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[Photographs: Jim Bonomo]

Recommendations for Hopworks Urban Brewery pizza flow freely among the happy hour crowds of Portland. I've often visited for (excellent) beer, but my food experience did not extend beyond a warm $2 bowl of oven-roasted peanuts. From now on, I'll stick with the beer.

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The daily option for meat lovers featured Canadian bacon with onion and red peppers. The onions were white, and chopped haphazardly, leaving bursts of raw, pungent onion flavor. The red peppers were half-cooked, giving this slice a salad-like feel. The tomato sauce was a sweet paste best suited to a glass jar on a grocery store shelf. A thick layer of mozzarella was gelatinous due to a poor reheat; the crust was buttery, crunchy, and flaky but underseasoned.

At the edge, the crust was fluffy, more like an English muffin than pizza. Almost two full inches of toppingless crust sat at the end of slice. The Canadian bacon was thinly sliced, nicely crisped by the oven, and added much needed salt, but it couldn't save the slice.

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Hopworks manages to offer a slice that's filling but unremarkable. If you're looking for a sponge to soak up their delicious IPA, go for it, but it's not a slice I'd recommend to pizza fanatics.

Hopworks Urban Brewery

2944 SE Powell Blvd, Portland, OR 97202 (map)
503-232-4677; www.hopworksbeer.com

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