By Debbie Hall
Many people have discovered they have an allergy to gluten, a food additive found in wheat, barley, rye and malts. Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza, with five locations in Southern Nev., offers an expanded gluten-free menu that features more than 40 dishes, including 22 gourmet pizza selections made with gluten-free crust, a variety of tapas, salads, entrées and beer. For dessert, there is Sammy’s signature Messy Sundae.
Corporate Chef Michael Gellar understands the need for tasty food without the gluten. “We address what customers are looking for and asking for and we always try to stay a step ahead; be in front of the trend, be the trendsetter,” he said. Sammy’s originally launched its gluten-free pizza crust in 2008.
Chef Gellar explained that many customers told him they enjoyed the food at Sammy’s but due to dietary restrictions could not order many of the pizzas or other items. “Quite honestly, we looked at it (the requests) and asked what we can do to address that situation. We found a great company that creates a great gluten-free crust for our pizzas.”
With the expanded menu, Chef Gellar said, “We wanted to take it a step further and look at our existing menu and try to identify items with gluten since people want more than just pizza. We created almost a separate menu for the gluten-free community, and it has been received very well.”
For example, gluten-free appetizers include roasted asparagus with shaved Romano, prosciutto, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and hummus made with chickpeas, lemon, tahini and garlic dip, served with hearts of romaine. Fun-to-share tapas feature fresh beets and organic arugula with toasted walnuts, gorgonzola cheese, organic spinach, pomegranate vinaigrette and white tuna and spinach made with flaked white tuna, organic spinach, Japanese cucumber, toasted walnuts, tomato, basil, lemon wedge and red wine vinaigrette.
For heartier appetites, the oak roasted chicken breast with fresh herbs, roasted asparagus, pine nuts, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar is one entrée choice. One new pizza includes the caprese with fresh mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil and homemade sauce.
To be gluten-free, sources used include corn, potatoes, rice, and tapioca. Beans, soybeans and nut flours are also used in gluten-free products to add protein and dietary fiber. Gram flour, derived from chickpeas, is also gluten-free.
Gluten, a protein, is intolerable to sufferers of celiac disease, a digestive disorder which damages the small intestine. A study recently conducted at the University of Maryland found that 1 in 133 Americans have the disease, and for most of those affected, the consequences of eating the wrong food can include stomach aches and migraine headaches.
“At Sammy’s, we consistently work to enhance guest satisfaction,” said Sami Ladeki, owner of the Ladeki Restaurant Group and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. “We are excited to provide an expanded gluten-free menu for our Las Vegas guests to enjoy fresh, health-conscious dining options that address their dining needs and health sensitivities.”
For more information, visit sammyspizza.com or stop by one of their five locations:
4300 E. Sunset Road
Henderson, NV 89014
7160 N. Durango Drive
Las Vegas, NV 89149
9516 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, NV 89147
6500 W. Sahara Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89146
7345 Arroyo Crossing Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89113