Every night on my drive home through downtown Tampa, I pass the new restaurant Pizza Fusion. It’s a little corner restaurant in the retail space below the high rise condos. They have just as much outdoor sidewalk seating as they have indoor table and booth space. Last weekend, after helping my sister create a resume, (she had never had to make one before!), we decided to walk to Pizza Fusion for a late Sunday afternoon lunch.
Now usually when I’m going to splurge on pizza, I love my favorite Ybor City joint, D’Italias. (1811 N 15th Street, Tampa FL 33605, 813-248-2929) D’Italia’s is a small hole-in-the-wall that will deliver the most delicious pie at 3 am. I could probably eat a whole large pizza myself! So needless to say, Pizza Fusion would have to be some really, really good pizza to make me change my mind.
When we finally arrived at the front door of Pizza Fusion, we’d been walking for 25 min in the 90 degree heat and were hot, sweaty, and wondering who’s great idea it was to decide to walk! It’s 1.5 miles, I Google Mapped it, after we made the trip. Back to the pizza, we were pleasantly surprised that this isn’t your normal pizza restaurant. Pizza Fusion says themselves that what separates them from every other pizza restaurant is “Everything!”
I will agree. It is completely unfair to compare normal fast food pizza to Pizza Fusion. Pizza Fusion uses organic, whole foods, that make for healthier and tastier pizza. They don’t skimp on portion size or shy away from unique flavor combinations out of fear of the bottom line. And that’s not to say that it’s an overly priced place either. I would say their prices are fair, with a personal pan pizza around $8, and that’s not during their lunch or dinner specials, when the prices are even lower.
We tried four different pizza flavors, all on multi-grain crust. Farmer’s Market, A farmer’s medley of roasted artichoke hearts, red onion, roasted zucchini and roasted portobello with tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, and parmesan. Sausage and Tricolor Peppers, sweet Italian sausage, roasted tricolor peppers, tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, and chili flakes. The Founder’s Pie, free range chicken, kalamata olives, roasted red onion, tomato sauce, parmesan, mozzarella, provolone, and gorgonzola. And finally, Spinach and Artichoke, Sauteed spinach, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, tomato sauce, mozzarella, provolone and parmesan.
My favorite by far was the Sausage and Tricolor peppers, I already went back again for lunch this week for more. All the pizzas were great and I loved all the veggie options. Just to note, if you have a gluten or lactose intolerance, Pizza Fusion has many options for you as well! This includes gluten-free beer and cookies! My only dislike really was that I thought the ground up kalamata olive paste that came on the Founder’s pizza was a bit too much. I really like olives but they were overwhelming to me.
I think Pizza Fusion would be a fun, low-key place to get together with friends after work on a Friday night to kick-off the weekend. The good news is that they have locations in 6 states, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Connecticut, Colorado, and California. And if you have enough dough to pony up, you could own your own Pizza Fusion in your hometown, because they offer franchises too.
While I’ll never give up the most unhealthy, delicious pizza at D’Italias, I’m willing to throw Pizza Fusion into the rotation as a healthier, organic, and tasty pizza.