What started as an ambitious plan to try most of the vegetarian offerings during the Portland Mercury’s inaugural Pizza Week, has been modified as the tasty week comes to an end on April 24th. Thursday night it was a quick stop at Pizzicato Fremont before heading to McMenamins Kennedy School to hear a favorite local band, The Druthers.
Nestled in a little strip mall on 42nd and Fremont, this small Pizzicato is clearly the neighborhood pizza joint with families both inside and out. What drew me to this one was the name, “Mama’s Lil’ Secret” and the Arugula. I have a love affair with arugula, its scissored edges, bright medium green hue, and spicy kick have accompanied many a vegetable dish at my house. According to those in the know, this pizza is the one the staff eats behind the scenes (hence the “secret”) so Corporate decided it should be introduced to the public during Pizza Week. While you might not think so few ingredients could make a good pizza, you would be wrong. As noted in the Mercury, “if cheese, salad, and hot sauce were in a band together, they would have an album that sounded like this pizza.” The peppers give the slice a tangy, somewhat sweet bite, while the arugula gives it a fresh, tart bite, and the cheese is the glue that blends the two together.
I spoke with Kaya, the Shift Supervisor, who told me that there had been a sharp increase in business this week. This store, as do many during Pizza Week, has a Beer and a Slice special that has been quite popular, with Widmer’s Hefeweizen being offered just for Pizza Week. There are only hours left to partake of all the specialty crafted pizzas, so don’t delay, this is one indulgence you will have wished you gave in to.
Pizzicato Fremont, 4217 NE Fremont, pizzicatopizza.com. Pizzicato’s Pizza Week slice available April 18-24. Dine-in and take-out, limit two per customer, whole pies not available.
I took several pictures of my adventure which you might enjoy.