Restaurant: Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint, Louisville, Kentucky
I know a few Celiacs and gluten-free peeps around here. I run with a couple of them too. And one of them, my friend Keith, has been raving about Uncle Maddio’s for just about as long as I’ve known him in our running group. And for some reason…I fell into the black hole of all the other local gluten-free pizza places, not branching out or just not going for pizza at all. Despite the high recommendation and regards concerning their safety procedures when it comes to preparing gluten-free pizza for their customers…this one just kept sliding through the cracks.
I am happy to report, however, that this past Saturday…I went to Uncle Maddio’s…and yeah…I can see why Keith and so many other people have raved about this place.
First of all, Uncle Maddio’s looks to be a very small chain that is expanding. They have a few locations in Georgia and the one here in Louisville, Kentucky. I am so thankful for the location here in Louisville now that I have checked them out.
It was just about right after they opened when my roommate and I made our way over to Uncle Maddio’s for lunch. One reason, aside from meaning to have checked it out long ago, was that we were already in the area. I had been in the local park running a 5K race that morning. After some coffee and a bit of shopping on Bardstown Road, we were ready for some actual food. And there it was…conveniently…offering me gluten-free pizza. Yeah…this was ideal.
So, my roommate and I entered and were greeted by the guy behind the counter. We explained that it was our first time there and that I am gluten-free. He immediately began changing his gloves. “Oh, gluten-free? No problem.” So, we eyed the menu for a moment and finally I told my roommate to pick a pizza, because as long as it is vegetarian, I’ll eat any topping. I’m not as picky as she is. So with a moment of consideration, she decided to go with one of their signature pizzas. Her choice – the Portobello Pesto ($9.99 (regular $7.99 + $2.00 up-charge for gluten-free)). What I really felt good about was when we placed the order, the other guy behind the counter pulled out a list to check the ingredients to make sure they would be gluten-free. Wow…that was an amazing thing.
Granted, Uncle Maddio’s does not make their own gluten-free crust. They have a pre-made vegan/gluten-free crust that is made from: rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, water, olive oil, sugar, yeast, and salt. It is only available in one size, a medium, which means six slices. I am certain this has everything to do with cutting down on any sort of cross-contamination. They have an extensive list of gluten-free toppings for the pizza as well. It’s kind of cool because of the way they are set up, you can watch as your pizza goes down the line if you so choose…like someone would watch their sandwich get prepared at Subway.
The Portobello Pesto Pizza is basically the gluten-free crust topped with their herb pesto sauce, mozzarella , portabella and white mushrooms, feta cheese, Roma tomatoes and fresh basil. Simple ingredients on a simple pizza, yes? My roommate made a fantastic choice, because the toppings would mean that I could really get a taste of the crust without sauce overpowering it…and also be able to clearly taste all the toppings on this, one of their signature pies.
We went to fill our drinks and take a seat at a booth. It actually took a little bit of time for the pizza to be prepared, which I actually do like. It means they aren’t being careless or taking shortcuts.
The pizza did arrive at our table and man…it looked absolutely delicious. Stunning. A work of gluten-free pizza art. I hated that I had to take pictures of it, because, honestly, I was ready to dive in for a slice. But I have to make sacrifices for this blog at times. Pictures first. Then…pizza time!
I served my roommate up a slice of the pizza, then placed a slice on my plate. With a fork and knife, I cut through the toasted crust, hearing the knife cut through the pre-made crust. I liked the thin-crust and the crunch that they achieved without burning it. Sometimes some places overcook those thin-crust gluten-free pizzas…but not Uncle Madio’s. It was perfection. And with the very first bite…I knew that this combination of toppings was now one of my favorites. Enough for me to declare that I needed to start making pesto. Hey…I love to be in my kitchen and lord knows I keep olive oil on hand. It all worked. The basil pesto didn’t overwhelm the pizza as a base. It wasn’t too strong…just right. And the rest of the toppings were seasoned and fresh. The portobella mushrooms were cooked to perfection. Not drippy or wet. They were absolutely stunning, laying on top. I could taste the freshness in the Roma tomatoes and the basil. The feta and mozzarella cheese were not piled high on top, but used more as a compliment to the other toppings. It wasn’t overwhelmed with cheese so the flavors really shined.
Yeah…I was impressed. I was beyond impressed. I was happy to be eating there. I was already trying to come up with the next vegetarian pizza to get there and try out. See how it does. Or…maybe get this one again. Because it truly wowed me. When in doubt…go with a signature pizza. They are signature meals for a reason, yes? And this one totally deserved its spot up on that board.
Peace of mind and a great serving and slice of pizza. I left there after eating half of the pizza and wasn’t crazy-full…a definite plus as well. The fact that they take such care with their customers who order gluten-free makes me feel confident about my next return. And yes…there will be a next time!