Third Eye Pie, a new pop-up pizzeria in Dallas, aims to expand your mind when it comes to the possibilities of vegan pizza. They also hope to do a little good in the process.
You won't see any store-bought cheese replacements or soy-heavy imitation meats on these pies. Everything from the cashew mozzarella to the vegan pepperoni is made in house. What's more, 20% of every purchase is donated to a local charity or mutual aid fund.
That’s right. A vegan pizzeria that donates to charity in Dallas. Anything seems possible in 2021.
The idea for Third Eye Pie came about when Zuri Bradley and Jordan Sweet, veterans of stalwart vegan spot Spiral Diner, where they currently work full-time, found themselves in need of a way to distract themselves from the despair of the pandemic. “We were already kind of down bad. ... So I was like, you know what, start a project whenever you’re sad or need to take your mind off things,” Bradley says.
They began to experiment with pizza recipes in their off-hours with the help of friends and family as a way to fill their cravings.
“I love pizza. Jordan loves pizza. And there’s really not a lot of good vegan pizza around Dallas,” Bradley says.
Though a few spots offer vegan-friendly pies, none in Dallas specialize in them in the way Third Eye does. What’s more, most rely on brand-name cheese replacements, whereas Third Eye tends to make everything in house.
Bradley and Sweet tested their recipes informally until they launched their first pop-up last September. Since then, they’ve slung vegan pies at least once a month from various locations in Denton and Dallas.
Though menu options are limited, with only two kinds of pizza per pop-up, the quality is impeccable.
We were able to try a margherita pie with vegan pepperoni added and a BBQ-style pizza with jackfruit and pineapple. Both featured an excellent cashew-based mozzarella cheese replacement and were paired with vegan ranch dipping sauce. The flavor profiles and textures could fool a fast-food junkie into eating plants.
Previous menus featured a fan-favorite white pizza with garlic roux, spinach, mushrooms and cashew mozzarella, as well as an Indian-inspired pizza with cauliflower, bell peppers, onions and cashew mozzarella layered on top of a tomato and coconut curry sauce.
With each pop-up, Bradley and Sweet have steadily honed their recipes and grown their customer base while balancing the project with their full-time jobs. On their GoFundMe, they cite the support of various friends and collaborators as essential to getting the project off the ground
“We don't want to burn ourselves out. But at the same time, building a business does take a lot of work,” Bradley says.
The latest example of their community-oriented approach is the addition of delivery. Originally pickup only, Third Eye Pie now delivers within a 10-mile radius of their pop-up locations with the support of local activist group LatinX Dallas and mutual aid group Feed The People Dallas.
“We are working together to make vegan food, and also help people,” Bradley says.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.