A new Portland, OR slice shop is cooking up the most accurate representation of NYC style so far
On the last full weekend of every July, the Oregon Brewers Festival and its devotees descend upon the Portland waterfront like a swarm of thirsty insects. Now in its 25th year, the OBF presented an astounding 82 breweries and their wares over the four day event. Here's are a few of the most delicious and unusual beers we sampled during the four day event.
When I first spied the Krust Artisan Pizza food cart, emblazoned with 'housemade' and 'artisan', I thought I had made a discovery—a diamond in the rough. But such terms are used loosely and should have raised my suspicions.
The second annual Portland Fruit Beer Festival gave jaded beer geeks an opportunity to try many beers never-before-seen.
Portland's pizza cart continues to evolve with the addition of Kindle Kart. As long as you can keep yourself from having a lack-of-patience-while-waiting aneurysm, this food cart is most definitely a must-stop for any Portland pizza lover.
Portland's Cheers to Belgian Beers is both a competition and a beer showcase. Each year, the previous year's winner selects a yeast strain, and in the winter prior to the fest, brewers throw darts to determine which style of beer they will make using that yeast. This gives them just a few months to craft their beers for competition. A combination of adventurous creativity, resourcefulness, and traditional Belgophilic inspiration seemed to be the keys behind the festival's most successful beers.
Seattle based mini chain Via Tribunali is turning out traditional Italian pies in Portland. The basics can't be beat, but while traditional, not all their pies are conventional Neapolitan pizzas and may take a little explaining.
The unkempt hipster who waited on me at Vincente's offered a special which he referred to as the "daily slice", making the artichoke, bacon, and cheddar-topped pizza ($4.00) the obvious must-try choice.
Since Apizza Scholls ceased its Sicilian pie service, the thick, square slices have been the missing link of the Portland pizza scene. After recently discovering that a hole-in-the-wall Southeast Portland pub was serving up the square style, I knew where the Slice business would be leading me this week
A local food blog recently referred to Uncle John's Market, as a "destination of Portland pizza whisperers". I was surprised to roll up on what is essentially a convenience store with the word 'Pizza' emblazoned on the side. In between the cigarettes and the lottery machines stood a full sized, double decker, honest-to-goodness pizza oven and glass case full of slices. As one would do in a divey NYC joint, I went for pepperoni ($3.25).
As most Portlanders will tell you, the St. John's neighborhood is not the most convenient place for anything, nevermind a slice of pizza. A clear schedule, an empty belly, and a cloudy afternoon created the perfect storm of St. John's-friendly travel circumstances. There I found the 'Cathedral' ($3.95/slice), a vegetarian melange of salty, savory garden fare.
The Cauliflower Pizza at Oven & Shaker. [Photographs: Derek Arent] Oven & Shaker 1134 NW Everett St, Portland OR 97209 (map); 503-241-1600 Pizza Type: Cali-meets-NW-meets-Neapolitan Oven Type: Wood-fired Price: $12-15 for 12-inch pizzas Just like the bistro-style burger at Le Pigeon and the Fish Sauce Wings at Pok Pok, the pizza at Nostrana was a menu item deemed worthy of forming the foundation for a whole new restaurant. This formula is an apparent trend in the current Portland culinary scene, and the genesis of Oven and Shaker relied heavily on the weight of chef Cathy Whims' wood-fired pies. With...
strong>Bridgeport's pies are named after local bridges, and "the burnside" (12", $12.50), with its Northwestern flair, held a lot of appeal on a winter's day. Smoked onions, local wild mushrooms, and Parmesan sat atop a base of mozzarella with roasted garlic oil. Fresh parsley and thyme added some green to the otherwise earthy pie. It was those vibrant herbs, coupled with the intense BBQ-like smoke from the onions and deeply charred bits of the crust, that defined this pie.
Last time I visited Sizzle Pie for a Daily Slice, it was the east side location, and I aimed for the most carnivorous item available. On my recent trip to Sizzle Pie West, the micro-chain's second location, I decided to give a veggie option a chance. Truthfully, it was a no-brainer after I spotted one of Portland's most elusive pizza toppings behind the glass case: fried eggplant.
The Fire on the Mountain chicken wing nano-chain is the perfect example of a Portland institution. When hungry for hot wings, there is no discussion; Fire on the Mountain is the assumed destination. When a third location opened this fall, the prospect of pizza and house-brewed beer caused quite the buzz. A pizza menu which infuses traditional NY-style thin crust pies with eccentric wing ingredients could not hide under a blanket of mediocrity.
The pizza scene in Portland has been fairly stationary since the much-hyped New Year's Eve opening of East Burnside's Sizzle Pie. As we approach Sizzle's one year anniversary, a second location is preparing to open in Southwest Portland, and the overall pizza landscape in Portland has encountered a rapid growth spurt. Here's what's on the horizon...
The Portland food cart scene east of 82nd Avenue is rather limited in scope. Despite its hulking, house-like structure, Pizza Box is indeed a 'cart', and a welcome addition to an area somewhat devoid of tasty, non-Mexican options. It's set up as more of a call-ahead-and-take-out establishment, and while only open for two months, they seem to be cranking out endless wood-fired pies.
Only in Portland will you find cheap happy hour bar pizza hand-crafted in the artisan style. OK, maybe other forward-thinking cities can boast this same anomaly, but walking in to a dive bar full of glazed-over old couples and shady 'hood denizens surely does not build anticipation for delicious pie. The midday (4pm-6pm) menu at the Muddy Rudder promises a $5 three-cheese personal pizza (in addition to $3 pints of craft beer) and I'd be a shame to the Slice organization to not take the bait.
I cut my teeth (and occasionally the roof of my mouth) on the thin, blistered pies of Southern Connecticut. Exploration eventually lead this enthusiast away from the Holy Trinity (Sally's, Pepe's, Modern), and in to the arms of smaller, off-the-beaten-path gems like Papa's. The times I've sat down to enjoy a pizza from Papa's, I've been rewarded with the flavors and textures of New Haven without the headache or attitude. If you're traveling up I-95 through Milford, take the detour.
For me, the sign of a great pizza is my ability to eat beyond fullness, oblivious to the stress placed on my internal organs. The amount of Sunshine Tavern breakfast pizza consumed far exceeded my typical a.m. food limit. The beautiful pies being pulled from the compact Baker's Pride oven will inspire any food nerd and satisfy the soul. Sunshine Tavern's two egg breakfast pie easily falls into my top five Portland pizza experiences.
Via Chicago is a food stand located at the PSU Saturday Farmers Market, essentially serving pizza for breakfast. The pizza takes a page from the Chicago bible in terms of pie construction; cheese and meat on the bottom, tomato and veggie on top, but that was where the Windy City similarities ended.
Cornuto Pizzeria is the most recent pie-centric addition to Seattle's Phinney Ridge neighborhood: a second-cousin of local microchains Via Tribunali and Caffe Vita. With the high heat of the boutique oven, and the respect given to the ingredients, it's a no-brainer that the pies at Cornuto would be great.
Dove Vivi ranks among the top pizzerias in Portland when your average foodie, yelper, or google reviewer is calling the shots. For the purist/elitist, the idea of a cornmeal crust monopoly is rather obtuse. You're telling me there is no regular pizza, just cornmeal? Can the exclusive use of America's top crop outweigh the traditionalist prejudice? Can the lack of a flour-based crust yield adequate satisfaction? Only trained tastebuds and an open mind will know for sure.
The Black Tiger just may be the most intense thing on Jim & Patty's extensive menu. The process begins with just about a pint of Prince Pückler's Gourmet Ice Cream made with Black Tiger coffee grounds. Black Tiger, for the uninitiated, is a proprietary coffee blend/roast specially prepared for Jim & Patty's (and Coffee People before them) which is notoriously higher in caffeine than your typical espresso blend. It's whirled together with whole milk and as many espresso shots as you desire.
The wood-fired pizzas at Lovely's Fifty-Fifty rival some of Portland's best. Our favorite was topped with wild nettles, Fontina, Taleggio, and pancetta.