Daily Slice: Sizzle Pie, Portland, Oregon
Sizzle Pie aims to bring quality pizza to the skinny jeans–wearing East Burnside crowd in the form of heavy metal–themed après-booze chow. It does so by emulating a classic New York City slice joint right down to that burned-cheese aroma. If someone could pull off that vibe in Portland, it would be a great ex-pat option. But it's ultimately about the pizza. Did the food here live up to the presentation?
Heart Attack Man ($3.50 a slice) delivered on its promise of cardiac endangerment. What was advertised as steak actually came in Steak-umm form, which was texturally more desirable. The bacon had that crispness achieved only by a good fry and exuded a distilled smoke flavor.
The rich meats were complemented by a commercial-grade barbecue sauce, appley and sweet with appropriate tang. The dense yet thin layer of "signature cheese blend" had a nice chew but was blander than straight mozzarella. The ingredients worked well together to create a satisfying utility slice, achieving the ultimate harmony with an accompanying can of Anderson Valley IPA.
The slice had a puzzling lack of grease, an otherwise inevitable pitfall given the nature of the included toppings. Salt was definitely a bit lacking, noticeably so due to the sugary slap of barbecue sauce. The crust was impressive with especially crisp edges and pleasantly strong under the weight of the carnage above. I would have liked a bit more chew at the edge, but I also may be nitpicking a bit too much given the nature of a slice joint like Sizzle.
My prime suggestion for Sizzle Pie is to pick a direction and stay focused. I enjoyed the ease and casual nature inside, the big portion, and the simplicity of everyday ingredients put together to satisfy a late-night or hungover craving. On the other side of the spectrum, it offers basil-cashew pizza with goat cheese and cracked egg. I understand the desire to have something for everyone, but the act of spreading its act so thin (41 unique pizza selections on the whole-pie menu plus "create your own") allowed my meaty slice to fall just short of excellence.