California Pizza Kitchen Reintroduces Gluten-Free Pizza

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Judy Nichols
The reintroduced gluten-free pizza at California Pizza Kitchen includes pepperoni.

In 2011, my mother took us all to California Pizza Kitchen to celebrate Veterans Day. She spoke at a Scottsdale celebration, telling the audience about her service as a nurse in Desert Storm. Her unit's mobile hospital set up on the Kuwait/Iraq border and treated more than 100 wounded people.

She was excited to learn the CPK was discounting veterans' meals for the day, and that they had gluten-free pizza that I could eat. So off we went, our mouths watering.

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Judy Nichols
California Pizza Kitchen is offering four certified gluten-free pizzas.

See also: Jewel's Bakery & Café Delights the Gluten-Free and Friends

What we didn't know then was that CPK's first foray into the gluten-free realm had ended in disappointment, with customers complaining about cross-contamination. CPK had pulled the gluten-free crusts.

I ordered a salad and counted myself lucky to be able to eat a meal with my mother, because I had been sure she would not return from the war.

We should have tried again.

In October, CPK reintroduced gluten-free pizzas, this time getting advice and a stamp of approval from a national gluten-free organization. And for Veterans Day in November, they offered free pizza for every veteran or active-duty service member.

I was always a big fan of CPK. I adored the pear and Gorgonzola pizza and frequently stopped for lunch to have the two-in-a-bowl soup with tortilla and split pea.

Once I was diagnosed with celiac disease, both of those items were off-limits, the pizza crust had wheat, and the split pea soup contained barley.

I didn't get a chance to try the new gluten-free pizza until this week, and it was great, crispy and tasty.

The restaurant is offering four pizzas on certified gluten-free crusts: BBQ chicken, with smoked Gouda, red onions, cilantro and bacon; pepperoni, with rustic and spicy pepperoni and fresh mozzarella; mushroom pepperoni sausage, with crimini mushrooms; and Margherita, with Italian tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and parmesan.

Location Info

California Pizza Kitchen

2400 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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