Last week I was in Colorado for work for a retreat of sorts and one day for lunch I saw there was pizza. I had marked gluten-free for the week so I knew there was going to be something for me to eat, but for a moment I thought my worse nightmare was about to happen (alright maybe a slight over exaggeration there). I saw one of the facilitators hand a salad to another woman who was gluten-free. That instantly triggered this face in my mind. Don’t get me wrong I am super appreciative of accommodations for gluten-free, so I know I shouldn’t complain. But a salad for lunch just does not cut it for a guy like me. Especially since with retreats/conferences you usually eat at specific times and rarely can get something on your own.
I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions so fast, because the other woman was also dairy-free and that’s why she received the salad. I was handed a pizza box and you can imagine that in my mind I turned into this. Luckily it also wasn’t some sick joke- there actually was a pizza inside! Gluten-free pizza!
And not only was it gluten-free pizza, but it was in fact (wait for it) the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had! No joke. It was from Denver Pizza Company and it was incredible! Definitely part of its awesomeness was the cheese and sauce. For those of you in the Naperville (Chicago) area- when I would visit my grandparents we would often end up ordering from Traverso’s (this tangent has a point). Back in the day before they had gluten-free pasta and pizza (blog post here) I would end up with their Italian sausage and potato skins. No complaints at all from me there, because they were both delicious, but part of me also really wanted pizza. So sometimes I was allowed to “cheat” and take the toppings off of the gluten pizza. Traverso’s has a really awesome high quality mix of cheeses and sauce (not too sweet or tomato-ey) and I got a little obsessed. If I could I probably would have eaten a whole pizza just the cheese.
Back to Denver Pizza Company- the cheese and sauce combination reminded me a lot of Traverso’s. Looking on DPC’s website I couldn’t find what kind of cheese they use, but guessing a mix of at least mozzarella and cheddar. I think that the cheese and sauce combination in itself on any crust could beat most pizzas. And being gluten-free you better believe I am a refined and experience toppings connoisseur!
HOWEVER, despite the cheese and sauce being a great compliment to any pizza it was clear that it wasn’t just hiding some mediocre gluten-free crust. You could tell the crust was quality too. Not dry at all. It was the right texture and consistency to bend without it falling apart and getting crumbly. Those two things already put it in the top 10% of gluten-free pizzas, but flavor wise and just overall it was at the top. Prior to this I would have to say my favorite gluten-free pizza was Picazzo’s, later Sellwood Pizza Kitchen, in Portland. Alas it closed (although there are original Picazzo locations still in Arizona). However while it was awesome pizza I still think you could tell a little bit it was gluten-free (but still totally worth being eaten often). With Denver Pizza Company I would say it could pass as a regular pizza and that’s why it’s #1. I even double checked for a sec to make sure it hadn’t been a mix-up. Luckily it was smaller slices than the other pizzas and everyone else was in fact eating pizza from a different company.
So needless to say I was very excited to have tried Denver Pizza Company and beyond grateful to the facilitator (a Denver resident) for getting it for me. I stick by saying it’s the best gluten-free pizza I’ve ever had. On our last night I even tried to figure out if they’d deliver to our hotel. I think it was close enough, but I made the decision to stick to my newish rule (I hope it sticks) of not ordering delivery and only eating out when I am with people. The jury is still out on whether I am happy about that decision in this specific context (although my wallet and waist probably likes my willpower). The big seduction (Denver Pizza Company gluten-free pizza can totally be described as a love) came from seeing their Cream Cheeseman pizza on their menu (cream cheese, pepperoncinis, and bacon). The website claims that “if you haven’t tried Cream Cheese on a pizza… you are missing out!” And I totally believe them.
So to anyone from Denver out there you should feel free (and incredibly encouraged) to consider getting a whole bunch of DPC gluten-free pizzas, freezing them, and shipping them out to me in Miami. Given the quality and taste when they are reasonably fresh I’d be more than happy to have them that way. It would probably help tide the withdrawal symptoms…
Any gluten-frees visiting Denver should make Denver Pizza Company one of your top stops. I no joke will probably think of ways in the future to visit Denver to have a try (long layover anyone?). Unfortunately didn’t snag the best pic (although it wasn’t unfortunate for my stomach), but check it out below and check out their website for all the flavors of gluten-free pizza!
Denver Pizza Company- 309 West 11th Ave Denver, CO