Location: SE 12th and Hawthorne at Cartopia
Hours: Tues-Sun, 11:30am-3am; Closed at 1am in winter
Friday night on the town. Happy hour at a fancy restaurant in the Pearl with cocktails made from fancy gin and vodka. Where does one go for dinner after such an event? Cartopia! Yes, indeed. We cruised down to SE 12th and Hawthorne to get some food and specifically, try the new Pyro Pizza.
Pyro Pizza is the latest from pizza guru John Eads. You may know him from his other pizza adventure – Give Pizza a Chance – which has graced a downtown spot now for a couple of years and is always busy. John wanted to try something different – wood oven pizza. And by try, I mean build a few by hand and work out the bugs. The oven in the cart at SE 12th and Hawthorne is the 6th iteration and by the taste of the pizza, I think he worked out the kinks.
The night we arrived, it was cool and wet, but not raining. The cart sits high, so they have a small deck to step up to in order to be face to face with them while ordering. You can smell the alder and pine burning away in the oven and feel the warmth while you peruse the menu and order. Just reading the menu makes your mouth water, offering up 12″ pies of all sorts, made right there when you order. While I love a good meat bonanza, I decided upon the traditional margarita so our whole group could enjoy some if they wanted. While we chatted about the new cart and I took some photos, John quickly made my pizza and before I knew it, they were handing to me. Less than 5 minutes, maybe even shorter. Now that is a hot oven.
The margarita was a great blend of marinara sauce, mozzarella and fresh basil all on a whole wheat crust. The crust was thin and tasty and even the edges kept me intrigued. Ask anyone, I’m not a crust end eater and that evening, I ate every last bit. It was hard to offer up pieces to my friends. The pie is pretty large for $8 and could easily feed two people.
Pyro Pizza is now open at SE 12th and Hawthorne. The glory of that pod is that you can go down there, get a pie and also have a pick at some of the other carts to round out a meal. Take a group and have a potluck. John admits they are “working out the kinks.” Not sure what that means because my pie was excellent. Stop on by and enjoy some wood oven pizza and tell them Food Carts Portland sent ya.
- Antipasts – sliced fresh mozzarella layered with plum tomatoes, fresh basil and balsamic vinigar – $5
- Traditional Margarita pizza – fresh marinara sauce, mozzarella di buffalo, fresh basil, and a dash of olive oil – $8
- Pepperoni – fresh marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and locally produced peperoni – $7
- Caramelized onion – caramelized torpedo onions, gorgonzola and parmigiano-reggiano cheese with pistachios – $8
- Cuattro formaggi – a blend of fresh mozzarella, sheep’s cheese, gorgonzola and parmigiano-reggiano – $8
- Homemade sodas also available