Formerly: Can't eat a pizza without the overwhelming guilt attached to it? The inorganic ingredients, the carbon emissions from the delivery car, the non-recyclable pizza boxes – do these things bother you? If you're sitting in your "Save the Whales" T-shirt and saying, "I can't stand non-recyclable pizza boxes," then you should do a whole lotta business at Naperville's Pizza Fusion. The nationwide chain (with most locations in Florida and California) stands by its motto, "Saving the world one pizza at a time," by employing so many environmentally friendly tactics that it would shame even card-carrying Green party members.
First, there's the food – organic to the max, from the pizza ingredients to the sandwiches to even the beer, only serving brews with hops and barley that were produced "in harmony with the environment." Sandwiches like the Free Range Roasted Chicken and the Philly Phusion are served hot and titled cleverly for $10. Personal pizzas may be the best deal: Create your own starting at $7, and mix options like multigrain crust or organic white, organic tomato or olive oil, feta or goat cheese. Meanwhile, our vegan comrades can feast on the "Very Vegan" pizza, with Crimini mushrooms, roasted garlic and soy cheese.
Once inside, Pizza Fusion pushes the environmental angle to the extreme. Pictures of forests and people lovingly holding plants line the green and red walls along with random, cursive-written words like "hybrid," "responsibility" and "natural." Yellow daisies greet any bar loungers. Outside, Pizza Fusion's hybrid delivery cars sit waiting for orders with bright red tomatoes painted on its sides.
The green-based initiatives go far beyond the dining room – the restaurant uses chlorine-free recycled paper, purchases renewable energy certificates, uses 100 percent post-consumer toilet paper, and even hosts organic classes every third Thursday of the month to teach kids the importance of the green lifestyle. Say what you want about their politics, but you can't deny their effort.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert