During the Holy Week we decided to move on to relaxation and rest and let the spring revive our souls and bodies. As we stayed in Athens for Easter, we were about to fully enjoy the tranquil, spring, festive atmosphere, to walk, to spend time with our loved ones and dedicate more time to us and Petra. On Holy Thursday the weather was amazing and we thought it was the right time for the first picnic of the season!
Of course none of us had gone shopping during our “relaxation” week neither in the organic farmer’s market nor in the grocery shop–so it was a bit difficult to prepare our picnic and to be honest I longed to eat a pizza! Although I love cooking and baking, that day I just wanted to order a vegan pizza as everyone else does. Hmmm, bit difficult if you are vegan to find a vegan pizza that is not just a tasteless tomato sauce a few onions and a few green pepper slices. However I was determined to find the pizza I was craving for, made with fresh vegetables, fluffy and tasty dough, plenty of vegan cheese (without casein or whey protein), that would taste as real pizza and of course I was not about to pay a fortune for that.
After searching through the internet I found out the website of a pizzeria named «Pizza Bite», located in Kallithea. In their website I found a variety of vegan pizzas, pasta, burgers and salads and they gave me the impression that they know what vegan diet is about. I took a look at the vegan menu and found it quite interesting. Besides Kallithea was on our way to the picnic plus I wanted to go by myself, talk to the owners and ask a couple of questions (vegans throughout the world understand what I mean! The list of questions we always ask when we go to a restaurant: “are you sure it doesn’t contain milk or eggs?” or “Do you use butter or margarine for the crust?” etc).
So I went there where I met Anastasia a warm and friendly woman, who is also the owner and chef of «Pizza Bite». After we talked I mentioned my concerns and Anastasia answered all of my questions. The first thing I was concerned was the pizza crust! Nearly without even ask, she assured me that the crust does not contain milk, eggs or other animal products and it is prepared daily in their kitchen with a slow ripening process, using a flour suitable for pizza. Additionally, if one wants a healthier version he or she can choose the dough named «Brown Crust» which is made with whole wheat flour and flaxseed.
When we got to “cheese” Anastasia talked about how she imagined this business when they started, seven years ago. “When we started the business, I wanted to use only high quality organic products to prepare all the dishes, because I wanted to offer the best to my customers. Unfortunately crisis came and this was not possible. So we decided to offer the best quality at the best price. Every day we wash and cut fresh vegetables and we make our own dough“.
“A few years ago I wanted to create some dishes that would meet the needs of people who can be in fast or be vegan, but I found that most of the “lenten” cheeses contain animal derivatives. So I chose not to use them, as I would feel that I cheat my clients. However I added a pizza in the menu with natural, plant-based ingredients and I did my best to make it so delicious that cheese would not be necessary”. If you have eaten pizza in Italy you probably remember that many of these pizzas were not topped with cheese without lacking in flavor.
“A few months ago I was told by a customer about the company “Viotros” and their series of vegan cheese, I contacted them and I made sure that the cheese they sell is 100 % vegan. Thus I added in the menu also vegan pizzas with vegan mozzarella and vegan parmesan”.
Finally we discussed the use of margarine and she was clearly against its use in any case “Only virgin olive oil when needed“. It is worth mentioning that the vegetables they use are all fresh – the time I arrived Anastasia was chopping on a bench red tomatoes, onions and fresh mushrooms.
We got the pizza named “Tartufo”, topped with walnut pesto, fresh mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, vegan mozzarella and vegan parmesan! Because Anastasia was relatively more relaxed that day and probably she noticed my enthusiasm, she invited me to watch the process of preparing our pizza and to take some pictures. It looked amazing: thin crust topped with a layer of walnut pesto, lots of fresh mushrooms and cherry tomatoes and finally, a generous amount of vegan cheese. After photographing, she put our pizza in the oven and its smell heightened my anticipation even more.
I barely held myself from grabbing a piece when we were on our way to the ancient Koili Street, a place we often visit for our picnic. After we settled our matting and relaxed, I ate my first bite and I felt that I found exactly what I wanted and what I was craving: a real pizza with fresh vegetables, delicious and light dough, plenty of vegan cheese and spicy, cheesy taste.
For information, their page on Facebook is: https://www.facebook.com/Pizza.Bite.TheBestPizza/
and their website in which there are great pictures and all the information you’ll need: http://pizzabite.gr.
PS “Pizza bite” only delivers. Those who live beyond the areas they deliver (Kallithea, Neos Kosmos, Nea Smyrni, Koukaki, Petralona, Taurus, Thissio and Moshato), can go there to get their order. But if you want to make an order for an event, they can cater upon request in even more areas.