Let me cut to the chase. Lilly’s Pizza has a serious oven problem. Their dough comes out uneven and grossly undercooked in many cases. I’m not the first to complain about this and I hope that the word goes out loud enough for the owners to make a much needed quality change.
When you walk in Lilly’s you’ll certainly get a nice vibe. It’s a loud and eclectic neighborhood pizza parlor. Lots of interesting people are all around. Diverse. Singles. Families. Friendly staff and table service once you place your order at the bar. That’s ambiance. Nothing to do with the food. I came for the food and there in lies the rub. From their online site, I could see some interesting vegan choices. A vegan black bean soup. Something called a Fuzzi Duck, which is a salad with fake chicken strips. Pizza topping choices include tofu, fake chicken, and vegan cheese.
I planned to try the Vegan Stromboli ($9 with grilled tofu, atomic sauce, organic mushrooms, organic corn and homemade pico salsa. ) and a slice of pizza. My one slice would be made to order to fit the description of the Buddha pizza that Lilly’s offers. It was an expensive slice, mainly because most vegan/vegetarian toppings are double priced, whether you go by the slice or whole pizza. I wanted to try the Buddha without getting a whole pie, so I swallowed hard and ignored how much this one would cost. You start with the $2.30 per slice base and add either .50 or 1.00 each for toppings to make it a Buddha (Extra virgin olive oil, organic garlic, organic baby spinach, sharp white cheddar, roma tomatoes, organic zucchini, kalamata olives, parmesan & feta ) Obviously I substituted the vegan cheese. I asked and was told they use Diaya Cheese. Good. My dining partner a non-vegan ordered a Pig in the Poke Calzone. ($11)
The slice came out first and I immediately thought that they were heavy on the veggies and skimpy on the vegan cheese. So much so that there was little melting together of the cheese- just a drizzle like effect. See this post to see how well vegan cheese can be applied to pizza. The initial bite had a crispy crust but as I worked my way upwards I noticed the a bad chewiness begin. Before I could think on this too much my gigantic Stromboli arrived. It was huge! For me, it was at least 3 servings. First bite again, was crisp and good. The atomic sauce was excellent. But then I started to notice something I thought looked melted and gooey throughout the Stromboli. I thought it was cheese. Did they make it vegetarian instead of vegan? I toyed with it a bit. As you can see in the second picture, the tofu chunks are clearly identified but what looks like cheese is present almost like a layer along the bottom.
I took it to the cashier and he told me several times that the gooey mess was uncooked dough. Said their ovens were bad and this is the way it most times comes out. He said it several times because I kept asking him, “Are you sure?” I really would have preferred it was a cheese mistake than the restaurant willingly serving uncooked food. The really bad part about this is that because it kind of seemed cheesy, people who don’t eat cheese probably are the only ones that notice. Imagine how many just eat this crap thinking it’s cheese! My calzone eating friend had the same problem. He elected to take his home and re-bake it. Not me. I requested and got the entire tab refunded. This was a bad stomach ache inducing experience and the nonchalant attitude over the dough soured me on trying any non-dough items. Quality doesn’t seem to be a main ingredient at Lilly’s. Won’t be back.