I went gluten-free just before Shake Shack in NYC opened and became the hot place to grab a burger, and not just any burger, but one made from Pat Lafrieda beef. I never had a chance to sink my teeth into a Pat Lafrieda burger until recently, and in the most unlikely place of West Haven, CT at Georgie's Diner.
On New Year's Eve, my big plans did not involve blowing $300 on a mediocre dinner (like I did a few years back at Del Posto), or going out to a club to get wasted and stand on some desolate corner in the Meatpacking District hoping to flag down a cab with a bunch of drunk hoochies and their beefy guys...nope. My big plans for the day involved shopping, with a pit stop at Georgie's to fuel up. My how things change when you have a kid! Every time I take a road trip, I do a little digging to find gluten-free restaurants that may be around where I'm headed and not only did I discover Georgie's (which boosts a pretty robust gluten-free menu), but also found out that they serve Pat Lafrieda burgers! I almost wept with joy at being able to finally try the succulent beef that had eluded me for so long.
As we drove to West Haven, I saw a huge billboard on the side of the road for Georgie's, that proudly trumped up their gluten-free and vegan offerings. They get major points for understanding the value of advertising and catering to niche eaters. What better place to get a ton of eyeballs on your offerings then the side of I-95?
When we arrived, we found a small, but cute and brightly colored diner tucked away in a slightly industrial area of West Haven. The inside is small, clean and cheery. I already knew what I was going to eat when I walked in, but was pleasantly surprised to see quite a few choices on their gluten-free menu including Schar pasta. Nothing was about to deter me from my burger mission...except for the slight detour I took when I saw they had mimosas. Generally mimosas are not the norm to eat with burgers, but mama can't resist a good mimosa and they did not disappoint, since each mimosa is served with its own mini-champagne bottle.
The burgers and sandwiches are both served on Aleia's bread, which is good, but I wish they would have sourced some gluten-free burger buns (perhaps from my fave - Canyon Bakehouse). My burger came out and I couldn't wait to dig into it. The first bite was amazing and everything I hoped it would be, except for the fact that I ordered it medium and it came to me well done. I'll forgive that this one time, but only because the meat was just so delicious and still retained its juiciness.
I've been thinking about it ever since and can't wait for my next trip out to West Haven so I can stop into Georgie's and chow down!