I could save a lot of words in this review by simply saying: Go to Rally Pizza. Now.
But I’ve got a whole page, so let me rave about what my family ate during our recent visit to Vancouver’s Rally Pizza, which opened in September 2016. We arrived at the airy, open restaurant with cool art and mod lighting in time for happy hour. I had a Fremont Winter Ale and my husband had a Wild Ride Fresh Hop Pale ($5 each). Our enthusiastic server gushed about the roasted vegetable plate we ordered to start ($12). It came piled with spicy cauliflower and cool sour cream sauce, carrots and squash with hazelnuts and smoked romesco, and crispy edged Brussels sprouts and parsnips in a citrus dressing. Our server was right. My husband called the Brussels one of the best things he’s eaten in Portland (even though we were in Vancouver). Even the kiddos tried a few bites of veggies. Another plus that added to Rally’s kid-friendly appeal: The veggie plate came out lightning quick, as did our pizzas and warm bacon and apple salad punctuated with meaty chunks of bacon lardons ($12).
My 4-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son split the kids’ plain cheese ($8) and my husband and I shared the Tocco di Verde pizza ($16) with housemade ricotta and mozzarella, a spicy, green chile drizzle, and salsa verde. The thin crust fired in Rally’s gas oven was perfect. And the toppings were interesting and balanced. (Although this pie could have used a sprinkle of finishing salt to make it truly sing). The mom-and-pop team who opened Rally Pizza used to work at Southeast Portland’s acclaimed Ken’s Artisan Pizza, so they know their way around a crust. (And dessert — co-owner Shan Wickham was the former pastry chef there, too.)
About that dessert. Options center on frozen custard (basically a thick, luxurious ice cream), mixed with various goodies and labeled as “concretes” or served up in sundaes. Every bite of the Cherry Pie concrete ($6) featured a different, delicious taste — tart Columbia Gorge cherries, flaky pie crust and buttery streusel. But I really swooned over the Salty/Sweet sundae’s combo of butterscotch sauce, salty hazelnuts and almonds, and malted milk crunch ($7). So did my 1-year-old, who got his first brain freeze that night.
8070 E Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, Washington. 11 am-9 pm. 360-524-9000. rallypizza.com.
Woodstock families have been tucking into Double Mountain Brewery’s brick oven pizza since they opened in August. Yes, they’ve got plain cheese, but grown-ups might like the spicy Jersey Pie. 4336 SE Woodstock Blvd. doublemountainbrewery.com.
Even fire damage hasn’t slowed down Pizza Jerk — one of Portland’s most acclaimed joints. They are fully open after reconstruction and back to slinging Dan Dan and Sunday Gravy pies. 5028 NE 42nd Ave. pizzajerkpdx.com
Please Louise has fancy nibbles and mixologist-approved cocktails for you — and good old Margherita for the kiddos. 1501 NW 21st Ave. please-louise.com.