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Daily Slice: Bridgeport BrewPub, Portland, Oregon
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
The northwest corner of Portland's Pearl District is a bit on the culturally barren side, favoring pizza chains over your more artisan options. Until recently, I had no idea that the cavernous beer hall (where I've caught a buzz or two) was also crafting high-end personal pizzas.
Bridgeport's pies are named after local bridges, and "the burnside" (12", $12.50), with its Northwestern flair, held a lot of appeal on a winter's day. Smoked onions, local wild mushrooms, and Parmesan sat atop a base of mozzarella with roasted garlic oil. Fresh parsley and thyme added some green to the otherwise earthy pie. It was those vibrant herbs, coupled with the intense BBQ-like smoke from the onions and deeply charred bits of the crust, that defined this pie.
While an overall success, this pizza suffered in the cheese department. Despite the Parmesan boost, it fell flat—lacking both in salt and the flavor necessary to balancing out the pie's overall harmony. Doing away with the cheese and going the focaccia route (with a more liberal use of the pungent garlic-kissed oil) could have delivered something bordering perfection.
As I touched on above, the crust provided an ample dose of flavorful char, while maintaining a chewy interior. Outwardly, it appeared overdone,but the crust's core stayed soft. Bridgeport offered a top-shelf pie for a top-shelf price, which will find me keeping an eye out for potential happy hour or late night discount options. Regardless, it's a hidden gem in the Portland pizza scene that is surely worthy of a visit.