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Don’t let the humdrum look of the Potato Leek pizza fool you. Each bite is a delicious herb-infused experience. Courtesy of Facebook

After several months of buzz about Fort Worth’s only vegan pizza shop opening a brick-and-mortar on the West Side, I was surprised to see bacon, mozzarella, and pepperoni on the menu during my first visit. Once I placed my orders and sat down to munch on the steamy, hot slices of pie, it all made sense. Pizza Verde’s plant-based menu was crafted to appeal to anyone.

And, yes, everything is 100% vegan.

Pizza Verde recently opened in the same strip mall where Mariachi’s Dine-In transplanted last year. The restaurant’s interior is simple and presumably more geared for to-go orders, although there are five tables in the single dining area. A cooler near the register boasted cans of craft beer and wine. Upbeat funk tunes must have been the theme of the day.

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The bruschetta was light and refreshing. Six lightly toasted slices of bread came topped with veggie-based mozzarella slices, oregano, and a blend of diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar. The drizzles of olive oil and black pepper on top defined the dish that delivered what one would expect from a lovingly crafted bruschetta.

The Bacon and Brussels pie had generous shreds of smoky faux bacon that was texturally very similar to the real thing. The plant-based meat looked surprisingly like bacon and even had alternating white and red layers that mimicked animal protein and fat. The almond-based cheese had an oily profile and texture like mozzarella but was largely flavorless. Finely minced Brussels sprouts added a pleasant bitter profile that balanced the acidic balsamic vinaigrette drizzles.

Up next was the Potato Leek, which, according to Pizza Verde’s website, is the pizzeria’s most popular entree. Although visually unimpressive, each bite was a delight. Bits of rosemary and drizzles of lemon aioli gave it a pleasing herbaceous taste that lingered in the mouth. The thinly sliced potatoes had almost melted into the sea of veggie cheese and diced leeks. It was clear why this option is popular with regulars.

Simply named Kimchi, the Asian-inspired pie had bright red chunks of the fermented cabbage that Korean cuisine is famed for. Deep green leaves of spinach and sprinklings of sesame seeds made it visually resplendent. Each bite had a lovely bit of heat, courtesy of the kimchi, and the underlying bed of dairy-free cheese made the overall experience a savory delight.

For dessert, the salted caramel gelato didn’t disappoint. The gelato itself was surrounded by bits of pecan and cookie crumbles that reminded me of the Biscoff cookies served on Delta flights. (Those little things are addictive af.) The dry and crispy goodies, along with the nuts, added a lovely crunch to the silky-smooth frozen dessert.

My overall experience was unlike anything I’ve had in Fort Worth. For around $15 a pizza, it wasn’t a belt-busting experience, and that’s the point. Each wood-fired pie comfortably serves two. The dough was cooked to perfection — lightly charred on the outside and dense and chewy throughout. By cutting out animal products but retaining nearly all of the aspects of Italian cuisine that make it popular (fresh ingredients, balanced and nuanced flavors), Pizza Verde offers Fort Worthians a health-conscious option that doesn’t compromise on flavor.

 

Pizza Verde
5716 Locke Av, FW. 817-349-9852. 11am-3pm Sun, 4pm-9pm Mon-Thu, 11am-10pm Fri-Sat. All major credit cards accepted.

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