Category Archives: Pizza

Guiltless as charged: Couple pursues a mostly carb-free pizza

We all know starches and sugars are bad for us – but they’re so good, too. Bread, pasta, pizza and potatoes. It can be hard to go without because they’re so satisfying, but worse, there aren’t great substitutions. (I know this from an unlucky attempt at homemade, coconut-flour, paleo pizza. Don’t try it.)

Luckily, my fiancé stumbled upon a local company making take-and-bake pizzas with carbohydrate-free crusts. We didn’t wait. Our next dinner would be pizza.

My expectations were low. Was there really a chance we could find something that fills the void of grease-topped, sweet tomato sauce over a soft, dense crust?

Guiltless Pizza the Carnivore

The carnivore pie from Guiltless Pizza features cheese and lean meats of turkey bacon, sausage, chicken and plenty of sautéed onions. (Photo by Taylor Adams)

That’s what Lindsey and Daniel Crouch asked themselves last fall.

“We wanted to try to make something healthy, but we wondered, ‘How do we substitute the grains and the flour that’s in your traditional crust?’” Lindsey said. “We were on vacation in Crested Butte [Colorado], and the big man upstairs told me, ‘Seeds.’”

They went to the farmers market in the Colorado mountain town and started testing recipes right there.

“We came home and we started working ferociously on the crust,” she said. “Once we got it right, it’s just been amazing.”

It took the couple three months to get it perfect.

Lindsey, who was previously a personal chef, whipped up the recipe along with the sugarless tomato sauce. Daniel is the only other employee of the operation and is a personal trainer.

The couple has been selling since January – customers order on their website for pies Monday through Friday. The couple makes their pizzas in a commercial kitchen in Garland, then bring them back to Uptown to be picked up.

Lindsey and Daniel Crouch have been serving pizza with a carb-less crust since the beginning of this year. Here, they serve  their pies back stage at SXSW, feeding the artists after their performances and backstage interviews. (Photo provided by Lindsey Crouch)

Lindsey and Daniel Crouch have been serving pizza with a carb-less crust since the beginning of this year. Here, they serve their pies back stage at SXSW, feeding the artists after their performances and backstage interviews. (Photo provided by Lindsey Crouch)

They’re getting about 75 orders a week at this point, said Lindsey, who is also seven months pregnant. I was one of these customers recently, and made the trip to the small street across from North Dallas High School to get my own order of the carnivore pizza.

The crust itself  was pretty satisfactory. You won’t bite into it and think you bit into a just-ordered pizza from Piggie Pies, but it’ll do for pizza when there are no carbs in the crust.  The only carbs in this pie come from the tomato sauce and vegetables you choose to top it.

(That’s as far as I’m willing to go for an early review. For my full opinion on Guiltless Pizza, check back with Bites of Dallas in a few weeks.)

The Crouches won’t be shocked if you find just one piece of their pizza to be hearty.

“It’s so filling that you’re satisfied after two slices, and you can’t go on; you’re not going to eat a bunch, carb-load, and get a carb-coma,” she said.

The Crouches say they aren’t bluffing when they talk about a healthy but still delicious alternative to traditional pizzas.

“The value in it is it’s full of fiber and protein, omega-3 and 6, the seeds are anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory – it’s almost like you’re meeting requirements of your daily needs,” Lindsey said.

This isn’t the first healthy food endeavor by the couple. Previously, they had a crust-free quiche business called Quiche Queen, but they quickly learned there wasn’t a high market.

After starting the low-carb pizza gig, though, Lindsey thinks they’ve found their place, she said.

“We’re just really proud of the nutritional value that it boasts,” she said. “It has to be healthy. We’re not going to put anything out there that’s just frivolous and tastes good, and people can go get fat on it and waste $28.”

What’s the next step? Guiltless bread — which they’re already selling. (Though, it’s still not showing up on the website’s menu.)

“It’s a loaf and based off the same premise as guiltless pizza. No gluten, wheat, yeast, or any of those things in it. It’s delicious and moist,” Lindsey said.

They plan to franchise this concept, so it’s available to everyone. When you pick up your order, you’ll notice Daniel introduces himself to you and gets to know you a bit. He’s used to repeat business.

“They’re return customers because it becomes part of their diet plan and meal plan. We’re just really thankful that it’s not a splurge thing or a one-time deal,” Lindsey said. “We feel really amazing about not only being delicious but that it’s really good for you. We’ve had customers and clients who have lost 20 and 30 pounds by incorporating Guiltless Pizza into their lives … It really has just become part of people’s lifestyles.”

Guiltless Pizza
To order, visit the online order form and request your special pie from the menu. Do this by the early morning of the evening you want to pick up a pizza, and you’re set. Lindsey will send you an email on where exactly to go to pick up your dinner.

Online ordering only? Setting up a location for the pizza-money exchange? And you’re pizza’s low-carb? Yep, this is definitely a different kind of pizza company.

How it compares
The nutritional values are drastically different compared to your typical slice of pizza in the area – particularly if you’re watching your net carbohydrate intake. Their website provides some comparison for a piece of pepperoni pizza.

Guiltless Pizza
Calories: 240
Protein: 15.8 grams
Net carbs: 5 grams
Fiber: 4.6

Calories: 275
Protein: 11.25
Net carbs: 26 grams
Fiber: 1 gram

Calories: 330
Protein: 14 grams
Net carbs: 38 grams
Fiber: 2 grams


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Piggie Pies raises the bar in delivery pizza for Upper Greenville

Consider yourself lucky if you live within delivery distance of an acceptable pizza place. Pizza Hut doesn’t count and Papa Johns isn’t quite good enough. Piggie Pies, however, is.


A small pizza with pepperoni, olives, onions and cheese from Piggie Pies Pizza and Pasta. (Photo by TAYLOR ADAMS)

Having just moved within the three-mile radius of Piggie Pies’ delivery area, I’m fortunate to have a cheese-covered pie at such a convenience.

While the mozzarella cheese coats whatever toppings the pizza has for the night, the sauce doesn’t have a chance of being hidden. Boasting garlic and oregano in every red bite, the flavor overtakes whatever taste the bread might have.

Lacking in originality, the restaurant’s website is proud of its “fresh toppings,” but nothing that has made its way on a pie has proven that the words are a lie. Veggies are crisp and meats are flavorful–the pepperoni is soft with a kick and the sausage is authentic enough when covered with cheese.

The menu also has a list of pasta that’s dense enough to find something worthy, with the cream-based sauces proving to be the best. The red sauce is acceptable and the meatballs aren’t the worst for delivery options.

The chicken Alfredo has a sauce thick and deserving of its name, unlike the runny, savorless imitations around Dallas. The carbonara can fill one up after a few bites: the Alfredo in this is overpowered with salt by the bacon and ham that’s tossed with sautéed onion, tomato and pasta.

This isn’t the best pizza I’ve tasted in Dallas. If I lived closer to Fireside Pies, I might opt for take-out over delivery. As that’s not the case, delivery will do; and with Piggie Pies, it will do just fine.

Piggie Pies Pizza and Pasta
Location: 5315 Greenville Ave., Suite 120B, 75206, 214-821-6465
Hours: Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
Price: $
Ambiance:  Small dining space with few tables and, usually, a line of customers to take their pizzas to-go
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: None served

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June 2, 2012 · 10:58 am

Olivella’s provides crisp pies, rustic atmosphere

Thin crust pizza is everywhere lately, so when one place serving Neapolitan-style pizza has a line out the door almost every night, it’s doubtful you’ll walk out disappointed. Southern Methodist University is lucky to be across from Olivella’s, a small restaurant serving up crispy pies topped with fresh tomato sauce.

The regina margherita pizza at Olivella's. Photo by Taylor Adams

This isn’t your hearty, greasy, guilty-but-pleasing pizza, but it’s one that has a light satisfaction, with less guilt and more than enough flavors. The menu has enough pies to choose from, as well as salads, pastas and sandwiches.

The margherita is a good choice here, though the regina margherita, for $1 more, is worth the small investment for the blend of housemade cheeses, rather than the housemade mozzarella in the classic.

Even in the winter, these tomatoes seem fresh enough to make your pizza soggy with tomato juice (which is one reason you don’t take your time eating a pie here with tomatoes on it).

Some other pies load the thin, bubbled crust with meat, any of which are satisfactory, but whichever piece you pick up from the metal pan will have a stream of grease coming from it.

Salads are typical and a good intro for your pie, but they aren’t worth filling up on before your meal.

The cramped restaurant of mismatched, wobbling tables gives you a feeling you’ve stepped into a pizza joint outside of Dallas, and there’s a good chance you’ll start your wine before the meal. The wine list is a short one, listing domestic and Italian wines, any of which typically come out a bit too warm.

The pizzas are also available for carry-out if you don’t feel like waiting for a table in the restaurant or on the sidewalk in front of it.

Olivella's is located at 3406 McFarlin Blvd. in Dallas.

3406 McFarlin Blvd., Dallas 75205, 214-528-7070 (The second location, Neo Pizza, provides a rather different experience in Victory Park)
11:45 a.m. “until the oven closes,” which is listed between 10-11 p.m., daily
Ambiance: Indoor and sidewalk seating. Wobbling, wooden tables that provide minimal elbow room with a pie and drinks on them.
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Wine and beer

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Uptown in a slice and a glass: Coal Vines

In my recent trip to New Jersey–the one where I tasted a life-changing cannoli–we tried a number of pizzas to find the one that would change our perception of cheese-covered bread. While most of it was fine, nothing made us think, “what will I do without this at home?” In fact, when we tried one recent place after we got back, we were  quite glad to be in Dallas.

White special pizza with basil at Coal Vines.

Coal Vines is consistent in serving up a fine duo of wine and pizza. The white special is our favorite, a thicker, doughy crust topped with mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, sliced tomatoes and garlic, though it’s always better with added basil. The ingredients, on this one or any other pie, are simple but combined to make a pizza better than many others in this city (and in Marlton, New Jersey).

Zucchini chips at Coal Vines.

Before you have a chance to choose your wine, you’re brought zucchini chips–little bites of a salty and slightly greasy vegetable that you’ll quickly find addicting. The caesar salad is usually  a safe order for an appetizer, though this last time we got it, the copious amount of anchovy was too much to bear–so much that we actually sent it back…

The wine list is always great to peruse; and while we debate going crazy to get a Cakebread or Silver Oak, there are always a couple of bottles on special for the evening. If it’s below 105 degrees, the patio is a nice spot, overlooking the intersection of Cedar Springs and Maple, but busy with uptown socialites and pizza lovers alike.

Wherever you sit, skip over the entrees on your first visit and go for a pie. The dough on this pizza is a perfect medium for carrying toppings covered in cheese. This doughy crust makes some pick up the silverware, or make others do the pizza fold. Available toppings are fairly traditional (and, unfortunately, lacking truffle oil) and the set pizzas are all good starting points. The marinara and white pizzas are good basics, or try the bolognese to upgrade your American pie.

Do go for the entrees eventually–after you try three kinds of pizzas, the lemon sole piccata is worth a shot.

Coal Vines
Location: 2404 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, 214-855-4999
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m to 12 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Brunch is available Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Price: $$
Service: Prompt, though not terribly friendly
Ambiance: Uptown hangout
Attire: Business casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Beer and wine served
Seating: Indoor and patio

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Some perfect pizza found in a Dallas dive

It has one door. It holds one bar that reaches down one side of the small room it has for dining. It has a few windows that never get to let in light. It doesn’t even have a website. What it does have is a retro interior that serves as the ideal setting for martinis and pizza.

Louie’s is known for its pizza in Dallas, which explains how this small building on the side of the road gets adequate business on a Monday night.

After walking through the miniature entryway, we waited to be seated (which, by the way, you don’t need to do) and already heard the bartender taking martini orders from three arriving customers.

And just a slight warning for you while you’re waiting on your meal to arrive: the bartender serves his drinks generously strong (at least it was for my Cape Codder).

The small Caesar we ordered was more than an appetizer to split, but acceptable considering it was $7. Had the dressing recipe used half the amount of anchovy that it did, this acceptably-sized salad would have been gratifying–and I’m a true appreciator of anchovy flavor in a Caesar. But some sparse croutons and just a light dusting of Parmesan couldn’t save the overwhelming fish taste in this one.

Thankfully, my main meal wasn’t near the disappointment of the Caesar. I prefer a thin crust on my pizza, as do many Dallasites, according to the full tables in this establishment. But Louie’s has the crust that is both crisp  enough to make a loud bite and sturdy enough to hold your toppings of choice.

My pizza last night had pepperoni and jalepenos (which my date proceeded to tell me makes a nacho out of a pizza). I appreciate a copious amount of cheese on my pizza, and the Wisconsin cheese layer on this one simply made me eat more than I should have.

Next trip, I may jump on the crab claws for appetizers and try one of Louie’s sandwiches. But I may take a pizza home afterward, just in case.

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