I have an unhealthy obsession with pizza. I always have, and I guess that I always will. I was a pizza connoisseur before I was diagnosed with celiac disease and had to give up pizza in the traditional sense. But fear not, I have found some pretty terrific options (aside from homemade, which will require a separate post).
First, for pizza direct from your grocer’s freezer, I recommend Van Harden’s Cheese Crust Pizza. If you’re feeling lazy, then you can get the pepperoni or sausage flavors, but as I mentioned before, I am a bonafide pizza connoisseur, so plain old pepperoni or sausage just doesn’t cut it. I buy the plain cheese pizza, and I also pick up some gluten-free pepperoni, a yellow onion, a fresh jalapeno, and a small can of sliced black olives. Yes, this may sound like an odd combination, but I swear it’s delicious. I put on one layer of pepperoni, some diced onions, diced jalapeno, and olives, and I top it all off with some shredded Parmesan (all gluten free, of course) prior to baking. You have to bake it in a very hot oven because the cheese crust has to melt, and then you have to let it cool for about five minutes after baking so that the crust can re-solidify. Of course, this pizza doesn’t taste exactly like its glutenous counterpart, but all of the elements are there. It tastes like it must be terribly unhealthy, which is good when you’re talking pizza (I don’t actually know because I refuse to look at the nutritional information), and it has the delicious melted cheese and kind of salty flavor. It hits exactly the same guilty pleasure spot that my old favorite pizza used to, so I believe this is a must for any pizza-lover with celiac disease. I recommend trying it with red wine or Red Bridge gluten-free beer if you miss your old pizza and beer tradition.
Second, for the dining out Midwesterner, I recommend Waldo Pizza in Kansas City. Waldo Pizza has an entire gluten-free menu, but most importantly, they have a gluten-free pizza crust and separate prep station and oven for their gluten-free pizzas. In addition, the staff is quite knowledgeable about gluten-free dining, and the pizza is to die for. They have an extensive list of toppings, and the pizza sauce tastes like fresh, sweet tomatoes. I could literally eat there every day. To sweeten the deal, Waldo’s gluten-free pizza is available anytime they’re open, and they serve gluten-free beer from Bard’s Tale, a local brewery, and a gluten-free cupcake for desert. Bard’s Tale beer is simply fantastic, and my gluten-eating husband even likes it! Gluten-free pizza and beer in a restaurant: it doesn’t get much better than this!