|I was thrilled when I heard that a local restaurant called
Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria now offers a gluten-free pizza crust option.
Mafiaoza’s is a great little restaurant that we frequented before
learning of my gluten intolerance. I love their mob motif. With
pizzas called “Brother Fredo”, “The Fed”, and “Brass Knuckles”
combined with the dim lighting, you’re sure to feel like you’re in
a scene from The Godfather.
Since I’ve learned of my gluten intolerance, I’ve only been to
Mafiaoza’s for social reasons, mostly under duress, because all
they could offer me was a dry salad. Imagine eating iceburg
lettuce while smelling gourmet pizza, bruschetta, scampi cakes,
and pastas. That’s just pure mafia torture.
Since learning about Mafiaoza’s gluten-free pizza crust, I’ve
been there twice. Gluten-free pizza is “an offer I can’t refuse”.
But I don’t think I’ll be back again.
The fact that being gluten-free has become a fad has made
dining out both easier and more dangerous at the same time.
It’s easier because there are more options for those who are
truly gluten-intolerant or have Celiac disease. But it’s more
dangerous because some restaurants don’t understand the
severity of the disease or that providing a gluten-free option
doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe for them to offer one.
Providing a gluten-free crust is not the same as offering a “low
fat” or “low carb” option. We are not trying to lose weight or
jump on the latest celebrity diet. We are trying to stay well.
This is a health and safety issue for us. And I don’t think
everyone understands that.
On our first visit, we ordered two different gluten-free pizzas.
We had “The Greek” with plum tomatoes, red onion, black
olives, green peppers, feta cheese, and a creamy Greek
vinaigrette, and “The Irate Italian” with garlic, pecorino romano
cheese, mozzarella, and black olives. Both pizzas were delicious!
This was my first experience with French Meadow pizza dough,
and it was delicious. What was not excusable was the
dangerous manner in which the pizzas were served.
“It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business.”
We were out to dinner with a family member who is not gluten
intolerant. She ordered a pizza on regular wheat dough. When
the three pizzas arrived, the server brought them out on a tray.
And to my horror, the crust of my gluten-free pizza was resting
on the crust of the gluten-filled wheat pizza!
I didn’t make a scene. The Husband, who is not gluten-
intolerant, ate the contaminated part of the pizza. And I ate
the pieces farthest from that side. I did not get sick from gluten
that night, but it sure did make me wonder. If that kind of
carelessness occurred while serving, what was going on in the
kitchen? I did have a chance to talk to the manager, thanked
her for offering gluten-free pizza, and suggested that she inform
her servers about the dangers of cross-contamination.
A few months later, we tried Mafiaoza’s again with a non-gf
couple. When I ordered my gluten-free pizza, I asked the
waitress what they did in the kitchen to avoid cross-
contamination. She answered my question with a question that
was very telling of the current climate. (“…it insults my
intelligence and it makes me very angry.)
Waitress: “So, are you really allergic?”
Waitress: “Then they’ll change their gloves and use a different
cutting board and utensils.”
Would they have used those precautions if I hadn’t asked?
We ordered “The Irate Italian” again and “The Last Request”
with black olives, pepperoni, salami, Italian sausage, portobello
mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, garlic, green peppers, red
onions, and jalepenos. The name truly fits the pizza. If I had
one last request before the mob did me in, this pizza would be
The pizzas were all served separately, so there was no cross-
contamination between the kitchen and our table. This pizza
was divine. I love hot and spicy food, and this flavorful pizza did
But do you have any idea how much this 10-inch pizza cost?
They charged us the same price as their 12-inch pizza, which is
already a ridiculous $19.00, plus $3.00 extra for the gluten-free
crust. A $22.00 10-inch gluten-free pizza in Nashville? If we
were in New York City, I might understand, but that’s a bit
“Sorry Johnny…but it’s only business.”
So, we won’t be back to Mafiaoza’s. The risks in safety and the
economics of it all are just not worth it to me. There are plenty
of other restaurants that have earned my trust with their
commitment to serving those who are truly gluten intolerant.
For pictures of Mafiaoza\'s delicious-looking but possibly unsafe
pizzas, (as well as other random Godfather quotes) see
|Best gluten free pizza I have had, hands down! The crew at
Mafiaoza\'s is great! They are known for having the best pizza in
Nashville, and now that holds true for the gluten free crowd as well. You
can order almost any of the many, many toppings Mafiaoza\'s has
to offer. I opted for a 3-cheese delicacy, and it was fabu! You do
have to order a medium for gf pizza, which feeds about two people.
The atmosphere is also great, especially for a nice night on the
patio during football season....flat screens galore! They also have gluten free
beer to have with your pizza. Come for a great night at Mafiaoza\'s
and support their great gluten free efforts! (They also have a location in Birmingham, Alabama.)