Saturday, August 30, 2008

La Fiamma Wood Fire Pizza: 200 E. Chestnut

So despite all the years I have lived in Bellingham, I only just recently ate at La Fiamma. I know it is a favorite spot among locals, and in some cases non-locals, but for some reason I was distracted by their reputation for burgers and pizzas and assumed there would be nothing vegan. How wrong I was! Now I have yet another favorite pizza place (besides Mambo's and Rudy's). A few weeks ago, some friends of mine were visiting from Portland and wanted to meet for linner there. My husband was kind enough to call La Fiamma on my behalf before we met up with our friends, and inquire as to the vegan-ness of their pizza dough. I was happy to learn there were no dairy-based dough conditioners or derivatives or anything of the sort, and they also offer five vegetarian pizza options right on their menu.

We met up with our friends at a table on the outdoor deck, and sat down during what began as a lovely breeze on a warmish day, which quickly turned into a freakish wind gust of mini-tornado strength scattering silverware across tables, causing hanging flower baskets to upturn and sway violently in multiple directions at once, leaving dirt in our eyes and teeth and making us grab our drinks and silverware and head indoors. The sky was ominous on one side and luminous on the other, and although I had been looking forward to sitting outside, I was grateful for the refuge indoors. It really seemed as though a huge storm was coming our way.

Since I had never been inside before, it was nice to have the opportunity to look around, and I discovered that I really liked the decor, especially the silver chairs. The funny part is, as soon as we were comfortably settled at our new table, the wind died down and it became quite still outside, almost heavy with the motionless humid air that refused to come in through the windows at all. I kind of wished we had toughed it out and were sitting outside after all, but none of us felt like moving again. It was quite the bizarre little wind event, but I guess I was destined to sit inside. It just makes me want to go back again some time and sit outside, especially after the wonderful pizza that I did enjoy there.

I ordered a vegan version of the "Veggie Fiona" and was more than pleased. The red peppers were so sweet and delicious, they literally melted in my mouth. I noticed the menu included appetizers of white bean hummus and olive tapenade and pita chips, and assuming those are vegan, I will have to try them some time soon. (I know it seems like they should be vegan, but you never know. I have learned to ask about everything, even pita chips, which surprisingly enough often have a dusting of milk powder on them.) I will keep you posted on future experiences of La Fiamma, another restaurant I am happy to add to my list of vegan-friendly places in Bellingham.

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