Don’t tell the owners of Pan Con Queso, a new pop-up pizza operation in Portland, Oregon, that you can’t put Spam on a pizza. They’ve already done it. And, by gosh, it’s right there on the permanent menu.

Pizzaiolo Henry Martinez and his partner, Makeila Magno, launched Pan Con Queso in June at Living Häus, a Portland brewery that opened last year. They describe their pies as “naturally leavened modernist pizza,” but they actually prefer the term “pixxa.” The pies are all sized at just 9”, baked up in a small Pizzamaster oven, and made with a responsibly sourced multigrain dough that boasts what The Oregonian describes as a “prominent tang.”

Pan Con Queso fuses classic Mexican and Pacific Island flavors, and that includes, yes, Spam. Hawaii, after all, is the U.S. leader in Spam consumption per capita—about 7 million cans a year, according to USA Today.

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But that’s not the only reason Spam is a featured topping on the pie called Mr. MacArthur. It was created at the request of Magno’s now-deceased grandfather, Mack. When Henry and Mack first met, the latter asked the pizzaiolo if he would ever consider putting Spam on a pizza. “And here we are,” the owners said in an Instagram post shortly after opening Pan Con Queso. “Mack always said Spam was the ‘Hawaiian prime rib.’”

The Mr. MacArthur is a spin on the classic Hawaiian pizza, replacing the ham with chopped Spam, along with pineapple, mozzarella and red and green onions. Another surprise on the Pan Con Queso menu: the Caesar Chavez, a Caesar salad featuring a house dressing made with anchovies, Parmesan, cojita and sourdough focaccia croutons. In case you didn’t know, the Caesar salad originated not in Rome but in Tijuana. But its creator, restaurateur Caesar Cardini, was an Italian immigrant, so hail Caesar anyway!

Other specialty pies on the Pan Con Queso menu include the seasonal Elote (chipotle aioli, mozzarella, corn, Parmesan, cotija, cilantro and tajin, a Mexican seasoning that combines chili peppers with lime and salt) and the Chorizo Con Papas (housemade chorizo, mozzarella, potatoes, cotija and cilantro cream).

Writing for The Oregonian, Michael Russell said the pixxas at Pan Con Queso “just taste good,” adding, “Go now, and you can say you tried some of Portland’s best new pizza before the crowds.”


Food & Ingredients