Tommy's Brick Oven Pizza in Jacksonville is one such restaurant I have been wanting to showcase for awhile now. I came across this unsuspecting gem of a restaurant while in the Jacksonville area for medical treatment this past January. Before checking in as an inpatient to a local hospital, I wanted one last taste of non-institutionalized food and quickly sought out a pizza place to try. I knew I had found a good place to try in Tommy's when I discovered that they have a dairy-less pizza on their regular pizza!
I was sold after my first bite and have been wanting to go back ever since. Upon discovering that most of the flights back to Maryland from Orlando's airport were either priced at a premium or sold out altogether, I hatched a plan to fly back from Jacksonville's airport- naturally providing an opportunity to pay Tommy's a second visit.
Tommy's really goes the extra mile to ensure their gluten-free pizzas not only remain gluten-free from start to finish but actually taste good as well. They have a separate prep area, baking screens, and other cross contamination protocols in place to minimize the possibility of compromising gluten sneaking in. After extensive taste testing of multiple brands of crust, they settled with Still Riding Pizza Co., a trusted purveyor of certified gluten-free crusts. In addition to gluten, their pizza crusts are free from egg, dairy, soy, but do contain yeast (see full ingredients here). I have had Still riding crusts before at Cheezy's Pizza (Towson, MD) and Giorgio on Pine (Philadelphia, PA).
As far as their gluten-free menu goes, most of their specialty pizzas can be adapted to be gluten-free or are naturally free from gluten. Upon request, their salads and soups can be gluten-free, and they have a full range of gluten-free desserts including cookies and cheesecake. As I only inquired about the specialty pizza I ordered, be sure to ask about other allergens before ordering.
Tommy's tomato pie, my selection for review, is a cheese-less pizza that features fresh roma tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and red pepper atop a healthy spreading of red sauce. Heart smart and bursting with flavor, it's an amazing feeling to order a gluten and dairy free pizza without the staff questioning you why you don't want cheese or why your pizza cannot be cut with the same pizza cutter.
Opening the box after picking up my pizza to-go, I was greeted with the delicious aroma and bright red hues of this tomato-centric pizza. I loved the thick, flavorful sauce and accentuating basil leaves and cloves of minced garlic. The crust is thick and perfectly baked so it is chewy towards the center and crunchy at the ends.
Buyer beware- the 12" gluten-free pizza Tommy serves up is massive. Luckily, I have a massive teenage appetite to match. Before too long, I was left with an empty pizza box and full, happy stomach. Visiting so close to Thanksgiving, Tommy's reminds me how thankful I am that there are business owners and businesses willing to go above and beyond to make sure us gluten-free folks can have a seat at the table and enjoy food alongside our gluten-loving friends and family.
Ideal For: Lunch, Dinner
Price: Specialty pizzas range from $13.50 to $17.99
Accessibility: Easily wheelchair accessible
Special Features: Tommy's delivers through GrubHub. Gluten-free pies and crumbcakes available on a seasonal, special-order basis.
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.