Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nick's Pizza & Pub: Gluten Free Pizza

Being gluten and lactose free in a big city like Chicago is great - I can easily find restaurants that can create something delicious for me. And if they can't there is always another restaurant across the street that would love my business. But my family is from the suburbs. And when I go home, it is hard to think of where we can go where my dietary needs can be met in one stop, rather than driving around town. When I first went gluten free, my mom excitedly called me to tell me that the local newspaper had an article about how Nick's Pizza & Pub (locations in Elgin and Crystal Lake) had gluten free pizza.

Clearly, I had to try this.

My dad was going to pick up the pizza and I don't think he has had to order gluten and dairy free for me before this pizza. He's seen me gluten-sick plenty of times, but we had not gone out to eat since my dietary change. There was a little bit of panic because I get excited about things being gluten free and totally forget about the dairy free portion of my diet. A call to Nick's earlier in the week confirmed that their crust was also dairy free. So all I had to do was tell my dad what pizza to order - no cheese - and we were good. When we went to pick up the pizza, panic really set in: I saw a lot of people working with pizza dough and using large knives to cut the pizza into slices. I confirmed with our cashier that my pizza was gluten-free and nervously asked about the knife they used to cut it. The cashier said they have a special knife they use for the gluten free pizzas and the pizzas are even cooked in their own tin. Cross contamination fears minimized!

I had the Margherita Pizza - sans mozzarella cheese. The crust was a delicious thin crust with a nice crunch and the olive oil made it super tasty. And it was a truly beautiful pizza with large pieces of basil and slices of tomato for extra flavor. This pizza is one to keep in my back pocket when I go home!

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