Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen, a popular chain of five Arizona restaurants, sets the bar high for food with a focus on taste and quality -- and an impressive range of healthy, gluten free offerings. In fact, Picazzo's has what is arguably one of the most extensive menus of gluten free options available at an Italian restaurant. I kid you not when I say it would be worth a trip to Arizona just to dine at a Picazzo's Organic Italian Kitchen! (Read on to learn how you can win a $25 Gift Card to use at one of their restaurants...).
Years ago, Picazzo's switched all their pasta to a gluten free variety, and just recently, they made the switch to RP's Pasta, a fresh (not dried) variety of gluten free pasta that also happens to be free of GMOs (which is becoming more important to many consumers, including myself). In fact, this is one of the reasons the owner of Picazzo's, Rick Freedman, decided to make the switch to RP's Pasta. He liked the texture and taste profile -- as well as the fact that it did not contain GMOs. Picazzo's uses five of their pasta products, including their gluten free lasagna noodle. I can personally attest to how wonderful RP's Pasta is, as it's what our own family buys almost exclusively at this point (after all, once you try it, it's hard to settle for most other gluten free pastas!).
Over an eight month period, Picazzo's completely overhauled their menu with a focus on offering the healthiest options. They switched to using 95% organic ingredients, and the only remaining menu item containing gluten at Picazzo's restaurants is the traditional pizzas (even their bread, croutons, and breadcrumbs used for things like chicken parm are gluten free!). They do have gluten free pizzas, too, and gluten free diners have the same range of choices of pizza toppings and combinations -- and can even order some GF pizza by the slice.
Not surprisingly, their gluten free pizza, made with Tom Sawyer brand gluten free flour, is almost as popular as their gluten-containing pizza. Close to 50% of diners ordering pizza choose the gluten free crust. Because they make the crust to order, it is available in both super-thin or raised-edge varieties. I wish more pizza restaurants would follow suit and develop great tasting, house-made gluten free crusts!
Diners following a vegan diet will be thrilled to hear that Picazzo's has recently added a vegan, egg-free, gluten free crust, as well as over 40 other vegan options on their menu. Picazzo's even has separate brick ovens in their restaurants -- one for "regular" pizzas and one for the gluten-free pizzas. They are highly trained and extremely careful to avoid any opportunities for cross contamination in the preparation of all their gluten-free orders.
Using Tom Sawyer gluten-free flour, RP's Pasta, and other gluten-free ingredients has also enabled Picazzo's to re-create many traditional Italian favorites including ravioli, gnocchi, eggplant parmesan, and flatbreads -- and even a full range of gluten free desserts! There's also a Fresh Organic Juice bar at Picazzo's Tempe location, and they hope to eventually add that to their other restaurants.
Picazzo's is offering a $25 Gift Card to one lucky winner!
We'd like to hear your feedback, if you've dined at one of Picazzo's five locations in Arizona recently. If you submit a reveiw of any of these locations to our website, GlutenFreeTravelSite, you will be entered into our random drawing for a $25 Picazzo's gift card. Even if you haven't dined at Picazzo's, you still have a chance to win the gift card. Simply submit a review of another one of your favorite GF-friendly restaurants or other businesses (a store, bakery, hotel, B&B, resort, cruise line, college, or church offering GF communion). Each review counts as one entry, and you can submit as many reviews as you like. The deadline is Monday night, June 23 at 11:59 pm EDT. Submitting a review takes just a few minutes...simply click the Submit a Review link above and follow the prompts from there (start by choosing the state where the restaurant you're reviewing is located, from the pull-down menu). You can also submit a review directly from our free mobile app, DINE GLUTEN FREE. Just click on "Submit" on the home screen.