With no local pizza style of its own to speak of, Portland pie spots assume the preferences of owners who have emigrated from regions with specific takes on this divisive dish. In the case of this charming little Kerns pizzeria with a simple heart logo for a sign, the format of choice is a hearty and unique cornmeal crust from Chicago-via-San Francisco-via-L.A. Order a half ($12) or whole pie split between two flavors and revel in the gauntlet of veggies—roasted onions, fresh sweet corn and arugula prominent on a recent specials menu—and meat options that are both ephemeral (coppa and andouille) and permanent, like crumbles of fennel sausage that are standard on the truly excellent sausage and pepper pizza.
Several pies feature a medley of cheeses in favor of a traditional tomato sauce, with the pesto (mozzarella, fontina, ricotta, spinach pesto, basil and fresh tomato) being the most pleasantly herbaceous of the bunch. The density of the crust requires about 20 minutes to cook, but the small host of regional wines and tap beers from the likes of Pfriem and Commons provide plenty to sip while your pie ascends to the flaky, crispy climax that sets Dove Vivi apart from every other pizza spot in town.
Pro tip: Do not hesitate to split a pie between two flavors—a maneuver the staff recommends to newcomers. You can never go wrong with whatever greens are available that day, and the kale salad ($7.25) is a great standby that's available most of the time.
GO: 2727 NE Glisan St., 239-4444, dovevivipizza.com. 4-10 pm nightly. $$.