Now, I don't know how familiar people are with the San Diego Zoo, but the zoo close to home is ridiculous. It's one of the largest in the world, boasts an astonishing number of exhibits and exhibits and is always an adventure to visit. So, when we planned a trip to the small Colorado Springs Zoo, I wasn't expecting much. I was wrong.
I knew it was going to be a memorable trip when we saw giraffes eagerly eating lettuce out of visitors' open hands. While my home zoo wraps giraffe feeding in miles of red tape, all we had to do was pay $2 for lettuce and wash up after. Can you say, score?
Then we rode the lift to the top section of the zoo. The beauty of Colorado never ceases to amaze me and as I sat hundreds of feet up in the air, the view of the mountains, lakes and houses down the valley seemed like a gorgeous mirage.
Of course, though, a visit to the zoo wouldn't be complete without celiac disease raising its head. In this case, I performed the ultimate sin by forgetting a snack, so the search was on! We ended up at the Grizzly Grill, and while no gluten free options could be had, I spotted a bright green apple in a fruit bowl on the assembly line. The server nicely washed it for me (yay!) and we ended up getting it for free because the cashier had never heard of the Grill selling apples before. No complaints here!
After wearing the rubber off our shoes from hours of walking, we were starving and decided on Boriello Brothers Pizza for lunch. It was our host's favorite pizza place and I was ecstatic to read on their website that they offered gluten free pizza with separate toppings and cooked in a separate oven. Color me impressed.
Boriello Brothers immediately charmed us with its casual, baseball-themed decor. Because we hit it past lunch hour, it wasn't busy at all and we could order immediately. The gluten-eaters decided to split an extra large pizza while my Mom and I ordered separate gluten free personal pizzas. My comfort level spiked right up after talking to the cashier who took our order. He knew about celiac disease and cross contamination and guided us through ordering to ensure they we only ordered gluten free toppings.
I ended up with a cheese and pepperoni pie topped with spinach, olives, mushrooms and green pepper. The gluten pizza emerged rather quickly and was immediately devoured. My dad and sister absolutely loved the flavor and gave it two thumbs up. About fifteen minutes later, the gluten free pies appeared.
On first glance, they looked delicious. Cooked through but not burned and liberally coated with toppings. My favorite part of the pizza was definitely the crust. It had an awesome crunch and avoided the gluten free pitfall of a weird aftertaste. I also loved the ratio of toppings with only a thin layer of sauce and cheese and lots of greens.
Overall, my Mom and I agreed that it was definitely the best pizza we've had eating out. Even better, it was also decent leftovers, too (best the day right after and no later). That my tummy liked it afterwards sealed the deal!
Vacations can be tricky, as I've mentioned in the earlier parts of the "Celiac Roadtrip" series. Sometimes, though, having a fun time is a piece of cake. Or, in terms of that day, a piece of pizza!