The downtown Give Pizza a Chance cart now has deep dish vegan slices! For $4, you can get yourself one heck of a satisfying vegan slice with fresh toppings and that flavorful GVAC sauce – and none of that vegan cheese you may or may not like to worry about. Check it out:
|Give Pizza a Chance cart|
|Overall||Service||Food Quality||Atmosphere||Vegan Options|
|Location: SW Stark and SW 5th Ave parking lot|
|Hours: lunchtime||Times Visited: 3|
Updated 1/13/2010 Pyro Pizza is open at SE 12th and Hawthorne, selling personal pizzas that are delicious! But that’s not all – Give Pizza a Chance has had regular vegan slices regularly available downtown. A great cheap lunch!
Updated 10/19/2009: While the vegan slices aren’t frequently seen at the cart downtown, we’re hoping they make it into regular rotation once a new cart is opened later this fall at the vegan-friendly Cartopia at SE 12th & Hawthorne.
UPDATE: Give Pizza a Chance now serves vegan slices pretty consistantly. The past three times we have vistited there have been no problems with the crust. Try the vegan pizza with an Eggplant base! Also, don’t forgot to try their sodas. My favorite has been the cucumber lime.
Two Stumptown Vegans.
Two Calzones, One Pizza, and Breadsticks.
One Stumptown Vegan happened to stop by the fairly new Give Pizza a Chance food cart on its opening day. It’s shiny, new, has a small bar area for seating in the attached parking spot with the inviting smell of oregano and garlic. A friendly chat with the owner assured us of future vegan offerings and a free sample of the de-freaking-lightful homemade ginger ale. The hope was there for Give Pizza a Chance. It has a catchy name, cute cart, organic ingredients, friendly service, a Eugene hippie-like atmosphere and an appreciation for the addition of whole wheat flour in their dough. Mmm, grains.
Weeks later the first calzone was ordered when inquiring about what the best vegan option would be. The woman working stated that there was no need to call ahead for calzones, and the short wait was impressive. The first Stumptown Vegan asked to be surprised, filling-wise, and the chef packed the dough with spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes. The calzone, ($7) was completed within a slow walks around the block, certainly less than 15 minutes. While there was no sauce or expectantly, fake cheese, inside the calzone, there was a very flavorful and plentiful pool of house made marinara on the side. It was tangy, herby, and to the point. Granted the cart is fairly new, but if only they’d get dipping containers and not pool in on the plate or in a paper tray, it would be better. Sadly, the inside of the calzone was not as flavorful as the sauce, in fact it was lacking that f word – flavor. The assortment of veggies was promising, but with an overly doughy, slightly undercooked bottom crust they just seemed damp. The sauce helped, but in combination with the crust that I wish had hung out a few more minutes in the oven, it was short of a good Italian time. The next day the leftovers were a definitely improvement after a brief visit to the toaster oven. The leftovers were short on sauce, but big on the hearty, now well cooked dough.
Calzone visit #2 showed even more promise. This time, there was a small sign posted below the cart’s service window stating that their best vegan option was the calzone. This had already been said, but seeing it in writing along with the Stumptown Vegans ‘two visitations’ policy called for different fillings selected and another calzone ordered. Although the only person ahead in line had a pizza slice warmed up, this meal took over 20 minutes. That’s a long wait from a cart on your lunch hour. This time the calzone filling had kalamata olives, green peppers, spinach, and garlic cloves. The olives and garlic (which we would have loved to see as a filling in the first calzone) worked, but the spinach tasted off, dare we say old. This time the dough was altogether undercooked. Tearing off the crust on the side, dipping it in the sauce, and picking through the leftovers with a fork was the way to go. The spinach was even scarier when the leftovers were reheated. On the plus side, their huge calzone is a meal that could easily feed 2, and for $7 it’s definitely affordable. Too bad this second order wasn’t appetizing enough for a second meal.
The second Stumptown Vegan stopped by for breadsticks and pizza. Breadsticks were ordered as an appetizer, assuming the pizza would take awhile to cook. The sticks were fairly thin and more like crust sticks. They were enjoyable as a vessel for scooping the sauce into our mouths while still enjoying the whole wheat flavor. We were happy to have ordered the breadsticks because we did have a 20 minute wait, which is reasonable for a full pie during rush hour. And for only $1, it was good deal.
The pizza was beautiful when it came fresh from the oven. The cook used as much spinach as he would have cheese, which is surely appreciated on any vegan pizza. The artichoke hearts were liberally applied as well, though this pizza would have done better with a third topping. The addition of olive oil and salt on top of the pizza helped bring out the flavors of the vegetables. The sauce was perfectly fresh and flavorful, as described above. And the price – $12 – it was perfect for splitting between three people. However, the pizza dough had the same fate as the calzone’s – undercooked. The second Stumptown Vegans almost asked the friendly cart-worker to put it back in the oven but decided to eat it as presented. It may be helpful to ask for a “well done” pizza when ordering, just saying.
We wonder if the issue with the crust is because pizza by the slice pizzas are cooked in the oven twice – once for the pie and once for reheating. Perhaps it’s a matter of inexperience with vegan calzones and pizza or three cases of bad timing that dampened the crusts’ chances. Perhaps there’s just too much whole wheat in their dough or the oven isn’t hot enough. Whichever way, we wouldn’t be entirely shocked if a great vegan calzone came out of this cart one day, but one Stumptown Vegan is no longer giving this pizza cart a chance. The other Stumptown Vegan will stop by for a breadsticks, sauce, and soda on days when money is tight.