This is organic food week and for most Americans, organic is becoming a more important choice. But the idea of fast organic seems like an oxymoron, as the the slow and local food movements have a strong impact.
If we just want a slice of pizza and if it can be organic, fresh, and fast, are there options?
A national chain founded in the 1980s in Laguna Beach, California (where else?) does make good organic pizza a possibility here, and there are several locations in northern Virginia. .Zpizza http://zpizza.com has two locations in Alexandria: Duke Street, next to Panera’s, and the Mount Vernon location, http://stores.zpizza.com/alexandria-1/ .
The concept is a blend of take-out and eat-in strip mall storefront, with an organic twist–all ingredients are organic, with vegan and gluten free options for pizzas–and that’s hard to find! The menu also offers fresh salads and subs.
If you choose to eat in, there’s not a lot of seating on in the inside and it’s bright–not a date night kind of place, but definitely an option for fast and affordable family-friendly. There’s bar seating adjacent to a glass wall in front of the food prep area–standard to all zpizza chains– where you can watch your pizza or sub being made.
Viewing the food prep area is both good and bad: while seeing the food prepped reinforced the quality, more attention needs to be paid to neatness. The restaurant was clean but on two consecutive visits but the prep area was messier than it needed to be. This was consistent at all the locations that I visited. If you do the take-out, not an issue! But who wants to look at a messy kitchen when the glass is there for a reason.
The service is extremely friendly–some of the reviewers in the area e were not consistent here, but this writer’s experience on three visits didn’t find any issues at all with the service, other than a wish to look at a neater food prep area.
And the pizza? The crust is fresh and not over salty or sweet, and the items were not drowned in cheese. If you want a loaded thick crust pizza, don’t go here. What you’ll find is a fresh thin crust pizza–substantial and chewy, The vegetarian carmelized onion pizza is excellent–very light on the cheese, and with a nice sweetness to the onions.
Zpizza’s http://zpizzas.com offer a great lunch option: two slices of pizza from the daily options and a fountain drink for $6.50. There is always a vegetarian choice in the pizzas on the racks.
$6.50 is not bad for lunch and overall the prices were a little higher than the standard pizza options in the area, but the freshness and qualtiy of the ingredients made up for the small difference.
If you want organic pizza, or something different and affordable, or you need a gluten free option–check out Zpizza http://zpizza.com, It’s California organic, fast, fresh in a chain–not bad!