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Best pizza ever — how could it be gluten-free? Razzi's Pizzeria

Posted Jun 04 2012 12:53pm
Last night, tired of eating leftover chili (delicious but way too familiar), we finally went to a restaurant people have been telling me about. Razzi's Pizzaria is an unassuming neighborhood Italian restaurant with a big difference from the usual corner bistro — it has three (color-coded!) menus. The "regular" menu, the green vegetarian/vegan menu, and the blue gluten-free menu. The weird thing is the menus are nearly identical. By comparing the GF and vegan menus, I was able to figure out how to meet both criteria — but no worries, because the waitstaff are very knowledgeable and know exactly what's what, and can advise customers about the food.

We started with small dinner salads that were supposed to be mixed greens but were iceberg lettuce, a shred of red cabbage, a thick slice of cucumber, a slice of tomato, chopped olives and shredded "cheese." Razzi's has a bunch of tasty vegan salad dressings to choose from. I chose Italian and my husband chose Caesar. But we didn't come for the salad — we came for the pizza.

I've had GF pizza from other Seattle restaurants as well as homemade GF pizza, and the restaurant pizza was just OK — nothing I really want to have again. The homemade version was exceptional, but after tasting the pizza at Razzi's, even the homemade has slipped in my ratings. We got a garden special — roasted broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms and creamy slabs of eggplant, fresh garlic, delicious tomato sauce, and mozzarella (you can choose daiya or follow your heart) on the lightest, crispiest, most delicious crust I've had in years. It was seriously good pizza that I don't think anyone would suspect was gluten-free. The sauce was perfect, too — flavorful and rich without the overwhelming taste of salt that often ruins the taste of pizza for me. The veggie toppings were generous, and covered the entire surface — not just a piece of veggie here and there. The cheese was modest and complimentary rather than big globs — just the way I like it.

from  Razzi's website
When I started telling our waitress how great the crust was, she mentioned that the GF pita bread was also delicious. The appetizer menu includes a number of  Middle Eastern specialties like hummus and baba ghannouj, accompanied by pita — something I didn't think I'd ever enjoy again in a restaurant. There are also GF versions of grinders, gyros, paninis and calzones as well as pasta dishes. Since those items also appear on the vegan menu, I think they are probably available in vegan-GF versions, too. Yikes. Although I don't eat these foods on a regular basis, it's nice to know where I can go if certain cravings pop up. It may be a while before I can try other dishes, though, because I can't stop thinking about the pizza, and will probably have to order it again!

We were too full to order dessert, but I did notice several vegan, GF choices on the menu, including cheesecake, mocha pie, and butterscotch caramel pie. (I believe the GF-vegan desserts come from Jodee's Bakery .)

There are lots of specials posted on the Razzi's Website, like free dessert on Sundays, 20% off vegan/vegetarian meals on Mondays, etc. If you live in Seattle, there are lots of good reasons to head over to Razzi's Pizzeria on Greenwood Ave.

As if I haven't given you enough reasons to rush over to Razzi's, they even have gluten-free beers! They use mostly organic, locally sourced ingredients, natural non-toxic cleaning products, and 100% recycled toilet paper in the restrooms. What more can you ask of your local family restaurant?


Chloe Coscarelli visits Seattle
I recently had the pleasure of attending a book talk and cooking demo with the effervescent winner of Cupcake Wars, Chloe Coscarelli . She was a lively and upbeat (to the max, in a good way) speaker. Chloe addressed and answered questions from an enthusiastic, packed house. We were in a charming bookshop in Fremont called Book Larder , which specializes in books about food and cooking, and hosts book talks and cooking classes. If you haven't been to the book store, you should check it out. Chloe asked one of her "people" to take a photo of her with the crowd, and I happened to be next to the one empty seat where she sat down, so I ended up appearing on her Web page (where I stole the photo). I'm printing it small because I look kind of weird, next to a shot that I took with my phone, of Chloe signing books. Yes, they gave out cupcakes and cookies to the audience, but not to me because I don't eat gluten anymore. My husband enjoyed his samples, though. In fact, he was so taken with Chloe, the cupcakes and the book shop that he purchased a copy of her cookbook, Chloe's Kitchen. We haven't had a chance to use it yet but it's very beautiful and the recipes look good.

One last thing ... If you live in Wisconsin and you're unhappy with the political situation, please vote on June 5. Every vote counts and there's no room for complacency. (A historian's perspective.)
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