When I visited home during the summer, my mom excitedly showed me a local magazine featuring “top gluten free restaurants in the Philly area” and number one was The Couch Tomato Bistro & Café (http://thecouchtomato.com/bistro-menu/) located at 100-102 Rector Street, Manayunk, PA or 31 West Gay Street West Chester, PA. During Thanksgiving break, I landed pretty late (okay….it was 6:30pm but I was starving). Of course, having my mind set on trying something new, we headed to the Couch Tomato Bistro & Café at their Manyunk location. For clarification, the Bistro and Café are located in the same building. The Bistro is a sit down portion where wait staff comes to your table. The café is where you walk up to the counter and order. Both the bistro and the café are very casual. We ate at the Bistro.
The Entree: I was pleasantly surprised to see that the menu clearly marked their gluten free options and there were quite a few including pastas, pizzas, and sandwiches. I asked the wait staff several times about their procedures for handling gluten free. They assured me that they have separate surfaces and take Celiac disease (and other medical conditions) very seriously. After careful consideration, I went with the Cider-Braised Pulled Pork complete with smoked gouda, caramelized onions, and BBQ sauce on a gluten free flat bread. This option came with a side salad. The side salad was plain but typical. The sandwich,….well, it was quite small (see it’s size in the picture below). I was sad to see that, but the flavor was FANTASTIC! Such a great sandwich. If only it was larger. Next time I will definitely try their pizza. Unfortunately, they do NOT have gluten free fries, which would have made the sandwich more filling. I hope that they get a dedicated fryer soon!! It would be great to have another option other than a salad.
The Dessert: Still feeling a bit hungry from the smaller but still tasty meal, I was ecstatic to discover that they had several gluten free dessert options. I ordered the gluten free brownie with vanilla bean gelato. HEAVENLY! Absolutely heavenly. I was a very happy camper. My only regret is that I was not able to try more desserts…I may return just for the desserts!
The Service: This was their major fault….our waiter was not very attentive. We arrived around 7:30PM on a Monday and the place was not crowded at all. We waited nearly 25 minutes for the waiter to even come over to ask what we wanted to eat or drink. Our appetizers (and my salad) took another 30 minutes once we place our order and meals took an additional 40 minutes….We did not leave the restaurant until after 9:30PM. He did not check on us or see if we needed anything—my mom had to ask another waiter for water refills several times.
The Price: Pricey for what you get. This is definitely high quality food, but the portion sizes are tiny!
Long story short: Yes, I would return here! Aside from the smaller portions and long wait, the food was delicious and I had so many safe options. I did not get sick from cross contamination and the staff truly understood Celiac disease. I loved having choices and a variety of meals available to me. Dessert options were the icing on the cake!
Have you visited the Couch Tomato Bistro & Cafe? What is your favorite dish? Comment below!
**Please note that this review solely reflects my own honest opinion. I was neither paid nor compensated for my visit here.**