UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: Portland, Oregon, Has Not Three But Four(!) Pizza Carts

Dear Slice

Slice mail answered.

Reaching in to the Slice mailbag, we've got ...


Give Pizza a Chance's menu board. It's more a "slice cart" than a "whole pie cart." Click it bigger for reference. [Photograph: I Dream of Pizza]

Dear Slice, Letters From Our ReadersI sent your post to my pal from Portland (ppppp!) and he was surprised this one didn't make the list: givepizzaachance.com.

Erin Zimmer

---------------------- Dear Erin,

Even though you are sitting not more than 10 feet from me here in the Slice–Serious Eats office, I have chosen to answer you publicly on the internetz. Why? Because I need to post something in my mid-morning slot on Slice today.

Hahahah. Just kiddin'. Actually, I'm posting so that Slice'rs will have a wider picture of the Portland pizza cart/truck/shack scene.

Yes. There is another cart. Give Pizza a Chance.

In the comments of the reblog I posted about Nick Zukin and Adam Lindsley's Portland pizza cart tour, Nick popped in and clarified why Give Pizza a Chance wasn't on their tour:

Give Pizza a Chance is primarily a slice joint. You go and order an already-baked sliced of pie. These other three all make pizzas to order only. Also, these three make 12" pizzas, whereas GPaC makes 16" pizzas. I'm not sure they work with the same sort of hot oven these others are working with. They even make calzones and Chicago pies, which I'm not sure you could make it an 800°F oven. And finally, they're only open at lunch, whereas these other three are dinner spots. So it's just a different animal. But when I worked downtown, it was on my regular rotation and despite the wheat crust ;-) is a darned good pizza.

I paraphrase Nick's explanation in terms fellow Big Applers can understand:

It's like, maybe, the difference between, say, Motorino and Artichoke Basille's*. The difference between "whole pies only" and "by the slice."

Of course, this all gets into the gray area of trying to classify pizza styles, etc. Most of the times it's clear cut, sometimes there's something that throws you for a loop the way a platypus would. This is probably one of those times, and I can see the logic in Zukin's methodology here.

Still, if I were to craft a post that was titled "Portland Cart Pizza," Give Pizza a Chance would have to be on it.

* If you don't like Artichoke Basille's and think it is overhyped and/or has gone downhill, substitute in this analogy your own highly regarded by-the-slice place that you think is a notch or three above the standard slice joint.