Since we have moved back to Nashville (yay!!), we have had the opportunity to eat out more than we used to. There are a few places that we feel safe eating at, and Pie Five was just added to that list.
I have to admit, I was skeptical at first about how (or if) the employees would be trained about cross contamination. The menu does have a disclaimer about the company not being able to guarantee cross contamination, which I was a little leery of since I seem to be pretty sensitive when things are made in cross-contaminated areas.
Well, let me tell you...this company exceeded my expectations.
First, let me explain how Pie Five works. It's kinda set up like Subway. You walk up, place your order, tell them what toppings you want on your personal size pizza, and they put it in the oven. You keep walking down to checkout where you get your drink and by that time, your pizza is ready! It's really a pretty cool system.
So, some things I noticed:
1) When I ordered, as soon as I said I wanted the gluten free crust, the employee took off his gloves to put new ones on. Score!
2) The gluten free crust was wrapped individually. They also use special pans for the gluten free crusts.
3) When I got to the end of the line, I watched the employee as she was taking the pizzas out of the oven. They use a certain type of tool that clips onto the pan to pull it out of the oven. She had the regular tool in her hand and when she looked into the oven and noticed that it was a gluten free crust, she put that tool back and grabbed a different one that was on a separate shelf.
4) Once the pizzas are pulled out of the oven, they are placed on cutting boards. The gluten free crusts have a separate cutting board, located at the same station as the special tool that was used to pull the pizza out of the oven.
5) The pizza was cut with a separate pizza cutter, also located at the same station as the other gluten free tools.
All of this happens right in front of you, right behind the counter, so I was able to see everything! I was very impressed!
If you order a gluten free pizza to dine in, they put it in a box for you. My dad's pizza, which was not gluten free was not put in a box.
As you can see, these are personal-sized pan pizzas (and the pepperonis are HUGE!)
The crust had a great taste and texture to it. I'm not sure if it's their own recipe or another gluten-free company's, but it was very good and different from other gluten free pizzas that I've tried. I definitely will be going back soon!
I know some of you might still be leery of eating in a place like this, and I completely understand. I normally don't like to eat at places where there is a mix of gluten free vs non gluten free food. Everything I saw at this restaurant made me feel safe and I would recommend it to others. There is, however, always the possibility of cross contamination, which we have to think about every day and every time we go out to eat.
I know there are some who are more sensitive than me, but I also know there are some that are less. We all know how are body responds to cross-contamination and we decide whether or not to take that risk.
Regardless of how you feel about this restaurant or whether or not you will give it a try, I have to commend them for the training they have clearly given to their employees and how well that training was carried out.
Thank you Pie Five! I will be seeing you again soon!