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Daily Slice: Baby Doll Pizza, 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.
Portland's pizza landscape is seemingly undergoing an upgrade, and the first of many new slice joints demanding attention is Baby Doll Pizza. Named for a NYC strip club, Baby Doll is run by former New Yorkers and has the cozy feel of an East Coast ex-pat hangout. Slices, whole pies, subs, and salads are on offer with a multitude of combo deals available. The first slice sampled was the daily special ($3.75), a sausage pie with red onion and mushrooms. The familiar combination of crisp, carbon-y undercarriage and glistening, drippy fat atop the slice made for a perfect folder. The meat was downright porky and the onions softened into a state of complimentary sweetness. The mushrooms were overdone and unnecessary, though not distracting. The hero of the slice was the sauce; a simple concoction that illuminated the flavor of chunky tomato bits, olive oil, and salt. Applied judiciously, the perky red element created harmony with the slice's fatty richness.
The standard cheese slice ($2.50) was also satisfying. The sauce shone yet again, and the use of salty, creamy cheeses kept a level of excitement in an otherwise commonplace combination. The small pockets of fresh mozz, however, provided a strange rubbery texture and foiled the pie's pleasant saltiness in spots. I'm nitpicking here; this slice would be welcomed into any New York City pizzeria display case. But in Portland, given the lack of such things, Baby Doll proves itself a gem that will serve to satiate the longing palates of East Coast transplants. And they're open late, too.
Baby Doll Pizza
About the author:Jim Bonomo was born and raised in Milford, Connecticut. He is currently eating and drinking his way through Portland, Oregon. Once all the pizza and beer is gone, he promises to go back home. You can follow him on Twitter at @goodbyeohio.