12/3/2019 Update: All Minnesota Pieology locations have closed.
Pieology is a fast casual pizza chain found in many states around the country. Think of it as a Chipotle for pizza. They have specialty pizzas, or you can build your own, and Daiya has been a vegan cheese option there for awhile. The company announced that they now offer three plant protein options. I live in St. Paul, so I headed over to the St. Paul location to check it out. It’s the only one in the Twin Cities; the next closest is Mankato, MN.
I love how they’re not being shy about it. It’s all over their social media, and they have big signs on the windows about it, along with promoting it on their table tents. In digging through the comments on Facebook, I was able to learn that the vegan meats are from Gardein and the only vegan crust option is gluten-free, which is a $2 up charge. The gluten-free crust has also received less than stellar reviews, so I went in cautiously.
I appreciate that the plant meats are in their own section with some room between them and the animal meats. They also keep the Daiya farthest away from the employees on the line, which helps decrease the chance of dairy cheese falling into its container.
You can get the edge of the crust brushed with olive oil, which I recommend. The website states that the red sauce, bbq sauce, and fiery buffalo sauce do not contain dairy, eggs, or honey, and you can find the list of ingredients for everything there. They also offer salads, but none of their dressings are vegan.
I ordered a margarita pizza with Daiya, plus all three meats. They asked if I wanted just one ounce of each meat, and since it’s a dollar for each ounce, I decided to go with that. Now let’s zoom in closer on that handwritten sign.
This is their cheat sheet for what each plant meat translates to for one ounce: one meatball (one!), four pieces of sausage, and one scoop of chicken. They broke the meatball up into five chunks, then placed them and the other plant meats evenly around the pizza. If I had to pick one, I want to say the chicken is the best option because of how many pieces you get in an ounce. But it’s also pretty flavorless and thus doesn’t add much to the pizza, so I’d probably go with two meatballs in the end.
Once your pizza is assembled, it goes right into the oven, and they bring it out to you when it’s done after ten minutes or so. It’s piping hot, which I appreciate, but I’m also impatient so it was difficult giving it time to cool down.
The pizzas are about ten inches in diameter, and I can easily take one down on my own. The gluten-free crust wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be, but it’s basically a flavorless cracker. Let’s hope they find a different vegan option at some point. I would have loved to try the cauliflower crust but that isn’t even vegan; it contains dairy and eggs.
The total for the pizza was $14.48, and I feel I could get something better elsewhere. I like that it’s a quick and easy option, and of course it’s amazing that they’re offering these three vegan meats now. I’m often happy to pay more for a good vegan option, but between the up charge for the gluten-free crust and the small amount of vegan meats that they give you, I probably won’t be going back anytime soon.
For other vegan pizza options in the Twin Cities, see my pizza post.