Yes it’s in Duluth, at a convenient location, and already cooking up a storm! Pizza Luce has been at the corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street for a few years, but the gluten-free menu just made a grand entrance.
My sister-in-law (who’d been calling them monthly about the gluten-free menu) got a personal call from someone at the store on Tuesday telling them it would be available starting Wednesday, so they were there Wednesday night dining on gluten-free appetizers and pizza, “The pizza was awesome!” my brother (who has celiac) told me that night. Awesome, just like the nights I’ve reviewed there before (but at the St. Paul location).
Then they gave him a tour inside the kitchen to show him how they try to keep everything as celiac safe as possible. The gluten-free dough is in its own container as is some seasoning and cutting utensils. The pizza is cooked on parchment paper so there is an added “safety net” of sorts between the pizza and any possible cross contamination. They also did extensive training with their staff to prepare for the addition of these menu items. Overall he was impressed — and of course delighted to have this new option.
I talked with Laura Hansen from Pizza Luce. She is in charge of making sure all of the changes are made to ensure the “gluten freeness” of their foods. Plus she does the training. She explained to me what they have to do to prep a new restaurant for a gluten free menu, including, “getting [the general manager and kitchen manager certified through the Celiac Awareness group and reading/understanding our training packets.” Plus the Kitchen Manager has to review all of their order guides and ALL ingredients. “This is very tedious for the Kitchen Manager, however it is valuable knowledge (they go through all their ingredients and look for hidden sources of gluten),” Hansen said. Plus there are additional hours of training staff and kitchen prep. “…it’s not quick and we take it very seriously,” she said.
So all of you folks when you go up to Duluth for the week or the weekend this summer — check out Pizza Luce. It’s just over the freeway bridge to Superior Street from Canal Park! You can’t (and shouldn’t) miss it.