I’m a pretty picky pizza aficionado. Attending college west of Chicago made me a huge devotee of all pizzas deep and dishy. While there isn’t a pizza south of Lake Michigan that even comes close to the thick Chicago deep dish pizzas with double crusts laden with tomato-chunked sauce, I’ve since learned to enjoy crusts of all thicknesses and textures. Gluten-free pizza isn’t always done well, but I must say they’ve come a long way in the last eight years. When first diagnosed, most gluten-free diners are thrilled at the thought of eating pizza again, so they overlook the gluten-free crust that either falls apart or tastes like cardboard rice.
In the Nashville area, we have three pizza places that do gluten-free crusts well. In order of preference:
1. Matteo’s – Hands down, best gluten-free crust made in-house. Gluten-eaters have been fooled many a time in our home. (Their website is currently down, but you can contact them in Franklin at 615-661-5811.)
2. Mellow Mushroom – A chain restaurant that just recently developed a gluten-free menu, crust, and gluten-free regulations for employees. I feel very comfortable eating there, and the pizzas are tasty. (Locations in Franklin and Nashville)
3. Mafiaoza’s Pizzaria – They use French Meadow Bakery gf crust. Tasty? Yes, but expensive and a cross-contamination nightmare. See my review and inquire to see if they’ve learned more about cross-contamination before you try their pizzas.
Well, I have good news. Brixx is a new restaurant in Cool Springs area (Franklin, TN) that offers gluten-free pizza and is quickly climbing to the top of the above list. Before you out-of-towners check out, Brixx has locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. See Brixx’s site for a location near you.
Brixx just opened in Cool Springs on August 31, 2011. I had heard a rumor that they offered a gluten-free pizza, but it took me a few weeks to take the opportunity to try some. When the husband showed up with this take-out bag from a pizzeria right around the corner from our home, I felt…well…normal.
The bag, the pizza boxes, the smell as I pried them open, were almost a throwback to the college days. And I was impressed that the pizzas were boxed up in the very aluminum containers in which the pizzas had been cooked. The gluten-free pizzas aren’t created in a gluten-free restaurant, but Brixx understands cross-contamination issues involved in safely serving their gluten-free guests.
The pizzas are assembled off the line in the walk-in cooler so that they have not been exposed to the gluten environment. The kitchen staff is very aware of keeping these items separate and making gluten-free meals separately.
Brixx’s incredible pizza selection blew my mind. All vegetable toppings are gluten-free, and many of the their meats and cheeses are as well. Here’s a list of their classic pizzas that you can know are safe without having to ask:
- Spicy Shrimp
- Barbecue Chicken
- Roasted Chicken
- Tomato and Basil Pesto
Just order them on a gluten-free crust for an extra $2. Make sure to inquire about all other toppings. (Vegan cheese is also available at no extra charge.) You can also build your own pizza and salads with any of their gluten-free ingredients which are listed below.
We ordered the Mexican which had a black-bean spread slathered with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and scattered with wood-roasted chicken, roma tomatoes, and sliced fresh jalapenos. And with all of that cheese, why not add a little extra dairy by topping it with sour cream?
This pizza was out of this world delicious!
But I think my favorite was the Greek Pizza. Roma tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onions, and feta cheese topped with fresh basil and a balsamic glaze drizzle sent me into pizza reverie.
But wait! What about the crust? I was so taken in by the mouthwatering combination of pizza toppings that I didn’t even think about the crust until well into my second slice. Now, that’s a good crust. A crust shouldn’t distract from the pizza, nor should it be the star of the show. It should let the pizza toppings shine (unless you’re in Chicago).
Brixx uses Rich’s Gluten-Free Par-baked Pizza Crust. It’s a thinner crust, allowing Brixx’s incredible gourmet toppings to take center stage. Nutritional information on Rich’s gluten-free crust can be found here.
Brixx’s Gluten-Free Ingredients:
Cheeses - Vegan Cheese, Fresh House Made Mozzarella, Goat Cheese, Crumbled Feta, Cheddar, Shredded Parmesan, Gouda, Four-Cheese Mix
Proteins – Roasted Chicken, Blackened Chicken, Chilled Pesto Chicken Salad, Sauteed Shrimp, Oven-Baked Herbed Salmon, Pepperoni, Shaved Turkey Breast, Shaved Proscuitto, Anchovy Filets
Dressings – Balsamic Vinaigrette, Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette, Honey Herb Vinaigrette, Caesar, Whole Grain Honey Mustard
Nuts – Pistachios, Caramelized Walnuts, Raw Walnuts
Brixx definitely gets two paws up from this Gluten-Free Cat!
1550 W. McEwen Drive Suite 10
Open Mon.-Sat. 11am – 1am and Sun. 11am – 11pm
- Have you tried Brixx yet?
- What is your favorite gluten-free pizza from a restaurant?