When it opened last fall in the front yard of a ranch house two blocks off Southeast 82nd Avenue, Pizza Box was slinging some of the best pies in town: beautiful, 12-inch pizzas with crusts so charred I scraped off flecks of carbon before eating my second slice. It was a tremendous, if hard-to-find, addition to Lents' near-nonexistent restaurant scene. Then it closed for winter and didn't reopen until four weeks ago, across town, outside the doors of the Southeast Industrial District's Base Camp Brewing (see here).
The 12-foot-tall, clapboard-sided cabin on wheels survived the move intact, but the good pizza didn't. The three pies I tried on a recent Saturday—Margherita, pepperoni, and a vegetable-heavy "supreme" ($10-$13)—had nice, chewy crusts and decent toppings, but were overly thick and undercooked, leaving a squishy layer between top and bottom. The formerly spicy tomato sauce is now bland and undersalted, making the overall pie too sweet. What used to be a pretty faithful Neapolitan pizza is now another mediocre entry in the doughy American style, no better or worse than dozens of others across town, and certainly no match for the wares a few blocks away at Pyro Pizza. But, hey, at least they bring it into the bar for you.
- Order this: Pepperoni ($10) is the better of the bunch.
- Best deal: Marinara ($9). Itâs vegan.
EAT: Pizza Box, at Base Camp Brewing, 930 SE Oak St., 683-3154, pizzaboxpdx.com. 11:30 am-9 pm Sunday-Wednesday, 11 am-midnight Thursday-Saturday. $$. Cash only.