Seattle is known for it's cutting edge restaurant scene. And, in the gluten free world, Razzi's Pizzeria has been at the forefront of allergy dining for over a decade. Kid Allergy Travel knew this place was not to be missed for anyone living gluten free, so we partnered up (via sponsorship) with this Italian eatery to bring you all the details.
Let me start out by saying that I had heard this restaurant had 4 individual menus that catered to a wide range of eaters: Traditional, Gluten-Free, Vegan & Gluten-Free/Vegan. But, before the Kid Allergy Travel family actually visited this Seattle landmark, I did not really understand why.
Razzi's has six kitchens. That's right SIX. And, his gluten free kitchen is certified by The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG). That means he undergoes annual kitchen inspections, sends products sold as gluten free for lab testing, built dedicated air filtration systems to push out contaminates from the airways, and he invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to make this possible.
This is not just a restauranteur who is forward thinking. Amir Razzi is an allergy sufferer himself.
His story begins 22 years ago in the Greenwood section of Seattle where he launched Razzi's Pizzeria in an effort to deliver fresh Italian inspired food items to the neighborhood. About a decade later, however, Mr. Razzi started feeling tired, had pain in his joints, and was plagued with rashes. One of the main offenders happened to be gluten, so he looked to change the focus in his food. His aim became creating an environment where everyone was welcome to eat their favorite foods without fearing for their health. He worked tirelessly to mill his own gluten free flour and create different textures for the various products on offer from Focaccia, pita bread, pizza dough, and pasta. Thankfully, he had the room to expand and the motivation to invest the time and energy needed to build a gluten free menu with this attention to detail.
But, he didn't stop with simply creating a world for those of us who are gluten free. He moved on to help others with dietary restrictions like those eating dairy free and vegan. Got a garlic allergy? He has a garlic free sauce for you! Following a no sodium or low carb diet, or must have a sugar free, yeast free, or soy free meal? He has those available too.
So, what did we eat?
I'm not guna lie, our family has never quite been to a restaurant like this. We were all a bit overwhelmed with choices. We had four gigantic menus in our hands making it difficult to focus our meal down to one dish. But, in the end, we went with the following off three of the four available menus:
The hubby and I couldn't possibly leave without trying one of the gluten free adult beverages on tap that are rotated seasonally. We ultimately settled on the Marion Barry Cider and the Ground Breaker Brewing Pale Ale and were not disappointed.
My meatless hubby couldn't resist ordering the Beyond Chicken Strips from the Gluten Free/Vegan Menu as our starter. Neither one of us had ever tasted this product before. And, for a man who has not had meat in decades, he was pleasantly surprised at the taste and feel of this product.
The adults both ordered handmade pasta dishes from the Gluten Free Menu. The texture of the gluten free pasta was divine and the sauce was rich and flavorful. We both savored every bite and, in the end, couldn't finish the huge portions on our plates. My husband thought the pasta was so out-of-this-world good, Razzi should consider omitting the word Pizzeria altogether from the name. He firmly believes people should come for the pasta as well.
Much to my dismay, with all these incredible options, both of my kids went with traditional kid menu food items.
Kid Allergy, a self-proclaimed gluten free pizza expert, couldn't resist the gluten free pepperoni pizza from the Gluten Free Menu. He still talks about the pizza here, so I figure that is a great sign that the pizza was solid.
His little bother ended up ordering the chicken strips from the Traditional Menu. As this is a pretty standard fare for this kid, he ate without complaint or coaxing, so we figured it was a win win.
In the end, this dining establishment isn't just about the excellent tasting food. Razzi's Pizzeria is more about a chef's love for his fellow man. His soul is in this place and you can feel that his heart is preparing food that makes everyone belong at his dining room table. This restaurant isn't about gimmick. It isn't about a scene or a trend. Amir Razzi's restaurant made my family feel welcome. And...that's a tall order because we are two gluten free diners, a pescatarian, and a picky five year old. Away went the stress of explaining our dietary requirements and the general guilt of being the "difficult table" with all of our various dietary preferences and restrictions.
As we departed, Mr. Razzi handed Kid Allergy a loaf of his signature gluten free bread to take back to Texas. Weeks have passed, and I find myself still pondering his generosity. Not just the complementary takeaway, but the time and effort this man has put in to building an allergy friendly community. Ultimately, I felt there was a real positive impact from our experience here. For a kid who struggles with being different everyday, I felt that Kid Allergy was given so much during that meal. He got to see first hand that everyone has a place somewhere and that food can still bring people together. For that, our family is grateful. And, even though we are separated by 1,600 miles, we know someday we will return. Dining at Razzi's Pizzeria just feels like home.
Kid Allergy Travel received a discounted meal & a loaf of complimentary gluten free bread from Razzi's Pizzeria. Although this was part of a media visit, rest assured, the opinions provided in the post by Kid Allergy Travel remain our own.
Can't make it to the original Greenwood location? Don't worry, there is a Downtown Seattle location too! Find location details for both Razzi's Pizzeria restaurants here.
Need something to do after your meal? Looking for family friendly indoor activities? Read about our three favorite Seattle Museums here.