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Desperately Seeking Good Gluten Free Pizza

December 13 2011 - 8:26 AM

When I tell peoPhoto(8)ple that I’ve recently chosen a gluten free diet their first reaction is wow – don’t you miss pizza? Similarly when talking to people who are gluten free the topic of conversation always steers towards living without pizza. Being in a city with amazing pizza on just about every corner made me wonder why gluten free pizza wasn’t available. Upon further investigation I found that there are a lot of gluten free pizza options in Chicago. The problem isn’t getting gluten free pizza. The problem is getting good gluten free pizza. Compared to its wheat-based co unterpart, is it even worth eating?

My first attempt at purchasing a pre-made gluten free crust from the grocery store was disastrous. The Rustic Crust brand crust from Dominick’s proved to be very doughy and just didn’t taste good, despite the fresh mozzarella, basil and Roma tomatoes I purchased to go on top.

My second attempt at Edwardo’s was met with disappointment as well. I had high expectations going into it as I’ve always had good experiences with Edwardo’s pizza. They offer three different types of gluten free pizza for dine-in or carry out: cheese, pepperoni or sausage. However, they don’t make the pizza in-house. They get it already prepared and frozen from an outside source, resulting in a grocery store style frozen pizza similar to a Red Barron but not nearly as good. The problem was that the crust under the toppings just didn’t cook so it was very doughy – similar to my experience with the store bought crust. They are also pretty expensive at 12 bucks for a 9 inch pie and they do not carry them at all Edwardo's locations.  

Chicagofoodies_wildfire_pizza-1My third attempt at Wildfire proved to be better. They have an extensive gluten free menu and I was looking forward to the wood fire aspect. They offer two gluten free pizza options, a margarita and a chicken sausage with caramelized onions. I chose the margarita and a hearty salad to make a meal out of it for two as the pizzas are on the smaller side. The crust was nice and crispy with fresh toppings; I just wished there were more of them to really satisfy my cheesy pizza craving. From my past two experiences I was surmising that they had to go light on the cheese and toppings in order to get the pizza crust to actually cook.

Photo-2These certainly aren’t the only places in town to get a gluten free pie. In the city HomeMade Pizza, Marcello’s and Crust have gluten free options. In the suburbs The Silo and Rose’s Bakery make gluten free pies as well, just to name a few. Wilde and Greene Natural Market at Old Orchard also has several different gluten free pies and crusts in their frozen section from personal pizza size to 14 inch pies.

I’m not sure how they stack up to each other but in the quest for a satisfying gluten free pie I will press on so when people ask me if I miss pizza I can say with confidence that I do not.

–Stacy Kenny