Ever since something changed with the Blue Moon gf crust (at least at the Sandy Springs location) and the same thing happened at Crust in Alpharetta, I've been avoiding pizza places. I'm not paying an upcharge for something that's not as good as a frozen gf pizza I can make at home. Duh.
However, I keep the faith that someone will start offering a gluten-free pizza worth eating out in the ATL. While doing my normal gluten-free pizza in Atlanta web search, which I do every month or so, I came upon rave reviews for the option at Hearth Pizza Tavern in Sandy Springs. After confirming they have a process in place to keep the pizza crust as safe as possible in a gluten kitchen, we made a date to try it. The crust comes from a company in Colorado, but it's stretched at the restaurant. Therefore, it tastes more fresh than the typical frozen crusts that abound in the area.
We arrived to the cool space that is Hearth on a bustling Saturday night. Even though it was early...around 6 pm, it was so busy there was a wait. We put our name on the list and headed to the Whole Foods in the same complex. When we got back less than 15 minutes later, our table was ready. The server didn't seem to understand much about what gluten-free meant so that was unsettling. However, the manager on duty (who seemed knowledgeable) oversaw the order. For reference, the salad we ordered didn't seem to come with any croutons or bread, but you ALWAYS have to order EVERYTHING gluten-free, even salads, so you don't end up with a lovely gluten garnish on your food! Sure enough, as the server was walking away she said "oh, so you don't want the bread on your salad?". Mmmmm.....NO I don't want bread unless it's gluten-free. The look on her face indicated she might not know such a thing exists (LOL!), but at least she got the order in correctly.
The pizza was quite good and most definitely worth having again. It's no Don Antonio, but let's be real.....we're not in NYC. I likely would not risk eating at Hearth with a wheat allergy since there's always going to be gluten flour in the air, and the server knowledge (or lack thereof). My guess is that way more people who order the gluten-free pizza at Hearth have no clue what gluten is in, than people who actually can't eat it ;)
Also, when we called to check on gluten-free ingredients for the pizza, beyond the crust, I also asked if there were any gluten-free ciders. The answer was "no, I'm sorry we don't have cider" so it was a nice surprise when two were listed on the menu. I think I had one with blackberry and ginger in it and it was very refreshing!
After taking half my pizza to go, we stopped into WF again and bought the amazing JB's Carrot Cake and another treat from that line we'd not had before - Blueberry Cheesecake - for dessert.
The restaurant group that owns Hearth, MooCoo Group, also offers the "fresh from prepared dough" at Atwood Pizza in the city and some other location in Marietta, which I can't recall the name of....or find online.
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