Friday, June 23, 2017

Pizza & Pinolo.

I have been behind in documenting our Restaurants o' the Month, and to get back into it, I want to highlight two star performers of this year so far. These are two places that we have already RETURNED to for a second visit because we liked them that much. This doesn't always happen with Restaurants o' the Month because there are always so many new things to try and time, it is short. And also we are not that rich. I am also choosing to focus on these two because I could make an alliterative title for this blog post. Alliteration: just so pleasing!

They also both happen to be on Division Street, like everything else in the world these days. And they both have Italian roots. Basically, there are a million reasons why this blog post makes sense. Or at least three really solid ones.

The first is Scottie's Pizza Parlor.

The pizza options in Portland these days are LEGIT OVERWHELMING. And if you're a snooty East Coaster like Kathy, Manda, and myself, and are used to huge, cheap, greasy slices of New York style pizza from tiny, poorly lit stores that exist in every decent Northeastern city, you might be inclined to say that Portland pizza is way too fancy for its own good and just doesn't compare. MIGHT be inclined. I am personally inclined to say that pretty much all pizza is good pizza. But there is something special about Scottie's: the kind of pizza that's so perfectly greasy, with the right amount of thin crust, and a texture and softness to the cheese that all equals to each bite practically melting in your mouth. And that is the kind of pizza an East Coaster can REALLY get behind!

I got a slice of pepperoni and a bianca, and both were EXCELLENT CHOICES.

Scottie's also has cannoli, which is rare in Portland. They're no Mike's Pastry or anything, BUT they are pretty darn yummy and covered in pistachios, so, yes please. In addition, Scottie's seems to be run by good people who are committed to treating their employees well. They also became famous during Portland Pizza Week this year for making a pizza that had FOR REAL ONE HUNDRED DIFFERENT CHEESES ON IT, which set a world record, and for which I will have FOMO for the rest of my life. Unless they do it again. In which case that last sentence will seem perhaps a bit overblown.

Plus, they have signs like this on their windows, and I pretty much always appreciate signs like this these days. 

And if you're not full on cannoli, what's the perfect way to follow up some fine pizza? GELATO, THAT'S WHAT.

Gelato: molto Instagrammable.

Pinolo Gelato is another relatively recent addition to Division, and it's easy to miss among all the other new shiny businesses, but you. should. go. It's just down the street from Salt & Straw, and while I do think a visit to Salt & Straw is vital if you're visiting Portland, Pinolo is not nearly as crowded and deserves just as much praise. 

You can get up to four flavors in a large cup, and I mean, YOU SHOULD GET FOUR FLAVORS. I am particularly obsessed with both their hazlenut and pistachio. SO. GOOD. On my second visit, I also tried their seasonal strawberry sorbetto, and it was OUT-STANDING. Truly magnificent. 

I think one of the reasons I seem to constantly be craving Pinolo these days is that I follow them on Instagram, and wouldn't you know, every time they post something, I want it. CURSE YOU, SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING. So easy to sway ice cream obsessed minds these days.

I just realized Scottie's probably has an Instagram, too. I am probably going to follow it. Dammit.

Scottie's Pizza Parlor: 2128 SE Division (between 21st and 22nd); open 11:30-9 every day; available by the slice or pie. Delivery in local neighborhoods.

Pinolo Gelato: 3707 SE Division (between 36th and 37th); open 11:30-10:30 every day (summer hours).