People don’t believe me when I tell them that I don’t remember what bread tastes like, but it’s true. It’s just not something I miss; I don’t even eat any of the many GF breads that are available. But pizza is a craving that I don’t think will ever go away.
I can’t be alone, since pizza restaurants offering gluten free crusts have become commonplace.
Unfortunately, “gluten free” is now a marketing buzzphrase, particularly in places like Los Angeles where people subject themselves to weird dietary restrictions for no good reason. On one hand, this means there are more places to eat for those of us who actually need to avoid wheat, rye, and barley for actual health reasons. But it also means you have to figure out how committed a restaurant is to keeping your meal gluten free.
The newly-opened Culver Crossroads Shopping Center in Culver City is a haven for fast food GF diners. There’s a Chipotle, a Pei Wei, and a Jersey Mike’s. All of which good GF options for diners.
There’s also a Blaze Pizza, which has a gluten free crust option. Awesome! They even have an allergen information page on their web site showing common allergens (soy, wheat, dairy, nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, pork).
Just be sure to read the small print. At the bottom of the allergen information page, there’s a footnote: “*We work with wheat based dough and share equipment with our gluten-free dough. Some cross contact may occur.”
Never mind that there’s no asterisk on the page above referring you to the footnote. Or that it reads like boilerplate CYA legal. You have to look at the FAQ page to get the real information:
How gluten-free is it?
If you are simply looking to reduce the amount of gluten
in your diet and don’t want to give up on pizza, we offer
a delicious gluten free crust option, made in-house daily
from European non-GMO gluten-free ingredients. Please be
aware that our folks work with wheat-based flour and pizza
dough all day long, and we use the same oven and dough
press for both gluten-free and standard dough, so there
is a good chance of some cross-contact in our restaurants.
If you would like us to change our gloves or use a separate
pizza cutter, we would be happy to do that at your
request. If you are celiac or highly sensitive to gluten,
we encourage you to carefully consider your dining choices.
In other words: we don’t try to reduce – let alone eliminate – cross-contamination at all, so if you really don’t want to eat any wheat, don’t eat here.
It’s actually refreshing to see this much relevant information on a restaurant’s website. Normally, I would need to go into the restaurant and talk to an employee about what precautions they take. My decision to eat there or not depends on the answers I get and how informed and concerned the random employee seems to be. Which may not be an entirely fair method. But I can be as cautious or reckless as I want to be.
So thanks, Blaze Pizza. I won’t be eating your pizza, but I’m glad I don’t have to find out the hard way that your “gluten free” pizza really isn’t.