May 18, 2011

Naked Pizza, New to Boulder, Offers Delicious and Healthy Gluten-Free Pizza

By Evan Sandsmark -  

Exactly two weeks ago, Naked Pizza opened a location in Boulder, and, having just tried their delicious gluten-free pizza this afternoon, we can report that this is excellent news. If you like pizza and follow a gluten-free diet, we strongly urge you to try Naked Pizza, which is located near the corner of 28th and Arapohoe, right by Qdoba. It is really good.

Naked Pizza is all about healthy, high-quality ingredients. This is their selling point, as a quick glance at any of their promotional material will immediately reveal. In fact, the word “naked” is meant to denote that their pizzas are natural. The company is very explicit about this, with the pizza boxes announcing that “naked = no freaky chemicals.” What does all this talk about naturalness and nudity mean? Basically, the ingredients that Naked use are all-natural, meaning they are free of preservatives, added sugar, antibiotics, hormones, and – you guessed it – freaky chemicals of any kind, like hydrogenated oil or high fructose corn syrup. The cheese is 100% natural Wisconsin mozzarella that is free of rGBH. The meats have no growth hormones or antibiotics. We trust you get the picture.

Naked is sure to contrast their ingredients with those of other pizza restaurants. Always direct, some might say to a fault, they describe many of their competitors’ “highly processed pies” as “big donut[s] slathered with tomato sauce.” Enough said.

We’ve reviewed pizza places before – most recently Proto’s in North Boulder, which also has great gluten-free pizza – and we always selected a fairly conventional pie, one made with tomato sauce and mozzarella, and topped with ingredients like mushrooms and sausage. So, in an effort to expand our horizons, we decided to try one of Naked’s specialty pizzas (labeled on the menu as “our favorites”). There were nine in total to chose from, including unique creations like the pima – made with black beans, jalapeno, and cheddar – as well as more conventional pizzas like the greenhouse, which is topped with onion, tomato, bell pepper, black olive, and mushroom. We decided to go with the smokehouse, which uses hickory-smoked BBQ sauce in place of tomato sauce, and is topped with red onion and chicken. For the record, you can also create your own pizza, selecting from 15 vegetables, fives meats, three cheeses, and three sauces, so provided you’re not fundamentally disgusted by the concept of pizza, you should be able to find something you like. (Gluten-free eaters are limited in one respect, though: the GF crust only comes in the 12″ size, which is a medium.)

We ordered our pizza as take-out, thinking take-out and delivery are the only options, but when we arrived, it appeared as though the staff of Naked was setting up a few tables in the front of the store, so evidently eating in the restaurant is an option. Still, Naked seems to be primarily a take-out and delivery restaurant (they vow to deliver pizza “to your home hot in about 25 minutes. Every time.”), as the dining area, even when filled with tables, is fairly small. On the other hand, there appeared to be iPads on one of the counters for customers to use, so that will likely draw in some people.

Having picked up the pizza, we drove home filled with anticipation, our car filled with the pleasant smell of a freshly-baked pizza. Upon opening the box, the first thing we noticed was the generous amount of toppings added to the pizza. Chopped red onions and small pieces of chicken blanketed the top, and underneath this was a thick layer of melted mozzarella cheese, which was itself stretched across a spread of BBQ sauce and a gluten-free crust. The first bite and every subsequent bite was a pleasure to experience. With all of the toppings, the pizza bursts with flavor. Each mouthful contained juicy pieces of chicken complimented by the sweet BBQ sauce, and the fresh onion supplied a crunchy texture. The GF pizza crust beneath all of the flavor was also superb. It was thin – about a half of a centimeter at its thickest – and had a multifaceted texture. Under the sauce and toppings, it was light and soft, but as you moved closer to the border, it became crisper and thicker. When a slice had been eaten down to the outer edge of the pizza, there was still much to look forward to because the bare crust, without any sauce or topping, was delicious. From start to finish, the pizza was great, and that’s really all there is to be said.

Given their healthy and delicious pizzas, it’s close to unthinkable that Naked won’t thrive in a place like Boulder, where healthy foods, extensive exercise, and inchoate musings about Eastern philosophy thrive (not that this last point has anything to do with our speculation that Naked will succeed, but it’s a point worth making nonetheless).

As a concluding remark, we would like to congratulate ourselves for resisting the urge to make puns at every turn on the word “naked.” The opportunity presented itself (“the staff of Naked” could easily be rewritten as “the Naked staff”), but we nobly resisted. Way to go, self.

Check out the Naked Pizza menu here:
http://www.nakedpizza.biz/menu

The address of the Boulder Location of Naked Pizza:
1629 28th Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Note: This is the eighteenth article in a new series presented by GlutenFreeInBoulder.com. On a (roughly) weekly basis, we will visit a restaurant, try a thing or two, and write about our experience. We will, of course, be sampling exclusively gluten-free food so we can report back to our readers about the items worth having. However, many of the places we visit merely offer gluten-free options, and hence are not necessarily 100% gluten-free facilities, so if proximal cross-contamination is an issue, call ahead. If you would like us to review a particular restaurant with gluten-free options, send an email to info@glutenfreeinboulder.com. We’ll try our best to check it out!

Read Next Article » The Village Coffee Shop, Boulder’s Popular Diner, Offers Gluten-Free Breakfast and Lunch
Previous Article « Gluten Free Registry Explained, and a List of Gluten Free Restaurants in Boulder Too

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