Have you noticed the quality of pizza getting better around here? It still has a long way to go, but I’d say we’re definitely headed in the right direction.
So is Pizza Fusion, a franchise operation on Restaurant Row Orlando that’s doing a lot of things right -- and in the right way.
I have no idea why it’s called Pizza Fusion. I mean, the pizza part I get. I had no trouble identifying the pie served here as a pizza even though it was oblong instead of round, which has become the industry standard. That didn’t bother me at all. It’s when they start cutting the pizza into little squares that I start to get rankled.
It’s the Fusion part of the name that causes confusion. The word means to join two or more things together to form a new entity. Jeno’s Pizza Rolls were fusion, even though no one called it that back then. (Norman Van Aken is credited with coining the term fusion cuisine back in the late ‘80s when Floribbean cooking was just becoming the rage.) The only thing getting joined together here are the usual pizza ingredients and different shapes. Doesn’t count.
But Pizza Fusion’s take on the pizza game is to offer all organic pies. What’s more, they have gluten-free pizzas. That may not be a big deal to most of you, but for the legions of people who suffer from celiac disease and can’t tolerate regular flour, it’s huge.
And they take the organic thing further by being earth friendly in just about everything they do. So you’ve got tables made from recycled wood, countertops fashioned out of recycled glass bottles, CF and LED lighting, biodegradable utensils and low-flush toilets.
Even the pizza boxes are recycled. (You can get a discount if you bring your pizza box back. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t mean they toss another pie inside a used box; mine looked pretty clean.
And the pizza tasted pretty good too. I ordered the sausage and tricolor pepper pie -- thank God they aren’t vegetarian here, although there are vegetarian and even vegan options. My pizza had enough toppings on it, although it wasn’t what I would call overloaded. I would give it a higher mark if it had been cooked just a little longer. The crust was not too thick, not too thin, but it was a bit doughy.
The thing I liked the most about Pizza Fusion was the young staff. They were all friendly and helpful. Two or three came by while I stood at the bar looking over the menu trying to decide which one I would take home to ask if I needed any help. And the young fellow who eventually took my order was super nice and had great patience -- the woman ahead of me was taking all his time while she considered every option. Most servers would have told her they’d be back in a moment and just walk away.
I’ll welcome the chance to have another PF pie, and I’ll know that with each bite I’m saving the planet.
Pizza Fusion is at 7563 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando. It’s open daily for lunch and dinner. You can see the full menu at their Web site.