As Zizzi’s seems to be one of the few chain restaurants that uses gluten free pasta, I decided it was time to pay them a visit. I had read in the press that they were also trialling a gluten free pizza for ‘Coeliac week’, so was doubly interested as Zac does love ‘pizza’ and it is a very long time since he was able to select anything from a restaurant or pub menu.
We tried the Winchester restaurant, as we were visiting the area for a wedding that weekend. I was prepared for the fact that the pizza might not be available, as that was just on trial in a few restaurants but was still excited at the prospect of Zac being able to eat something other than a packed lunch. We still took one anyway, as our intolerant child is also an impatient child and wants to eat the minute he sits down. He is also so used to taking his own food that he never expects to be presented with anything other than something from his lunch box.
Once his initial feeding frenzy passed he settled down happily and enjoyed colouring in his menu and crown – all kindly provided by our excellent waiter. I explained that I needed more than just a children’s menu and he showed me the ‘allergy’ list. It was extremely comprehensive and easy to follow. Every single dish on the menu was listed, with a breakdown of all the ingredients and the key allergens were all coded with symbols. The calorie content was also labelled and I am not sure what was more alarming – the fact that some dishes were almost a whole day’s worth of an adults recommended daily allowance or the fact that almost nothing was the holy grail of dairy free as well as gluten free.
We decided Zac might like to try the gluten free Doves Farm fusilli. I wanted him to have the tomato sauce but even that was marked with a ‘dairy’ symbol. I asked if it was an integral part of the sauce or just something added at the end that could be left out altogether. Thankfully, it was the latter. Our lovely waiter went to the trouble to double check. They just left off the cheese and Zac was a happy chap. He was also able to have a dessert. A strawberry sorbet, which was delicious.
So although, the choice was limited, at least there was a choice and I remain hopeful that it can only get better.