Pizza’s Kitchen: No Gluten, No Fun

By Emily Pizza

Everything at K seems to have gluten in it. Well, everything that tastes good, at least. I have so much respect for anyone that can do this for over a week. The cafeteria claims it is very dietary-restriction friendly, and my task for this week was to decide whether they were gluten-free friendly or not. My answer is sometimes.

While I was really happy about the signage in the caf indicating which of my options included gluten, I was also really limited in my options. I would spend one day eating nothing but rice and veggies, which gets old fast, because the other gluten-free options were some sort of chickpea orange goop that I just couldn’t force down.

Other days I would be shocked at the all options I had. I had some great soups, salads, and other gluten-free meals this week, and I would leave feeling completely satisfied. Overall, you can eat gluten-free in the caf as long as you aren’t picky. You either eat nothing but rice and veggies, or only eat French fries.

I also discovered something else: gluten-free bread is gross. I tried it and I attempted to like it, but it just tastes like cardboard.  While I definitely don’t blame the cafeteria for this, I do wish that they didn’t consider themselves gluten-friendly because they have cardboard-tasting bread.

However, I did find a few gems. The gluten-free cookies over by the pizza station were to die for! I was amazed that anything without gluten could taste so good. I definitely give credit to the cafeteria staff for buying those for us. Are they definitely bought? If you haven’t had them, I really recommend you try them.

Eating at the Richardson Room Café, or “Stacks,” was also a challenge, because I was not a fan of the gluten-free bread. Luckily, the salad selections weren’t too bad. It would be nice, though, if there was an option to add meat to any salad free of charge, it would have helped to keep me full longer.

Another suggestion would be to put the croutons in one corner of the salad, so they are easier to pick out and don’t leave gluten-dust all over the lettuce. That said, the strawberry-almond salad in the Book Club is delicious and completely gluten-free. I was glad to be able to grab that in between busy classes.

Overall, I give the cafeteria credit for their efforts to keep the gluten-free people fed, but it’s our job as students to reflect on the food. It’s important that people who have eaten gluten-free for a while propose recipes for the staff to serve. Although I don’t have any in mind, I’m sure some of my fellow students. If we don’t help K College Dining, we can’t blame them for our growling stomachs at the end of the day.

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