Lou and I were meeting Maggi in Chinatown for a cocktail crawl, but we were running a little late. There was snow everywhere, leaving the street icy to walk on, and all the buses were running super slow. When we finally arrived, Maggi seemed a little grumpy because she waited for us for a while and she was hungry. So we decided to grab a bite before our cocktail crawl in the neighbourhood, and Maggi suggested Virtuous Pie.
Like Maggi, I had heard nothing but good things about the hand-crafted plant-based pizza pies here. The pizza joint is actually quite spacious inside. The dining area could fit about 20 people, and was bright and clean with a high ceiling, with a pizza assembly station on the side behind the glass.
All the freshly baked pizzas however, are sliced on the other side of the kitchen close to the pickup counter by the entrance, also easily viewed by those passing by in the front of the restaurant.
It is fully licensed here, serving local beers and ciders. Lou and I both enjoyed our Darkness, a dark beer from local brewster, 33 Acres. They also serve kombucha on tap, taking the hipster trend to the next level, which Maggi happily embraced. But I had to admit the Lemon Ginger, the kombucha of the day, packed a lot of refreshing flavours.
And the pizza were fantastic!
We were all impressed the Stronger Wings ($12), which was supposed to resemble buffalo wings. The thin crusted pizza itself had a perfect chewy texture, which I really enjoyed. And the buffalo spiced cauliflower looked and smelled just like the wings. For a split second I thought I tasted buffalo wing too in my mouth… Well maybe more like buffalo chicken nugget? And the rest of the details were just uncanny – even down to the blue cheese sauce and the finely slice green onions, which can be always seen with the popular pub fare. And finally another incredible fact – the blue cheese is supposed to be made from cashew!
My pick of the Superfunghi ($12) might lack of whimsical factors that Maggi would love, but I just really like mushrooms! The pizza was loaded with cashew mozzarella, herb potatoes, wild mushrooms, truffle almond ricotta and fresh arugula. Some meaty mushrooms are actually good meat replacements texture wise, but also give this beautiful earthiness in taste. I also found vegan cheese interesting, as it was pretty close to the real thing, and it felt good knowing that it wouldn’t take a lot energy in the body to digest it.
To a lot of people, pizza is comfort food – a guilty pleasure loading on fatty deli meat and cheese. But the pleasure of eating pizza doesn’t have to always be a guilty one. Virtuous Pie definitely delivers the flavours, the comfort, and the sensory pleasure that the regular pizzas provide us. The Stronger Wings pizza knocked it out of the park for us, with that amazing buffalo wing flavour. And I would undoubtedly come back to try the other fun and whimsical creations here.
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