When you choose to make a change in your life, or diet, it’s up to you to stick to that change. When you fall off the wagon, it can be considered a weak moment, but you pick yourself up, climb back on and continue forward.
When you are forced to make changes, diet or otherwise, it can be a little more challenging. The child inside screams “you can’t make me!” and keeps trying to prove the evidence wrong.
I learned this over a year ago when it was discovered that I’m lactose intolerant. Which means so dairy. No milk, no ice cream, no cheese, no creamy sauces, no milkshakes, no yogurt, no cottage cheese. No CHEESE.
Of everything on the list of NO’s, cheese was the hardest to give up. Yes, I realize there is goat cheese, but seriously. Have you tried goat cheese nachos? It’s just not the same.
I kept trying little bits here and there, but the side effects would continue. Eventually, I relented and have learned to live without dairy. Without pizza, nachos, ice cream, yogurt and everything else made from milk.
Fortunately, my family, for the most part, has joined me in passing on the cheese. Which has cut down on the pun intended as well. Learning what dairy does to the human digestive system has helped us all avoid it.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss it! Recently I’ve discovered Daiya cheese, a non-dairy, no soy, no gluten “cheese” that melts and let’s you believe you’re eating cheese. Without the side effects. And for the most part, it works. They have a couple different flavors and textures, even offering it in shredded form.
So you can imagine my excitement and trepidation of dining at Picazzo’s at the Promenade in Scottsdale. They boldly advertise a “gluten free” menu. I say boldly because they’ve got banners hanging outside that say “gluten free,” but also because saying such things can turn off diners who don’t understand what such a term means.
Sitting at the bar gave me the chance to talk about the menu with the bartender. She told me that it’s taken some time to get the pizza crusts and breads worked out to what they are today.
And they are good. Very good. Taking my first bite of garlic cheese bread, made on glutten free foccia with Daiya cheese was heaven. The balance of the toasted bread, the melted cheese and garlic was perfect. No, it’s not Buca de Peppo, but then having the same meal there would send my digestive system into a tail spin. So in all its trickery, it definitely did the trick.
The pizza was equally good. The gluten free version is offered in medium size only, which is actually pretty big. Six large slices was more than enough for my dining companion and myself. And being able to choose the toppings, including Daiya cheese, veggies, sauces and meats if you like, made the whole experience unique.
Along with the berry Sangria, the meal was perfect. The bread and pizza satisfied my cravings and left me full without the side effects. I was able to enjoy the rest of my day, which made my day!
The cost of this meal, including a cocktail and a loaf of the foccia bread to go, was equally acceptable at just over $50 including the tip.
I’ve since been back to Picazzo’s and have tried a few other menu items. The baked portobello as delicious and is in line to be my favorite appetizer. And the butternut squash ravioli with pesto sauce was a perfect portion size for lunch.
I’m looking forward to dining there again soon and trying more of their gluten free and dairy free offerings and I hope you will try them too. Don’t be afraid! Whether you need to stay away from such food or not, Picazzo’s menu will satisfy you either way.