Apizza Scholls is the place that put pizza in Portland on the map. Featured on No Reservations and named to best-of lists like Food & Wine Magazine's best pizza places in the U.S., the wood-fired pies from Brian Spangler's shop are worthy of the hype.
There are plenty of seats in Apizza Scholls, which occupies two storefronts, but reservations are still a good idea. Business at the restaurant stops when they run out of the dough that was made for the day.
The pizza is a little bit of a hybrid between New York thin crust and New Haven style. The 900-degree oven deliciously scorches the exterior of the crust, but it gives the interior a delightful chew.
The menu offers up many classics, rooted in the bounty of local ingredients. Service was friendly and evenly paced.
The Dirty Pizza was a special. It is a plain cheese pizza dusted with fresh parmesan and herbs including oregano, basil, rosemary and sage. It was topped with heirloom tomatoes after the bake. The fresh ingredients delivered on a soft, almost buttery crust were a perfect expression of the summer.
The Margherita added mozzarella to the cheese base, and ribbons of fresh basil and slivers of roasted garlic were sliced across the surface of the pie. It was an understated, nearly flawless take on the original.
It is a good idea to grab a few appetizers to make waiting for pizza go by with fewer hunger pangs. The salads and antipasti are popular choices.
The wine and beer lists rely heavily on Oregon producers. With pizza this artful, it's a tough call which beverage would be the better pairing.