Wine & Dine

Lost Love

November 30, 2013 | 5 comments


 

Oh pizza, how I miss you. And bread, I miss you to.

pizza

Homemade pizza used to be one of my favourites. It is only surpassed by my love for freshly baked bread.

Like with my burgers, I don’t actually like that many toppings on my pizzas. What’s wrong with good cheese and a tomato sauce? Or tomatoes, cheese and spinach? I think pizza toppings is one of those cases where less is more. Or less is better I guess.

My sister introduced me to the most simple, and most delicious, homemade pizza ever. Instead of making your own dough, you use flour tortillas as the crust. Just put whatever toppings you want on it (she’s a bit braver than I am when it comes to toppings) and put in the oven. The crust (obviously since it is a tortilla) is super thin and gets all crunchy and nice.

Ever since I had to give up gluten, I’ve been on a never ending quest of the perfect gluten free pizza. So far, it hasn’t been very successful.

(Z-pizza has an ok gluten free pizza, it’s not spectacular and it usually doesn’t satisfy my cravings. I also want to be able to make my own.)

A few weeks ago I tried Pillsbury’s pizza dough. It comes ready made in a plastic jar and all you have to do is kneed it a little and put in a pan and in the oven. You pre-bake the crust a little before you put the toppings on, and then you put it back in the oven. Sounds simple, how hard can it be?

Well, it wasn’t difficult. But it didn’t turn out so good either.

I did one with my favourite toppings: crushed tomatoes, spinach, and lots of cheese.

The toppings tasted great. The crust, not so much. The edges turned out too crispy (which I didn’t think was possible) whereas the interior was all soggy. Overall, that was quite a failure.

Realizing that making my own gluten free pizza dough might be a little too ambitious, I decided to focus on finding a good frozen pizza (Z-pizza doesn’t deliver and sometimes you just don’t have the energy to go to the restaurant). I tried Glutino’s duo-cheese pizza. The slogan on their webpage “You have a constitutional right to pizza! … we consider it our duty to ensure that the gluten free are free to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of really good pizza” sounds promising. Unfortunately, their pizza didn’t live up to the expectations. I even tried them twice, just to make sure.

At this point I started to doubt that I would ever enjoy pizza again, and maybe I just have to settle for the OK-but-not-great Z-pizza version.

Then I went to Berkeley and experienced Pizza heaven!

Thursday night, most of the people at the workshop went to Jupiter for bear and pizza. Kristine and I opted for an alternative restaurant, since Jupiter doesn’t have gluten free pizza (and eating salad when everyone around you are eating pizza is just a form of cruel and unusual punishment).

The following day both Kristine and I were craving pizza like crazy so we made it our mission to find a place that serves gluten free pizza. Berkeley has like a million places to eat, so statistically, there should be at least one place with pizza for us. And we found it! Bobby G’s Pizzeria on University Avenue. It was even within walking distance from campus.

At this point we were so desperate for pizza that we would gladly have walked across town (or tried to conquer the bart) to get to the restaurant.

Bobby G’s had an impressive menu with an endless list of pizzas we could eat (I of course ordered the Margeritha). They did charge a little bit extra for the gluten free dough, but when you’re desperate, a dollar or two more doesn’t seem like a big thing. They also gave us the student discount, even though we weren’t local (and Kristine didn’t even have her student ID on her). While standing in line, we had the great idea to order an extra pizza each to save for the trip back home the next day. Finding food at airports is pretty much an impossible task (and we we’re really, really, really excited about finally eating pizza).

Remember, this is even before we have tasted their pizza. That’s how excited we were.

The dinner was epic. I normally only eat about half a pizza, so I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I ordered two quite large pizzas (to be fair, it was kind of hard to estimate the size of the pizza from the plates hanging on the wall). I blame it on the excitement of finding gluten free pizza. Needless to say, the pizza was even better than we had expected. I ate the entire thing. I can’t even remember the last time I ate a whole pizza on my own.

Also epic was my advisor’s reaction as the evening progressed. First one pizza arrived, and he thought How cute, the girls are sharing one pizza for dinner. Then the takeout pizza arrived for lunch next day, and he though How smart, they are sharing another pizza for tomorrow. Then the other pizza for dinner arrived, and he thought OK, they are clearly hungry. Finally, the second take out pizza arrived, and he thought They must be starving.

Arriving back home (after eating the delicious extra pizza for both lunch and dinner) I had a small pizza-breakdown. How would I go back to not eating pizza again after being reminded of how much I like pizza?

It turns out I didn’t have to worry. The pizza gods are shining down on us. California Pizza Kitchen (who hasn’t been serving any gluten free food – except a few salads) have now introduced a gluten free menu. We went there for dinner the other week, and I couldn’t resist ordering a pizza. Their selection wasn’t as great as Bobby G’s (there were only 4 alternatives to choose between) but the pizza tasted wonderful. A little bit greasy, but I’m willing to overlook that fact. Once again, I ate the entire thing.

Order has been restored. My love affair with pizza can now continue.

wkendcooking For more food-related posts, visit the Weekend Cooking linkup over at Beth Fish Reads.

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