Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Pizza Jerk

Pizza Jerk is located on NE 42nd Avenue in Portland, Oregon.

Tommy Habetz, also responsible for Bunk Sandwiches, opened Pizza Jerk in Fall 2015 to focus on New Haven-style (thin crust) pizzas. Not even a fire last year could stop this place, causing extensive damage to the dining room. Pizza Jerk was closed for four months before reopening in September 2016.

I used Portland Pizza Week last month to get to places that I had yet to try. I arrived here just after its 11:30 AM opening.

The menu features a lot of interesting pizza combinations. The Clam Jam pizza and Dan Dan pizza are some of the choices which stood out. Bonus points here for that.

Pizza Jerk's $2 slice during Portland Pizza Week was a Thai Pie, starting with Pok Pok / Olympia Provisions Thai sausage, pineapples, sweet chili sauce, fresh Thai chiles, fresh basil, and fried onions. One of my favorites from Portland Pizza Week 2017, and definitely one of the best-tasting choices from all participating locations. If anything, I may have preferred just a bit more sausage.

Wonderful crust, crispy and chewy. Everything worked here, from the sweetness of the pineapple and sweet chili sauce to the spice of the red Thai chiles. Still, I felt like adding some Secret Aardvark habanero sauce and Thrive's habanero sauce to my pizza at times, just because I can never have too much heat.

I also tried one of their specials, the Lovely Linda ($3.75 per slice): fennel, mushrooms, olives, red onions, and basil. It admittedly looked more limp and may have been soggier than the Thai Pie, but the flavors were all there again. Lovely Linda = lovely pizza.

Slices were generally reheated and brought to us within 2-3 minutes. Not much of a line when we got there, so perhaps a longer wait if it's packed. It's likely a 15-20 minute

Prices are reasonable for roughly 18" pies. After seeing the unique pizza choices and having an excellent first experience, it's just a matter of time before I'll return. 8.75/10

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