We love getting comments. And we got a LOT of comments on our post about California Pizza Kitchen’s new gluten-free menu the other week. Not all of them were positive, so we wanted to acknowledge the dispute.
In reading the comments on our site – and in digging around the blogosphere for more stories – it’s quite clear that there’s been a mixed reaction to CPK’s menu. While some people have gone and had positive experiences, others have reported cross-contamination. And still others have chosen not to eat the pizza after speaking with their local branch about food safety measures.
The crux of the matter seems to be that the toppings and the prep area are shared between gluten-full and gluten-free ingredients, leading to a potentially risky environment for anyone with celiac disease. As alluded to fairly clearly in the disclaimer, the same utensils are likely used for different crusts. Plus, there is the possibility that a local supplier will use a non-gf alternative without informing the kitchen. There may also be a certain amount of flour in the air.
So, while the measures in place have been sufficient in many cases to keep diners happy and safe, it’s entirely understandable that a number of people don’t feel comfortable enough to eat at California Pizza Kitchen.
At the end of the day, we’re big believers in the, “when in doubt, leave it out” school of gluten-free thought – and also in the belief that when it comes time for you to make a decision about your diet, more information is always better than less.
Accordingly, please keep the comments coming: have you personally been to a California Pizza Kitchen? Do you have celiac disease, or do you keep a gluten-free diet for other health reasons? Have you spoken to a chef there, and if so were you made to feel comfortable about the gluten-free menu? If so, how was your meal? If not, why?