If there is a person on the planet that can walk by a pizza shop, take a whiff of baking pizza and not feel the sudden urge to eat an entire pie, I don’t want to know that person. Pizza is irresistibly delicious and as American as an Italian food can be. I most recently experienced this insatiability when I was walking on Hawthorne and passed in front of the open doors of Apizza Scholls. I had just eaten, I wasn’t hungry and yet, I had to go in.
The large building was filled to the brim with pizza lovers. Greeted by light colored wooden walls and high backed booths with clean wooden tables, it was as cozy as it was aromatic. A sign on the bar indicated that reservations will get one chance to answer the call of forfeit their seat. With the plethora of restaurants in the Portland/Metro area, this one was one of the few that had the audacity to cancel a seat reservation. I made a note to return the next day, with a cleansed palate and plenty of room in my stomach.
Apizza Scholls began in January of 2004 as Scholls Public House out in Scholls, Oregon. Soon, their regular customers began noticing their fine pizzeria was often compared to the Pizzerias in New Haven, Connecticut, many of which pizzerias have Apizza in their name. Eventually, when they moved their shop to Portland, on Hawthorne, they wanted to remember their roots. Apizza Scholls fit, which, if spoken Micro Machines styles, sounds like “A piece of Scholls”
So, my wife and our good family friends showed up the next evening for dinner. Apizza Scholls is family friendly, but the kids were gonna sit this one out. With an extensive wine and beer menu and a variety of pizza options, this was going to be an exciting culinary adventure.
At first glance, there is a bit of sticker shock. These pizzas seem much more expensive then what you find at Round Table, Pizza Hut, or even Flying Pie Pizzeria. But, at 18 inches in diameter, these pizzas are a good two inches larger than your average pizza. If you go by a per capita pricing, you are right on par.
My wife loves to share food and the best thing about pizza is that it is super easy to share. Each couple made an order: We built our own, piled high with pineapple, red onions, olives, mushrooms (and ham just on my half). Our friends ordered the spicy Diablo Blanco. Of course, we got a pint of beer and my wife and I split a salad too.
The pizza was as delicious as my nose led me to believe. The cheese was perfectly salty, the dough was tender and full of flavor and the sauce- and sauce is what makes the pizza—was good enough to eat by itself.
After a second pint and a complete annihilation of all the pizzas, we exited into the early Autumn of hipster haven Hawthorne Boulevard. We knew we would be back, and next time, we would bring the kids.
Apizza Scholls is located at 4741 SE Hawthorne in Portland, Oregon. For reservations, visit http://apizzascholls.com/ or call 503-233-1286.