Spanky's Pizza

Eating gluten free isn't always easy. You have to ask lots of questions, read a lot of labels, and plan ahead when you have to eat outside of your home. There are lots of companies and products that are making it a lot easier though. Thanks to apps like Find Me Gluten Free and restaurants like Spanky's in Fremont, MI, my anniversary was a huge success.

We were vacationing in Sand Lake, MI for our 10th anniversary and wanted to do some sightseeing. While driving through Newaygo, we stopped at a local library that was having a book sale. We noticed a sign for a nearby business that said "gluten free items" and stopped in, only to find that they didn't suggest that celiacs eat their product. When I asked why they were making gluten free items, they stated that there are many other illnesses that benefit from a gluten free diet, but they didn't want to make anyone with celiac sick from cross contamination from their regular baked goods. While I appreciated their honesty, I was disappointed. I'd even go as far to say "broken-hearted." 

So using their Facebook page to find their address,we headed off to Spanky's pizzeria in Fremont. To be honest, I was somewhat nervous. I didn't want to be disappointed again by another business who didn't take gluten free seriously. I asked to speak to someone about how they prevent cross contamination and a lovely woman named Lou came out to talk to me. She stated that all of their gluten free pizzas are made in a separate section of the kitchen so that there would be NO chance of cross contamination. I was so excited I was clapping my hands like a giddy child!

First off, I 'll start with the food. This place is known for their (non-gf) breadsticks that they make by hand. There's even a video playing in the lobby showing the process that they take in making it. (Start the clip at 20 minutes 23 seconds.)  My husband had the breadsticks and agreed that they were pretty amazing.
They also have gluten free breadsticks, which are made with the premade French Meadow gluten free pizza crust.I had the gluten free ones and they were pretty good. The marinara sauce that came with it was so good I could have just eaten a cup of it with a spoon!      

Spanky's famous (Non-gf) breadsticks

Spanky's has a wide variety of pizzas. They have the regular cheese and pepperoni, but they also have creative ones  like chicken ranchero, zesty veggie, and bacon cheeseburger. They also have a pizza buffet complete with salad bar. My husband ordered the zesty veggie and I ordered the bacon cheeseburger, on suggestion from Lou. 

The bacon cheeseburger pizza sounds a bit odd, but it is the BEST pizza I have ever eaten. Instead of pizza sauce, the pizza crust is coated with ketchup, then layered with fresh cooked ground beef, cheese, and crumbled bacon. And the bacon is fresh cooked bacon- no imitation bacon bits here! Then they bring you a plate with pickle spears, mustard and mayonnaise. It sounds weird, but believe me it is AMAZING. The staff was nice enough to bring the bacon on the side for us, since my husband is allergic to pork products, and I wanted him to be able to try this pizza. He thought it was awesome too. (He actually liked my pizza better than his!) Lou came out to check on us, and asked me if I usually put lettuce and tomato on my burgers. I said yes, so she brought me some to put on my pizza. Wow is all I can say. The pictures below can't even begin to realy how delicious it have to taste it for yourself. I told my husband I'll try to recreate it at home, but I doubt I will do it justice. When we told my husband's cousin about Spanky's (she lives in Howard City), she said she knew ALL about Spanky's and that when her kids play away high school sports games in Fremont, they ALWAYS plan their evening around going to Spanky's! 
with the added mustard and mayonnaise, minus the bacon

with EVERYTHING (and a few pieces missing :) 

While the food was great, it was Lou who really made the experience for me. Her care and concern was above and beyond anything  I have ever experienced at a restaurant. She checked on the brand of pizza crusts for me, discussed with us why they started doing gluten free (it was because of customer request), and talked to us about wanting to expand their menu.  She also asked our opinion about what companies to try as they look to expanding their gluten free menu. She made me feel like I was talking to a long time friend, not someone whom I had just met. 

She agreed to take a picture with me, and I told her I was going to blog about our great experience. She offered to sit in the booth with me, since I had told her that I had recently sprained my ankle. I could have just hugged her. She really made the experience magical, sprinkling her good-love "fairy dust" all over our day. (She really does have some fairy dust. It's kind of a joke- you'll have to ask her about it.)

Lou is so wonderful! 

But in all seriousness, after we left he restaurant, something dawned on me. Jesus said that you will know his disciples by the way that they love one another. I wouldn't be surprised if Lou was a Christian, because I truly felt LOVED after my time there. Thank you Lou and staff for making our 10th anniversary a memorable one. 

So if you want great gluten free pizza and even better customer service, you NEED to go to Spanky's pizza. They also have a location in Ludington, and I'm sure your dining experience will be just as great there.

Can you believe I actually had leftovers to take home! You can see the gf breadsticks in this picture. 

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