Monday, June 1, 2009

Restaurant Review: Gluten Free Pizza at UNO Chicago Grill

Well, it took me a little while to get there but finally I had some Gluten Free Pizza from Uno Chicago Grill last week. I have not been to an Uno previously and was a little surprised that it is actually a really nice sit-down family restaurant. I guess I just figured it was like any other pizza place.

Regardless, we got to our seats and noticed some Gluten Free items listed on the regular menu including RedBridge and three varieties of Gluten Free pizza. The regular menu noted they have an additional Gluten Free menu (ask your server) but the above choices were all I needed to see. We ordered one of each of the pizza choices; pepperoni, cheese & tomato and the new veggie.

After ordering, I asked to speak with the manager and then had the pleasure to speak with Charlie Wheeler. Charlie was excited to speak with a Gluten Free consumer and had lots to say about the new pizza. He recently did the roll out in the Charlotte Uno store and was then moved up to Raleigh. He indicated that they did a monthly Celiac Pizza Party Night at the Charlotte store and would love to organize something like this here in Raleigh. He also indicated the response at the Raleigh store has been very good so far and that he was always looking for feedback about the Gluten Free choices. Any interest in a monthly Pizza Party?

I think at this point I have tried pretty much every GF pizza out there... Uno's GF pizza stacks up pretty well. The crust is the thickest I've tried (other than Rosie's Plate thick crust). A non-cracker like crust is what reminds me the most of normal pizza. The taste was pretty good also, not overly buttery but also not really much taste at all - I guess the toppings, sauce and cheese does all the talking for this GF pie. I'd recommend you ask the server to cook your GF pizza for longer than what Uno recommends. Our cheese pizza seemed to be the most underdone which resulted in crumbly crust. The pepperoni was by far the best tasting and best cooked of the three. The cheese pizza tasted much better during warm-up leftover consumption the following day.

From my discussions with the manager, the pizza is actually shipped to each Uno in it's own pan. It is then unwrapped at the store in a dedicated section, topped with dedicated GF toppings and then placed back in the original packing material and placed in the freezer until ordered. Since it comes on it's own cooking pan, the risk for cross-contamination in the oven is lowered. After having this pizza twice, I have so far suffered no ill effects.

Bottom line - it was really great to walk into a restaurant, see Gluten Free on a normal menu and order pizza and beer with my family with relatively low worry level.


Emily said...

I'm there for a GF pizza party!

John W. said...

I'm down with the pizza par-tay.

melody said...

I was just there today. They have made some improvements to the pizzas that I had in June when this came out. Also, their other items are really good. They surprised me with a much larger GF menu than I expected.

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