Mr. Natural – Gourmet Vegetarian Pizza
223 Barkly St
St Kilda, VIC
P: 03 9534 2542
*Also at 469 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy Nth, VIC 3065
I’ve got to admit – I’ve driven past Mr. Natural’s Fitzroy North store several times but never bothered stopping in; I guess I was judging a book by its cover. It didn’t look like anything special from the outside, and how exciting can a vegetarian pizza be? VERY EXCITING, AS IT TURNS OUT. I was sorely mistaken.
Last night, Mr. AA & I headed to Melbourne to see rock ‘n’ roll legend Budy Guy in concert at The Palais. We made a last minute decision to go to Lentil as Anything for dinner, but it was tiny and packed. There was nowhere for us to sit, so we went across the road to Mr. Natural. It was a last minute decision (and a good one!); please excuse the dodgy mobile phone photos!
It’s a small, intimate venue. I expected it to be buzzing, but then again, it was a Tuesday night. We were the only ones dining in, but there was a constant stream of take-away orders being made. These guys accept online orders as well as phone orders – talk about getting with the times! I was impressed.
The menu was far more exciting than I was expecting it to be – I was actually having trouble making a decision. Truth be told, I’m used to being in that annoying position of walking into a pizza shop and ordering the vegetarian pizza without cheese. Yep; I can do it with my eyes closed. And you always get the same ol’ toppings. They get very old very quickly.
As it turns out, the two pizzas I was interested in are exclusive to the St. Kilda store and not on the online menu. I asked for the dal pizza but it wasn’t available just yet (the dal was still being made and OHMYGOD it smelled amazing!); the wonderful man behind the counter recommended the Mexican pizza instead, which was my second choice anyway. It sounded a little strange, as it listed bananas and dates in the ingredients, but don’t worry – there aren’t chunks of either on the pizza. I think they may have been mashed and mixed up with the beans.
Again, please excuse the photo. It doesn’t do this pizza justice – it was Mexican, alright. I don’t think I could have been happier. Mr. AA tasted it while I was trying to take a photo and he demanded that I just stop and eat. Well, I could see why. The toppings were just so… Perfect. The Mexican spices mixed in with the beans were just right and very prominent. This pizza was REALLY filling – we struggled to finish off a large between us. These guys definitely aren’t stingy on the ingredients, they really make it worth your while.
Oh – and in case anyone is wondering, gluten free bases are available! YEAH! Also, you have the option of having your pizza topped with rennet free dairy cheese, vegan cheese or tofu. I didn’t actually notice the vegan cheese option until afterwards, so I just asked for tofu. I would have been a bit weary anyway, depending on what brand they used. Vegan cheese isn’t always a winner in my eyes – and you’d wanna know exactly what you’re getting for an extra $3.50 (on a large pizza). And finally… They stock Phoenix soft drinks!
You can’t go wrong. Go and get yourself an amazing pizza. Like, now.
Annnnd finally… Simply because I can’t resist, here’s a photo of Buddy Guy serenading the woman behind me! He left the stage and walked through the venue playing and greeting people. Seventy five years old and still rockin’ it. Bet you wish you were that cool.