There are a lot of reasons your lover/imaginary friend/cat might request that you vacate the bed and spend the night on the couch. Maybe you snore. Maybe you are a covers hog or a twilight tooter or a sleep walker/talker/stalker. Maybe you are Wayne Rooney. Or, maybe, you ate a piece of new East Burnside pizzeria Sizzle Pie’s What We Do Is Secret pie.
There really isn’t anything too secret about a piece of pizza that contains a golf-ball sized allowance of roasted garlic. But while Sizzle Pie’s offerings may eschew subtlety, they’ve not skimping on flavor, so anyone who is willing to brave a lumpy sofa for an evening, unfazed when asked to move their desk onto the office patio after lunch, or on the lam from a determined vampire would do well to investigate this hip new lunch-to-late-night pizza joint, where creatively conceived and brashly-named garlic, fresh jalapeño, truffle oil and cilantro-pesto festooned pies share the case with everything from a classic sausage and onion (the Bad Lieutentant) to the Vegan Angel of Doom.
Sizzle Pie’s predominant hooks in a pizza-particular town are its fresh pizza by the slice–the case generally holds around eight different pizzas to choose from at any given time, a couple of which are vegan, and its serious night owl hours–me and you and all the 2:30am Rontoms refugees we know can curb our cravings up until 4 am on weekends, 3 am during the week. Whole pies can be ordered as well, either from the lengthy signature pie list, or the extensive carnivore and vegan-friendly create-your-own menu, and come in two sizes–12″ and 18″. (Just a warning–downing an 18″ What We Do Is Secret or the aptly-named Napalm Breath could lead to a multiple-evening couch tenure.)
The pizzeria’s flashing neon sign leads you into the comfortably spare dining room, where skateboarders are eating elbow-to-elbow with guys in suits at the window bar overlooking Burnside, and a vintage jukebox belts out an equally eclectic mishmash of everything from Fleetwood Mac and the Melvins to the Wu-Tang Clan. Those desirous of more privacy for themselves and their garlic can occupy one of the high-backed booths that line the narrow hallway leading to the bathrooms, or if you’ve dragged a few friends over with you from Kir, the row of two-tops between the window and the condiment station can be transformed into an instant communal table.
Pizzas are broken out into four main categories: Classic–your pie puritan’s basic cheese (aka D-Beat), pepperoni (Ace of Spades), and Canadian bacon ‘n pineapple (6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon); Meat–the Pig Destroyer piles on a porky trinity of pepperoni, sliced meatballs and bacon, while the pig-free Atomic Rooster is dotted with chunks of chicken breast and drizzled with barbecue sauce; Vegetarian–The Wino is a simple cheese pizza spread with housemade Oregon Pinot Noir marinara, The Bender stacks martini olives and white onion over cheese and a rich cream sauce made with local New Deal vodka, and you’ll hardly miss the meat on a slice of Italians Do It Better, the thick rounds of fried eggplant have plenty of presence; and Vegan–New Maps Out of Hell unites three kinds of fresh vegetables and Soy Curls over a basil cashew spread, while the aforementioned Vegan Angel of Doom sports Daiya “mozzarella,” jalapeños, pineapple, shaved almonds, and cilantro.
Then there are the Double Deckers, intended for the brave or tapeworm-infested–the Girth Crisis promises Canadian bacon, salami, pepperoni and an extra layer of cheese oozing out from between two layers of crust, while the meat-free Stoner Witch supersizes the classic green pepper, onion and mushroom combo.
We tried all three salads and, a la Genesis, we saw that the salads were good–the “Rabbits” is a tangle of red leaf lettuce, red onions, hot peppers, tomatoes, and croutons tossed with ranch (regular or vegan) and sprinkled with delectable dark red Bac-o bits (I’d forgotten what a guilty salad pleasure these are), the “Word,” was fairly similar (minus the Bac-o’s and plus roasted pumpkin seeds), tossed with a light, spunky Pink Peppercorn White Wine Vinaigrette. The “Caligula” is Sizzle’s rendition of a Caesar–crisp chopped Romaine, croutons and black pepper in a vegan Caesar dressing. Being fans of egg yolk and anchovy-riddled Caesar dressing ourselves, we quietly fobbed this off on an unsuspecting non-vegan, but he didn’t complain.
Sizzle Pie’s only been slinging slices for two weeks ago, opening their doors at midnight on New Years Eve (perhaps you missed the Grand Opening, since you were glued to Snooki’s ball drop), but they’ve got big plans for their little piece of prime East Burnside real estate–an expanded menu and back patio are in the works, and come spring, The Quality Bar will open next door to fill all wine, beer, cocktail, and coffee needs…sounds like the makings of a sizzling and swilling empire.
Sizzle Pie * 624 E. Burnside St. * 503.234.7437 * sizzlepie.com * Sun-Thu 11am-3pm, Fri-Sat 11am-4pm * no delivery, yes pickup