A Nine-Stop Pizza Crawl During Portland Pizza Week
Yesterday, two friends and I engaged in what might be considered a nauseating or perhaps heroic (depending on who you talk to) display of gluttony—excessive pizza consumption equivalent to slightly more than two-thirds of a large 18-inch pie, each. Way more food than one human could possibly need and well above my average food intake even on a typical Thanksgiving Day.
But it’s Portland Pizza Week ($2 slices at a selection of 30 local pizzerias from April 17 to April 22). Thus, an acceptable time to indulge and engage in self-inflicting pain—or something like that.
I thought the idea for a crawl (as suggested by my friend) was brilliant. He planned and I happily followed.
It all started with the first slice in a Southeast Portland neighborhood eatery, Baby Doll Pizza.
The slices went down easily at the first three stops. On the fourth, we started to feel full, so I busted out my pizza cutter (find it on Amazon) and we began to split slices.
We initially agreed to complete nine stops which turned into eight along a four-mile walkable loop, from 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM, Tuesday afternoon. (One planned stop, Hammy’s Pizza, opened late afternoon, so we skipped it and adjusted our course.)
Later that evening after we completed the first eight stops, my husband met up with me at Baby Doll Pizza after work. There, he grabbed a slice, and then we ventured to another Hot Lips location (his second slice) and added Hogan’s Goat for my ninth stop (where I had a single bite).
I was so incredibly full and uncomfortable, even with stretchy pants. Pizza was my "Linner" (both lunch and dinner). By the end of the crawl, I was hurting.
Each slice (except Roman Candle) was hand-tossed, New York style, sold in whole wide slices. Below, I included a photo from from each stop in order of most favorite (top, left) to least favorite (bottom, right), with my personal tasting notes. I did not include street addresses as a simple GPS search of the pizzeria should allow you to easily find each.
Note: I'm (obviously) not a professional food critic. I just like pizza and I have eaten a lot of it. These opinions are my own based on personal tastes.
Pizza Ranked with Notes
Baby Doll Pizza | Official Name: I Can Be Your Gyro Baby
Tzatziki base, gyro lamb, french fries, red onion, tomatoes and feta cheese
Notes: Overall, a delicious combination of toppings and a nice chewy crust with even browning. The french fries added a nice salty component.
Scottie's Pizza | Official Name: Cento Formaggio
A shredded blend of mozzarella and 55 low-moisture cheeses with a soft blend of house-made ricotta, and 35 other cheeses with the remainder sprinkled on top to equal 100 unique cheeses—a world record.
Notes: This was a close second to number three (below) but made my number two spot because I enjoyed the thin layer of tomatoey sauce with the cheese, and the crust was a nice, even brown with small air pockets indicative of slow-rise dough. A simple slice.
Straight From New York Pizza | Official Name: Arugula Bomb
Arugula, sauteed leeks, feta, jalapeno-infused honey-drizzle with a garlic and oil base.
Notes: The toppings on this pizza were a winning combination making it a close second, but the crust didn't quite compete with the first two, although it had a nice crunch.
Rovente Pizzeria | Official Name: Red Hot Italian
Habanero red sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage, red onion, green onion and garlic.
Notes: This pizza had a nice kick! If you like hot, spicy food, this one is for you. It had a nice even crust and the toppings were delicious.
Hot Lips Pizza | Official Name: Al Pastor
Mexican-style marinated pork, pineapple and onion cilantro garnish on a tomato sauce base.
Notes: Classic, consistent Hot Lips crust but a little heavy on the toppings. The Al Pastor was also a little dry.
Atlas Pizza | Official Name: Ziggy Piggy
Smoked Carlton Farms pulled pork, tomatillo and chile verde sauce, balsamic onions, pickled jalapeno, mozzarella and scallions, topped with cotija cheese.
Notes: As the toppings suggest, there was a lot going on with this pizza and the crust was also a little overworked and flat.
Blackbird Pizza | Unofficial Name: The Midwesterner
Garlic oil base, broccoli, bacon, potatoes au gratin and cheddar cheese.
Notes: Too rich.
Hogan's Goat | Unofficial Name: The Mexican Shuffle
Huitlacoche sauce (mexican truffle??), asparagus, oyster mushrooms, cilantro, provolone, mozzarella.
Notes: Too much going on. I couldn't tell if this pizza was trying to be fungus-focused or Mexican-inspired. I just wasn't sure. The crust was also a little too soft—a little on the soggy side.
Roman Candle | Unofficial Name: Toppings on Focaccia Bread
Tomato, basil, mama lils, goat cheese and maitake mushroom.
Notes: The "crust" was like focaccia and the toppings were cold.