Brixx is a restaurant chain that everyone who is vegetarian or vegan should know! Currently there are five locations in Charlotte.
Let’s start with their pizza. Brixx is known for their thin-crust, brick oven, California-style pizza, and they have a Veggin’ Out section on their menu with six creative pizza combinations! My favorites are the Greek Pizza (Roma tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onions, and feta cheese topped with fresh basil and balsamic glaze drizzle) and the Artichoke Pizza (herb-marinated artichokes, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil pesto and mozzarella). Other vegetarian choices include Margherita, Pear & Gorgonzola, Wood Roasted Vegetable, and Wild Mushroom. Your choices don’t stop there, though. For those that eat dairy, there’s a four-cheese Quattro Formaggio under Classics, and a Pimento Cheese pizza under Goin’ to Cali you can request to have served without the bacon bits. In fact, the servers are very willing to modify any pizza for you. My other two favorite pizzas are the modified Rustica – under Classics. Prosciutto, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and roasted garlic – substitute jalapeno peppers for the prosciutto, please! I also like the modified Mexican – under Goin’ Cali. Black-bean spread with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, wood-roasted chicken, roma tomatoes and sliced fresh jalapenos topped with sour cream – hold the chicken and add black olives.
So Brixx has a lot of pizza choices for vegetarians. Here’s the kicker – Brixx has a lot of pizza choices for vegans, too! Their traditional and whole wheat pizza crusts are 100% vegan – made with turbinado sugar – AND they offer vegan Daiya cheese! Of course, some of their pizzas translate better to vegan than others. One that makes a fine transition is the Greek Pizza, probably because the balsamic drizzle keeps the cheese a little more moist and adds back some of the saltiness of the feta. Pizzas that depend heavily on cheese – such as the Margherita with its house-made mozzarella and the Pear and Gorgonzola – don’t fare as well as pizzas that depend more on a creative mix of toppings (Artichoke, Wood Roasted Vegetable, Wild Mushroom). Use some judgement and common sense when ordering.
Brixx also excels at appetizers. Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Bruschetta, Brixx Stixx, and Pimento Cheese with Pita Chips are all vegetarian. They also offer a vegan appetizer – pita chips with three different hummus dips – black bean, roasted red pepper, and traditional.
Of course there’s a nice selection of salads – vegans can ask the salads be served without feta or parmesan cheese.
For sandwiches, Brixx offers a House Made Mozzarella and Tomato sandwich. They used to have a Pesto Portabello sandwich, which was tasty with vegan cheese, or without any cheese at all. They have replaced it with a Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Wrap – probably impossible to successfully convert to vegan, as it contains mozzarella cheese, a feta cheese dressing, and then the whole thing is wrapped it in a honey wheat tortilla.
Pastas – The Pasta Pomodoro (fresh basil, garlic, red onion and tomato concasse over whole-grain linguine) is supposed to be vegan; if you don’t mind a cream based pasta you could probably order one of the other pastas (penne, alfredo) without the chicken or shrimp.
None of the desserts are vegan.
Brixx is a great late-night place to go – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten there after a movie. Open from 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM Mon-Sat; 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM Sundays.
Cost Cutting Measures: Sundays Brixx offers half-price bottles of wine. (I have not run their wine list through Barnivore to see if any are vegan-friendly.) Domestic draft beers are $1.95 on Mondays. Pizzas and appetizers are buy one, get one free after 10:00 pm (11:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays) – eat in or take out – no coupon needed. A frequent promotion is “two for Tuesday” – buy two entrees, get two free (coupon needed). Coupons are plentiful … check online, on Facebook, in the Charlotte Observer, and in Coupon Clipper magazine.
Five locations in Charlotte – Blakeney, Dillworth, Foxcroft, Uptown, and Birkdale. Click here for more information.
Update 9/17/12 – My friend Heather informed me last time she checked, the basil pesto sauce on the artichoke pizza was not vegan – and upon reflection, I used to cook a lot of Italian food and make pesto sauce; of course it wouldn’t be. I think this was a case of “selective blindness” on my part! If you’re really wanting to get your artichoke on, try the Rustica pizza instead – just ask them to leave off the prosciutto.
Brixx is also in Greensboro, Asheville, Gastonia, Raleigh and in SC and TN. They opened up few restaurants in last 3-4 years and may have more locations.