Friday 24 April 2015

Pizza Express

Since journeying into Veganism I have found myself really avoiding some of my old favourite restaurants like Pizza Express, Prezzo's and Zizzi's mainly because I just associate them with copious amounts of cheese and dairy. My husband however still enjoys his pizzas, despite being 80% Vegan now he still dabbles a great deal with being Vegetarian and hasn't completely given up dairy. 

I recently heard on the social media grapevine that Vegan pizzas were available at Pizza Express so when the opportunity presented itself to lunch there this week I decided to go along to see how I got on. 

On the way there I carried out some very quick preliminary research online and checked out their Customer Service FAQ web page. As you can see from this link they provide some really clear and useful information for Vegans. The most important factors for me are that:

  • Pizza Express's pizza bases are Vegan friendly containing no animal or dairy products. 
  • Any unsuitable Vegan toppings, such as cheese, can be easily removed as their pizzas are freshly handmade. 
  • Vegan cheese is not available but they are happy to use your own if you wish to take some with you - it just needs to be sealed, in its original and in date packaging.   

When it came to ordering our food I was so impressed by the service that I received. Our waitress was so helpful and when I enquired about making their Vegetarian Giardiniera pizza Vegan she double checked everything with the chefs and offered to include more vegetables in place of the mozzarella. So far so good! 

It's also worth noting here that there is a Vegan pizza option already on the menu - the Pianta - which also sounded fab.

For our starters we decided to go with an old favourite of ours, the dough balls. The waitress, knowing now that I was Vegan, suggested that I had these with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, instead of garlic butter, which was really considerate of her. By this point I felt pretty cared about which was lovely!

When my Vegan pizza arrived it looked really good and smelt amazing. As I tucked into it I did laugh to myself as I realised just how much pizza cheese is the glue that holds all the toppings in place! 

On top I had a mix of olives, peas, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, red peppers and mushrooms. Along with removing the cheese the chef had also removed the pesto in order to make it Vegan friendly. 

I also ended up going for one of their gluten free classic bases just because I saw it was an added option on the menu and I thought that I would give it a try. It was quite nice and I didn't really notice a huge difference other than it was a little chewy. I do not follow a gluten free diet in my every day life but if the option is available I like to try it as I know that it helps me to feel less bloated and uncomfortable after eating. I really noticed with this pizza that after I had eaten it I felt full up and content but, unlike my husband, I didn't have the feeling of a lead weight in my stomach which was great! 

For dessert we opted for the only Vegan friendly choice on the menu - the Leggera Raspberry Sorbet. I was really pleasantly surprised by this refreshing, light and tasty sorbet and it made a really nice change. It was also the perfect pudding for a sunny warm day! 

Overall I was so impressed by my first Vegan Pizza Express experience. The service and attentiveness of our waitress was superb and made all the difference. 

It's really good to know that if I am ever invited to a meal at Pizza Express again I won't have to recoil in horror and panic! Although the choices for Vegans are by no means limitless, and they are still quite restricted, the fact that I can enjoy a 3 course meal here is pretty amazing. 

I take my hat off to Pizza Express for recognising that there is a big demand for both Vegan and gluten free food within the mainstream. By doing this they are making themselves accessible to an ever increasing and widespread customer base.

Sarah x

* Note: My experience was based upon a visit to the Freeport Braintree branch in Essex.  


1 comment

  1. That pizza looks delicious...and that raspberry sorbet too!! I will need to try and get myself to Pizza Express! :) xx


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