Tula Gluten Free Bakery – New Kid in Town

Gluten Free Berry Scone at Tula

Our friends started raving recently about a new gluten-free bakery that opened up on NE Alberta. We just went there for the first time two weekends ago, and went back for some pizza the night that they had their opening celebration. Tula Gluten Free Baking Co. is located at the corner of NE Martin Luther King Jr. and NE Alberta. Besides being a bakery, they also have lunch and breakfast items, pizza, and espresso drinks. The bakery itself is good-sized, featuring a nice area to sit and eat gluten-free baked goods.

Goodies behind the glass

Tula has a number of treats available. As mentioned above, they have pizza. Behind the counter they usually have a couple different kinds of scone, a few different tart-sized quiches, cookies, cupcakes, breads, and hand pies. You can also pick up some par-baked focaccia bread and/or delicious olive bread. Because baked goods are a particularly sore spot for the gluten-intolerant, we see it as our duty to eat lots and lots of baked goods. We do it out of our sense of duty and in a spirit of altruism. Especially when it comes to cookies.

gluten-free baked goodies

Here we have, starting at the cookie and moving clock-wise around the box: A chocolate-chip salt cookie, a mixed berry pie, a curried vegetable hand pie, and two mini quiches. The cookie ended up being the least popular item we sampled. None of us were particularly excited about it. It seems strangely greasy and besides the grease flavor, there isn’t a lot to it. We’re happy to report, however, that everything else here was really amazing. They all benefit from a little time in a toaster oven to get them warm again. We were especially fond of the berry pie, the curry hand pie, and the tomato dill mini quiche there. These all had great flavors, and the pie crust at Tula is really excellent.

Gluten Free focaccia bread

Focaccia bread is one of those things I really miss, and until now haven’t been able to replace it. The focaccia at Tula comes par baked. So you take it home and finish baking it right before you want to eat it. There’s enough focaccia there to make 4 good-sized sandwiches. The ingredients are millet flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, agave syrup, xanthan gum, sea salt, olive oil, and rosemary (so it’s vegan). To finish baking, you put it in the oven at 375 degree and bake 11 to 15 minutes. Fresh out of the oven, this focaccia is soft, springy and delicious. It’s good dipped in oil and vinegar, but it’s even better with some honey!

gluten-free pizza at Tula

We also tried the pizza at Tula. The good news is that the pizza here is totally safe, since it’s made in a dedicated gluten-free bakery. I’m used to crossing my fingers every time I set foot in a pizza place that has gluten-free pizza available. Half for good luck, and half because I feel like I’m testing my fate. Many places around town are careful about cross-contamination, but to me, it’s really nice to get a pizza that you know definitely hasn’t been dragged through a pile of wheat flour. The crust style is thin, and soft. So if you’re into pizza with soft crusts, this one is for you. I found the lack of topping variety a little disappointing (they only have vegetarian options) and also Sienna and I were dissatisfied with the flavor. The sauce seems more like a ragu and is sweet. Although the cheese and other toppings are good, I felt like the sauce was seeping into the crust and losing its flavor. I think a lot of pizza places fight this by rubbing the crust with a crushed garlic piece and applying a bit of olive oil before adding the sauce.

We’ve been back a couple of times, and every time we’ve had great experiences with the people at the counter. Everybody is friendly and ready to answer questions about the items there and the bakery itself. Did we mention that the place is vegetarian-friendly? They also have vegan options. Last, they serve sandwiches.

Our final verdict: We’re really excited to have another retail gluten-free bakery open in town, and especially happy to have one that has such a wide range of products. We took the focaccia bread and made grilled cheese sandwiches out of it. This is my new favorite thing to do.

Gluten-Free Safety Rating: Gluten-Free Dedicated Facility
Times we have visited: 3 (So we feel pretty good about our score.)
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: 1 or 2 bucks, depending on the item

Tula Gluten Free Baking Co.
Tula on Facebook
4943 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd Ste 101 Portland, OR 97211 / 541.306.1250

Another Gluten Free Pizza Contender Appears: Sizzle Pie

Considering that their pizza graced the cover of the Portland Monthly Magazine in February of this year, I have an itching suspicion that we’re a little late to the party at Sizzle Pie. That doesn’t change the fact that their pizza is awesome.

Sizzle Pie on East Burnside

Sizzle Pie is smack dab in the hip blocks of East Burnside, at 624. It’s a couple blocks from the Doug Fir, and practically next door to that one cool bar with no name. Like the neighborhood, the decor, help, and jukebox is also hip. When we went there, the music ranged from The Cramps to a song that sounded like Devo if Devo was playing buzz guitars.

The menu is adventurous/upscale. By “upscale” I don’t mean expensive. I mean there are ingredients like white truffle oil, goat cheese, cilantro pepitas pesto, and even dried cranberries. At Sizzle Pie, a person can get what might be called “gourmet pizza” if the term hadn’t already been ruined by marketers. Obviously, you can also get a basic pepperoni and mushroom slice if that’s what you’re looking for, but it’s nice to know there are lots of interesting options. All their crusts are vegan, including the gluten-free crust. They also have an enormous vegan section in their menu.

As with most pizza places, alas, they cook the gluten-free pizza in a shared oven. So if you’re in the population who really need to watch out, then you should keep eating your pizza at New Cascadia or build your own with a store-bought crust.

Gluten Free Pizza at Sizzle Pie

Speaking of pizza, the Sizzle Pie crust style is thin, and there are green specs in the crust, so obviously they’re adding in some spices to make it more flavorful. It’s delicious. Along with being thin, it’s also the perfect amount of crunchy. I don’t know how they did it, but this is among the best gluten-free crusts I’ve had. We got the Golden Ring pizza, which is White Truffle Oil, Goat Cheese, and Green Onion, and we added garlic and pepperoni. This was one awesome pizza. We got a 12 inch pizza and it was the perfect size to feed two.

There are two things to note. First, the regular “large” pizza is 18 inches, but the gluten-free large is 16. Apparently the gluten-free crust just won’t get those extra couple of inches bigger. Second, don’t assume that the pizza you’re ordering is going to have red sauce. If you really want a pizza with red sauce, you should probably ask. There’s a place on the menu where it says that all their pizzas feature red sauce “unless otherwise noted” but this ends up being a little confusing, because if you get pesto, white truffle oil, caramelized onion spread, cream sauce, or something else that counts as “sauce” then you’re not getting red sauce. Which makes sense, but we got caught out.

No Red Sauce Here.

Luckily, our pizza was awesome without red sauce.

Everybody we had contact with was very friendly, the pizza came out hot, and the place is nice and clean. We sat out back on the patio, which was great on a warm August night. There was a line when we walked in the door, and there was a line when we left.

Our final verdict: With gluten-free pizza, we think that the crust is most of the battle, and so many crusts lack crunch or aren’t very flavorful. We’re going to have to try some more pies from Sizzle Pie, and it’s definitely not going to be a painful process, luckily! Have you eaten there yet? Let us know in the comments!

Gluten-Free Safety Rating: Gluten-Free Friendly but Shared Oven So Watch Out
Times we have visited: 1 (So your experience may vary.)
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: 1 or 2 bucks, depending on the size

Sizzle Pie
www.sizzlepie.com
624 E. Burnside, Portland OR, 97214 / 503.234.7437

Gluten Free Pizza – Garlic Jims and Eat Pizza

I almost called this post “The Gluten-Free Pizza Smack-Down!” Maybe I should have. We have two separate pizza places in Portland that offer gluten-free pizza. Garlic Jim’s has had it for quite a while. Eat Pizza! has just joined the pack. Did I mention that we have a list of places in town that serve gluten-free pizza?

Let’s get one thing straight right off the bat: When you walk in to most pizza places, you will see that everybody who works there is covered with flour. It’s usually pretty safe to assume that the work surfaces and ovens are also covered with flour (although Garlic Jim’s is accredited gluten-free and so it should be OK – see more on that below). While I didn’t have any problems with the Garlic Jim’s pizza, I did end up having a little trouble after the eating the Eat Pizza.

Garlic Jim’s

Garlic Jim’s is a chain with locations in Oregon, California, Washington, Idaho, and Colorado. Strangely enough, their website doesn’t list all the locations in the Portland area, so you’ll get more accurate results with Google Maps. There are two in Vancouver WA, one in Clackamas, and two in Beaverton. We went to the Clackamas Garlic Jim’s, which is located in a strip mall on SE Sunnyside, across the street from the Sunnyside Kaiser Permanente hospital.

Garlic Jim’s is definitely a carry-out or delivery pizza place. There is some seating, but the ambiance is strictly strip mall. If you’re looking for a cozy neighborhood pizza joint with a pinball machine and booths, this is not it. The staff there was friendly and helpful when we went. The people who work there all looked like clean cut college kids. The transaction was smooth. The pizza was boxed and ready to go when we arrived.

Garlic Jim's Gluten Free Pizza

We got a pepperoni with half mushrooms and half olives. We really liked the pizza. In fact, this is now Sienna’s favorite gluten-free pizza in Portland (I still like Sellwood Pizza Kitchen best, but think this is a close second). They have a thin crust going on. Unlike most of the rest of the gluten-free pizza in Portland, the crust here is thin and crunchy, so if that’s the way you like your pizza, you should probably try Garlic Jim’s. True to their name, the pizza is garlicky. Since the crust is thin, you don’t get the phenomena with some other pizzas where they end up being like chewing on a flavorless sponge. We’ve had it twice now and the second time wasn’t as good as the first, so there may be some problems with consistency, but we still liked it.

Garlic Jim’s also has an impressive gluten-free FAQ page, where they talk about how they prevent cross-contamination and how they have a Gluten Free Food Service Accreditation from the Gluten Intolerance Group. That’s pretty awesome! Also, the gluten-free crust happens to be vegan.

Gluten-Free Safety Rating: Gluten-Free friendly but Ask Questions!
Times we have visited: 2 (So your experience may vary.)
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Add $3 for the large size.

Garlic Jim’s
www.garlicjims.com
Multiple Locations

Eat Pizza

Like Garlic Jim’s, Eat Pizza isn’t exactly a cozy restaurant, but there is seating. If we had to choose a place to sit down between the two, based only on ambiance and people-watching, we would definitely pick Eat Pizza. It’s a small place with character on Burnside at 21st that does mostly delivery and carry-out. The staff was very friendly and resemble the Garlic Jim’s staff except with tattoos and piercings. The pizza was hot and ready to go when we arrived. We did this with a Groupon, so we also ordered a Mediterranean salad.

Eat Pizza! is unique in the gluten-free pizza market for having three sizes of pizza available: Mini, In-Between, and Giant. They are also vegan-friendly and have vegan cheese available.

Eat Pizza! Gluten Free Pizza

We got a pepperoni pizza with half mushrooms and half olives. Despite the rave reviews we were hearing from our readers, we weren’t as enamored with the pizza at Eat Pizza. The pizza wasn’t as flavorful. There wasn’t enough sauce (or maybe the sauce wasn’t flavorful enough). We thought that the crust was kind of spongy and too dense. I see pizza as being one of those really subjective things. Some people really like thick crust pizza, and if that’s your thing, then maybe you would like them better than we did. I probably would have liked the pizza better if we had ordered it with extra garlic. We’re also scratching our heads a little, because we’ve always thought that New York Style pizza is thin. Maybe their regular pizza is thin?

Gluten-Free Safety Rating: Avoid if you’re really sensitive.
Times we have visited: 1 (So your experience may vary.)
Overall rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: 1 to 3 dollars more, depending on the size.

Eat Pizza!
www.eatpizzaportland.com
2037 SW Morrison St. Portland, OR / 503.243.FOOD

Summary

When it comes to pizza, being gluten-free is especially painful. It’s this thing we all love to eat. Part of me feels ungrateful for writing a lukewarm review for a pizza joint that has gone out of its way to offer something I can eat. At the same, there are places in town to get excellent gluten-free pizza. Our favorites are Sellwood Pizza Kitchen (our review here), the Oasis Cafe on Hawthorne (see our review), and now we can add Garlic Jim’s to the list. We have another winner!

We want to know: What kind of pizza do you like best? Got a favorite pizza place in Portland that I didn’t mention in the review? Let us know in the comments!

Product Reviews: Gluten-Free Pancake Mix and Pizza Crust

Today I’m reviewing a pizza crust and a pancake mix. One of these has become a favorite new product. The other we didn’t really care for, although we recognize that it might be a case of personal preference. Keep reading to find out which is which.

Gluten Free Pancake Mix!

Regular readers will know that I’m all about pancakes and have been working on finding the perfect gluten-free pancakes since I started this blog. As such, I was pretty excited when we were contacted by Gluten Free Mama to review some of her mixes and found that one of them was a pancake and waffle mix. Thanks to Gluten Free Mama for sending us some out for testing. Besides the pancake mix they also make pizza crust mix, a sugar cookie mix, pie crust mix, and various other gluten-free flour mixes. If you can’t find these mixes in your town or neighborhood, they are available on Amazon.

Gluten-Free Pancake Mix

Here’s a list of ingredients: White Rice Flour, Tapioca Flour, Potato Starch, Sweet Rice Flour, Almond Meal, Organic Evaporated Cane Sugar, Aluminum-Free Baking Powder (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate), Xanthan Gum, Vanilla Powder (Vanilla Bean Extractives, Evaporated Cane Juice, Silica, Cellulose), Sea Salt. Gluten Free Mama figures a serving is a third of a cup, and there is only 260mg of salt in that, which is pretty good.

I don’t have any pictures of the finished pancakes. For some reason I got distracted because I was trying to make them better by adding mashed-up banana. Unfortunately, this mix cooks up more like the Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pancake & Waffle Mix, which is to say that the resulting pancakes are kind of tasteless. The pancakes taste a lot like rice buns, which makes sense considering the ingredients, but have a funny aftertaste, which I think is probably the baking powder. If you’re the sort of person who hates how gluten-free flour mixes have funny, beany, or corny flavors, then you might prefer this sort of mix, because it’s really kind of tasteless. The resulting pancakes were also rather fluffy, although kind of in a spongy way. They also don’t really brown. Sienna and I both weren’t crazy about this product.

Considering that we weren’t that crazy about Pamela’s Gluten-Free Pancake Mix either, it looks like we’re striking out on the pancake front. Maybe I’ll have to try coming up with my own recipe.

Gluten-Free Pizza Crust!

By now you know that the pancake mix was the product we weren’t into, so that means that we really loved this pizza crust. Actually, we’ve read about this crust in different places and never tried them. We were able to find some in Portland at New Seasons Market down on Division. The crust is made by Bavarian Mills Specialty Bakery. It is gluten-free (natch) and also soy free. The crust we got says it was manufactured in Vancouver Washington.

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Sienna decided to make this pizza like a Zachary’s Pizza, which is a popular Chicago-style pizza place in Oakland, California. So like a good Chicago-style pizza, it has the sauce on top of the cheese, spinach, and lots and lots and lots of sauce. This is evident in the picture. The pizza crust ingredients are as follows: White Rice Flour, Water, Garbonzo (Chickpea Flour), Brown Rice Flour, Eggs, Sorghum Syrup, Almond Meal, Grapeseed Oil, Olive Oil, Potato Starch, Xanthan Gum, Sea Salt, Yeast, Apple Cider Vinegar, Guar Gum. There is a shared equipment disclaimer on the package which names tree nuts, legumes, and dairy products. The package figures that you will get 12 servings out of it, and there is 100mg of salt in one serving, which is awesome.

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

What’s really awesome about about this crust is that it comes out crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The flavor is good, the crunch is good, the crusts come frozen and are easy to use, so it’s win-win-win. We’re really excited to finally have a great pizza crust product like this one and recommend it. Hopefully they’ll be easier to get soon!

We want to know: Do you have a favorite store-bought gluten-free pancake mix? How about a flour mix or pancake recipe on the Internet? Send us a link. Let us know in the comments!

More News: Good News and Bad News

Sorry for the lack of reviews this week. I caught the cold that’s been making the rounds of Portland, and have been recovering. We’ve got a backlog of products and restaurants to post and I’ll get those out soon. I’ve got good news and bad news. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

Bad News: Restaurant Closings

Over the weekend we decided to go get some delicious gluten-free pizza at Virgo and Pisces, and discovered that they have closed their doors. We had mentioned in our review that they seemed kind of empty the times we visited, so it looks like our fears were justified. I don’t know how much most people pay attention to restaurant closings, but there have been quite a few in the Pearl area in the past few weeks. Speaking of the Pearl, the Pearl branch of Blossoming Lotus closed. They still have a restaurant at 1713 NE 15th St. next door to Pete’s Coffee.

Good News: Restaurant List

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it lately, but our restaurant list is always growing. If you haven’t looked at it recently, you should check it out. Thanks to all the readers and restaurant owners who have contacted us with listings!

Maybe News: Amazon Sale on Bread Machines

I don’t know if this is really justified as news, but I’m always interested in bread machines. So I thought that I would pass it on that Amazon has announced discounts on bread makers. Among the sale items on their list are ones we have listed on our gluten free bread machine page. So they have: The Breadman TR875, which has a gluten-free setting. The Zojirushi BBCCX20, which doesn’t have a gluten-free setting, but is fully programmable (see our review here) and is dual-paddle. The West Bend 41300 Hi-Rise, which like the Zojirushi is programmable and dual-paddle. There are others, but those are probably the best three for being fully programmable or having a gluten-free setting. We’ve had both a Breadman and a Zojirushi and can vouch that they’re both excellent.

We Want to Know

Do you have any restaurants or cafes to add to our list? Let us know at the email address on the top right. Also, if you have any bread machine experiences or recommendations, let us know in the comments.

In the interest of full disclosure: Zojirushi sent us a breadmaker to test (and we like it!). See our disclosure policy here.

Gluten-Free Italy: Levanto – Hotel Garden

While we were planning our trip to Italy, one place that everyone said we absolutely, positively, had to go was Cinque Terre. We had a hard time finding lodging there when we were doing our reservations, so we ended up staying in Levanto, which is just a bit north of Cinque Terre.

Gluten Free Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is actually five small towns in the Liguria region of Italy. They are Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. When you see pictures of quaint villages with colorful buildings right on the coast of Italy, it’s pretty likely that the photos are of one of these towns. (That’s Riomaggiore pictured above.) There are trails connecting all five of them, and there is also a train line that you can take to travel in between them. Both the trails and train extend to Levanto as well, which was a good thing.

Liguria is famous for its food—for example, Pesto originated in Liguria. The place we stayed in Levanto was the Hotel Garden—two newly-remodeled floors in a building. I don’t know for sure, but would expect that the building is four floors? Hotel Garden occupies two floors. One is the second floor, and the other is the top floor. Apparently, the top floor gets booked up pretty early and is more expensive.

The hotel is clean and the staff is friendly. They serve breakfast, which is the usual Italian fare: yogurt, salami, croissants, and espresso drinks. They do have high-speed internet, but unfortunately the Wi-Fi only worked in one spot in our room (coincidentally, Sienna’s side of the bed). Hopefully they have that fixed by now. (I was surprised at how inaccessible the Internet is in Italy.) The rooms that face the sea have balconies. They don’t really have a view because there’s a building between the hotel and the beach. The balconies aren’t private.

I don’t have a lot to say about Cinque Terre. It could be that our expectations were set too high by all the raving we heard about how amazing it is. We found the five towns to be overrun with tourists, and the locals not as friendly as other places in Italy. We did find some great food, though. Here are some highlights:

Farinata

Farinata! This like a very thin pizza made out of chickpea flour. It is super-greasy but gluten-free and delicious. I don’t know if all farinata is gluten-free, so you should probably ask to make sure if you find yourself ordering some.

Sardines and Potatoes with Tomato Sauce

Sardines! You may think that I’ve gone off my rocker, but fresh sardines are awesome! One of my favorite things to eat in Italy was fresh sardines and I was introduced to them in Levanto. This dish was sardines, slices of potato, bell pepper, and olives in a light tomato sauce with lots of rosemary. I had this dish at a place called Pizzeria Bar L’Igea Di Nicora Fabio in Levanto, which we very strongly recommend.

Next to the Hotel Garden in Levanto is a restaurant named Da Tapulin. I had their “Spiedino di Calamari Seppe Gamberi e Pesce Spada,” which is skewered calamari, prawns, swordfish, and cuttlefish. The seafood comes out encrusted with finely grated cheese. Amazing. This is another place we recommend checking out.

Also in Levanto is Da Rina. They had the best minestrone soup I’ve ever had in my entire life. It was minestrone with pesto and Parmesan cheese. We also had their smoked tuna and grilled king shrimp. The food there is light and fresh and really amazing. We recommend going elsewhere for your after-dinner coffee, though.

One final place in Levanto is Ristorante la Loggia. They have a quaint notice about gluten on their menu. It reads, “We serve without gluten-free.” While most of the waitresses and waiters we had in Levanto were friendly and seemed knowledgeable about gluten, our waitress at Ristorante la Loggia was downright enthusiastic. We had salad and dried beef (like Prosciutto but with beef) with mushrooms and cheese. These two were delicious. My entrée was saffron gnocchi with prawns. This tasted like mac and cheese and was only OK. For dessert, our waitress insisted on bringing me a delicious flourless chocolate torte with ice cream. That was awesome. Despite the pluses of la Loggia, we didn’t end up being that fond of it. It was extremely noisy, and we almost had to get rude to get our check.

In Riomaggiore, there is a small place that serves bacon and eggs. They fry it up with rosemary and lots of olive oil. I wish I had written down the name, but it’s one of the meals I think about occasionally and wish I could go back to Italy today and have it again.

I don’t think we felt like the Hotel Garden was special, but I think you could do a lot worse, and according to the TripAdvisor website, Hotel Garden is the number one hotel in Levanto. We both agreed that we were glad that we ended up staying in Levanto. It seemed much friendlier and much less crowded with tourists.

News Bite: New Cascadia Grand Opening Celebration

Gluten-Free Coffee Cake

New Cascadia Traditional bakery, purveyor of gluten-free baked goods with a dedicated gluten-free facility, has announced a grand opening celebration for their new location which will be on Friday, September 25. They are at 1700 SE 6th Avenue, two blocks south of Hawthorne. You might be thinking: “Haven’t they been there a while?” and you would be right. That’s OK though. Here is their announcement:

You are invited to our Grand Opening Celebration at our new location (1700 SE 6th Avenue, two blocks South of Hawthorne Blvd.) on Friday, September 25th.
We will be giving away great raffle prizes including gift certificates, t-shirts, tote bags (perfect for carrying your gluten free goodies), bread knives, and more!

There will be samples of some of our products, there will new products to showcase and there will be mini cupcakes for all (or until we run out)!

The fun will begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue throughout the day.

Please join us in the festivities-we would love to see you.

They are also announcing new hours:

Beginning Monday, September 21st, we will be open each and every Monday at 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. for your convenience.
We will offer a more streamlined menu, featuring our most popular gluten free items.
Of course we will have our full espresso and coffee menu (enhanced by our Stumptown Coffee beans!) as well as a complimentary selection of DragonFly Chai teas for your enjoyment.
Look for our new offerings of organic loose leaf teas coming in the next few weeks-just in time for the cooler months.

AND:

Portland Pedal Power & New Cascadia Traditional TM Team Up to bring you our gluten free products via bicycle delivery…
Portland Pedal Power is a bicycle delivery service catering to the downtown Portland area and close-in NW and they will be able to deliver our goods to you once a week! For those of you who aren’t able to get over to our new location, this may be a great option!
They offer a terrific service and we are proud to be partnering with them. Place your order through their website by 4:00 p.m. every Monday for delivery the following Wednesday afternoon.
Please check out their website for more information or to place your first order:
www.portlandpedalpower.com

We have reviewed them several times in the past. Their gluten-free breads. Cinnamon Roll and Sugar Cookies. And their new location in July. (My word! Where has the Summer gone?)

Restaurant Review: Virgo and Pisces Gluten-Free Pizza

Before we go any further, it needs to be noted that:

  1. We have heard from several sources that the pizza at Virgo and Pisces is great.
  2. Virgo and Pisces serves gluten-free pizza only – so they don’t do wheat crusts.
  3. The pizza is way cheaper than you’ll find elsewhere.

Those are all important facts. As with our past visit to Virgo and Pisces, the staff was helpful and friendly. The food arrived promptly and the pizza was piping hot. The place is clean but seems a little empty for a bar on NW 21st Street in Portland Oregon.

Virgo and Pisces make their own crusts. Unlike basically every other pizza place in Portland, the pizzas are available in several different sizes, including a single-serving size. As noted above, the pizzas are far cheaper than equivalent gluten-free pizzas to be had anywhere else we’ve been. The pizzas are prepared in a separate area to avoid cross-contamination, and they do not make wheat pizzas there. Here are the available flavors:

Classic Caprese – Mozzarella cheese with sliced tomato and fresh basil.

Pepperoni – Mozzarella cheese and crisp pepperoni with fresh marinara.

Buffalo Chicken – Buffalo sauce, chicken, celery, mozzarella, and topped with blue cheese crumbles.

Chicken Apple – House made chicken apple sausage and mushrooms with mozzarella cheese.

Spinach Alfredo – Light alfredo-pesto sauce, mozzarella, spinach, and mushrooms.

After some debate, we got the pepperoni. Mostly because we never get pepperoni. So… How was the pizza?

Gluten-free pizza at Virgo and Pisces

I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but there is a lot of sauce on that pizza. So if you’re into lots of sauce then this is the pizza for you. The crust was perfectly done. It wasn’t too hard, but it definitely had some crunch to it. The cheese was good and so was the pepperoni. Unfortunately, the sauce was a little tasteless. It almost tasted like standard pizza sauce out of a can. We’re thinking that the next time we visit, we’ll ask for garlic on the pizza.

Slice of Virgo and Pisces Gluten-Free Pizza

This picture gives a better view of the amount of sauce. I don’t think I would have complained if there had been more cheese on the pizza. Sienna and I ended up thinking that in the future with pizza ratings, maybe we should rate the overall pizza, and then also have a rating for the gluten-free crust. We were more impressed with the crust than we were with the overall pizza, but would be curious to see how the other pizzas are. We also had a pear salad which was OK.

We want to know: Have you had the pizza at Virgo and Pisces? What’s your favorite flavor? Let us know in the comments!

Times we have visited: 2 (So your mileage may vary.)
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars for the pizza
Crust Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same (but cheap compared to most other.)

Virgo & Pisces
500 NW 21st Ave, Portland, Oregon 97209 / 503.517.8855
www.virgoandpisces.com

Gluten-Free Pizza on the Brain

Our list of pizza reviews is growing. Don’t miss our Portland gluten-free pizza restaurant list. Our current champ is still the Oasis Cafe despite our worries about cross-contamination and the fact that a pizza order takes forever there. We are also still fond of Picazzo’s, although Sienna doesn’t like their crust. We also recently reviewed the lackluster Glutino brand frozen pizza.