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Italian restaurants always seem to be good for gluten free, so when we got the chance to try chain restaurant Bella Italia we were only semi surprised by the choice available. From researching we already knew they marked gluten free on the menu, but being us we went in acting ignorant when it came to the menu.
On entering the restaurant I asked the waitress if they did gluten free, a few seconds later she came over with the menu and pointed out that everything that could be done gluten free was marked with the little wheat symbol and left me to look through. Some of the pasta dishes could be done gluten free, as could some of the pizzas and most of the grill options were fine too. It did take a few minutes to decide what to have, pizza or pasta, I wish I could have had both but eventually opted for Spaghetti Carbonara. I asked for it gluten free and she marked it on the order and went and told the chef that I had "gluten allergy", well at least she told them I couldn't have gluten!
Strawberry sundae, made gluten free by missing off the wafer at Bella Italia in Blackpool
We only waited about 15 minutes for our food, and when it came it looked lovely, just like normal pasta, the waitress assured me it was gluten free pasta (I get a little reluctant about pasta) and I tucked in, and I will admit it was delicious, it's been a while since I had a proper creamy carbonara and this was gorgeous. I hope their pizza dishes are just as good, I could have easily eaten another portion of the pasta is was so lovely, and definitely gluten free, pasta is always the worst thing to effect me so after the first bite I was 100% they had given me the right pasta.
After our main meal we decided we wanted dessert, so we asked the waitress for the dessert menu, looking down it nothing was marked with gluten free, but we had seen online they did gluten free options, by this time the restaurant had filled up a lot and we couldn't grab the waitresses attention but another guy came over so I asked him if they had gluten free desserts, within a split second he went and grabbed his allergy book and flipped through, apart from the new gelato ice cream they had nothing was gluten free, however he didn't give up, we thought we would look at the sundaes, so me and this guy who we later found out was the manager, went through every ingredient involved in the sundaes trying to establish why it wasn't marked as gluten free, all we found was the wafer contained gluten, by removing that I could have a gluten free sundae, complete with cream, sauce, meringue, strawberries and ice cream. Eventually settling on that, he went and scooped the ice cream which was outside of the kitchen in the restaurant itself, he then took it to the kitchen told the chef I was coeliac and he finished it off.
Gluten free spaghetti carbonara
The sundae itself was delightful, I've always been a sweet person and this was definitely a sundae at it's finest, why it couldn't have been marked in the menu as having a GF alternative is beyond me, but that is either head office or the printers fault not the restaurant, I was just glad the manager was helpful and willing to go through all the ingredients to find exactly why it wasn't suitable and then miss out whatever it was I couldn't have.
I really couldn't have asked for more helpful staff, with a good choice on the menu, Bella Italia is definitely somewhere I will consider eating when there is a branch around, there is something for everyone and the food is delicious, well worth the price they charge even if it is slightly more expensive than other places.