main dining area is up a flight of stairs. My mom and I were able to maneuver ourselves inside but access is extremely restricted.
Special Features: This holiday season, they are offering order-ahead options ranging from full meals (turkey, sides, rolls, pies) to an a la carte selection of meal components. For more information, call them at (410) 464-7211.
Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.