Well after a delay to the previously stated 5th November launch, the 19th came and it was time to try the Domino’s gluten free pizza base. Back in my gluten eating days pre-coeliac I was always a Domino’s man when it came to pizza, so I’ve been really looking forward to this one. Of course the first concern for coeliacs is the cross contamination risk, and it is great that Domino’s have put so much information online with regards their cross contamination controls. You can read full details here. They have been working for years with Coeliac UK on this, and from reading the controls that are in place it seems like they are doing everything right.
In the interests of full disclosure I must mention that Domino’s contacted me last week and sent me the press release for their gluten free launch. They also sent me a voucher to try a gluten free pizza for free, though I was planning on buying one anyway. The gluten free bases are available to order in-store, online and over the phone. Their mobile app is still in the process of being updated. I decided to phone in my order so I could quiz the branch with regards cross contamination. I had already read the on-line information and the person I spoke to was able to rattle off all of those things when I spoke to them, a good start. If you look at the menu on the website all items containing gluten are clearly marked with a “G”.
Firstly the downside. The gluten free base is only available to order as a small 9.5 inch base. This was actually enough for me, but it would have been nice to have the choice of a medium at least. However as the bases are coming in sealed packs I can appreciate storage could be an issue if they were larger. Secondly, only two of the sides were gluten free. Spicy pork bites and coleslaw. My branch didn’t serve coleslaw and even though it did have the spicy pork bites these were not listed on the website (UPDATE: Domino’s have contacted me this morning to say they’ve rectified this) . I did order the pork bites to try and wasn’t particularly impressed, and wouldn’t order them again. It would be good if Domino’s could work on the sides, at least ensuring all branches stock these two items. Maybe something like potato wedges which are also on the menu could be re-worked to be gluten free.
Now for the upside, the pizza was amazing! I absolutely loved the base. It was light and tasty and a perfect vessel for the topping. As with Pizza Hut, those who like a thin and crispy base may be disappointed. I thought it was perfect and was a lot like the Domino’s base I remember from the dim and distant past. I went for the Texas BBQ pizza, and what a great choice I made. Tangy BBQ sauce topped with smoky bacon, succulent roast chicken, onions and green peppers. Having a BBQ sauce rather than a tomato sauce base worked exceptionally well and I loved every mouth full. After my previous poor topping choice at Prezzo this was a great result. As for the price £12.99 for a small pizza is a lot of money, but there are always offers around for money off or buy one get one free, and we only ever really used to get takeaway pizza when there were offers on pre-diagnosis.
I’d also recently been sent a sample of a gluten free Lager from Celia, a gluten free Czech lager just launching in the UK. I took the opportunity to wash the pizza down with an ice cold lager, which was also delicious. I have to say sitting on my sofa, watching TV with a cold lager in one hand and a slice of takeaway pizza in the other I felt almost normal. Thank you Domino’s and Celia for that!
So the big question is, where does Domino’s rank in the pizza stakes? If you’ve already read my Pizza Hut and Prezzo reviews you’ll know I had Pizza Hut ahead. Well now there is a new leader, for me Domino’s have come out on top. Really enjoyed the pizza and will definitely be buying again, and being the only one that deliver is a big plus point too. My branch asked if they could call me for feedback which they duly did. They were kind enough to offer me two for one or a free side on my next order, to say thanks too. A great experience over all. I have however heard from one person elsewhere in the country who had a gluten base mistakenly delivered, so as always be vigilant when ordering. I am happy to report that three hours on I have had no reaction (UPDATE: Still feeling fine next day so all good).
Which pizza do you prefer in the great gluten free pizza debate? Please comment below and let me know.
UPDATE 02/02/13: According to the Coeliac UK eXG February email Domino’s have put in place some extra precautions to ensure to ensure the safety of gluten free customers:– GF pizza’s will no longer be sliced to make them easily identifiable (also cuts out risk from a contaminated cutter) – Different sized screens to be used to cook gluten free pizzas to make them more easily identifiable in the ovens – Gluten free notification will appear on confirmation emails and at point of ordering on-line – A link to the gluten free pizza’s will be visible from the on-line ordering homepage
These changes will be enforced by mid-February, and the pizza I ordered today arrived un-sliced.
Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea