LOCATION: Xscape, Glasgow
Pizza Express is one of our favourite restaurants and we haven’t been since my diagnosis, so you can imagine our excitement when they announced the launch of their new gluten free menu in late April.
Pizza Express have been working with Coeliac UK for a number of years to provide a safe gluten free dining environment and have now got NGCI accreditation. Pizza Express have even stopped using wheat flour in their kitchen to minimise cross contamination risks, choosing to stretch their ordinary pizza dough with gluten free flour instead.
There isn’t a separate gluten free menu but on arrival in Pizza Express you can see that they’re making a huge effort to showcase their gluten free achievements – the NGCI logo is splashed everywhere! The menu was very easy to follow with the NGCI logo next to everything that was gluten free. However the pizza section was a little confusing. I’d read online that not all toppings were gluten free but the menu didn’t actually detail which toppings were safe and which weren’t. The waitress overheard me mentioning gluten free and came across to say that all the pizzas could now be made gluten free. Online research has told me that the meatballs, spicy beef, and the Gruyere and Parmesan sauce are NOT gluten free but there’s no mention of it on the menu.
I chose my usual, the American on one of their new gluten free bases. I was most certainly not disappointed. The base is thin and crispy, and is about the same size as the normal classic base. If my dad and I hadn’t had different toppings, you wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart. Servers take care not to mix them up by serving the gluten free pizza on a board rather than a plate. It was just as delicious as I remember and is probably the nicest base I’ve had so far. My parents both tried it and liked it too.
Soon it was dessert time. Pizza Express are advertising their new chocolate brownie dessert on a placard in the middle of the table but they had ran out on the evening that I visited. Our lovely waitress Kathryn (same name!) told us that the gluten free dessert had been really popular. I was in no hurry to try it as I’m a bit fed up of brownies (I’m always eating the Starbucks ones for lack of better options) and my favourite thing about Pizza Express is the raspberry sorbet!!
The placard that features the brownie also has the sorbet on it and it has the NGCI logo! Success!! However, it doesn’t in the menu. I asked the waitress if that was because it comes with a “chocolate stick” and she told me that the sorbet was gluten free if I had it without the wafer. I won’t go in to detail about the sorbet since it’s not really part of their new menu but it’s heavenly so you should all try it sometime!
We all left feeling very full and it was worth it. I think I’ll be back many times. I didn’t have the gluten free beer because I don’t like beer, but if you’re a beer drinker then Pizza Express is a great place to have a lovely gluten free meal with a nice cold gluten free beer.
Let me know what you think when you’ve tried it!