Tag Archives: gluten free pizza jacksonville

V (Gluten-Free) Pizza in San Marco

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco
Join me as we welcome the newest gluten-free pizza joint, V Pizza (not V’s Pizza or Five Pizza just V Pizza). I have been driving by this place constantly wondering what was going on. Not long after seeing the sign “Opening Soon” I got a message from an old high school friend who is now one of the owners, Rudy Theale, wanting me to talk to him and his staff about living gluten-free. I was very impressed about his commitment to doing gluten-free right. When asked to come and take a tour and do a tasting I thought, why not!

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco

With a focus on fresh ingredients V Pizza is taking the gluten-free pizza business seriously. They taste tested multiple gluten free pizza dough products before deciding on their final crust. They were looking for something that had a great taste but would be easy to keep the customer with serious allergies (celiac like me) safe. The pizza dough comes in a metal tin so that the pizza can be cooked in along with the other pizzas without touching the same surface as gluten-containing pizzas. In addition to pizzas, their menu will feature gluten-free desserts and a baked chicken dish. There is a $1-$2 additional charge for gluten-free pizzas.

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco

When I went for the tasting a few weeks ago I was quickly introduced to the kitchen prep team. One of the team members was the chef who has the most wonderful Italian accent. He was really proud of his product and was eager to show me the separate gluten-free area where the pizzas were prepared. They use separate utensils (including the pizza cutter) from the gluten-containing pizzas. Almost all of their ingredients and toppings are gluten-free, including their meatballs. On most menus meatballs are off limits because bread crumbs are one of secret ingredients. At V Pizza, their recipe does not call for bread crumbs. He immediately made a meatball pizza with mozzarella, oregano and a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Because I am also dairy-free I had some helpers on hand from Liz Morgan PR taste test for me. They were impressed by how great it tasted and couldn’t believe it was gluten-free.

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco gluten free pizza

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco gluten free pizza

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco gluten free pizza

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco gluten free pizza

Next the chef made me a meatball pizza, no cheese and lots of veggies. It was AMAZING! I wanted to eat the whole thing right there but had to play it cool and box it up to take home (don’t tell anyone but I had a slice in the car on the ride home :)).

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco gluten free pizza

They are taking multiple steps to avoid cross contamination: educating their staff, separating gluten-containing items in the prep area behind a glass enclosure, using separate utensils and making the gluten-containing dough in a separate room limiting its ability to contaminate the gluten-free pizzas.

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco gluten free pizza

I think they will do well. The location is convenient, the space is in an old paint store and they have a cool bar in the back called The Side Car where they are mixing up fresh cocktails and I heard they make a mean Lemon-cello. I can’t wait to go back.
gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco gluten free pizza

gluten free jacksonville v pizza san marco gluten free pizza
Address: 1406 Hendricks Ave. Jacksonville (San Marco), FL 32207 904.527.1511

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Gluten-free Pizza in Jacksonville: Your Pie

gluten free pizza your pie fleming islandThere is a new gluten-free pizza place in Fleming Island, it is called Your Pie. Headquartered in Athens, GA this franchise is a cross between a fancy Subway and Mellow Mushroom. You actually stand in line and tell them what you want on your pizza and then they cook it in the brick oven pizza and have it out to you at your table within 10 minutes (give or take a few). gluten free pizza your pie fleming islandYour Pie is based on the concept that we don’t all like the same toppings on our pizza so instead of compromising on toppings you can order your own. All of the pizzas are personal size,10 inches, and, according to founder Drew French, most are under 700 calories. For the indecisive diner, they also have some “favorites” on their menu you can choose from..

My favorite part about Your Pie is that they offer gluten-free and dairy-free options. Many of their sauces and toppings are gluten-free and they offer a gluten-free crust made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. They also take necessary precautions to avoid cross contamination. The concept of Your Pie was inspired by a trip founder Drew French took with his wife during their honeymoon to the island of Ischia in Italy.

gluten free pizza your pie fleming island

Owner, Drew French shared the precautions they take for people with food allergies. They take 2 different approaches to gluten-free. If someone comes in without a severe gluten-free allergy they will just make it with gluten-free crust but process it on the same line with the other pizzas. If someone comes in and notifies them that they have a severe allergy (celiac, etc.) the staff will change their gloves and the pizza will be made in the back.. To avoid cross contamination in the brick oven they prepare the gluten-free pizzas in a special metal tin to avoid cross contamination (like in the photo above).

gluten free pizza your pie fleming islandThere is a $2.50 up charge on gluten-free pizza crust, however it still only comes out to around $10.

The atmosphere is lively and energetic and it is family friendly.  But don’t fear- they still serve wine and beer in this family friendly environment.  They also have free wifi- sweet!  In addition to this location the franchise owner Mike Sims plans to open three other locations, one of which is scheduled to open in Tapestry Park in June.

gluten free pizza your pie fleming island

The Lineage Pizza. This one can be ordered from their favorites menu. It includes traditional marinara sauce, mozzarella, green bell peppers, black and green olives, onions, mushrooms, pepperoni and sausage. There were a TON of ingredients on this pizza. gluten free pizza your pie fleming island
My favorite is the BBQ Chicken gluten-free and dairy free pizza. It was tangy with a nice flavor boost of fresh cilantro. I am a HUGE cilantro fan. In addition to chicken, BBQ sauce and cilantro they also added red onions. I really don’t have much to compare this pizza to besides Mellow Mushroom, since there are not many gluten-free and dairy-free pizza places. I really liked the fact that Your Pie makes all of their own sauces. The flavors of the sauce and gluten-free crust blended well together. I didn’t need to add salt or any other seasonings. The crust is thin and chewy and I loved it!

Even though I failed to get a picture of it The Nat is one of their most popular favorites. The ingredients include fresh basil pesto sauce, mozzarella, feta, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and grilled chicken.

My only concern is cross contamination with-in the facility. Even though they prepare the pizza in the back, those with severe allergies should proceed with caution and make sure to notify the staff of your severe allergy. I didn’t have an immediate reaction, however everyone responds differently.


Almost all of their sauces and ingredients are gluten-free. However the meatballs contain bread crumbs so they are not gluten-free. They have a full link on their site dedicated to their allergy information. Check it out.

gluten free pizza your pie fleming island

In addition to pizzas they also serve paninis, salads, sorbet and gelato. The sorbet is gluten-free and dairy free and when I was there the favors were lemon, raspberry, and blood orange. From what I have heard the sea salt caramel gelato is pretty amazing. Other flavors of gelato they usually have include Tiramisu and Butterfinger. The gelato is made with milk instead of cream so it has less fat and more flavor than ice cream..

gluten free pizza your pie fleming island
I tried the raspberry sorbet. It was AWESOME.

I am excited that Jacksonville is getting another gluten-free pizza place that really cares about providing a safe product for those of us with gluten issues. Is this some place you would try with your family?

Your Pie on Urbanspoon

Your Pie- Fleming Island
1545 County Road 220, Suite #125
Fleming Island, FL 32003
(904) 375-9771

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904 Fitness June Edition: Hidden Sources of Gluten

Wow- does this look good?  Haha.  Check out my June contribution to 904 Fitness Magazine.  Learn what is considered safe and the hidden sources of gluten.  Where do you find gluten hidden?

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Let the Voting Begin: Best of 2011

Rather than always telling you what I think- I want to hear what you think about gluten-free resources in Jacksonville. Send me an email by January 6th with your vote for the following:

Best gluten-free chain restaurant
Best gluten-free locally owned restaurant
Best gluten-free pizza
Best gluten-free grocery store
Best gluten-free bakery
Best gluten-free beer
Worst attempt at gluten-free dining

Note: only one entry per person and these must be found locally in and around Jacksonville. 

Email your entry to jgornto_6(at)yahoo.com by January 6th.  Vote now to let your voice be heard and help us encourage gluten-free dining in our great city!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar for Folio Weekly Bite Club

I was invited to join Folio Weekly Bite Club for September’s dinner at Boston’s Restaurant and Sports Bar.  I had been there before to  pick up a gluten-free pizza (before going dairy free) for take-out following a flight.  Boston’s is located near the Airport off of 95 in the City Station Shops.  Starting in November they are going to be delivering within a 3 mile radius. The space was HUGE; lots of TVs and a big bar area. They had no problem accommodating a gluten-free diet as well as a dairy-free diet.

Upon arrival the Director of Operations Nimesh H. Patel greeted me to go over my menu.  He was super nice and knowledgeable. He was his excitement to tell me that they were testing out a gluten-free brownie.  After reviewing the ingredients I let him know it was safe for me to eat.  How good was the brownie?  You will have to keep reading.

The starter was Bacon Wrapped Steak Skewers.  Typically they are served with a bleu cheese cream sauce, but they left that off of my dish.  They basically just take a bite sized portion of flat iron steak and wrap it in bacon and grill it.  The flavors of the bacon just permeated the steak and left it tender and delicious.  They gave me quite a large portion so I decided to share with my table mates Curry and Sarah (see how happy they look :)).


The next item up was baked wings.  These were delicious.  I was a little disappointed that I had all wings and no legs, but I got to try 3 different sauces and rubs that were delicious.  I haven’t had wings in forever, because they are usually fried in the same oil as onion rings, crab cakes or other breaded items, so this was a treat.

My next sampling was the Mediterranean Salad.  However between that portion, my dining mates Sarah and Curry had Boston’s Nachos, Southwest Ravioli, Jambalaya Fettuccine and a Santa Fe Salad.  They were stuffed before I even got to my salad.  The portions at this place are crazy.

The Mediterranean salad typically comes with feta and flat bread, but for me it was just fresh mixed greens with kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes and red onions, tossed with a lemon vinaigrette dressing.  The salad was great, again a very large portion, definitely large enough for 4 people to split as a starter.

Next up was gluten-free pizza!  I had the Florentine Pizza with pizza sauce, fresh spinach, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic topped with basil and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  I had it with everything but the cheeses.  Let me tell you, gluten-free/dairy-free pizzas are something to be desired.  Boston’s did everything to accommodate my needs, but man, the cheesy pizzas everyone else sampled looked MUCH better than my cheese-less pizza.  I think if the pizza came with olive oil, garlic and pesto sauce on the bottom I may have liked it more.  I did eat half the pizza though…

Last up was the brownie.  The brownie was my favorite.  I have not had a brownie in a long time.  The presentation was great, they put it in a shot glass with the cutest little spoon and paired it with some chocolate syrup.  This brownie was SOOO GOOD!  They said they would begin carrying it within the next few weeks.  This definitely needs to become a staple at the restaurant.

I definitely recommend that you show up very hungry when you plan to dine at Boston’s or bring at-least 4 or 5 friends.  The staff was very friendly and quite attentive.  I would like to suggest that perhaps they look at either getting dairy-free cheese or trying out a pesto, garlic and olive oil based gluten-free pizza.  I also wish I would have asked more about how they avoid cross contamination for gluten-free foods.  It seems like it may be a challenge to provide gluten-free foods when their menu is so vast.

I had a great time, and thank both Boston’s and Folio Weekly for having me.

Boston's Restaurant and Sports Bar on Urbanspoon

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Restaurants That Get it, Restaurants That Don’t

In honor of National Celiac Awareness Day which was September 13, I thought I would share my opinion of Jacksonville Restaurants that Get it and Don’t Get it when it comes to accommodating the diets of those of us with celiac disease.  This is completely my opinion based on my dining experiences.  The restaurants that Don’t Get it, are not bad restaurants, actually almost all of them are some of my favorite places to eat back before I knew I had celiac disease.  I am sad that I can’t get a full belly at these places anymore without getting sick.   My hopes are that these establishments will hopefully become aware of the needs of those of us with annoying, I mean, special, diets.

Restaurants that do a great job at accommodating those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease ranked in order favorite, 2nd favorite, etc.:

Restaurants that “GET IT”:

  1. Bonefish GrillBonefish Grill is my all time favorite.   They have a special gluten-free menu that mimics their regular menu but has GF next to those that are Gluten Free.  At the Bonefish Grill in Mandarin, they also offer gluten-free bread which is fantastic and goes so well with their herb olive oil blend (just make sure you get a separate dish from those who have the regular bread).  I have heard that the bang-bang shrimp sauce is Gluten-Free and if you get the shrimp grilled with the sauce it is safe.  I have yet to try it though.
  2. Taverna- Taverna is located in San Marco near Square One and the San Marco Theater.  It is locally owned and opened about a year ago in 2009.  I happened upon this place not long after my diagnosis and was surprised that they could easily accommodate a gluten-free diet.  One of the head chefs has either celiac disease or gluten intolerance and was well aware of what I could eat.  Most of their dishes are made with fresh ingredients and include meats and veges (except for their pasta dishes of course).  They were so knowledgable that they were able to discourage a dessert that is gluten-free, however, the pan was dusted with flour.  So nice to go to a restaurant that knows how to accommodate a gluten-free diet.  They also have the coolest wine glasses in Jacksonville, in my opinion.

    Taverna Interior

  3. PF Changs–  One of the biggest no no’s of a gluten-free diet, other than pasta and breads is soy sauce.  PF Changs, not only has their gluten-free menu been added to every menu in the restaurant on the back, but they also have gluten-free soy sauce as well.  PF Changs also has gluten-free desserts and a recent new dessert, a Triple Chocolate Mousse Mini Dessert. I had it this week and it was AMAZING!  It includes three sinful layers of Chocolate Ganache, Milk Chocolate Mousse and Flourless Chocolate Cake.
  4. Outback steakhouse– Much like Bonefish Grill (they are owned by the same people) Outback Steakhouse has a special menu that looks similar to the main menu with items listed as gluten-free with all of the proper substitutions.  Another plus, the Chocolate Thunder from Down Under is gluten-free!
  5. Tommy’s Brick Oven Pizza and Mellow Mushroom TIED!  It is hard to pick between these two, because where Tommy’s has been providing gluten-free pizza for a while as well as appetizers, beer, salads and cookies; Mellow Mushroom has just recently hopped on the bandwagon.  A lot of my friends like to hang out at Mellow Mushroom so the addition of gluten-free pizza and gluten-free beer in a fun environment helps me feel normal while watching football, socializing and etc.

Now for those that need some work:

Those that “Don’t Get It”

  1. Bahama Breeze -As much as I love this restaurant and as much fish and vegetables they have on the menu it is impossible to get fish or chicken here that is gluten-free because most of their stuff is already pre mixed and premade.

    Bahama Breeze Lunch Item- no gluten free

     

  2. Mama Fu’s recently the organization had a promo for items on their gluten-free menu yet the Jacksonville store (located in Mandarin) does not have a gluten-free menu.  They said it is coming soon, but I am still waiting.
  3. III Forks I love the ambiance of III Forks, however, I cannot have their steak.  It is marinated in broth/aus jus, which means it contains gluten.
  4. European Street– while they have done a great job at getting gluten-free beers and gluten-free bread; nothing that goes on the gluten-free bread is certified gluten-free and their vegan/gluten free options are very expensive and very small.  The Vegan/Gluten Free burrito was terrible and $11. *Since my original post they have begun using new gluten-free wraps that are actually quite tasty. They are trying.
  5. Burrito Gallery– I love this place.  It has done wonders for downtown and the owners are very involved in reviving art downtown, however the cooking staff is not educated enough about needs of those of us with celiac disease.

All of these are debatable and could change at any moment.  Please, restaurants, if I am wrong or if things have changed I would love to learn more.   I would recommend every restaurant on this list for people without Celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but for those with, the bottom five should be explored with caution.

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My Wish List

I try not to be too unrealistic with my wishes and dreams in life.  However I realize some of these are never gonna happen.  Hey, a girl can dream…

Here is my top ten Gluten Free Wish List

1.  That Bold City Brewery had gluten free beer
2.  The McDonalds happy meals were gluten free
3.  That Hooter’s had gluten free wings
4.  That Brewster’s ice cream didn’t cross contaminate when mixing their different flavors
5.  That Dairy Queen could make a gluten free Blizzard that was not cross contaminated on their mixer
6.  That someone (Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s) delivered gluten free pizza
7.  That someone would have a gluten free Beerfest, Food Fight, Gala, Festival, etc.
8.  That I would get skinny from going gluten free
9.  That I could eat anything with that gooey, chewy consistency of a good piece of bread like at French Pantry
10.  That I had never eaten a brownie, cookie, cake, pizza, whoppers candy or drank a beer to know what I am missing (their subtitutes are never as good as the real thing)

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