Just when you thought Portland was maxed out on new pizzerias, we're about to squeeze another one in.
This one, though, will be a bit different from almost any other in town.
It's called Zapapizza, and it comes from Nick Zukin, owner of popular Old Town taco spot Mi Mero Mole. (Full disclosure: Zukin is an occasional WW contributor.) It will specialize in thick-crust pies with a Mexican twist—think albondigas, chile relleno, even a chilaquiles pizza covered in salsa verde and melted cheese.
Zukin says he was inspired by a trip to an eatery in Mexico City called El Perro Negro.
"It had a punk rock vibe with loud music, trippy murals, and servers with lots of tattoos and piercings—the kind of thing you'd expect in Portland," Zukin writes in an email. "And the food was as fun and irreverent as the restaurant."
While Zapapizza will serve pizzas with traditional toppings and tomato sauce, part of the menu will be dedicated to more adventurous offerings, such as pollo asado and al pastor, with sauces running from tomato-chipotle to mole. Add-ons will include everything from cactus and pickled jalapenos to chapulines—those are fried grasshoppers. He will also offer salads, wings and both Italian- and Mexican-style spaghetti.
Zukin says the name is a play on Zapatista, the left-wing revolutionary group named after 19th century reformer Emiliano Zapata. Zukin says 10 percent of profits will go toward charities that serve the Mexican community in Portland and abroad.
"Even though many customers won't get the connection," Zukin says, "I wanted to honor [Zapata's] memory and also use this restaurant as a way to give back to the Mexican community that I love."
Zapapizza will be located at 503 West Burnside St., just a few blocks from Mi Mero Mole. Zukin says they're aiming to open in September.