I’m back in Portland for my summer visit! My first couple days I was busy with family and friends and while I went to a few places none of them were new or really blogworthy. The first “new” (but not really that new) place I went to was on the Friday after I got there. I had taken the day off (vs. working remotely from Portland) and met up with a friend who was in town from Orange County. I met him at the famous Powell’s (the largest independent bookstore in the world!) and wandered its many rooms and stacks and stacks of books.
After Powell’s he was really interested in seeing more of the Pearl so we walked north on 11th Ave and I told him a little about the development of the Pearl. It was crazy to think back to middle school in NW Portland and that the Pearl had just been starting to develop. Our goal was really to just walk around and have him get a feel for the neighborhood so we leisurely made our way past the condos and restaurants. We passed Jamison Square and Tanner Springs Park and then headed west.
The roughly 15 block walk gave him a pretty good impression of the Pearl and so I took him up to NW 23rd to show him Uptown. We walked down 23rd and I showed him a lot of the places I’d go for lunch in middle school (off campus lunch at age 11 for the win!) and sometimes in high school. We were getting a bit hungry so he asked for suggestions for lunch. He said they just needed to have good beer. Being gluten-free I’m not really an expert on beer, but I knew it being Portland almost any place would have good beer. I mentioned pizza and we ended up at Pizzicato.
I’m trying to remember if I ever really had regular Pizzicato when I was younger and kind of went a little gluten-crazy at times in middle school (despite my allergy). The main culprit for pizza was Escape From New York on 23rd. Luckily for my body/health (unluckily for my taste buds) I’ve matured and learned from the mistakes of my 6th grade self. However luckily for my taste buds Pizzicato now has gluten-free pizza!
I had been to Pizzicato before for gluten-free pizza, although I haven’t blogged about it before. Over the last few years it also seems to have become my family’s go-to gluten-free pizza when I’ve talked to them (mom also has celiac). This is probably partially because of Sellwood Pizza Kitchen unfortunately closing (well-worth it even though it was a bit of a drive), but also because Pizzicato has great quality pizza (along with being very close and convenient).
The gluten-free crust comes in a 12″ size and a 16″ size. I went for a 12″ with pepperoni and Italian sausage. I tend to usually divide pizza into two categories- American (a bit more greasy, mozzarella cheese, and more Hormel-like pepperoni as an example of a topping) and then Roman/Italian (usually less cheese, herbs, more “authentic” meats). I would put Pizzicato more in the Roman/Italian group, although it has some American leanings (a little bit of a grease, only a little bit of herbs). It was definitely a delicious pizza- great gluten-free crust (not overly sweet or gluten-free tasting) and quality toppings.
To me something that is also important is the texture of the toppings and compatibility with the sauce. I know that sounds weird, but I grew up taking a lot of toppings off pizza (better than eating the whole thing, but still probably not the best idea). There were some pretty delicious pizza toppings out there (I’m looking at you Papa Murphy’s). However I’ve found that even when places put their regular toppings on gluten-free crust the texture and taste of the topping seem a bit different. It’s probably due to the crust itself having a different texture/taste and the place needing to cook it a bit differently than a regular pizza. But what I think is a plus about Pizzicato is that their gluten-free pizza I imagine tastes and seems a lot like their regular pizza. I’m sort of guessing since I can’t remembering having their regular pizza. But it looks very similar to the regular that my friend got (who really enjoyed his) and seems to taste more like “regular” pizza than “gluten-free”. Thanks for bearing with me on that tangent and I hope that makes sense.
This lunch was Friday and then on Saturday my family got Pizzicato for dinner, but I was out with friends. It meant that I came home so some leftover pizza though. That is when I remembered why I love Pizzicato so much. It is awesome as cold leftover pizza! I am a huge fan of pizza the next day and if it’s a good quality pizza I rarely heat it up. It’s so good cold! A lot of gluten-free pizzas need to be heated up again because they are dried out or falling apart when refrigerated. Not Pizzicato! Like I said it’s a great gluten-free crust (both in texture and taste) and it’s not too dry when you have it as leftovers. I’m not kidding I’d probably prefer to get a Pizzicato pizza and just refrigerate it all for the next day (I feel this way generally about good pizza). But then I would be depriving myself of some good pizza for longer than I need to. So in the future I’ll probably get the 16″, do half then and half as leftovers, and be a really happy guy!
I’m getting more and more familiar with the gluten-free pizza in Portland (Sellwood Kitchen used to be my go-to when I was in town) and I can understand why my family tends to go for Pizzicato. It’s at the top of the gluten-free pizzas in Portland. They have locations throughout the Portland area (plus Hood River and two in Southern California) so it’s a great option for gluten-frees (or regular eaters I don’t want to leave you out) for an easy and delicious meal.
Pizzicato- 505 NW 23rd Ave Portland, OR (14 locations across Portland, plus one in Hood River, and two in Southerm California)