LOCATION: Braehead, Glasgow
I’d been looking forward to a gluten free Pizza Hut for days. Pizza Hut pizzas have always been a favourite and I was hoping that the new square gluten free base would be reminiscent of “The Edge” base that they used to do. Since the information about Pizza Hut’s gluten free bases was released last week, lots of questions have been raised about possible cross contamination problems but I think Pizza Hut are doing it right. According to Coeliac UK who have been working with Pizza Hut, the bases stay separate from any gluten containing products, not just in the kitchen but in transit to the restaurant. The staff have been trained to thoroughly clean preparation areas and they have separate sauces for the gluten free bases as well as separate utensils and baking trays.
We asked the hostess on arrival if they had any bases (as we’d just had an incident in Prezzo where we’d ordered and then been told they didn’t have the gluten free bases) and she got quite excited and told us that yes, they did have some and that today was the launch day, which we knew already but didn’t say. She pointed out that the new menu’s also showed what other items on the menu were gluten free and left us to make our choices.
The gluten free base is advertised on the menu as a 9 inch square base. It says that it’s good for people looking to avoid eating wheat flour and for those who “love to try something different” which I thought was a bit unnecessary but oh well. My dad made a couple of jokes about how you would try it once but never again and we continued to read. The menu states that all of the toppings are gluten free and it costs the same for the gluten free base as it does for a regular one.
I personally find that gluten free products need a lot of flavour to get rid of the dry, stodgy taste so I ordered lots of tasty toppings – ham, pineapple and pepperoni. After a while, our server came over and told us that there was a problem with my pizza and they’d had to put a fresh one in for me, but my parent’s pizzas were ready. I told them just to start and waited patiently on my pizza. My pizza arrived soon after and I was so eager to taste it that I cut off a corner before I even remembered to take a picture to post here!
On first taste, it tastes like a normal Pizza Hut pizza which was a welcome taste after what feels like an age without them! I like my pizzas with more tomato than cheese and always feel that Pizza Hut gets the balance just right. Everyone’s experience will be slightly different depending on what toppings you order, but my pizza was absolutely delicious! It was definitely the best gluten free pizza I’ve ever eaten and a welcome change from the store bought ones. It’s thin and crispy without being the consistency of cardboard. It wasn’t until I was nearly finished that I started to be able to tell that the base was even gluten free!!
My only problem was that the base was quite large, and gluten free food fills me up more than normal food so I couldn’t finish the whole thing. But it was so good that it was worth the money. We asked the waiter what had been wrong with my first pizza, and he said that it had been made fine, but it fell off the baking tray when they were taking it out of the oven as the trays for the gluten free bases are completely flat whereas the normal ones have slightly curved edges to stop the pizzas sliding off. I don’t know whether it fell and was damaged, or just slipped a little and could have been contaminated, but I was pleased that they made me a fresh one and the manager even took it off the bill to apologise. The waiter was very clued up on coeliac disease and made me feel comfortable eating there. Apparently I was the first person in the Braehead restaurant to order one so I was happy to give them some good feedback.
I think they have really struck gold with this gluten free base. It’s delicious and it’s so nice to enjoy a tasty pizza for a change. It’s a massive step in the right direction, especially with all the cross contamination prevention methods. I feel completely safe eating at Pizza Hut and would definitely do so in the future. I would, however, like them to add more gluten free starters as the only options are the garlic prawns and the nachos. Gluten free potato wedges would be ideal! (Gluten free garlic bread is probably just too much to hope for!)
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