We finally have a vegan cheese that can please both vegans and non-vegans alike: Daiya. Made from cassava root, this cheese actually melts, stretches and looks and tastes like real cheese (and it's soy-, rice-, gluten- and casein-free). ZPizza in Roseville is, as far as I know, the first place in Minnesota to offer it.
I don't remember the last time I was so excited to try a new vegan product. We ordered an extra large "Berkeley Soy Cheese" pizza ($20; note the names of the pizzas haven't yet been changed to reflect Daiya's arrival, but ZPizza no longer offers soy cheese). It came loaded with onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms and vegan sausage crumbles; we also asked them to leave off the pesto, which is not vegan.
The pizza was good. Quite good. The vegetables were fresh, the sauce was flavorful, the crush was light and thin (though not as good as Galactic Pizza's crusts) and the Daiya cheese took me back to a world I had forgotten. On a whole, the quality of the pizza here is about equal to that of Galactic or Pizza Luce.
Daiya is an excellent vegan replica of cheese, and much better than any other vegan cheese on the market. It would also be, I suspect, happily consumed by non-vegans, as it has a tangy, authentic taste and texture. It's definitely a signpost in the road: the vegan world is becoming complete and we're turning the corner on cheese.
So, while the Daiya cheese is great, and worth a drive to Roseville, I do have some issues with ZPizza itself: the restaurant at first looks sort of modern and nice, but it seems tackier the longer you stay, and functions more like a dinky mom-and-pop joint, with paper plates, flimsy non-compostable plastic utensils and fountain soda. This is the type of place you'd go to after your kid's tee-ball game. I was expecting something a bit classier, such as actual silverware and table service. This is especially galling, as ZPizza proudly claims, "We use environmentally friendly packaging." With paper plates and plastic forks that go straight into the trash? That's not even greenwashing, that's just outright lying.
However, the prices here are good (cheaper than Pizza Luce or Galactic for the amount of food offered), and the Daiya option alone makes it stand out. I wouldn't want to come here to sit and eat, but I could definitely do take-out.
ZPizza delivers to a five-mile radius, and while that includes Dinkytown and the East Bank, it pretty much skips the rest of Minneapolis, and the trendier areas of St. Paul (south of I-94).
Also, for a limited time, ZPizza offers buy one get one free on large pizzas, but only on Mondays and Tuesdays, which is a pretty remarkable deal.
ZPizza has much room to improve, but I applaud them for making Daiya readily available across the country. Vegans, come here to taste the shape of things to come in the cheese-world.