20 March 2008

lilit cafe, bethesda, maryland

I now know that I don't have to go all the way to Edinburgh for gluten-free pizza and beer! Lilit Cafe in Bethesda, Maryland, offers a partial gluten-free menu with baked goods from Sweet Sin Bakery.

It's a funny little deli-pizza parlour-liquor store. They don't serve alcohol or other beverages, but you can walk to the convenience store section and choose from water, sodas, beer, and wine (which they'll uncork for you free of charge), and bring it back to your table to drink. For beers and sodas you can buy a whole 6-pack or single servings. We knew we were back on the east coast when we saw Old English 40s along with the selection of "fine" wines and beers. They offer a gf beer, Redbridge, which isn't my favorite gf beer but will do in a pinch. I think they also had Woodchuck ciders, which are gf.

The gf menu features pizzas and deli sandwiches. I decided on the margarita pizza. When it was served, it looked and smelled delicious. But one bite proved the crust to be mediocre. It was obviously a frozen crust that had been reheated, poorly, with toppings. I considered sending it back but I was so hungry, and the cheese and sauce were tasty hot, so I plowed on. When I brought the leftovers home and heated them up later, I was able to get a hot, crisp crust. The leftovers were better than the in-restaurant pizza. I wasn't completely turned off by the pizza experience though and will go back to try again (especially once we move closer to the Red Line--too much hassle to go from where we live now). The mental aspect of sitting down in a restaurant and ordering pizza and sandwiches is so positive that it outweighs a less-than-perfect meal in my opinion.

Desserts! I was so stuffed from my pizza and beer that I could barely sample the gelato. They have a wide range of freshly made gelatos and I'm looking forward to going back to try some of them. They also have packages of cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and breads from Sweet Sin Bakery for sale. I bought a 6-pack of chocolate brownie cupcakes. They. Were. Amazing. So moist, which is rare for gf baked goods. We were there for dinner on a Friday night... by Sunday I was eating my 5th cupcake for breakfast (I let Mike eat one). Hey, I don't get to eat chocolate cake often, so I indulged.

Lilit Cafe also has a full "regular" menu and plenty of vegetarian choices on both menus. Sandwiches and pizzas can also be made to-go, and since you can buy beverages there and other convenience store items, you can get everything you need in one stop. Even smokes!

Lilit Cafe
7921 Old Georgetown Road (about 1km from the Bethesda Metro stop)
Bethesda, MD
(301) 654-5454
10am - 9pm, Mon - Thus
10am - 10pm, Fri - Sat
10am - 6pm, Sunday



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