I’ve watched many “create your own pizza joints”- many touting that they have gluten-free pizza – pop up in the Denver metro area. I’ve walked into a few of them to inquire if they could create a Celiac-safe gluten-free pizza for me. Most of them have a gluten-free crust option, but none of them take it to the next level to create a clean, gluten-free space for creating the pizza. Disappointing.
That’s why when I walked into Uncle Maddio’s the other day with my son, I was skeptical the restaurant could pull off a truly gluten-free pizza for me. Guess what? They could!
When you walk into Uncle Maddio’s in Aurora – in the Gardens on Havana (formerly known as Buckingham Square Mall to the natives) – you enter a beautifully designed, well-kept restaurant. All the colorful and delicious pizza ingredients are laid out in front of you similar to the set up at Chipotle, except at Uncle Maddio’s you’re building your own pizza vs. burrito.
When I told the man behind the counter that I had Celiac disease and asked if I could eat here safely, he said, “Absolutely!” He told me he would wipe down all surfaces, use a gluten-free crust, and get all the toppings I wanted from untouched containers. He said he would also put my pizza on a clean, paper surface, and he’d only use dedicated GF pizza cutters to cut it. I was still skeptical, but I agreed to give it a try. I watched the process like a hawk!
Sure enough, the first thing he did was wipe down the entire counter. Then, with clean gloves, he grabbed a clean serving tray and paper, and then put a gluten-free pizza crust on it. Then he added sauce atop my pizza that he took from a dedicated gluten-free sauce container. I told him what toppings I wanted – tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers and cheese – and he got all the ingredients from under the counter in fresh, untouched containers. He then put my pizza in the oven (it’s a conveyer belt oven that cooks your pizza slowly as it pushes it through to the other side) – letting the worker at the end of the line know a GF pizza was coming through. Once the pizza arrived at the end of the line (about 5 minutes later), she pulled it out with a GF serving platter, and cut it with GF pizza cutters. (The only improvement I would have liked to have seen is the dedicated GF supplies to be more clearly marked, and perhaps if they wrote “GF” on the paper alongside my pizza too.)
I’ve been so focussed on telling you about the process, that I almost forgot to tell you the best part… my pizza was LOADED with toppings and oh so delicious! Uncle Maddio’s didn’t just sprinkle a few topping on my pizza and call it day; rather they PILED on toppings like they were water! The pizza was overflowing with the toppings I chose, and I loved every single bite of the cheesy, veggie, saucy mess! My only wish is that I could have taken it home with me – my son and I were on our way downtown and the pizza would not have kept in the car for 3+ hours in the scorching summer sun.
I learned that Uncle Maddio’s makes its regular crust from scratch, but it purchases its gluten-free crust from a distributor. The GF crust ingredients include yeast, salt, rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, evaporated cane juice and oil. Clean and simple – the way food should be! The following toppings are gluten-free: All cheeses, anchovies, all fresh veggies, angus steak, balsamic vinaigrette, black bean corn salsa, blue cheese dressing, buffalo sauce, caesar dressing, garlic-infused olive oil, greek dressing, grilled chicken, grilled tofu, jerk chicken, mandarin oranges, olives, pesto sauce, pineapples, raspberry vinaigrette, tomato basil sauce.
The gluten-free pizza crust – as is the whole wheat crust – is vegan, and vegans can enjoy their pizza made with daiya cheese. There’s truly something for everyone here!
Uncle Maddio’s was so generous to invite me in and treat me to a complimentary pizza lunch. My son and I were smiling while we were simultaneously eating. I am now partnering with Uncle Maddio’s because they are going to sponsor the Denver Blogger’s Club September 2016 meetup. I cannot wait to bring my Denver blogging friends to learn about Uncle Maddio’s and sample this generously topped and truly delicious make-your-own pizza.
Visit Uncle Maddio’s to get your delicious [gluten-free] pizza made the way you like it right in front of you! There are two locations in metro Denver, one in Aurora (10601 E. Garden Dr Suite 105 Aurora, CO) and one in Westminster (1181 W. 120th Ave Ste 100 Westminster, CO). Tell ’em GF Jenny sent ya!