Bluff City Vegan Eats: Elemento Neapolitan Pizza
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The newest restaurant in Crosstown Concourse — the vertical urban village where I work — is Elemento Neapolitan Pizza, and I finally had a chance to try it last night.
Elemento is one of only two authentic Neapolitan pizza places in Memphis (both owned by the same people, but the other one is way out east in Collierville). To qualify as authentic Neapolitan pizza, the pizza must be prepared in a special certified oven that cooks the pizza in 90 seconds or less. Elemento imports its flour from Italy and only uses San Marzano tomatoes.
So do they have vegan options, you ask? Yes! They do not carry vegan cheese, but they’re happy to make a traditional Pizza Marinara (the original pizza from Naples that was made without cheese). It’s basically a flatbread with fresh tomato sauce and basil, and then you can add whatever veggie toppings you want.
Last night, I added the mushroom mix and kalamata olives — a fine choice!
This was a personal-sized pie, and it was quite large. The crust inside is super-duper thin in the middle, so I found it surprisingly easy to scarf down the whole thing in one meal. But it was still very filling! I also loved how the outside crusts were perfectly chewy and soft, just as pizza crust should be.
Vegans, take note — pizza marinara is not on the menu, but if you order Pizza Margarita with no cheese, that’s a Pizza Marinara by definition. Toppings are $1 a piece, and there are lots of veggie options. Elemento also has a nice salad selection, all of which can easily be made vegan by leaving off cheese.
If you want to learn more about Elemento, check out this story I wrote for our Crosstown Concourse newsletter, The Conveyor. Elemento is located inside Crosstown Concourse at 1350 Concourse Ave.