Tuesday, September 8, 2009

ZPizza & Olive Garden Gluten Free?

This is a sad update for me but I don’t want anyone being contaminated so here it goes. We spent most of Labor Day weekend in Billings and Friday night we stopped by to pick up two GF pizzas and two regular pizzas before heading to a friend’s house. The wait was an hour, which would have been nice to know when we ordered, but I learned a few things during that hour wait so I guess it was a good thing. First off I wanted a ZBQ pizza but was informed that they cannot guarantee that pizza as GF anymore because of the BBQ sauce. I was then given a list of what is GF at ZPizza and here it is.


Organic Tomato/Marinara/Chipotle Pesto/Basil Pesto/Chutney/Roasted Garlic

All fresh vegetables/Greek olive mix
Avocado/bell peppers/button mushrooms/cucumbers/red onion/Roma tomatoes/zucchini/mushroom mix

Pepperoni/Italian Sausage/Salami

Girard’s Caesar/Girard’s Old Venice Italian/Girard’s Balsamic/Girard’s White Balsamic

GF Most Popular:
Cheese & pepperoni/Sausage & mushroom/American/California NO black olives

I guess the black olives contain gluten? This is a first for me.

The peanut sauce in the Thai pizza and salsa in the Mexican pizza were also not guaranteed GF. This reduced the selection but there’s still plenty to enjoy, just please be careful about what toppings you order. We had the Tuscan and it was delicious but it was cross contaminated.

As I mentioned I waited for an hour for our pizza and toward the end I started watching them bake the pizza. If so much time hadn’t gone by and I wasn’t starving (with three other starving individuals) I would have said something but I just wanted to eat. I know it’s a horrible cop out but I just couldn’t deal with the alternative. They bake the GF pizzas in the same oven as the gluten pizzas with no use of a pizza pan to keep the GF crust from touching the same surface as the gluten crust. This alone causes cross contamination issues. I then notice that the same pizza cutter is used for all of the pizzas so again more cross contamination issues. It was even more apparent when my hubby broke out in a glutened rash that evening, fantastic. I am sending them an e-mail to address these cross contamination issues and hopefully get this taken care of, I do love this pizza but until it’s fixed I won’t be eating there. My fear is that they’ll just throw their hands up in the air and not guarantee anything GF. It’s so frustrating to try to eat out and even more so when a GF option isn’t really GF.

Since I’m the bearer of bad news today I’m going to add Olive Garden to the mix. A couple weeks ago I heard that Olive Garden has gluten free pasta. A fellow GF Montanan (hope you’re OK with me sharing this info Stacey) called to verify with the Billings Olive Garden that they had the GF pasta and off she went to enjoy lunch there. For starters the GF pasta cannot be part of the never-ending bowl and only comes with marinara sauce. She said it tasted a little off to her and wasn’t that great. When she ordered the pasta the waitress commented that they don’t like to always say it’s GF. OK? That’s a bit troubling. Sure enough she reacted to a glutening shortly after eating the pasta. I’m not sure if Olive Garden uses the same pots of water and utensils or what but be warned it’s probably cross contaminated.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Cindy!
    I'm very sorry to hear you experienced cross-contamination at zpizza. All of our locations are required to have separate pans, sauces, cutting boards, and utensils for the gluten-free products. We also have detailed procedures in place to ensure there is limited opportunity for cross-contamination. I'm going to forward this on to our corporate office as well to look into it.