UPDATE 2013: I have not eaten here since 2011. I will not be risking it again. While the staff tries to make the food safe, the amount of flour in the air and in the oven makes the cross contamination risk far too high.
Since my initial post I have had some not so good reactions to Flatbread’s pizza. I’m not sure if they’re having cross contamination issues, or are using a new ingredient that contains gluten on their pizzas, but a couple of times now my stomach hasn’t been so happy after dining there. It’s now just past the 12 hour mark from eating there last night, and my digestive system is definitely not happy, so please be aware as always that cross contamination occurs. Please eat at your own risk. I only try to provide the best information I possibly can from my experiences.
You know my ethics. I try to purchase food that is local and/or organic as much as possible. But, when dining out I find that it can be difficult to do (even though I know a lot of restaurants get local produce from my friend’s produce distribution company).
But, if you want to know what ranches, farms, and dairies the foods are coming from easily all you have to do is look at the chalk board on the wall at Flatbread Company.
Flatbread, as it is shortened to, is a small chain with outlets in Amesbury, Portland, North Coaway, Portsmouth, Canton, Bedford and our own little one right in Paia.
At Flatbread they specialize in using ingredients that are organic, local, free range, and nitrate free. They toss their pizzas by hand, and their pizzas are cooked in a wood burning earth oven.
If you’re gluten free your pizza will not be a hand tossed pizza, and will cost an additional $7.00, but it will still be cooked inside the earth oven on aluminum foil. The foil prevents your delightful little gem from being cross contaminated.
To also prevent cross contamination the cooks will prepare your pizza away from the others inside their walk in refrigerator.
When ordering the gluten free pizza crust you will be asked if you have an allergy or if it’s just a personal preference. Even though we all know Celiac Disease isn’t an allergy, just say allergy and then they’ll be sure to make it away from everything else to keep you safe.
Steer clear of the house salad. Even though everyone says it is amazing, their dressing contains tamari that isn’t gluten free.
The pizza crust is crispy at the edge, but isn’t crisp throughout due to the aluminum foil keeping moisture in. But, it isn’t so flimsy that you can’t pick up a slice and deliver it safely to your pizza pie hole (a.k.a. your mouth). The brand Flatbread uses is called Mommy’s Muffins from New Hampshire. There used to be a gluten free baker on the island supplying them, but since she moved without leaving anyone her recipes, they’re outsourcing. But really, this pizza crust is awesome. Even if you don’t have a Flatbread near you, check out Mommy’s Muffins site for a list of stores and restaurants carrying their products.
My favorite pizza at Flatbread is Mopsy’s. This is a mango barbeque sauce topped pizza with pineapple and kalua style, or Hawaiian style smoked, pork. There are also red onions and chevre from Surfing Goat Dairy. This pizza is dangerously good. I could eat the whole 12 inch pizza by myself! It even makes great cold leftovers for breakfast.
My other favorite is the Coevolution which is loaded up with veggies, mozzarella cheese, and chevre.
I’ll often go half and half with these two flavors. Ask for a container of Jay’s Hart dipping sauce to go with your crusts. Mmmmm.
There are many vegetarian options, and you can always go cheese-less if you’re dairy free!
I can’t recommend the sodas. They all have a kind of funny taste. I have liked some local sodas before, like Ko soda, but the one they’re serving up just has a funky aftertaste. Opt for the mint green tea or the lemonade (the lemonade does not have free refills however as it is hand made).
And, if you’ve got room for dessert and you have a few mouths to feed, or if you’re still starving yourself, get the big one. Get the banana split. It has three baseball sized scoops of ice cream (vanilla, strawberry, coconut), bananas, whipped cream galore, chocolate sauce, nuts and of course the cherry on top.
I didn’t try it, but the server said they also have a gluten free brownie. I’ll get this the next time I go. This is probably served with some vanilla ice cream as Devin ordered the glutenous brownie and it came with ice cream.
89 Hana Highway
Paia, HI 96779
The dessert was quite delicious. I finally tried the gluten free brownie. It was crispy on the outside and soft and hot on the inside. We asked for a bit of fruit on the plate with it, and the ice cream on the side. It was the best brownie I’ve had in a while.