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Daily Slice: O'Malley's Saloon and Grill, 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.
Since Apizza Scholls ceased its Sicilian pie service, the thick, square slices have been the missing link of the Portland pizza scene. After recently discovering that a hole-in-the-wall Southeast Portland pub was serving up the square style, I knew where the Slice business would be leading me this week. O'Malley's Saloon and Grill is the last place you'd imagine would be rocking a gas-fired stone hearth oven, and when the bartender was unsure what "a slice of Sicilian" meant, my spirits fell.
Fear not, this slice ($4 during happy hour) was the real deal. A sweet, garlicky sauce full of fresh, chunky tomatoes formed a solid base, and the co-mingled perfectly with the Parmesan and mozzarella. A dusting of fresh black pepper added appropriate zest, and the slice itself was expertly seasoned.
As should be with a Sicilian slice, the crust was the star. The airy, spongy center was supported by an audibly crispy exterior; the boxy edges crackled with brown butter. It may not be the most traditional Sicilian out there, but it pressed all the buttons I hoped it would after a personal five-year hiatus from the oft-ignored style.
O'Malley's Saloon and Grill6535 Southeast Foster Road, Portland, Oregon (map)