Pizza Box

Brett Burmeister
Pizza Box

Pizza Box

Location: SE 9th and Oak at Base Camp Brewing
Hours: Sun-Wed, 11:30am-9pm; Thurs-Sat, 11am-12am

The Story:

Pizza. God’s food. That and burgers seem to have been all I ate in high school and college. I can’t believe how we would order Domino’s and actually time them for the 30 minute challenge. Youth! As I grew older, the glory of enjoying good ‘za with a beer changed the game. While Portland has some excellent pie, Pizza Box is a cart at a brewery. Now that’s progress.

Gretel is the name of the wood fired brick-oven inside Pizza Box. It is also the name of a pepperoni, bacon and sausage pie. I like Gretel. The cart, originally located off 82nd and Woodstock, relocated this fall to the new Base Camp Brewing. Since the brewery only has a taproom, they wanted to offer some food options for their patrons and what’s better with your IPL than a good pizza. A match made in marinara sauce.

Margherita Pide

Margherita Pide

Wood fired, brick-oven pizza has become the new level set for many. I too am convinced the wood fire adds something special to the pie. Pizza Box offers 12″ neo-napolitano pies with numerous combinations. All pies can be made vegetarian or vegan, but no substitutions. One can go big with the supreme – sausage, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, onions, mushrooms and a side pepperoncini. Or you can go traditional with the classic cheese – a proprietary blend. Every pie can be made into a Pide, a different take on pie which looks like a pizza boat and is only $6. I ordered the margherita Pide and dove in. The crust, perfectly charred, laid the groundwork for a wonderful little dish. Layers of basil, mozzarella, olive oil and tomato sauce provide an excellent bite each and every time. They nailed it.

Pizza Box is open daily at the brewery. You can enjoy your pizza with a beer or take it to go. Next time you have that craving, drop on by and let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

  • Margherita – fresh Mozzarella and basil – $12
  • Marinara – marinara, roasted garlic, oregano – $9
  • Classic Cheese – $10
  • Veggie Deluxe – artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, roma tomatoes, black olives, roasted red pepper, onions, mushrooms – $12
  • Pepperoni – pepperoni and cheese – $10
  • Supreme – sausage, pepperoni, roasted red peppers, onions, mushrooms – $12
  • Gretel’s Pie – pepperoni, bacon, sausage – $12
  • PBBP – cart made pesto, bacon, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, cheese – $12

Hours: Sun-Wed, 11:30am-9pm; Thurs-Sat, 11am-12am
Phone: 503 683 3154
Facebook: Pizza Box

Gonzo

Brett Burmeister
Gonzo

Gonzo

Location: SE 9th and Oak at Base Camp Brewing
Hours: Mon-Wed, 11:30-9; Thurs-Sat, 11:30-12am; Sun, 11:30-9

The Story:

Gonzo the Garbanzo. That was the inspiration for the name of this truly unique Israeli street food cart.

Portland is blessed with some excellent Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants and food carts, but not much Israeli. Wolf and Bear’s introduced us all to the Sabih sandwich and now Gonzo owner Tal intends to take it to a new level. Having spent part of his childhood and some adult life living in Israel, Tal has a grasp on their approach to street food. The Sabih actually wasn’t a sandwich until Iraqi Jews migrated to Israel bringing a dish which included fried eggplant, a boiled egg, parsley, tsug, tomato, cucumber, onion, hummus, tahini and other treats and a cafe owner put it in a pita for people to take with them. You may know Tal from his 100 Miles cart last summer. With the same cart, Tal is creating everything from scratch using age old methods to get the dishes right including soaking the garbanzo beans overnight or using salt on the eggplant to remove the moisture before frying.

Sabih from Gonzo

Sabih from Gonzo

Gonzo has a small menu at this time – the Sabih, a falafel sandwich and a hummus plate, but each item was better than the first. The handmade falafel in a pita with hummus, tahini, chopped tomato and cucumber, amba, tsug, pickles and topped with fries is a work of art. The amba, a tangy mango pickle condiment and the tsug, a spicy Israeli hot sauce, are both made in the cart and add a flavor profile I haven’t had with falafel before. After ordering both the Sabih and the falafel sandwich, it was a fight over who got what. I wanted it all, but had to share. Everything tasted fresh and crisp and I came away with a new appreciation for Israeli cuisine.

Falafel from Gonzo

Falafel from Gonzo

Tal hopes to expand the menu a bit and offer items that one wouldn’t normally find here in Portland. Plans for publishing all the recipes for his dishes on his website is in the works, so keep a digital eye out for that. I’m excited to make some tsug this fall once our hot peppers come into season. Gonzo is an example of how Portland’s street food vendors bring cuisine we don’t normally find in this city to our table. Gonzo is located at D-Street Noshery in SE Portland and they have plenty seating and a covered area in case it rains. Drop on by for some excellent Israeli street food and let Tal know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

[Gonzo moved to Base Camp Brewing in October 2012]

Sample Menu:

  • Falafel sandwich: hummus, tahini, tomato, cucumber, amba tsug, pickels, falafel in a pita topped with fries – $8 or half for $5
  • Sabih sandwich: hummus, tahini, tomato, cucumber, onion, cilantro, parsley, amba, tsug, pickels, fried eggplant, boiled egg in a pita – $8 or half for $5
  • Hummus Plate: hummus, garbanzo beans, cilantro, cumin, lemon, sweet onion, olive oil w/2 pita – $6

Hours: Mon-Wed, 11:30-9; Thurs-Sat, 11:30-12am; Sun, 11:30-9
Phone: 503 97-Gonzo
Facebook: Gonzo

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