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Hummingbird4

Bellagios Pizza

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Yesterday, I decided to try restaurant gluten-free pizza for the first time. My husband is out of town, so it's just my daughter and I, and I didn't feel like cooking. I heard that Bellagios has gluten-free pizza, as of October 1st. Went to their website, where it says how they went about learning about gluten-free and making sure that their toppings and cheese would be okay for their gluten-intolerant customers. They also use rice flour for ALL of their dusting flour!

I called the store in Beaverton, on Cornell Rd. to make sure they do have gluten-free pizza, and they said yes.

So my 15 y.o. daughter and I went over there. She is not Celiac but supports my gluten-free lifestyle fully. I asked for a gluten-free menu, and they have a preprinted one at the counter. Their gluten-free pizzas only come in the small size (10 inches), so my daughter and I decided to order two, so we would have leftovers. The menu listed a Taco pizza, several other choices, and a Pepperoni Plus (pepp, mush, olives). So we ordered those two. The man taking our order said that the Taco pizza wasn't available for gluten-free, because it has chicken in it, and their chicken is not gluten-free. However, the printed menu didn't state chicken, it said beef and sausage. A bit confusing! He said he didn't really understand much about gluten-free (yikes, has he been trained?), but since he couldn't guarantee that it would not contain gluten, he didn't want to sell it to me. Okay (I'm still wondering why it's on the menu) - so we ordered the Pepperoni Plus and another one called Oasis that had artichokes, feta cheese, tomatoes, and I don't remember what else.

He took two crusts out of a refrigerator in the back, and placed them on screens, then went to the same prep area that they prepare the other crusts. At this point, from where we were sitting, I could not see him prepare my pizzas. But I did wonder: if the pizza makers are handling wheat dough with their hands (which they do), then reaching into the ingredients to put them on the pizza, doesn't that contaminate the ingredients? So I'm sitting there feeling really weird about this, but trusting/hoping that it will be OK. I'll also mention that I am not the most assertive person in the world, which is something I need to work on, but that's another post....

Their website states that they use separate screens that the gluten-free crust is placed on, separate peels (those big spatula thingies) and separate cutters for their gluten-free pizzas. I did not actually see them place my pizza in the oven, take it out, or cut it. So I hope they did the right thing by me.

Pizzas came out boxed up and ready to go. They smelled so good in the car all the way home. We opened them up at home (I set the boxes on newspaper on the counter so not to potentially contaminate my countertop), and dug in. Both kinds were really really good. The crust tasted good, and my daughter said if she didn't know it was gluten-free, she would not have been able to tell. I just had two pieces, one of each kind, since I was a little nervous about this whole thing.

Hooray, I did not get sick! However, I will add a caveat: I've only been at this gluten-free lifestyle for 2.5 months. I've been extremely careful and have a completely gluten-free household. So far, I have not gotten sick once. That either means that I haven't accidentally ingested any gluten whatsoever (which seems unlikely, but not impossible), or I don't react to accidental glutenings. Since I wasn't experiencing many symptoms in the first place, that's a possibility. Your mileage may vary. ;)

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