Apizza Scholls: Restaurant Guide 2014

4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 233-1286,, apizzascholls.com

[KING OF CONNECTICUT] Best pizza in Portland? A boring debate—Apizza Scholls is No. 1 with a bullet. Anyone who claims otherwise is either Ken Forkish's momma or embittered by an hourlong wait for a table. Like the distant Connecticut cousins from whom it gets half its name, this flip-flop-friendly Southeast Hawthorne restaurant models its pies closely on the Neapolitan originals, and ends up with an incredible pie built on a character-rich crust. The dough gets a nice, long, slow ferment and goes into a super-hot electric oven whose temperature is monitored with infrared. It comes out crisp but pliable and kissed with char. With that killer crust and a bright sauce, the meats and cheeses are almost perfunctory—lucky, because among the many strenuously enforced house rules is a total ban on picking more than three toppings, which would slow the cooking time beyond what the crust is designed for. The best pie only has two: Mama Lil's hot peppers and crumbles of housemade sausage ($26). MARTIN CIZMAR.

Pro tip:

Scholls now offers smallish one-person pies to guests dining alone at the bar, but couples can't order two just because they hate sharing. You can get pies carry-out on quiet weeknights, but you have to order in the restaurant and stay close, because when your pie is ready the box goes on the bar to cool.

5-9:30 pm nightly. Walk-in to-go orders available Monday-Thursday in fall, winter and spring. $.