Awhile back I was talking to an official at Domino's Pizza who expressed surprise at how well the delivery giant’s American Legends Pacific Veggie pie was selling. I mentioned that last November in a story on how chain restaurants are changing the ways they develop menu items.
You expect sausage to sell, and of course pepperoni, as this story in yesterday’s New York Times points out. That the Philly Cheesesteak pizza sells well is no surprise.
But Pacific Veggie?
It’s not like it’s even particularly good for you. Domino’s American Legends line has 40 percent more cheese than the chain’s regular pizza (the Wisconsin cheese producers helped to promote the line) — not that actual nutrition and what customers think is nutritious is necessarily related anyway.
Still, Domino’s executives wanted to offer a meatless option, but they didn’t expect it to sell well. Yet it did.
I mentioned that today to Joe Calcagno, the chef-owner of Capizzi Pizza, which opened quietly last October across the street from Port Authority, on 9th Avenue and between 40th and 41st streets, in New York City.
He said “of course it sells well.” Vegetarians make up a large contingent of pizzeria customers.
Think about it, he said. Pizzerias always have good vegetarian options — a cheese pizza, if nothing else, and very possibly pastas and antipasti and all sorts of non-meat things.
I’d never thought about that before.
Capizzi’s a serious little (35-seat) pizzeria. Joe built the oven himself (that’s a side business of his), and he dries his own oregano, crushes his own red pepper, found some sort of heirloom pepperoni.
I’d tell you more about it, but I have to write a story for our magazine in a couple of weeks, and I don’t want to give away all the good stuff.
In fact, that story will be in our subscriber’s-only section of nrn.com, so if you want to read it, you should subscribe.
Come on, almost all of the cool people already subscribe. Once you sign up, we’ll be all set.