Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Viva Herbal Pizzeria/Cafe Viva

Viva Herbal Pizzeria - 179 2nd Avenue (11th/12th Street)(Pizza)
Cafe Viva - 2578 Broadway (97th Street)

A small Italian franchise specializing in organic, vegetarian/vegan versions of all the classics - including Stromboli, Calzones, Ravioli and Gourmet Pizza. Made with whole wheat, spelt and even corn meal crusts, the slices look particularly good. Heavily layered, versions include Il Fiore (grilled eggplant, onions and roasted pepper) and Canja (made with Hempseed Needs, Miso Tofu, and Basil). On my visit, I tried the Zen Vegan - made with Green Tea Miso-Tofu, Shittake Mushroom and Sundried Tomato. Though beautiful, the taste was bland - impacting only minimally on my taste buds, despite an impressive range of ingredients. Dessert--a small chocolate snowball--was equally plain, and chewy (with only the slightest hint of sugar.) In both cases, better versions could have been had at Whole Earth Bakery. That's too bad - 'cause I'd been looking forward to trying the ravioli!

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