accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Additional gluten-free pizza options in Atlanta

This piece is a follow-up to the gluten-free pizza roundup that appeared on the blog yesterday and in the print edition today.

Last month while my family was on vacation, a friend stopped by our home each day to care for both our pets and our garden. When we returned home, I opened the refrigerator to find the squash and zucchini she’d harvested in our absence. What I saw was a shocking sight — one that I realized, to my shame, my friend had seen while at our house. Pizza boxes were wedged in awkward positions jockeying for space in our full-to-bursting refrigerator. They were the remains of the many, many gluten-free pizzas I’d tasted while researching Atlanta’s offerings (and ones I’d neglected to toss before heading off for sandy shores).

While I was only able to include four gluten-free pizzas in my original roundup, I thought I would share some of the others I sampled.

Uncle Maddio's (I accept responsibility for all hastily snapped cell phone photos of each of these pizzas.)

Uncle Maddio's (I accept responsibility for all hastily snapped cell phone photos of each of these pizzas.)

Uncle Maddio’s

This fast-casual pizza cousin to Moe’s Southwest Grill offers a tasty gluten-free pizza ($2 upcharge). Here, the crispy 10-inch crust with a toasty richness is made from a mixture of potato, rice and tapioca flours. Employees prepare the pizzas in front of you, donning new gloves and gathering special pans and utensils. They do, however, pull from the same topping stock as they would for traditional pizzas.

Locations in Toco Hills, Cumberland and Woodstock with four additional Atlanta-area locations in development (Buckhead, Kennesaw, Alpharetta, Dunwoody).

Your Pie

Your Pie, located in Roswell, serves a 10-inch gluten-free pizza ($2 upcharge). The crusts here, made of rice flour, tapioca flour and potato

Your Pie

Your Pie

starch, have little flavor. They are thin, like most gluten-free crusts, but the area under the toppings becomes soggy and gummy in the cooking process. The rim has a nice crispiness and a faint olive oil flavor. No matter what I thought of the crusts here, my seven-year-old loved Your Pie and has been begging to go back ever since. Now, whether that’s for the love of the pizza or the gelato that comes with kids’ meals, I can’t be sure.

Your Pie’s website states that there could be trace amounts of flour in the toppings since they “work in a flour environment.” The manager of the Roswell location says that they make gluten-free pizzas in a separate area with new gloves and separate toppings.

Your Pie in Roswell is one of nine Georgia locations, but the only one in the metro area. 625 W. Crossville Road, Roswell. 770-993-7944.

Sadly, the pizza from 5 Seasons Brewing Co. slid around in the box before I got the photo, but I wanted you to see the color of the crust.

Sadly, the pizza from 5 Seasons Brewing Co. slid around in the box before I got the photo, but I wanted you to see the color of the crust.

5 Seasons Brewing Co.

5 Seasons offers a gluten-free crust for its handful of pizzas on the menu. It’s also one of the few places in Atlanta that prepares its own gluten-free crust from scratch. Most places cite fear of cross-contamination when working with wet doughs as the reason for purchasing pre-made gluten-free crusts. At 5 Seasons, there is no upcharge for these 10-11-inch hand-rolled crusts, the restaurant just asks for an additional five-to-ten minutes to prepare it to order.

The crust here is quite different than the traditional cracker-style gluten free crust in hue, color and texture. The dough is made is made from rice flour, buckwheat and molasses, giving it an almost purple tint akin to blue corn tortilla chips. In fact, the texture is somewhat gritty (though not in an unpleasant way), similar to a cornmeal batter.

It seems that 5 Seasons takes great care to avoid cross contamination. When a gluten-free pizza is ordered, employees clear the butcher station, where no flour is used, to use as the prep space. The person working the salad station, who does not work with flour, prepares the pizza. And, finally, it is cooked at the saute station, again to reduce the likelihood of cross contamination.

Locations in West Midtown, Sandy Springs and Alpharetta.

Z Pizza

According to the owner of the Alpharetta location of Z Pizza, another fast-casual pizza joint, gluten-free pizza orders make up about 60% of

Z Pizza

Z Pizza

this pizzeria’s business. Z Pizza is also the only place I came across that serves two sizes of gluten-free pizzas (10-inch $2 upcharge, 14-inch $3 upcharge). The crusts are made from a standard mixture of rice and tapioca flour. I found them to be slightly more chewy than crispy, a touch gummy and decidedly sweet.

To avoid cross contamination, Z Pizza uses fresh gloves, separate cooking pans and designated cutters. Yet, they do pull from the same topping containers when dressing the pizzas.

Locations in Alpharetta and Johns Creek.

Buckhead Pizza Co.

Buckhead Pizza Co.

Buckhead Pizza Co.

Daniel Bridges, managing partner at Buckhead Pizza Co., says that many of the restaurant’s guests praise it for having “the best gluten-free pizza in Atlanta.” Buckhead Pizza Co. outsources the gluten-free crust making to a small bakery in Chicago, which prepares them according to the pizza company’s own rice-flour-based recipe.

In the store, the slightly buttery and crispy gluten-free pizzas ($2 upcharge) are prepared by employees trained to wash their hands and arms up to their elbows, change their gloves and use a separate stock of toppings stored in closed containers. The restaurant also repurposes the gluten-free dough (as does Blue Moon Pizza) to create gluten-free bread to accompany appetizer dips and spreads.

Locations in Buckhead, Cobb Galleria, Buford and Cumming.

Little Azio

The 11-inch gluten-free pizzas ($2 upcharge) at Little Azio come in their own tin trays. These trays and designated cutters are used to prevent

Little Azio

Little Azio

cross contamination. Yet, the pizzas are assembled with the same toppings as the traditional pies. The crusts have very little flavor and are undercooked and doughy beneath the toppings while the edges have a nice crunch. I confess I peeled off the toppings, which were very fresh, and pinched off the crispy rim, leaving most of the pale bread behind.

Locations in Norcross, Vinings, East Atlanta, Midtown and Berkeley Heights.

Did I miss any delicious gluten-free pizza spots? I’ve heard Vingenzo’s and DaVinci’s have gluten-free pizzas, but I didn’t get to them. Anyone tried those?

–by Jenny Turknett, Food and More blog

37 comments Add your comment

Shane

June 15th, 2012
7:16 am

Are there really that many people out there with gluten allergies? I know I have only ever known one person allergic to gluten, yet everywhere I look, gluten free seems to be the thing.

People must not realize that there is nothing wrong with gluten! Its PROTEIN! And plus, gluten is what makes pizza dough awesome in the first place.

Jane

June 15th, 2012
7:51 am

I have a severe allergy to wheat, but not necessarily gluten. Many of my family members have the same sensitivity. It is nice to be able to walk into a restaurant and feel “‘normal.” I also have a wide friend base of people with Celiac’s Disease, which makes them unable to process gluten. I am very thankful that Atlanta has a wide variety of places that allow me to eat normally.

Shane, I would love to eat gluten, but I’m not a big fan of going to the hospital with an epi-pen jabbed in my thigh. This isn’t just a crazy that most people go on, it is an actual health concern. I think you would be surprised at the high number of people who cannot – for various reasons – eat food with gluten.

concerned mom

June 15th, 2012
8:06 am

Shane, 1 in 133 people suffer from celiac disease, my 11 year old having just recently been diagnosed. We are sad that he can no longer enjoy his favorite burgers since they don’t use gluten free buns, use spices that contain gluten mixed in to the burgers and the issue of cross contamination is a serious one since preparing food in an area that is common to gluten-free and foods that contain gluten can cause serious issues. Having spent 3 days in the children’s hospital, we are not anxious for him to get so sick again so we seek out anything that is gluten free. It is not an allergy but an auto-immune disorder where the body sees gluten as a poison and launches an attack. Thank you AJC for this timely coverage! I would love to see more articles like this one for other foods as well to help guide us in our dining decisions.

DNA positive

June 15th, 2012
8:32 am

Yes, not only are there that many people with Celiac, old stats say that 1 of 3 people have it, and 2/3 do not know they have it. That is why they die with colon cancer and the doctors never tell them why. That is why they get diabetes. That is why when they get diabetes and it can’t be “controlled” is because the doctors won’t make any money off of them if these facts get out. Now 1 out of 133 “caucasians” have Celiac or an allergy to the glutens. I have met more than one African American and/or American Indian with other blood in them that had the disease. Apparently this is a very dominant gene.

Plus it is healthier to eat these non-GMO foods and easier for the body to digest – it doesn’t have to work as hard. AND most dieticians I have been to are clueless as to most of this; at least that is what they claim. Go to http://www.clanthompson.com or http://www.celiac.org or ask a severe celiac – they will tell you. Gluten is in most foods – it is main contributory cause of obesity in the USA.

DNA positive

June 15th, 2012
8:35 am

Yes, I also want to thank the AJC for printing this information and life saving article. Please do more research. It’s right on the web for everyone to know. Over 60 different major diseases are directly attributable back to Celiac as the “father” of the other 60 diseases – incurable but totally controllable.

Tired

June 15th, 2012
8:45 am

Pizzeria Venti, off of Lenox Road. DELISH. Mellow Mushroom makes a reasonably good GF pizza, but I love the one at Venti.

Shane, many people with autoimmune conditions (like me) are sensitive to gluten. That sensitivity in the extreme is celiac, another autoimmune disease, in which the small intestine is actually damaged and inflamed from trying to process gluten.

A

June 15th, 2012
9:05 am

Yes there are that many people out there who cannot consume gluten products. We have a family member that will get ill even if there is cross-contamination. It’s hard for those of us who don’t suffer from any sort of food allergies to understand, but I can tell you that celiac disease is very serious.

Adrienne

June 15th, 2012
11:40 am

You missed the single best g-free pizza in town at Camelli’s!

the gluten menace

June 15th, 2012
11:43 am

Shane – as others have pointed out, it is estimated that 1% of the population is gluten intolerant (i.e. Celiac disease) and 30% are gluten sensitive. That means 1 in 3 people will feel a heck of a lot better after eliminating gluten grains (wheat being the biggie) from their diet. That’s a HUGE number of humans, only a minority of which have discovered this for themselves; it won’t slow down anytime soon, so the marketplace is catching on. Beyond that, gluten has been linked to a whole host of other illnesses. We’re currently at the tip of a very large iceberg, so the “gluten free” business isn’t going anywhere….

And, of course, proteins are just a class of molecules. Some are edible, some make you sick, some will kill you. Plants defend themselves against predation by making those who eat them ill (or dead), in many cases through the action of proteins. This is why raw wheat is poisonous. This is also why most plants are inedible for humans (and likely why children are instinctively repulsed by green food :) . We’ve figured out how to render wheat edible, but certainly not defenseless.

I agree it is a shame that gluten makes pizza dough awesome. Thankfully, the gluten free substitutes continue to improve.

Jenny Turknett

June 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

Thanks for the additional suggestions. I’m glad to have some new places to try!

Sue

June 15th, 2012
12:20 pm

What’s with the picture of the pizza at the Firestone Wood Fired Pizza and Grill? It looks just like the casserole a friend put in the oven without taking off the plastic covering!

Jenny Turknett

June 15th, 2012
12:27 pm

Sue, I think what you’re seeing is the slick surface of the cured country ham on the pizza.

Interested Observer

June 15th, 2012
12:51 pm

Jane, I am with you on this – also allergic to the totality of wheat. I learned from my allergist that gluten is only one of the four proteins in wheat, and I developed an allergy to all of them. So you can imagine how restricted my ability to eat out has been for the last few years! I have been SO pleased to see restaurants and food outlets begin catering to the people who have gluten sensitivity, because it has created some bread foods that do not contain wheat.

Would I love to wrap my lips around a good old fashioned pizza crust? You betcha! But since I can’t do that now, I’ll take the best of what I can find. Now I’m searching for an Atlanta bakery that makes yummy pop-over muffins from rice flour, like those great tasting ones the Jekyll Island Club dining room serves. Jenny, do you know of any?

Interested Observer

June 15th, 2012
1:19 pm

BTW, whatever their recipe is, the Jekyll Island Club rice flour muffins are crispy outside, moist and light/airy inside – downright delish. Not dry and dense, clunky bread like all the ones I’ve found around here. Some bakery could make a fortune if they’d start offering these things!

Gluten intolerant and allergic to eggs and dairy

June 15th, 2012
2:25 pm

Does anyone know whether any restaurants carry pizza crusts that are gluten, egg, and dairy-free? I tried the crust at Uncle Maddio’s and still had a reaction, so I am trying to find a new place to eat pizza. It’s been two months since I learned of my food restrictions, and I really miss pizza!

Baltisraul

June 15th, 2012
5:52 pm

Jane…..maybe you know what has happened over the years? In the 50’s 60’s 70’s we had so few food alergies in this country. Everybody could eat almost everything. No one I ever knew or met had to go for medical treatment after eating anything. Sorry to say I must be way behind the curve. But percentages say, I should have met someone over the years! I have been to all 50 states and 9 forgien countries. Help me here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Diego

June 15th, 2012
5:57 pm

Thanks for this list of Pizza places. Other than Pizza restaurants? Would love a cheeseburger and some pasta!

[...] Additional gluten-free pizza options in Atlanta [...]

GlutenAllergies

June 15th, 2012
9:51 pm

Shane, Should people with gluten allergies wear a sign on their shirt? You have very few facts and a lot of opinions. Be grateful you don’t have a gluten allergy or gluten sensitivity.

Liam

June 15th, 2012
10:35 pm

Osteria in Virginia Highland now carries a GF crust. $2 up charge and made in house.

[...] Copyright 2012, blogs.ajc.com [...]

Campingrounds

June 16th, 2012
10:35 am

Shane, pick up a book titled, “Wheat Belly” by William Davis. The insight gain from this book, plus exercise, has helped my wife and I lose about 40lbs, collectively, and feel great! I’m not Celiac , nor allergic/intolerant, but I have benefited from avoiding wheat gluten.

esammarie

June 16th, 2012
12:34 pm

Thank you so much, Jenny, for doing the research and for writing this article! If is so encouraging to see food critics cover GF foods and to shine a spotlight on the wonderful restaurants working hard to serve the many GF diners in metro Atlanta! I have celiac disease that also includes the skin form, or DH, and cross contamination is a huge issue for me. I miss eating out with friends and family but thanks to some great GF food bloggers in metro Atlanta and pieces like this one, I can find places that welcome me and go the extra mile to provide delicious and as safe as possible GF food along with non-GF food for everyone else. Thank you!

Jenny Turknett

June 16th, 2012
3:32 pm

Thanks for the kind words. Glad to do it!

dawn

June 16th, 2012
4:14 pm

Shane, I was diagnosed with celiac disease last fall. I was amazed at how much better I felt after just one week eating a gluten free diet – I’m very thankful to see more gluten free options being offered.

joe somerville

June 17th, 2012
9:42 am

I am amazed at all the #Gluten traffic I get on Twitter — it’s a big deal to the folks that are aware they have a problem – any restaurant needs to note their gluten free items in my opinion – good job Mr. Kessler and AJC -

Alabama Jack

June 17th, 2012
11:10 am

To Shane: My wife is gluten sensitive and its not fun. Add in her being lactose intolerant and it makes it difficult for us to eat out at all.

Bobby

June 17th, 2012
11:29 am

Surprised the author didn’t at least mention Domino’s pizza since every single one now offers a gluten free crust. Also mellow mushroom.

Scherza

June 17th, 2012
1:47 pm

One of the reasons that gluten sensitivity may be on the rise is the increased gluten content of genetically modified wheat — the wheat we eat today contains 500 times the amount of gluten that non-GMO wheat contains.

Claire Count

June 17th, 2012
7:16 pm

Celiac Disease is a life threatening condition for which the only known treatment is absolute avoidance of gluten. It is estimated that 1 in 100 people have Celiac’s which is an immune system reaction to gluten.

Up to 15% might have a mild intolerance or stronger per Research according to glutenfreenetwork.com. This is not a allergy, which is a response from your immune system. This is an intolerance, which is a reaction from your digestive system, but that does not mean it is less serious.

It is very real. If I eat wheat, my stomach cramps so tight that it feels like I was punched in the stomach. It takes 3-4 days for my digestive system to recover.

Adapting to a gluten free lifestyle can be difficult. That is why I help people make their life transitions through Coaching – Counts . com. With creativity you can adapt recipes and live a full life without gluten. Just takes a little more effort.

Claire Count
Pres Coaching-Counts.com

Don’t give it up , switch it up.

Baltisraul

June 18th, 2012
6:42 am

Schreza…………………thanks for the info on the increase of genetically produced wheat products. That explains alot.

Ken

June 18th, 2012
1:46 pm

There is no GMO wheat on the market anywhere in the world today.

Jenny Turknett

June 18th, 2012
1:51 pm

Bobby, look at the link above to the original article (this is a follow-up). The original mentions both Domino’s and Mellow Mushroom (and a few others). I also posted a separate piece on Domino’s when it became available.

Marie M. Bennett

June 19th, 2012
4:30 am

“Plus it is healthier to eat these non-GMO foods and easier for the body to digest – it doesn’t have to work as hard.”

Yeah right. GMO are really bad for the health, that’s why this big GMO Monsanto company was the worst company in 2011 according to this article (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/31/monsanto-worst-company-of-2011.aspx).

Marianne Pizzitola

June 20th, 2012
12:17 am

I own Magnolia Manor Sweets Bakery in Sharpsburg, and we have our pizzas for sale in two retail locations, Sugar Magnolia Market in Newnan and Farmers Fresh CSA in Carrolton. I have a dedicated Gluten free facility, and bake all naturally and mostly organic. Our pizzas are 9″ and packaged two to a package. They are just the naked pies so you can make them how you want! You can contact me through our website http://www.magnoliamanorsweets.com or call one of the stores for availability.

[...] Additional gluten-free pizza options in Atlanta June 22, 2012 by admin Tweet Additional gluten-free pizza options in Atlanta This piece is a follow-up to the gluten-free pizza roundup that appeared on the blog yesterday and in the print edition today. Last month while my family was. Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Marianne Pizzitola

June 21st, 2012
11:20 pm

Thanks Jenny, we work hard to educate people, especially visitors to the area that they have GF food options in the Atlanta area. Our bakery custom bakes for people with food allergies so we take this seriously, and of course, we love to eat! We often deliver to the airport when visitors fly in. We expanded our outreach by starting a local farmers market. Come on down for a visit!