A North Dallas pizzeria is throwing itself entirely into the plant-based trend and refashioning itself as an entirely vegetarian establishment.
Midtown Pizza, located at 5782 Alpha Rd., was predominantly known as a kosher pizzeria, and still observes the highest kosher standard, but has expanded its menu significantly. They now incorporate an array of plant-based meat toppings that include Italian sausage, crumbled beef, pepperoni, and even faux chicken, as well as a few vegan options.
David Taylor, who became managing partner of the restaurant in January, says that they have friends and family all over town who are vegetarian or vegan, and thought it would be cool to have a pizzeria dedicated to that lifestyle, as well.
"There are a few pizza places that offer vegan cheese and Beyond items, but I think we are one of the only pizza restaurants that carries it through on the entire menu," he says.
They're using Beyond Beef as well as Beyond Hot Italian Sausage. "I'm a meat eater, and I love them — I've been amazed at how convincing they are," he says. "They're also just healthier overall."
Appetizers include garlic knots, bruschetta, mozzarella sticks, hummus, and deviled eggs. They do Greek and arugula salads, plus panini pressed sandwiches in eggplant, avocado, and roasted veggies.
Pizzas include a traditional cheese; Margherita; a Greek pizza, with toppings consisting of all of the ingredients you'd find in a Greek salad incuding tomato, olive, and red onion; and a "meat lover's" with entirely plant-based meats. That includes Italian sausage, pepperoni, and crumbled beef.
There's also a pizza topped with chicken featuring very persuasive plant-based chicken strips.
There are calzones and a "Malawach" pizza, referring to the Yemenite flaky fried dough that is perfect on its own, but can be topped to make a pizza or transformed into a wrap.
Their crust is thin and New York-style, and they make the dough in-house. They also have gluten-free options.
Taylor has owned a number of bars and restaurants such as Bahama Beach Club and The Walrus in the West End. When he took over Midtown, it felt a little dowdy, but he's updated the space, creating a bright, clean, comfortable environment.
"When I first came, more than 80 percent of our business was take-out, but now we're probably at 50 percent people dining in, and I feel like that's due to the makeover," he says.
He's still servicing the original kosher clientele, but his goal is to make things bigger and more inclusive. "I call it veggie with attitude," he says.