I went to Blue Highway expecting to be disappointed yet again by another gluten-free pizza, but I left pleasantly surprised.
Blue Highway can be found at 13005 SW 1st Road in the Tioga Town Center.
I got a chance to sit down with the manager, Seth Schmer, and ask the questions that a gluten-free person would want answered.
Its gluten-free pizza has been on its menu for less than a year, and was added due to a large amount of requests for a gluten-free pizza option.
The pizza crust is not made at the restaurant. Surprisingly, it gets its crust from Sami’s Bakery, which is the same as Satchel’s – the pizza I don’t like. I know! It’s crazy! It uses the same crust, but the pizzas taste so different.
This could be because of preparation. Schmer said that the cooks tried different cook times to make sure the pizza was not undercooked or overcooked. Whatever they did worked.
Sami’s, as I said in my previous post on Satchel’s, doesn’t promise that its pizza crust is gluten free. It makes items in the same facility that also creates items that are not gluten free. This is one reason that Blue Highways is replacing Sami’s crust with another, Schmer said.
It is switching companies to one that only makes gluten-free items in its facility, so there is no fear of cross-contamination, Schmer said.
Schmer said that he and other employees tried many different crusts and found Sami’s to be the best at the time. He said that they didn’t want to give their customers a pizza crust that they themselves wouldn’t eat.
When the prepared pizza crust makes its way to the Blue Highway kitchen, it is kept away from flour as much as possible. They cook the pizza on a pan separate from their other pizzas.
At Blue Highway, I was accompanied by three of my friends: Morgan Evans, Emily Snyder and Chelsea Courson.
Evans is gluten intolerant. She enjoyed the pizza at Blue Highway.
“This is the best gluten-free pizza I have tried so far, and I plan on returning,” Evans said.
Snyder and Courson don’t have gluten allergies but chose to get the gluten-free pizza.
Choosing to be gluten free is a healthier alternative, Snyder said.
After listening to my interview with Schmer, Courson gained a greater respect for the restaurant.
“They took their time making sure the pizza tasted good. That means they care about their customers,” Courson said.
We all shared two gluten-free pizzas: one Greek and one with pepperoni and pineapples. Blue Highway is not shy with its toppings and gave us plenty.
The pizzas weren’t expensive. You pay the same price as their thin crust ($8.50) and then add two dollars to that. Each topping is an additional $1.50.
The restaurant also has gluten-free pasta, which is imported from Italy. It’s made from corn flour, and Schmer finds it saltier than regular pasta but doesn’t taste much of a difference between that and regular pasta.
I left Blue Highway with a full stomach, happy wallet and cheerful attitude. The pizza was great and the staff was super sweet. I highly recommend this restaurant.
Here is the link to its website: http://bluehighwaypizza.com.