Brooklyn Pizza Master Says This West Coast City Has America's Best Pizza

It's a city without its own signature pizza style, and that's a good thing, says Anthony Falco.



Anthony Falco co-founded the famed Roberta's pizza in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood.

Pizzaiolo and pizza consultant Anthony Falco says Portland, Oregon, is the “greatest pizza city in America,” and since Falco hails from Brooklyn and co-founded the famed Roberta’s in the Bushwick neighborhood, that’s saying a lot.

Falco was in town for Feast Portland, a culinary throwdown that featured celebrity chefs, competitions, exclusive dinners and other events. He said he had concluded that Portland offered the best pizza in the U.S. after visiting three of its most popular shops—Apizza Scholls, Lovely’s Fifty Fifty and Scottie’s Pizza Parlor.

These pizza shops have mastered the universal basics and spun them into something wonderfully unique to Portland, Falco believes. “The things that are important in pizza are the quality of ingredients and the skill level represented in the dough,” he told OregonLive.com. “When you have somebody like Brian Spangler (of Apizza Scholls), who has a background as a baker, or Ken Forkish (of Ken’s Artisan Pizza), who has a background as a baker as well, and then you look at what Lovely’s is doing with local and seasonal ingredients—and her dough is remarkable as well—[these] are the things that are impressive to me.”

Evidently, Falco’s pronouncement about Portland’s pizza superiority touched off a controversy when the OregonLive story came out. But Falco stuck to his guns in a follow-up call to the story’s author, Michael Russell.

It doesn’t hurt that Portland pizzaioli have the freedom to experiment and to find better uses for local ingredients, he noted. “There is no Portland-style pizza, and I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s great,” he told OregonLive. “It’s unhindered by any kind of tradition, and people are just doing what was done in the beginning of pizza: They’re using what’s around them. That’s originally what made Naples pizza so great: the mozzarella, the tomatoes, the basil, the flour. The surrounding area of Oregon, with just what’s happening with wheat and vegetables, it’s awesome. And people are actually using them on their pizza, because they’re not encumbered by their style.”

Scottie’s, a slice joint, offers a good example of a popular pizzeria in Portland that capitalizes on the region’s natural resources. Its pizza dough is naturally leavened with wheat grown in the Pacific Northwest, while the tomatoes are grown in California, and most other in-season ingredients come from local farmers.

Meanwhile, a sourdough starter named Jake is the secret weapon at Lovely’s Fifty Fifty (see pizza photo above), a farm-to-table enterprise praised by Portland Monthly for offering “Portland’s best pizza.”

Although the neighborhood around Lovely’s boasts lots of top-notch restaurants, Portland Monthly reports, “Lovely’s has something else: a near-spiritual connection to Oregon’s most adventurous farmers and seed breeders.” Recent menued pies have featured summer chanterelles with spicy padron peppers, melted onions and gremolata, and sungold tomato confit with shaved summer squash, Reggiano, orange agrumato and flowers.

 

Edit Module

Tell us what you think at or email.

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Teenage Pizzeria Manager Drives 225 Miles to Deliver Pizza to Dying Man

Dalton Shaffer, 18, of Steve's Pizza told no one of his good deed for Rich Morgan, but the news went viral thanks to a Facebook post by Morgan's wife.

Your Pie Teams With Zapp's to Create Potato Chip-Topped Voodoo Pie

Just in time for Halloween, the limited-time signature pizza features Cajun ingredients and is topped with Zapp's Voodoo Potato Chips.

Lost Pizza Co. Feeds Hundreds of Hurricane Michael Survivors in Panama City, Fla.

The Deep South pizza chain's co-founders Brooks Roberts and Preston Lott organized relief efforts in two states.

Sex or Pizza? Man Who Has Eaten Cheese Pies For Dinner for 37 Years Has to Think About It

Mike Roman of Hackensack also likes peanut butter sandwiches for lunch - and nothing else.

Surviving the Winter: 7 Ways to Keep Pizzeria Sales Hot in Cold Weather

You can build up your wintertime pizza business through seasonal marketing and menu strategies.

Flippy the Robot Wows Baseball Fans With Fry-Cook Skills at Dodger Stadium

The robot can also flip burgers and scrub grills, posing a possible solution to a worker shortage in the restaurant industry.

Salary vs. Hourly: How to Pay Your Pizzeria's Managers

Members of PMQ's Think Tank swap tips for managers' salaries and hours they should work.

TripAdvisor Reveals Its List of America's 10 Best Pizzerias

Boston's Regina Pizzeria comes in at No. 1, but two Nashville restaurants also make the cut.

Donatos Pizza Partners With Artists to Create Airport Mural Celebrating Diversity

The mural, located in the John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, features 88 pieces of original art.

Pizza and Politics Make Tasty Bedfellows in Pizza Paradiso Promo

Chef Ruth Gresser has created signature pies honoring female Democratic candidates in midterm elections.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags