• (UPDATE: NOT VEGAN) Pizza At Home – Take it and Bake it

    November 11th, 2008mr meanerLA restaurants, patty's pizza, pizza

    UPDATE: as of 2010, the pizza dough at patty’s is NOT VEGAN. 🙁

    Back in the late 90s when I lived in Seattle, there was a craze sweeping called “take and bake pizza”. The basic premise is that the pizza joint will make you a super dooper pizza with the crust, sauce, cheese and toppings you desire and hand it to you uncooked. You take it home, and when you’re ready for it, pop it in the oven and get piping hot, fresh pizza within a few minutes. The best known take and bake chain is Papa Murphy’s, which sadly has no Southern California outlets.

    It’s no secret (bear with me here) that I’ve been spending a lot of time lately at Father’s Office, a snobby bar in Santa Monica with a great beer selection. Sadly, their insane “no substitution or alteration” menu policy leaves us vegans with no food option other than very, very greasy fries. Fear not, as an amazing vegan pizza concoction can be pieced together by walking a few blocks around said establishment on Montana Avenue to gather up the ingredients before heading home to cook them.

    First, visit the Montana Whole Foods Market. This used to be a very swanky Wild Oats until Whole Foods bought the chain and converted it a year or so ago. Pick up the requisite Follow Your Heart vegan mozzarella cheese and maybe a nice bottle of wine from the over-priced and limited selection that is a trademark of Whole Foods wine departments everywhere. Be careful not to trip over the guilty-liberal-starbucks-sipping-leggings-wearing-yoga-mat-toting Santa Monica residents on your way out.

    Then, trot a few blocks down south on Montana to Patty’s Pizza which is, as far as I know, LA’s only take and bake pizza place (there’s a Nick ‘n’ Willy’s take and bake outlet in Valencia, which I have to try sometime unless SCVegan beats me to it). Basically, you can order any vegetarian pizza you want but ask for NO cheese (you have all the cheese you need in your Whole Foods paper bag, don’t forget). As the pizza isn’t being cooked, it’ll usually be ready in about five minutes after you order it.

    So, head home with your cheese, uncooked pizza and a bottle of wine (entirely optional, but highly recommended!). I don’t know about Patty’s pizza, but in my (somewhat extensive) experience of purchasing Papa Murphy’s pizzas to take home and bake, you can leave the pizza uncooked in its plastic wrap in a fridge for a day or two and it still cooks up just fine.

    large pizza with no cheese, mushroom, garlic and tomatoes. $18.49

    Preparing the pizza is a snap. All you have to do is grate a small amount of Follow Your Heart cheese and carefully apply it to said dish. For this 18-incher we used around a third of a slab. As we’re using the dubiously meltable Follow Your Heart, make sure you grate the cheese finely (using the smallest grating holes on your greater), and press the cheese lightly down into the sauce as it melts better that way.

    Also, be careful when you’re grating the cheese as these slabs are a little slimy (like picking up a toad), and you won’t want it to slip out of your hands and slap down in the middle of your pie!

    Once you’ve topped out the pizza, simply follow the directions on the label to the letter and in about 10 minutes you will have a very, very good pizza that’s probably better than anything you can create at home.

    Oh, I checked with the lady in the store, and she confirmed that the dough and sauce are vegan, and that the optional soy cheese does contain casein, so you have no real option but to cheese it yourself.

    So, what’s the catch? Well, I have two pet peeves about Patty’s pizza. The first is that they don’t discount any money for asking for no cheese — why can’t it at least be priced as an optional topping? The cheese must be the most expensive ingredient, so they’re saving quite a bit on pizzas ordered without it. In our case $18.75 for the pizza with three toppings.

    The second peeve is the rude service. Frankly, the people on the cash register there are not very nice. The lady that took my order was rushed (even though we were the only people in line) and when I came back to pick up the pizza after using the restroom it was basically thrown at me with no eye contact by another lady.

    Bottom line: Don’t go to Patty’s for a low-budget dinner, or to feel appreciated but do go there for a really easy to prepare vegan pizza that tastes absolutely delicious.


15 responses to “(UPDATE: NOT VEGAN) Pizza At Home – Take it and Bake it” RSS icon

  • I must be so out of the pizza loop because i’ve never heard of “take and bake” though I definatly like the idea. I’ve always wanted to open my own vegan pizzaria, so if I ever do, I’ll definatly offer “take and bake” Mmm.. vegan pizza… I’ve got to make some fresh dough this week…. yummmmm i love tomatoes on my pizza too <3

  • Very cool concept; I’ve never heard of take and bake before!

    Hmmm…I’m thinking maybe I’ll bake a batch of those chocolate peppermint cupcakes to bring that day we finally meet up!

  • haha, geeze you are steps ahead of me! I’ve been emailing patty’s asking them about their soy cheese, I never thought to just stop by the whole foods on montana and pick up a block of my own. We hit up that Father’s Office, too, but they usually only have 1 larger (our fav) and its usually Kronenburg (not vegan supposedly)

  • @Lex: You can always try Craftsman 1903 – it’s vegan and they serve it @ Father’s Office. Much better than that French fake German beer Kronenbourg, the Budweiser of France!

  • mmm….vegan pizza. looks totally delicious.

  • I never bothered with Nick ‘n’ Willy’s, maybe I’ll check it out, though. Do you guys have a pizza stone for your oven? Seems like you make lots of pizza.

  • @scvegan oh yeah dude, we have a pizza stone. we will find that perfect vegan pizza someday. it’s getting close. i will taste it in my lifetime, i know.

  • I promise I make the best Vegan Pizza on the planet, but I don’t know how you do it w/o bell peppers, though!!!

  • Whole Foods Long Beach was a pretty bitchin’ vegan pizza… I usuall pick up a slice on Fridays and huff it down in the car… I’m just saying. =)

  • @adriana: awesome!! it may be worth the drive. i am always down for some pizza huffin’ on the go.

  • The El Segundo Whole Foods has two Vegan pizzas hot and ready to go as well 🙂

  • We’ve taken to buying the vegan pizza dough at Trader Joes and making it at home. Just as good and way cheaper.

  • We just called Patty’s and they said they put egg in their dough.

  • i just checked nick and willys website…all pizzas and dough based products contain milk and eggs

  • There are several Papa Murphy’s locations in Orange County. Their website lists all the ingredients that go into the sauces and different crusts. According to the ingredient list looks like all the crusts and every sauce but the creamy garlic sauce. When you go to the allergen page it has a chart where items noted with a B=Some of these product’s ingredients are manufactured in a facility that share common equipment with the Allergen and items noted with a C= Some of these product’s ingredients are manufactured in a facility where the Allergen is present. So it would depend if that bothers you or not.
    My friends order from Papa Murphys all the time. I never thought to add my own cheese!

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