Thick-crust pizza squares hit Southeast’s Brooklyn neighborhood.
Portlanders go gaga for the thin-crust pizza at Apizza Scholls, Ken’s Artisan and Rally Pizza. But newcomer Pizza Doughnais is bucking the trend by slinging thick Sicilian-inspired squares. I recently checked out the new pizzeria in Southeast’s Brooklyn neighborhood with my 5-year-old son, Cruz.
The small storefront sits almost directly across the street from Know Thy Food Cooperative. (You’ve probably hit one of the popular weekday kid-music shows there.) There’s minimal counter seating inside, and several outdoor tables. Pro tip: Come for lunch when it’s not too crowded or take your pizza to go. (Especially since they don’t have public restrooms!) We arrived shortly after they’d opened for the day, and fresh pies were steaming up the glass case on the counter.
I ordered a pepperoni slice for Cruz, $5.50. I liked the look of the sfincione, $4, (a traditional Sicilian pie topped with tomato sauce, housemade anchovy bread crumbs and pecorino Romano), and the olive-oil-based potato-bacon slice, $5.50. Cruz loved the extra-crispy pepperoni on top of his pizza and said it tasted like bacon. He picked it all off, then ate the dough from the inside out.
My sfincione slice did not disappoint. The bread crumbs were wonderfully savory and crunchy without being fishy. It was just a hearty delicious slice. But for me, the toppings on the potato bacon really sang out, especially the fresh rosemary. And that slice also brought out unique flavors of the crust. Some crust is just a vehicle for sauce and meats and cheese, but the Pizza Doughnais crust had a pleasantly assertive tang. I asked the owners about the sourdough flavor, and they told me that they don’t use any commercial yeast for their dough. So it’s all wild yeast that leavens the crust and provides the outstanding sourdough flavor. And on their website, they also claim that the natural fermentation makes their pizza more easily digestible. (I did eat almost two good-sized slices without feeling uncomfortably full.)
We also took a Brookie — a housemade brownie/cookie hybrid — to go. It was delightful without being overly sweet. Confession: I gave a small piece to Cruz, and then ate the rest by myself after the kids were in bed.
There’s a lot of great pizza in Portland, but Pizza Doughnais’s thick, tangy crust is stuck in my mind and already calling me back.
3541 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-232-3434, pizzadoughnais.com.
Open Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am-9 pm.
Pizzeria Otto’s new outpost on Southeast Foster Road features thin, floppy crust with a nice char. Pro tip: The marinated beets antipasti is the bomb.
Run by an Apizza Scholls alum, Red Sauce Pizza recently moved to new digs on Northeast Fremont Street. Check out their thin crust with a char or hearty pan pizzas. They also make sourdough bread!
Editor Denise Castañon loves exploring Portland’s family-friendly dining scene with her husband, 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.