The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

The Student News Site of Victor Senior High School

The Victor Voice

Squatcho’s Vegan Pizzeria: Worth the Search

Finding delicious vegan comfort food is about as rare as a Bigfoot sighting. You feel like it must exist, but to track it down will take effort and a journey out into the wild. However, if you do find it, you are obligated to tell everyone you know, because it’s a life-changing discovery. 

Friday night, I found Bigfoot. More accurately, I found a Sasquatch –  of sorts. Squatcho’s, a completely vegan pizzeria is located deep in the heart of the wilderness: on Main Street in downtown Rochester, just next to the Genesee River.

As readers may know, my family is vegetarian, and often vegan. Over the last two weeks we have also been participating in the “Plant Based Challenge,” an annual dietary reset, and we were in need of a reward or cheat day. Boy did we find a worthwhile reward at Squatcho’s.

In an unassuming storefront, which has clearly been other restaurants, the staff of Squatcho’s has curated a nice collection of Sasqautch themed art, and they are serving up mouth-watering, greasy, favorites.

They serve a variety of pizzas, with a wide selection of tempting meat-alternatives. Gluten-free diners will also find pizza options to fit their diet as well. In addition to a list of pizzas at the 12 and 16 inch sizes, Squatcho’s boasts a daily soup special (Friday was a ginger, oyster mushroom, miso soup) vegan “wings,” sandwiches, fries, garbage plates and desserts.

It was hard to pick a pizza, but I let my wife decide, because pregnancy counts as two votes. We were between the Let’s Go Buffalo (Buffalo Chicken) and the BBQ Blue, but we went with the LGB. 

The pizza features a garlic butter base, bleu cheese crumbles and Buffalo chicken, all completely vegan. It knocked our socks off. Pleasantly spicy, with crispy faux-chicken and convincing butter and bleu cheese, even my two year old gobbled it down. The crust is thin and crispy, but held the toppings well, and it heated up well as leftovers.

We also got a garbage plate. I did not know how much I missed them. Yes, I have tried making my own, and yes some places offer things like a “compost plate,” but those are always too ‘healthy’ tasting. Squatcho’s leans into the idea that, as my wife says, “Vegan doesn’t mean healthy.” 

This garbage plate was incredible. With two vegan Beyond Burgers, and the traditional mac salad, fries, and “meat sauce” with a zig zag of mustard, I couldn’t stop nibbling at it, even when I was too full. And like a true plate, it made for a great breakfast reheated. 

We rounded the meal out with a seltzer and an IBC root beer, along with some complimentary water. We were completely satisfied, with food to share and spare.

Truly this place presented the best facsimile of vegan late-night cheat day food I have ever found. In reality, if you didn’t tell someone it was vegan, I doubt they would have been able to tell. (Besides the obvious signs of it not looking like a chicken wing, or something.)

The only weak spot for us was the garlic knots. They were fine, and a good way to try the house marinara, but the sauce lacked the sweetness my wife likes in a pizza sauce, and the knots were outdone by both pizza and plate.

Squatcho’s is surprisingly busy, especially for a bare-bones vegan joint. There was almost always someone ordering, picking up, or waiting for food.

The ambiance is minimal, but pleasant enough, with great music playing, cool art, friendly dudes behind the counter, a chalk wall, and a familiar pizzeria feel.

What it may lack in style, it makes up for in reasonably priced food. It didn’t feel pricier than a traditional pizzeria, when vegan food often comes with a little extra price tag.

I do recommend ordering for pick-up in advance. We didn’t mind the wait, and my son enjoyed the Lending Library with children’s books, but because the food is prepared fresh, it did take a little while.

The location, although suitable for the elusive nature of the namesake, does present a challenge. There is no free parking within a block, and no parking curbside at all. Those unfamiliar with Rochester may find the experience a bit daunting, but the food is worth it. 

I can’t help but agree with this chalk review.
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