Sunday, January 25, 2009

GF Pizza Review: pizza a go-go

Customer Service: *****
Staff Knowledge: *****
Dining Experience: ***
Food: ****

I was driving down the street when a sign caught my eye. I thought I had read it wrong. "Now Serving Gluten-Free Pizza!" was written on a huge banner on pizza a go-go. I had to check it out.

My sister and her husband Andy had previously taken me to Pizza Oasis for my first gluten-free restaurant pizza experience. I was heartened by the results of that visit, so I was eager to explore further. Portland has several GF pizza joints now - it seems they are all competing with each other. My sister volunteered to assist me in checking out some of these restaurants.

You have to order a whole pie if you want the GF crust. We ordered two pizzas, both vegetarian so my sister and Andy could compare the two (they eat wheat but not meat). We ordered the 12" Mirror Ball on GF crust (the only size available for that crust) and the 12" Midnight Boogaloo on regular crust. The woman who took our order let us know it takes a little longer for the GF pizzas - about 25 minutes. I was impressed that they posted the ingredients of the dough clearly on the counter. It is mostly composed of Rice, Tapioca, and potato flours. They used no dairy or nut products in it.

Fifteen minutes or so later the same woman came over to the table with an apologetic look on her face. I feared the worst: that they forgot to make the pizza with the special crust. But no! She said they accidentally made BOTH pizzas gluten-free and they were giving us the regular one in addition for FREE! My sister was slightly put off by the mistake, but I was delighted.

The pizzas came several minutes later and I jumped up to get forks for all of us. Unfortunately, the fork was useless on my pizza. The crust was a little tough to cut. However, when I decided to throw caution to the wind and pick up the piece to eat by hand I found the crust thin and crisp. It was a little hard, and slightly chewy. After waiting so long for it to arrive, I suspect they over-cooked it. The crust did not have a lot of flavor, but its taste was more neutral than pasty. I noticed that the GF crust was thinner than the wheat crust, and it didn't appear to be hand-tossed. The toppings were the best part, but isn't that always the case? And who cares about the crust if the toppings are good? If you are of this mindset you will fare well at pizza a go-go. The mirror Ball was our favorite: chipotle tomato sauce, roasted garlic, mozzerella, ricotta, basil. The pizza pictured is the Midnight Boogaloo.

In the end I decided that I liked the Gluten-free crust at Oasis better. However, the toppings were more interesting at pizza a go-go, and it was cooked more evenly. My sister and Andy both commented that they wouldn't have known that it was wheat-free crust if they hadn't been told, and they preferred both the GF and the regular pizza at pizza a go-go.

"I've never been cold in a pizza restaurant before," my sister commented as we were leaving. It's true that the place is very small and there are no seats that are away from the door. However, any place that serves a decent GF pizza is a place I'll go back to.


Kyra said...

Have you tried the GF pizza at Picazzos in Sellwood? So far, it's my favorite GF pizza in town (but then, I haven't been to Pizza a-go-go yet!)

kim said...

I've had the GF pizza from go go in the past & have tried GF from other pizza joints but my recent visit to go go was not the best, the crust was bland & the texture was off...chewy/doughy, not sure what they're doing different but I was disappointed.