I love living in North Portland–more importantly I love EATING in North Portland. I want to start sharing some of my favorite places to grab a bite in the hopes that you wonderful people will give them a try and love them too! None of the places I’ll be talking about are compensating me in any way. All of these restaurants are just ones I think everyone should be giving a try!
First up on my list is Louie’s Pizza and Catering. There is something to be said about a great, no frills slice of pizza. I lived just a few blocks from Louie’s for about a year before I went in for the first time, and boy, was it worth the wait! We walked in and were immediately hit with the unmistakable scent of pizza in the oven. The man behind the counter was incredibly friendly and gave us a run down of what’s good and popular–making sure to let us know that the Italian sausage is what they’re known for. After looking at the menu for a while, I settled on a mini pizza (only $4+ .50/topping after the first!) with sun-dried tomatoes and the recommended Italian sausage. I even decided to go nuts and try his Alfredo sauce.
Pricing at Louie’s is really reasonable. It’s comparable to any pizza place in the area–a large pizza starts at $15. Sure, you could go up the street to Domino’s or Pizza Hut to save some cash, but there’s more than a noticeable drop off in quality. A “personal” calzone is probably the best bang for your buck in my experience. It’s at least 2 meals for me every time I get one!
While we waited for our food, we talked to the man working behind the counter, who just so happened to be Louie himself. We learned that he is originally from New York, in fact from a town not far from where we went to college, and he and his family settled out here in Portland many years ago. We chatted about New York, moving to Portland, and Italian families until our food was ready. Louie is a wonderful person and you can tell he really loves what he does. The only down side to Louie’s is that there isn’t really a place to sit and eat. There are a couple tables inside, so you could stay if you really wanted to, but it’s definitely more of a carry-out joint. We took our food, which smelled incredible, and said our goodbyes to Louie, already knowing we would be back to see him soon.
When we got home, I could barely wait to dig in. I had been smelling this pizza the whole car ride home and I was ready! I took out my pizza, and was surprised to find that the sausage was not crumbly like most pizzas or even thick, round slices. The sausage had been so thinly sliced, it almost looked like deli meat. And it was so flavorful. My pizza was amazing and the garlic cheese bread we got to go along with it was just as good. The order came with two super thick slices of bread spread with house-made garlic butter and then covered with a generous portion of pizza cheese. I also HAD to try the cannoli, which Louie makes himself. It was as good as any Italian bakery I’ve been to.
Sure enough, I took a friend of mine who was craving pizza there later in the week, and he loved it just as much as I did the first time. So much so that on his last night in Portland (he had spent 2 months here on an internship) he specifically asked for Louie’s as his last meal in town.
If you’re looking for a great pizza, look no further. I haven’t even made past pizza and calzones yet, but their pastas and sandwiches look just as great. Check them out at their website and place an order the next time you’re craving pizza. You won’t be disappointed!