01 April 2009

Old Chicago's Email

Old Chicago's wrote me back, but I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the response, I've very mixed on it as it seems they aren't even attempting to make an strides to even work with gluten-free bakers and makers of pizza crusts.... Oh well, le sigh.

Unlike most of our competitors, we serve pizza and cookies...
both of which we make from scratch... This means that we carry 2 kinds
of flour and our mixer is constantly mixing 3 kinds of pizza dough and
cookies. Those prep areas are not separated from other production areas
and as a result, there is flour in the air and potential
cross-contamination is almost assured.
Also, we do not have training programs in place that teach the
nuances of gluten free requirements and affects.

All that being said... there are menu selections that could be
considered free of gluten ingredients... all of our Ken's dressings, our
Ranch & Bleu Cheese dressings are gluten free (except Dorothy Lynch
Dressing), as are many of our meats... Steaks, Ham, Turkey, Canadian
Bacon, chicken wings, pepperoni, sausage & salami. Vegetables and salad
mixes are also appropriate selections. As an individual who is sensitive
to the details of gluten-free living... Guests can certainly come in and
tailor meals, based on ingredients known to be gluten-free... bun-less
burgers, corn chip nachos, steak, salad, veggies, and dressings (except
Dorothy Lynch Dressing). We are very good at providing special orders
upon request, but at this time it would be inappropriate, given our
homemade pizza position, to encourage Gluten Intolerant folks to make us
a gluten free destination through special menuing.

I hope this helps explain our place in the industry, please contact me
back if you have additional questions or requests... We would love to
provide a special menu but, as long as our kitchens are focused on
homemade pizza dough... flour/gluten cross contamination is certainly
more possible than in establishments without pizza.

Thank you for taking the time to write to us....

my response
Thank you for your response Mike. Have you considered working with local gluten-free bakeries that provide the pizza crust? It would still be homemade and I know of a national chain that does just that. Having worked in food service all of my life I understand the possibilities of cross-contamination, but assigning an oven as gluten-free as a trial run might be something more to look into to give your guests a variety. I enjoy going there, especially since you have cider, gluten-free beer on tap at the locations in my area, but having a better food selection would also be nice. Also, do you know if your chicken wing sauces contain any gluten?

Thanks again!!

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