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