California Pizza Kitchen was the textbook case of how not to offer gluten-free alternatives.
You may recall two years ago when CPK introduced its gluten-free pizzas. They were delicious, but a lot of celiacs started complaining about getting sick after eating them. I didn't have any symptoms myself, but I am one of those celiacs who doesn't get symptoms when my food is cross-contaminated with gluten.
It turned out that CPK had no clue about cross-contamination or about training its staff to prevent it. It just put the gluten-free pizzas out there.
With all the complaints pouring in, CPK pulled the gluten-free pizzas off the menu while it reevaluated its procedures.
It took a long time, but gluten-free pizzas are finally back at CPK. The company tells me they will be officially launched next week but I called the Jacksonville restaurant in the St. Johns Town Center and they said they've had gluten-free pizzas since Oct. 1.
The choices are limited. According to its online menu, there are four varieties of gluten-free pizza: Original BBG Chicken, Margherita, Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage and Pepperoni.
I haven't had a chance to try the new pizzas, but one blogger in California tried them out and offers more details:
These were really good, if flawed, pizzas two years ago. I'm looking forward to trying them again.