Track 1 - IT'S UP TO YOU--NEW YORK, NEW YORK MEDLEY
Rock out to the fold-ready sounds of pizza made in the spirit of the city that never sleeps.
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK
The classic city slice--never too much cheese, just enough tangy sauce and a crust you could read the Daily News through. Add the required displays of attitude and the hassles that come with trying to get a whole pie instead of a slice at this smallish storefront, and you've got everything but the rent control.
622 NW 23rd Ave., 227-5423. 11:30 am-11 pm daily. $1.95/cheese slice.
While not patently Big Apple-ish, Bella Faccia--with floppy slices so big you can just barely get your paw around them--has enough of an East Coast streak to qualify. For many, this newcomer has eclipsed other old favorites as the top shop for slices and shenanigans. It offers a slew of toppings, but to appreciate the real quality here, go with the plain cheese or pepperoni. They allow you simply to soak in the contrasts between the flour-dusted, verging-on-crisp crust, the thin veneer of acidic sauce and the mellow flow of mozz and assorted cheesy pleasure.
2934 NE Alberta St., 282-0600. 11:30 am-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday. $2/cheese slice.
Woefully ignored, this little shop tends to service the downtown lunch crowd more than act as a hangout. Large triangles are on the thicker side of thin (still pleasingly foldable, however) with a bit of crispiness that helps them represent the five boroughs. You can get some of those fancier toppings, but Rovente does best with the plainer pioneers of cheese and pep.
512 SW 4th Ave., 224-9408. 10:30 am-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday. $2.50/cheese slice.
Track 2 - LIVING ON A PRAYER/WORKING CLASS PIE MEDLEY
Power to the pizza! This is the stuff that has fed generation after generation of salt-of-the-earth Americans who work all day to bring home the pay and want a little pepperoni at night to know they'll make it all right.
FLYING PIE PIZZERIA
A mammoth, 1970s-esque pie factory that doesn't scrimp on the toppings. You have your choice of crusts--X-thick, Original thick, thin (called "upstate New York") and X-thin (a.k.a. "New York City"). Flying Pie doesn't actually reach New York City heights with the X-thin, and the crust that does come out isn't strong enough to hold the wide load of toppings. But if you stick with the thicker platforms, you'll be just fine.
Two locations: 7804 SE Stark St., 254-2016; 3 Monroe Parkway, Suite S, Lake Oswego, 675-7377. 11 am-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday. $2.50/cheese slice.
While the scene is more punk rock than family values, the pie here is quintessential hard-hat. Slices are bigger than a small child and come thick and doughy; one slice will carbo-load you for the whole day. Tear into one and get back to the job site: There's a brewery-block mixed-use development that needs some drywall, pronto.
949 SW Oak St., 223-9835. 11 am-11 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-1 am Friday-Saturday. $2.50/cheese slice.
ACCUARDI'S OLD TOWN PIZZA CO.
Serving handcrafted pies since 1974, this Old Town stalwart feels like it's straight out of the set of Eight is Enough. While the woody decor hasn't changed with the times, you can now get a sweet vegan pizza here.
226 NW Davis St., 222-9999. 1-9 pm Sunday, 11:30 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-11:30 pm Friday-Saturday. No slices. $3.75/cheese mini-pizza for lunch.
Track 3 - MONEY FOR NOTHING AND YOUR CHICKS FOR FREE GOURMET MEDLEY
Pizza taken to such Epicurean heights that it re-invents the form. Not just for dollar-bill-grubbing yuppies anymore, bro.
THE MISSISSIPPI PIZZA PUB
Smack dab across the street from the eminently downscale Rebuilding Center, this homey haunt serves up handcrafted pies held together with a little more care than some other pizzas come with lately. Its standout feature, besides the comfy couches, is the sprinkling of what seems to be more than a dozen herbs and spices on top of the 'za, rendering it sassy and sprightly. Add a nice, clean crust and some schmancy toppings, and you've got one class act.
3552 N Mississippi St., 288-3231. 11 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-midnight Friday-Saturday. $2.25/cheese slice.
AMERICAN DREAM PIZZA
Its wholesome, almost crackerlike crust; its strange way of cutting slices into rectangles; its stunning array of toppings, from smoked gouda to smoked oyster; its habit of picking first stringers from the culture elite to name pies after; its mission statement to rid pizza of any excess grease.... All these collide to make American Dream pizza super-dreamy and super-original.
4620 NE Glisan St., 230-0699. 2-9 pm Sunday, 11 am-9 am Monday, 11 am-10 pm Saturday and Tuesday-Thursday, 11 am-11 pm Friday. $1.80/cheese slice.
VINCENTE'S GOURMET PIZZA
Even though its V logo looks suspiciously like a uterus and fallopian tubes (just like Mama's!), the pizza inspires no reproductive-organ references, thankfully. Vincente's offers three possible bases for your pie--garlic and oil, tomato and herb, and basil and sun-dried-tomato pesto. The options don't stop there: spicy lamb sausage, roasted red potatoes, smoked mozzarella and chevre are just a few possible treats for topping your pizza. Just use some imagination.
1935 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 236-5223. 11:30 am-midnight Monday-Saturday, noon-midnight Sunday. $2/cheese slice.
You want base? This suburban purveyor of over-the-top pie got crazy mad base. Yes, there's garlic-oil, marinara and pesto. But does Pizza Bella stop there? No, it takes things up to dangerous levels with a hummus base for a Mediterranean pie, a refried bean-and-salsa base for the Mexicali pie and peanut sauce for the Thai version--debasement of the best kind. From the base camp you move up to topping central, and this is where things go completely wacky. The carbonia is one of the more unusual: spinach, bacon, onion, scrambled eggs and Swiss and mozz--sounds strange but tastes great.
1115 McVey Ave., Lake Oswego, 699-0558. 4-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 4-9:30 pm Friday-Saturday. No slices. $7/personal cheese.
If there were a pizza that best personified the Portland culinary sensibility of stressing fresh, local, organic foods and serving them up in a clean, well-lighted (and -designed) place, this would be it. Hot Lips even lists the sources for a lot of its ingredients. Need more evidence? Its latest shop is tucked neatly into Portland's greenest piece of real estate: the EcoTrust building in the Pearl. A recent slice was fitted smartly with goat cheese, pears and hazelnuts. This is the closest you'll get to Higgins for only a few bucks.
721 NW 10th Ave., 595-2342; 11 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-9 pm Sunday. $2.50/cheese slice. Other locations: 1909 SW 6th Ave., 224-0311; 10 am-9:30 pm Monday-Friday, 11 am-9 pm Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday. $2.25/cheese slice. 4825 SW 76th Ave., 297-8424; 11 am-9 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-9:30 pm Friday-Saturday. $2.25/cheese slice.
LUNA ON BROADWAY
Tons of top-quality toppings and chewy, crispy hand-thrown dough. You won't be disappointed, but you won't be surprised by new tastes or sensations. Just a trusty Northeast supplier of quality pie on the gourmet tip.
1708 NE Broadway, 335-3059. 11 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-10 pm Friday, noon-10 pm Saturday, 2-9 pm Sunday. $2.75/cheese slice.
BRIDGEPORT ALE HOUSE
Ah, the wood oven. Turns pizza into airy discs of transcendent pleasure. Add the fact that bitchin' brew from Portland's oldest craft brewery is the specialty of the house, and you're set to hang out a while. There aren't a million and one pie options to choose from here, but this is quality over quantity. If you want slices, you can hit the sister location in Northwest, but it's just not as good.
3632 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-6540. 11:30 am-11 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-midnight Friday-Saturday, 11:30 am-10 pm Sunday. No slices. $7.95/10-inch cheese.
Cheap Eats 2002 Index:
Hooked on Pizza
Lord of the CartsThe Restaurants
Hooked on Pizza
Lord of the Carts
Miss Buffet U.S.A.