BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse Launches Gluten Free Pizza & Beer Today
Special thanks to FB friend Tami House for the heads up on the fact that she tried BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse’s new gluten free pizza before it was announced. After researching it and contacting a BJ’s restaurant and headquarters myself, I found that it is officially available at all BJ’s restaurants beginning today (May 26), according to an email from Director of Operations, Curt Siverling: “We are very proud to launch our Gluten Free Pizza tomorrow on our new menu. We have been educating our management teams and team members on the Gluten procedures and are ready to launch it at our locations tomorrow (May 26.) We are also introducing Red Bridge Beer tomorrow on our menus, which is a popular Gluten Free beer.”
I stopped by my local BJ’s yesterday to see if they’d make me a pepperoni one a day early and they seemed excited to get started. That corporate “pride” was certainly passed down to the manager and the employees. The ones I spoke to had tried the pizza and loved it, and all seemed very informed on the new menu and procedures. They had already slipped the new menu page into the jacket and were ready to go.
The manager assured me that there is a separate prep area, that all pizza ingredients except for the meatballs are gluten free. He personally went to the back and told me that it was to check the area since I ordered the first one they had officially made. He said the GF tools were in place, the gloves were changed, and the cooks were trained in how to handle everything to avoid cross contamination. When the pizza was delivered, he came out to assure me that all went according to plan and the food was handled properly.
BJ’s is known for their pizza, so I expected it to be great, and it did not disappoint! It was awesome. They buy the crust frozen from Venice Bakery in El Segundo, CA (there’s less chance for cross-contamination if they are not mixing up the dough in the restaurant kitchen.) It is a medium thin, crispy “herb infused” crust covered with their rich, pasty sauce and just enough cheese and pepperoni to top it off perfectly. Another exciting thing about this pizza is the reasonable price – at my location, $8.95 for a 10” cheese pizza and a nominal fee for each topping.
Crust ingredients (Thanks to some detective work by Facebook friend Janel Yeisley-Berchielli): rice flour, tapioca flour,water, potato flour, olive oil, sugar, yeast, salt and seasonings (free of gluten, soy, dairy and egg)
Their gluten free menu has a nice variety of choices in addition to the pizza – chicken dishes, soups, salads, weekend brunch, steak, salmon, and giant stuffed baked potatoes (although it needs to have their great hamburger on a gluten free bun to be perfect.)
All in all, a great pizza, and a great Gluten Free experience!
See the gluten free menu here. As stated on the menu, “please inform your server if you, or anyone in your dining party, have any food allergies.”
Use their restaurant locator to see if there’s a location near you, and be sure to check out the restaurants coming soon if you don’t see one nearby.