Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Going the Distance for Vegan Pizza

Can you believe it's 2009?!? It seems like we just rang in Y2K and now all of a sudden it's nine years later. I have high hopes for 2009 though!

To celebrate the new year, we joined some good friends for dinner at Houston's new "green" restaurant, Pizza Fusion. Well, calling it Houston is kind of a stretch since we had to drive 40 minutes to get there (which, I know, isn't very green to drive that far for dinner), leaving the 610 loop which we rarely venture outside of. Pizza Fusion is a restaurant chain that prides itself on minimizing their ecological footprint through the use of organic ingredients, hybrid delivery vehicles, reclaimed building materials (the floors and tables in this one were from the basketball court of a local high school), LEED certification, and recycling. All good things if you ask me! Of course, the fact that they have a vegan cheese option as well as a vegan dessert, also helped lure me outside the loop.

It was kind of surreal to see the word "vegan" emblazed on a building in the suburbs of Houston. If that's not progress, I don't know what else is.

After some confusion over volumetric conversions with the bartender (the 16oz glass of beer came marked in a 0.4L glass, which is equivalent to about 13.5 oz, but we were still charged for the 16oz), our vegan breadstick order arrived with a mix of both white and multigrain minis and a marinara dipping sauce. We probably would have ordered two if we knew our pizzas would take almost an hour to arrive....
But arrive eventually they did. Two specialty pizzas, a veggie medley (mushrooms, broccoli, bell pepper, onions) and a Seattle (onion, garlic, basil, balsamic vinegar, and artichoke hearts) both with FYH mozzarella on a crispy white dough crust. The Seattle was my favorite with the bite of the vinegar, the sweetness of the onion, and the creaminess of the melty "cheese", all the flavors melded into a perfect pairing. The pizza was definitely a hit with the vegan and non-vegan parties at our table.
To make up for the very slow service, the manager gave us a few freebies... "I'm a vegan" bracelets, coupons for soy cheese pizzas, and dessert! This vegan, gluten-free brownie was a nice ending to the meal. Not as good as my homemade brownies (they were a little grainy and could have been more chocolatey), but still good.
While I enjoyed out trip out to the boonies for a vegan pizza, it's not likely a trip I'll make very often. Luckily, Pizza Fusion has plans to open more locations throughout Texas and the country. Maybe one will be opening close to you (and me)!

I have been in a cooking rut lately. I think last week I ate out 4 nights in a row which is very unlike me. So I'm searching for some inspiration... what have you cooked lately that you absolutely loved?

36 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

What a great restaurant find!! Thanks for the review!!

Hope your cooking rut is over soon!!

***Here's the dish that I cook (and eat) VERY often (scroll down in post)):

http://veggiegirlvegan.blogspot.com/2008/09/edible-and-inedible-goodies.html

pixiepine said...

Ohh maybe I can try a Pizza Fusion when I am in Texas. Sounds like fun. My favorite thing I have made lately is homemade calzones. So crazy good, and really easy! I used a mix of wheat and white flour for the crust. I filled them with spaghetti sauce, onions, peppers, nooch, spices, etc. They were a nice breath of vegan fresh air, as I get the recipe blahs too sometimes.

Colleen said...

I took my husband to the Pizza Fusion in San Diego on Saturday. We ordered bread sticks, sandwiches, and a brownie. Our bread sticks never arrived (but we weren't charged for them) and the sandwiches were great. I must say, if your brownie is better than theirs I definitely want the recipe! We haven't been able to find a good chewy brownie and just loved this one. We will definitely have to go back to try the pizza now though after your great review!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

More locations? Perhaps one in Dallas? Hint hint, if you're reading this, Pizza Fusion people!

Lauren said...

Yum! I have been CRAVING pizza! I told T we should make some for his birthday and he looked at me and said "Your birthday is a week later, why don't we make it then.." and I said "NO we are going to Candle 79!" He will do anything to get out of driving into the city on Superbowl Sunday! :)

Bianca said...

Okay, I'm so gonna half to plan another trip to Houston for this place. I can't imagine how cool it would be to visit a vegan pizza joint.

Ruby Red Vegan said...

Hooray! The word "vegan" placed outside a suburban pizza joint can definitely be considered progress! I'm so impressed that they had vegan cheese and vegan desserts. And those breadsticks look soooo doughy and delicious. Oh my gosh, I can't get over it! And even though the brownie wasn't absolutely perfection, it's always nice to know they offer dessert if you want it. Sounds like it was a fun little adventure!

I also have an espresso recommendation for you: Catalina Coffee at 2201 Washington Ave. Apparently you can get "swirly espresso" there (to use your words, hehe) and it should be a really good experience since you normally don't have coffee. Let me know if you try it!

Zucchini Breath said...

Great review! That looks like a really fun place. There is only one vege friendly restaurant in this town and it's just a sandwich/soup/salad/pre-made entree/deli, and even THEY serve meat. :(

Ruthie said...

Mmmm..

I made onion, carrot, white bean and tomato soup the other day. It was good. I haven't been able to taste much lately!!! :)

mel said...

Those breadsticks look soooo good.

allularpunk said...

i've been wanting pizza so bad lately... it's nice to know there are vegan pizza joints out there somewhere, thought the likelihood of one opening up near me is small. too bad the service kind of sucked...but yay for pizza and freebies! sorry bout your cooking rut. i get in those from time to time and end up eating out way more than i should. this isn't really a meal, but a component that i had with dinner last night, for breakfast this morning, and with lunch a little while ago (so i must love it) http://havecakewilltravel.com/2008/12/31/spicy-chick-wheat-savory-muffins/ try them!

Jes said...

The Seattle looks really good; too bad about the beer mistake and slow service! There's one sorta close to me in Atlanta, I'll have to check it out soon!

jessy said...

i'd drive that far for a vegan pizza with friend every now and again. delicious, indeed! sorry the service was super slow. i think my jaw would have dropped reading "vegan" on a storefront like that! ahahahahaaa!

we just made ethiopian food - which was delicious and pretty darn easy, too! tonight we're having bean burgers. sorry you're in a bit of a rut - it's okay though - you'll come out of it & create some rock'n dishes soon enough! no worries!

DJ said...

Restaurants can really shoot themselves in the foot with schoolboy errors like slow service, short-changing, etc. If the food isn't stellar, it can really put you off...
I have been in a cooking rut also recently, due to being ill and lazy, so I've resorted to easy family favourites - spag bol made with red lentils, layer bakes and FFV mac n' cheeze with garlic bread. So good!

shellyfish said...

You had to wait an hour? Holy crap! I've done my fair share of waiting tables, and I think you should have gotten a little more! At least the food was delicious.
I'm sorry you're in a rut...maybe treat yourself to a new cookbook? Sometimes that can help.

Veronica said...

Wow, all that sounds fantastic, but I'm sorry you had to wait an hour for food. That's always a little more than aggravating. I'm glad it was good!

I don't know what it is about the post-holidays (New Year depression, perhaps?), but I've recently been in an extreme cooking rut as well. However, I'm obsessed with variations on the vegan steamed sausage. One of my favorites is the fauxsage Apple Curry-style (http://havecakewilltravel.com/2008/09/12/fauxsage-a-gogo/).

Ricki said...

Sorry it wasn't a totally memorable experience--but at least you got those freebies! (There's that great customer service again--that would never happen here!). I cooked a fabulous African-inspired stew the other night from Go Dairy Free, and loved it. Will be blogging about it soon!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

I can really relate to this post! We have a new vegan deli in St. Louis, which is also surreal, but I've yet to try it because it's pretty far away from me. But I will. Sorry to hear of your cooking rut. I made a repeat recipe tonight, which is rare, the Brazilian Stew from my blog. The house smells like beer, but in a good way!

Vegetation said...

Mmm the pizza and desserts look great! And I hear you on the cooking ruts. I get in them too :( Eventually they pass and things look up again (till the next rut comes along anyway :P) Hope you find some yummy inspiration soon!

Mihl said...

That looks like an awesome place to celebrate the New Year! It's so nice when someone else cooks for you! I'm you will get some new inspiration soon!

Stacey said...

Where is this place? I tried to look it up on Google maps but it doesn't recognize the address. Don't worry about the knitting meeting - you weren't the only one! I'm not working on anything special, just another scarf. We're in a cooking rut too. During the week it's been goulash and red beans & rice to save time. We really need another car.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

Happy New Year! I think it's easy to be in a cooking rut after the crazy holidays. I hope you get a Pizza Fusion closer to your home. xo!

selina said...

i would totally go for some vegan pizza in the neighborhood. rock on!

Hannah said...

I wish there was a place like this around here! You'd think there would be more options in CT...

Anonymous said...

I made the pumpkin/black bean casserole from www.fatfreevegan.com the other night and it was SO good! And very easy! Yum!

River said...

What a cool restaurant! The pizzas look so thin and crispy and perfect! Too bad the brownies weren't too yummy, but YAY for freebies! I hope they open tons of new locations!

I've been on a cooking rut myself. They kind of come and go.

twoveganboys said...

I wish we had a pizza joint like that here in Austin. Awesome!

Animal-Friendly said...

I've had my eye on this restaurant (because they have a location in Ft. Lauderdale where my family visits every year) and I'm so glad to hear it's good! I'm even happier about the gluten-free vegan brownie :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know about this place. I live in sugar land and can't wait to try it. Your blog is great.

sharon in sugar land

VeganCowGirl said...

Sounds like an amazing place! I am so jealous!!!

Vita-VEGAN-Vegamin said...

I wish I live in a city with vegan options! Eating out usually means salad, salad, and more salad. We do have a Genghis Grill and thats pretty good, but we really need a few more veg friendly places!

Bar said...

Oh wouw this blog is mouth watering! Looks so good!

xxx Bar.

Vegan On Stage said...

your pizza adventure sounds wonderfully fun!!! sometimes you have to wait a little longer for something yummy and VEGAN!!! how exciting! i hope they bring something like that to long island new york... slim chances but hey ya never know!

kittee said...

the pizza looks good if anything, though i'm not sure about those bracelets!

xo
kittee

The Vegan Snorkeler said...

I too have been in a bit of a cooking rut lately. I'm going to have to try that Seattle pizza idea. Sounds delicious.

Bert said...

Wonder why they would be in Tomball? You couldn't fill a phone booth with all the vegans living in Tomball, I'd bet... But everybody loves pizza! Might have to make a trek out there soon!