[...] When you are looking for something unusual, it is important to find a restaurant that listens to your needs. One of the most difficult requests o provide for are gluten-free menu options. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley. For people following a gluten-free diet, they must avoid regular bread, breadcrumbs, croutons, flour in soups or gravies, bouillon cubes, certain seasoning mixes, regular pasta, flavoring agents that are made with wheat, gluten-containing salad dressings and marinades, and foods that are fried in a fryer that cooks anything breaded or batter-dipped. Some say with so many restrictions, they should just eat at home, but people with gluten issues travel, go on vacation, get stuck in meetings, and go to family functions and weddings just like everyone else. If you think this is rare, guess again. It is estimated that in this country alone, 1 in 133 people have problems eating gluten due to celiac disease and more people are getting diagnosed every day. Gluten-free products such as pastas, broths, soy sauce and breads are available but few restaurants offer them.
Mama's [is located] at 1352 Montauk Hwy in Oakdale across from the Oakdale train station [...] Owner John Passafiume said that one day a customer informed him she had celiac disease and could no longer order off the menu. John was working with Barbara to develop a few gluten-free options when a second customer asked for something special as well. John obliged and the second was so overwhelmed, it moved her to tears. John said, "If I could do something that would make someone so happy when they dine in my restaurant, I will develop a special gluten-free menu," which he did. John makes homemade gluten-free bread, pizzas, lasagna, ravioli, pastas, and has a special area in his kitchen just for gluten-free cooking. He also has a whole array of cannolis, cheesecakes and rice pudding that would make anyone happy. He has noticed his gluten-free calamari is in such high demand, even customers who are not on a gluten-free diet order it. His staff is well trained on how to accommodate customers who follow a gluten-free diet, which makes dining a pleasure for them [...]