Monday, September 15, 2014

Cheezy's Pizza Review

If you look around my favorite dining hall on campus, it's easy to spot the "danger zones" that are a gluten-avoider's nightmare. The pasta station, the pizza station, the sandwich station, and the "fried" station (fried chicken, french fries, grilled cheese, etc.). I've quickly discovered that the most popular item on people's plates any time of day is pizza. While I am finally among a population that loves pizza as much as I do, my opportunities for pizza are slim to none as I haven't really worked out an accommodation that is both gluten and dairy free in that area. Nevertheless, I've made due by stocking my micro-fridge with pizza crusts, my food supply with pizza sauce and getting pizza toppings off of the salad bar. When I have the time and energy to cook, I can have self-made pizza night using the stove in my residence hall. 

As great as this is, there come times when I'm simply too hungry and tired to brave navigating the dining hall or dorm cooking. Enter delivery pizza: the tried and true solution to many a hunger craving for college kids. While delivery pizza is a rare find, some quick research rendered a couple options that could deliver on-campus. I selected Cheezy's pizza after reading of their gluten-free safeguards and placed my order online via a food delivery service. Eagerly awaiting my foray into delivery dining, I waited with baited breath.

Cheezy's gluten free pizza crust comes from Still Riding Pizza, a company that produces gluten and dairy free crusts for restaurants and home delivery. I've encountered their crusts at Mellow Mushroom (before their shift to Smart Flour Foods' crust) and Tommy's Brick Oven Pizza in Jacksonville, FL and found them to be a step up from bland and unimpressive gluten-free crusts. The crusts are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. For more information on the ingredients in the crust, check out Still Riding's website here.

On their end, Cheezy's makes sure gluten-free pizzas really are free from gluten from the very start of the prep process. They use a dedicated area to prepare the pizzas, separate screens to cook the pizza on, a separate paddle and separate pizza cutter to slice the 12" pizza into 8 hefty slices.

Although I had specified that no cheese be put on my pizza on the online order, I've had too many accidentally "cheesed" pizzas to trust the side note on the order. I called Cheezy's shortly after placing the order to reconfirm that no cheese be put on my pizza, and was impressed that the staff member who answered the phone not only knew my order, but had already made the kitchen staff aware of the small, but oh, so important provision. 



When my pizza arrived on campus safe and sound I marveled at the impressive size and presentation. The crust was not over or under cooked and I like the thicker base it provided. The ends of the crust were nice and crispy with a crunch while the inner sauce-and-topping-covered portion of the crust was chewy and in true New York style. The sauce was tomato-y and good, but did not particularly stand out against other good sauces I've had. The toppings of mushroom, red onion, and spinach, were cooked perfectly and fresh, and were a tasty trio. 

Cheezy's definitely checked all the boxes in my book and have earned a place on my pizza restaurant rotation while I'm in residence here in Maryland. They'll be the first call I make when I'm snowed in and needing a pizza fix during winter study sessions. While the pizza was more an investment that most at $20 (with the added cost of toppings and delivery), the cost of convenience and access must be factored in. While I make due most days, sometimes I want a little luxury in the form of a pizza that I don't have to cook myself.

For those looking for gluten-free eats beyond pizza, Cheezy's does offer up gluten free baked ziti, breadsticks, penne with broccoli and chicken, and cinnamon stix.


The Basics

Address: 1637 E. Joppa Road, Towson, MD 21286
Website: www.cheezyspizza.com
Cuisine: Gluten-free pizza, pasta, breadsticks, cinnamon sticks
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner
Price: Base price for pizzas and pasta: $15.99. Breadsticks and cinnamon stix are $5.99.
Accessibility: From past experience, the restaurant is not easily wheelchair accessible.
Special Features: Order online for pick-up/delivery through Foodler, their website, or GrubHub.

Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.

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