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


Anonymous said...

I have been on a gluten free diet for over 5 years and I absolutely love the GF herb foccicia bread. Better in my opinion than Whole Foods varieties.I found out about this little cafe by word of mouth, a coworker also with Celiac Disease. When I talked to the owner he mentioned that they don't do much advertising, it is mostly by word of mouth that this secret of Bethesda gets out. I love their gf sandwiches and I agree about the pizza, better reheated in the oven the next day. But still much better than the frozen varieties I had been purchasing prior to knowledge of the lilit cafe.

Nancy K said...

It's nice to find restaurants that have gluten free menus. Not too far from us my dh, who has celic, can get gluten free pizza. I have learned to cook a wonderful array of gf foods. We have quite a few people in the family with celiac.

Sew Terri said...

Hi Stephanie - glad you found Bethesda. The next time you go, check out The Mustard Seed on Wisconsin Avenue. It's my SS's used clothing boutique. http://www.mustardseedshop.com/

They get some great stuff and the prices are fabulous. Tell Derek that Terri said HI!

Terri K
Asheville NC mountains

Chef Tony said...

Being that I'm rarely shy to promote my efforts in my restaurant, I'd like to throw up my hands to have the sufferers of Celiac check out Visions in Bethesda. We have a every night "Gluten Free" menu that has taken off with local diners.

Please do you and your readers a favor and go to www.visionsbethesda.com/celiac and take a look!

I'm also more than happy to hear any cooking suggestions from your readers, I can be emailed at ChefTony@visionsbethesda.com


Chou said...

Hooray for gf pizza!

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