On the first Saturday that I was back in Portland my friends were having their 2nd Annual Clubhouse Invitational (the Clubhouse being their house in NW Portland). It’s a “golf” tournament involving “holes” at nine favorite watering holes around NW Portland. Each location has a certain drink challenge whose completion leads to a “birdie.” There then are lesser degrees of that challenge that equal “par” or a “bogey.” My luck has seemed to be pretty good in that my Portland trips coincide with different festivities at the Clubhouse (or maybe it just means they have a lot of bar crawls/parties…). I had missed the 1st Annual Clubhouse Invitational so I was excited for this one. I unfortunately hadn’t really packed any of my golf gear in my suitcase for this trip so my attire was sort of lacking.
Each hole’s challenge is unique, although sometimes there is some similarity. The first hole was at the Clubhouse itself and involved shotgunning a beer (or in my case masterfully chugging a bottle of cider). Luckily we all left with a birdie (although I would argue chugging a bottle of beer/cider is no easy feat). We made our way next to Mazatlan on Burnside where birdie was a Bulldog, a margarita with a Corona in it. We discussed perhaps me being creative and pouring a cider into a margarita, but I decided for just a par with a margarita. We then made our way to the third hole at Pizza Schmizza on 21st.
Pizza Schmizza is a favorite of my friends. I think that’s going back to the days when they had really cheap Fireball shots. It’s also a nice place to start or end the night with a nice slice of pizza. Not being able to do Fireball or eat pizza it had never been high on my list for my visits back, but I didn’t dislike it. Luckily this hole didn’t involve any Fireball, but instead involved getting a pint of beer and a slice of pizza (the food probably being a good idea for a drinking challenge like this). It was easy enough to do a pint of cider and since my friends were being accommodating I could just get any kind of food for a birdie.
I was planning to get a salad, but then saw gluten-free pizza on the menu! I asked how long we were going to be there and everyone was willing to wait for a whole pizza to be baked so I decided to get a gluten-free pizza. When I got to the counter I found out they could actually do slices of gluten-free pizza, which is awesome! I think they have pre-made crusts that they slice up and then throw on the preferred toppings. It look longer than the regular slices, but not too much longer. I went for two slices of pepperoni pizza.
The pizza from Pizza Schmizza was pretty solid. I liked the texture, although it wasn’t a regular pizza texture or even a gluten-free pizza texture. It reminded me of something from my childhood I think called “dragon rice” or “dragon bread” or something along those lines. Back in my childhood there was nowhere close to the gluten-free options there are now. Generally my experience with pizza was my dry gluten-free bread with pizza toppings on top. It was good because we’re still talking about cheese and pepperoni awesomeness. But not really an awesome pizza substitute. However a special treat growing up was to visit Saturday Market downtown and there was a stand that sold “dragon” something. It was like really crispy rice flower flakes put into a “pie” and then toppings were on top. It sort of reminds me of a large rice latke. Pizza Schmizza’s pizza wasn’t flakes like that, but the taste was very very similar (now realizing their crust is probably heavily rice flour) and it was sort of light and flexible like I remember the dragon stuff being. Overall a pretty solid pizza that I enjoyed (along with the childhood memories). I really liked that they can sell gluten-free pizza by the slice and that I know can grab one when I am out with friends.
This post was supposed to be about Pizza Schmizza, but for those interested I’ll share a run-down of all the holes that I can remember (that’s because it was a while ago… Not anything to do with the activities themselves!).
- 1st hole at the Clubhouse- shotgunning a beer (birdie)
- 2nd hole at Mazatlan- a Bulldog (birdie), a margarita (par), a mixed drink (bogey)
- 3rd hole at Pizza Schmizza- a pint of beer/cider and a piece of pizza
- 4th hole at Silver Dollar- a shot of Fireball (my friends let me do a shot of vodka)
- 5th hole at North 45- a mule of some sort (Moscow mule, Irish mule, etc,)
- 6th hole at 21st Bar and Grill- a Tic Tac drop shot (shot of Mandarin vodka dropped into a glass of half orange juice/half Rockstar)
- 7th hole at Paymaster’s- a Long Island Ice Tea
- 8th hole at River Pig Saloon- their drink special of a shot of whiskey and a beer (I was able to do a shot of vodka and a cider)
- 9th hole at Life of Riley- a mixed drink of choice
I ended up at +9 because I got birdies on all holes except Mazatlan and then at 21st Bar and Grill I had someone else’s Tic Tac and was awarded an eagle. There were a few people tied for 1st, but I bowed out since all of them had gotten a birdie on each hole. I forget what the tie breaker was and who ended up winning since we met up with a lot more friends and the Invitational sort of fizzled out. All in all an awesome and fun night!
Back to the point of this post- if you’re around NW (either out of just in general) Pizza Schmizza is great to have for gluten-free slices of pizza and it’s open late!
Pizza Schmizza- 320 NW 21st Ave Portland, OR (and other locations across Portland and a few elsewhere in Oregon)