One Fine Meal: Plant-Based Pizzeria fits the bill for vegan pizza — and more

This pizza from Plant-Based Pizzeria & More has one half covered in Vegan Meat Lover's toppings (left), the other with Georgia Peach toppings. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

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This pizza from Plant-Based Pizzeria & More has one half covered in Vegan Meat Lover's toppings (left), the other with Georgia Peach toppings. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Life is full of what ifs.

What if Paul Jordan’s mother, Brenda Ann Smith, hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer in 2015? Would he still have researched ways in which some foods cause the body harm, while others are curative? Would he have switched to a vegan lifestyle himself?

What if, as his mother’s illness progressed, she hadn’t said to him, “Go ahead and chase your dreams,” would he still have moved to Atlanta?

Finally, would Jordan have opened a vegan pizza joint if Slutty Vegan founder Pinky Cole hadn’t already cornered the market on vegan burgers?

The answer to all of the above: probably not.

Jordan launched takeout-only Plant-Based Pizzeria in Virginia-Highland in 2019. After a pandemic delay, 2021 saw Plant-Based Pizzeria expand with a location on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. The northern outlet offers dine-in service, as well as an expanded menu, as indicated by the “& More” tacked on to the restaurant’s name.

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Paul Jordan is the owner of Plant-Based Pizzeria & More in Sandy Springs and Plant-Based Pizzeria in Virginia-Highland. Courtesy of Jay Goldz

Credit: Jay Goldz

Paul Jordan is the owner of Plant-Based Pizzeria & More in Sandy Springs and Plant-Based Pizzeria in Virginia-Highland.
Courtesy of Jay Goldz

Credit: Jay Goldz

Combined ShapeCaption
Paul Jordan is the owner of Plant-Based Pizzeria & More in Sandy Springs and Plant-Based Pizzeria in Virginia-Highland. Courtesy of Jay Goldz

Credit: Jay Goldz

Credit: Jay Goldz

Flatbreads and calzones are an option, but those 12-inch pizzas are the draw.

It starts with a unique crust. The dough recipe incorporates spelt, while avoiding white flour and yeast. The result is a dense, thin, crispy crust. “Spelt flour is not gluten-free,” he said, “but they do say it is gluten-friendlier.”

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The Off Da Wall vegan pizza from Plant-Based Pizzeria & More is chock-full of veggies. Pictured is a gluten-free version made with a cauliflower crust. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya

The Off Da Wall vegan pizza from Plant-Based Pizzeria & More is chock-full of veggies. Pictured is a gluten-free version made with a cauliflower crust. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya

Combined ShapeCaption
The Off Da Wall vegan pizza from Plant-Based Pizzeria & More is chock-full of veggies. Pictured is a gluten-free version made with a cauliflower crust. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya

Credit: Ligaya

For folks who avoid gluten altogether, Plant-Based Pizzeria offers a cauliflower crust, which Jordan said has been well-received. “They love the taste of the cauliflower crust, even those that don’t have allergies.”

The Georgia Peach tops all the pies — both in terms of sales and the unexpected combination of spicy Beyond sausage, vegan mozzarella, roasted basil pizza sauce, roasted peaches, onions and jalapenos. “I knew all the controversy of pineapple being on a pizza. We wanted to create more controversy,” Jordan said. “Since it’s Georgia, we said, ‘We need to do a Georgia pizza,’ and came up with the perfect combination with the sweet and spicy.”

The Vegan Meat Lover’s, covered with mild Beyond sausage, ground Beyond hamburger, vegan mozzarella cheese and roasted basil pizza sauce, clocks in a close second.

Jordan said that he chose Beyond meat products as a meat alternative, because they do not contain soy. Still, he plans to increase the variety of plant-based meat alternatives. “My next goal is to create more alternative meat from vegetables. I got some new mushrooms coming in soon — lion’s mane and oyster mushrooms. And I’m going to start using jackfruit. A lot of die-hard vegans don’t want the Beyond meat.” The pizzeria already takes full advantage of the protein and texture of walnut meat.

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Plant-Based Pizzeria & More is located in a space formerly occupied by a nightclub. Owner Paul Jordan remodeled and brightened the expansive space, which includes a screened patio. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Plant-Based Pizzeria & More is located in a space formerly occupied by a nightclub. Owner Paul Jordan remodeled and brightened the expansive space, which includes a screened patio. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Combined ShapeCaption
Plant-Based Pizzeria & More is located in a space formerly occupied by a nightclub. Owner Paul Jordan remodeled and brightened the expansive space, which includes a screened patio. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

As far as the “& More” of the Sandy Spring location, Jordan eventually wants to incorporate all-day breakfast, as well as pastas, into the daily menu. Until then, vegan breakfast is available only on Saturdays, from noon to 3 p.m. Sundays bring a crowd hungry for vegan specials, like fried oyster mushrooms, fried cauliflower, greens and candied yams.

With an alcohol license pending, a full bar soon should make its debut — and a separate juice bar, too.

ExploreVegan and vegetarian restaurants to try in metro Atlanta

There’s more coming. Jordan has secured space at 1130 Chattahoochee Ave. in west Midtown, where he plans to set up “a vegan lounge of sorts” that will be serviced by two food trucks: Plant-Based Pizza and Veggie Burger. He hopes to have that operation up and running by summer.

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Whatever salad you choose, get it with ranch dressing. They bottle and sell the stuff, because the recipe is that good. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Whatever salad you choose, get it with ranch dressing. They bottle and sell the stuff, because the recipe is that good. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Combined ShapeCaption
Whatever salad you choose, get it with ranch dressing. They bottle and sell the stuff, because the recipe is that good. Ligaya Figueras/ligaya.figueras@ajc.com

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

PLANT-BASED PIZZERIA & MORE

Menu: vegan pizza, calzones, flatbreads and burgers

Alcohol: coming soon

What I ordered: Half and Half (Vegan Meat Lover’s and Georgia Peach); Off Da Wall, with cauliflower crust; side salad. Roasted peaches and jalapeno rings are a delicious sweet-heat combination on the Georgia Peach, easily my favorite pie. Loaded with Beyond hamburger crumbles and sausage slivers, the Vegan Meat Lover’s pie should satisfy those hungry for meaty texture and flavor. All pizzas are 12 inches, on a spelt-based, yeast-free thin crust. I prefer its slightly earthy flavor to the gluten-free cauliflower crust, available for a $5 upcharge. Whatever salad you choose, get it with ranch dressing; no wonder they bottle and sell the stuff — the recipe is that good.

Service options: dine-in, carryout and delivery; order in person or online; delivery through DoorDash, Grubhub (and soon via Uber Eats and Postmates)

Outdoor dining: screened patio

Mask policy: employees wear masks; not required of customers

Address, phone: 8540 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs; 470-365-2994

Hours: 11a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, noon-10 p.m. Sundays

Website: plantbasedpizzeria.net

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