Wednesday, March 4, 2009

RESTAURANT: Beau Jo's - Colorado Style Pizza (Updated!)


Beau Jo's - Colorado Style Pizza

Locations: Locations Throughout Colorado

Locations We've Visited:
Idaho Springs - 1517 Miner Ave - (303) 567-4376
Boulder - 2690 Baseline Road - (303) 554-5312
Denver - 2710 S. Colorado Blvd - (303) 758-1519

Gluten-Free Options: Gluten-free section within regular menu! You don't even have to ask! Includes gluten-free appetizers, pizza, and even beer! Dine in or take out.

Total From A to Z: 5 Stars

A's Review: * * * * *
A Colorado chain that has dedicated one entire page of its menu to gluten-free fare: appetizers, pizza, even gluten-free beer. What this means is that Z can go out and have a gluten-free pizza with most everything she could want on it without feeling like she was compromising. Toss in a couple of bottles of Redbridge and you have yourself a tasty, tasty meal. The regular menu is also excellent. Best of all, the servers all seem to be well-trained to be appreciative of people ordering from the gluten-free section.

Z's Review: * * * * *
Even though I am gluten-free, Beau Jo's makes it possible for me to go out to dinner and order pizza and beer!! It's also great to have the gluten-free menu just provided to me - it was a nice change not to have to make any special requests. From the gluten-free menu I've tried the L'il Italy pizza, which to me just tasted like a regular specialty pizza. It had roma tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, and pepperoni. Combined with a bottle of Redbridge it was quite heavenly! Another time I got the Chip's Pie for takeout. This one was a bit unusual for a pizza, as it had crumbled feta instead of melted cheese, but it was still really delicious. Beau Jo's is one of my new favorite places!

Z's Update:
We've been having some trouble with our oven, so instead of making our own pizza last night we gave in to the siren song of Beau Jo's and ordered takeout. I ordered the gluten-free Pacific Plantation, which was like a traditional Hawaiian pizza with ham and pineapple. But Beau Jo's gives this traditional favorite their own style by adding mushrooms and red onions. It also had a touch of honey in the crust that was absolutely brilliant! I ate this pizza so fast that A hardly got to taste a bite!

Z's Second Update!
It turns out that Beau Jo's is run by a bunch of wonderful, friendly, and caring people! After our first review, Beau Jo's invited us to a party at their Denver location to taste gluten-free appetizers (including delicious little pizza rolls which would be great takeout for a party!) and sandwiches that they are thinking about adding to their menu. I think it was the first time I had eaten a sandwich since I became gluten-free and it was delicious! So if you are gluten-free or love someone who is, be sure to keep Beau Jo's in mind because they are always looking for ways to expand their gluten-free options!

We also discovered that you can order their Hearty Arty spinach-artichoke dip off the regular menu and it is totally gluten-free! Just ask for veggies instead of garlic bread (although I think they are looking to provide a gluten-free version of garlic bread soon too!) I think this may have been the best spinach-artichoke dip I have ever had, with lots of artichokes, dethroning even my own homemade version! Also, right now Beau Jo's is having a gluten-free special called "Wheat Free Wednesdays!" For $12.99 you get a gluten-free pizza and one trip to the salad bar!

A and I were also lucky enough to get to talk with Chip, Beau Jo's owner and namesake of the delicious gluten-free Chip's Pie. In addition to telling us about the care that Beau Jo's uses in developing their gluten-free menu, Chip told us about all the wonderful things Beau Jo's is doing to reduce their environmental impact. I know these things aren't really related to being gluten-free, but environmental matters are close to my heart so I just couldn't resist sharing a little bit about it:

Beau Jo's uses both wind and solar power in their restaurants. They are currently 16th in the state of Colorado for WindSource Usage! Chip told us that the new Boulder location, in particular, is striving to be environmentally friendly. For example, all the wood in the Boulder restaurant is from local tress that were killed by the pine beetle. Chip also told us that the Boulder location is installing an ice bear air conditioning system, which stores cooling energy at night during off-peak hours.

So, in conclusion, visit Beau Jo's and you can get an environmentally friendly, gluten-free pizza served to you by some of the nicest people you will ever meet!

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