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Oh the past glories of Valentine’s Day…really the best day to be single.  But rather than wax on about this weird condition we call ‘love,’ I will talk about mistakes.

Namely, Mellow Mushroom pizza.

For vegans everywhere, I urge you to try Mellow Mushroom – they’re one of the only pizza chains that offer vegan cheese (Daiya cheese), which is really saying something. In addition, it promotes those with lactose allergies and gluten too.
And really, who wants to eat pizza “sans cheese”?  Nothing is as satisfying as a real cheezy slice of goodness.  Mmm, delicious carbs and fat.  And at least we get to justify our pizza as being ‘healthy’ because it’s  a) cruelty-free, b) usually loaded with veggies, and c) red sauce counts as a vegetable.  The vegan choice should be supported, and what better way to do this than by eating pizza?  It’s a win-win situation.

Anyways, on to the real story: It was my dad’s 50th birthday, which happened to coincide with two essays and a midterm, yikes.  So I forced encouraged the family to go to Mellow Mushroom, since I knew it’d be a great place to satisfy all of our needs and a really quick one too.

IMG_1118Above is my gluten-free crust Mega Veggie pizza with vegan cheese and tempeh crumbles.  It was pure deliciousness, and I loved that I could get a pizza right alongside my family.
The gluten-free crust was fluffy and exactly what I would have wanted in a regular wheat crust.  Almost pillowy, and reminiscent of bread sticks – even my sister said she like it more than the meat-eaters pizza crust.

As a disclaimer, vegan cheese is a little gluey-r than real cheese, but honestly you can’t complain; it’s vegan cheese!  But if it really bothers anyone, just order your pie sans-cheeze.  The veggie toppings are very generously layered, fresh, and perfectly accent the red sauce base.  All-in-all it was a great meal, and I polished off two slices (and half a hummus appetizer) before calling it quits.

IMG_1120Oh, and my sister mentioned to the server that it was our dad’s birthday, and they ever so graciously gave us a happy-face pretzel pie free of charge.  Not vegan, but awesome nonetheless.

IMG_1119Okay now remember this gluten-free crust I had mentioned?  Well, chowing down on leftovers the next day I perused the Mellow Mushroom nutritional information website: apparently it contains eggs.  Oops.  That was a big let down, and a ‘well-duh’ moment.  I knew I shouldn’t have assumed gluten free = vegan, but I did anyways.

(Oh, and somehow the hummus has milk in it?  Seriously MM, you gotta step up your game.)

So: Always check the ingredients list online or ask the server.  Never just assume.

(Admittedly I finished my slice, ate another and threw the rest away, but that was because I didn’t want the pizza to go to waste like that.  It was still a good ‘mostly’ vegan pizza)

So really does this make me not a vegan?  No, absolutely not.  Veganism, in my view, is in the learning curve.  I started out as a vegetarian, then gradually transitioned away from eggs and finally yogurt.  It’s not something that can easily be done overnight (although there are cases), and there will be mistakes made.  As long as you learn to get up and brush yourself off, it doesn’t matter.  Sure I ate eggs, but now I know better and will be more careful in the future.

Seriously though Mellow Mushroom – what will happen when people demand vegan gluten-free pizza?  You’ve gotta get rid of that egg, it’s lagging behind Z Pizza’s Berkeley Vegan and vegan gluten-free crust.  

Anyways I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day – mine was more than a little confusing and misinformed, but a memorable one at that.

So go forth my minions – go forth, be fruitful, and eat vegan pizza.

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