Ian's Pizza, located in Seattle, Denver and of course, on Juneau and North Avenue here in Milwaukee, is probably my favorite local pizza joint because of its relatively cheap prices and WIDE array of options to choose from on any given day (Penne pasta, macaroni cheese, spinach feta pesto, quesadilla). Also, they make orders fresh for you if you do not see an option or if they are running low. If you know what you want when you walk in, they also have ready-to-eat slices that are popped right in the oven for 5 or 6 minutes. As I have adopted a mainly plant-based diet, I have been on the search for places that have outstanding vegetarian and vegan options, and Ian's has just that. Luckily for me, I came across @veganmilwaukee on Instagram and read that Ian recently expanded their vegan options and serves them from Thursday until Sunday so i decided to try it out on a freezing cold Saturday night in Milwaukee. (I did not need to mention that it was freezing, but I want everyone to feel my pain.)
Ian's "Smokey the Bandit" option, which typically comes with barbecue chicken, cheddar and mozzarella cheese and ranch now is a part of their vegan lineup, providing me a chance to try a favorite, but plant-based style! While I am sometimes worried about vegan options at restaurants lacking flavor versus making it at home, I was thrilled to take a bite into the "Smokey the Bandit" and taste the same great combination of cheeses and its saltiness and sweetness from the ranch and barbecue sauce. The Daiya cheeses, vegan chicken (was probably tempeh or seitan) along with the homemade vegan ranch were all satisfying without ingredients from animal products and the blend of different tastes reminded me of the original option. Simply put, I was able to eat a vegan slice of pizza that tasted just as good as the option that included animal products.
This vegan slice cost me five bucks versus four, but this was a great deal considering vegan options tend to cost more to buy, especially for restaurants who are buying from vendors that might charge a premium for vegan options. Overall, Ian's delivers on their vegan pizza (at least with one of their most well-liked options) and gives me confidence that I can try their other vegan options and be very satisfied. Now that is exactly how you slice up the competition.