Pizza is The Light of My Soul (East Coast)

If anyone knows me, knows I love pizza. Mostly just for the slight hint of garlic, toasted edges brushed with warm butter. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

But 3 years ago, all that ewy gooey goodness came to end when I had to start eating without gluten (wheat, barley, rye) That didn’t stop me from exploring. If there is a pizza place that serves gluten free pizza, presume I am going to (risk) try going there. As most us gluten-free eaters know, there is always a risk of contact with gluten in a un-dedicated kitchen.

Here are few I have visited in various states along the East Coast.

Marcos Huntington, WV.                                                                                                                      I typically went for the Hawaiian (pineapple, bacon, and ham) or Meat Lovers (sausage, pepperoni, ham) pizza on a frozen 12″ Udi’s thin crust covered in a thick rich tomato sauce. This specific Marco’s Pizza was trained in cross contamination, so I worried very little when ordering from there. Which was a lot.

Pies and Pints Charleston, WV.                                                                                              Another knowledgable franchised restaurant that served their pizza on a Udi’s crust, but 6″ instead of 12″. I would order the “Steak & Mushroom” with a horseradish crema. This crema balanced out the woodsiness of the mushrooms and saltines from carmalized onions to give it a rich buttery flavor.

Pizza Hut Ravenswood, WV.                                                                                                          The area lacked a range of regular food options and next to nothing for gluten-free. A pepperoni and cheese on 12″ Udi’s crust was only ordered in desperate times. Luckily, Pizza Hut does mention that their pizza is not made in a dedicated kitchen, and risks contact with gluten ingredients. Advise those with Celiac Disease to order at your own risk. I have been contaminated a couple of times from here.

Donatos Columbus, OH.                                                                                                             Donato’s creates their own gluten-free crust made from brown rice and tapioca flours. I have ordered a pepperoni and cheese, and a vegetable pie with very little symptoms afterwards. I think I keep going back to this one for the garlic, and herbaceous sauce on extra crispy crust.

Pizza Rev, Columbus, OH.                                                                                                                    I ate at one on the college campus, because there weren’t many other options to choose from. They make their crust standard with rice and tapioca flours. Primarily made to jump on the gluten free movement for those cutting back or just going gluten free according to the company. I stayed basic with vegetable toppings, basic tomato sauce and prayed I didn’t get sick.

Pizza Rustica Columbus, OH.                                                                                                              I remember very little about this place. I also don’t belive it is still in business, so I’m going to pass up the flavor profile.

Your Pie, Savannah/Roswell, GA.                                                                                                      A lovely franchise similar to a Chipotle in which you build your individual pie your way, or from a menu of sorts. The company pre-makes their rice/tapioca flour crust and bakes it in a separate aluminum pan therefore eliminating contamination in the large brick oven. The more knowledgeable employee would prepare my personal pizza in the back using ingredients not yet placed out on the floor to help with cross contamination. Due to spinning flour dough and shaping it with regular flour, there is notice that some flour particles could land on toppings. Do not recommend this for a severe celiac, as this had happened to me at the Roswell location.

California Pizza, Atlanta, GA.                                                                                                              I was unable to find out what they use as their base in the crust, but did come across this statement

              These gluten-free pizzas are prepared using the strict procedures approved by The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), using a certified gluten-free crust and other ingredients verified by our suppliers as gluten-free.

There are 3 choices you can pick from that won’t risk contamination. Aside from the statement, I thought there pizza lacked flavor and fell short. Just as you would imagine anything gluten free would from a chain. Not a top contender if had to go back.

BJ’S Restaurant and Brew House, various locations.                                                              According to the website.

An herb-infused, 10-inch crust topped with pizza sauce and BJ’s signature five cheese blend. With the exception of our meatballs, all of BJ’s classic ingredients listed on the pizza page in our menu are gluten-free

 Not your typical place to order pizza, but it’s delicious. It comes as a small portion; be prepared to order something extra if you are a big eater. Risk of contamination: low but possible since it’s not made in a dedicated facility.

I’m sure I’ll be adding more to this list as I keep traveling. The idea is this list helps someone beginning their journey down the gluten free path

Mae Lively