8070 E. Mill Plain Blvd, Vancouver • Hours: Daily 11am-9pm
What is your pizza preference? Tons of toppings or just the basics? Are you more of thin crust fan? Do you sway towards the slightly illusive in Portland deep dish?
In a city like Portland with too many restaurants to name, it’s easy to argue over where to get the best slice. So much so, my friends and I have discussed starting a “pizza club” to answer this important life question. We’ve pitched the idea of a potluck pizza party (pro: judge everyone’s favorite; con: lukewarm pizza is not always a good showing of its true quality) or even a pizza crawl like these inspiring ladies did a few months back (pro: try lots of places in a few hours; con: so much pizza, how do you resist not overstuffing yourself at each stop?!).
Or how about the sound of this Pie Harder event hosted by Willamette Week on August 1st?!
Then you’d have to narrow down the pizza joints to try. There are of course the city’s staples like Apizza Scholls, Oven + Shaker and Lovely’s Fifty Fifty, but there are also plenty of newbie spots you don’t want to miss out on either. Making decisions is tough.
Be sure that the new(ish) Rally Pizza in The Mill shopping center in Vancouver, Washington is on your list.
I know what you’re thinking, great cuisine in Vancouver, really? Yes, really. Opened by a skilled husband-wife duo, Alan Maniscalco and Shan Wickham, with backgrounds at bakeries and pizzerias like Ken’s Artisan Pizza, they know what they’re doing. Somewhat unassuming next to a hardware store and big parking lot, Rally Pizza itself is fun, family-friendly, and beautiful. And once you try the food, you’ll happily cross that river.
After a hike on the Washington side at Lacamas Lake (ps – such a great find!), I popped in for some well-earned lunch with a friend. We started with a huge platter of pizza-oven-roasted romanesco cauliflower, romano beans, carrots, new potatoes, and Walla Walla sweet onions over soft sheep cheese and topped with Calabrian chile and garlic-herb salsa. Veggie lover heaven.
For pizza, we opted for the special pie of the day, “Summer Rolls.” Super fluffy, thick and perfectly charred crust topped with seasonal zucchini, garlic scapes and sweet onions, fontina and a mildly sweet herbed sheep cheese, and a tasty crunch from pistachios. I would happily eat this everyday.
But whatever you do, don’t fill yourself up with just pizza and veggies. You don’t want to miss this dessert scene where they’ve got insane housemade frozen custard concoctions. My suggestion: order at least one sundae and one concrete, made with their thick, rich vanilla bean ice cream and mixed with tons of goodies. All are made to order then blended with creations like Columbia Gorge tart cherries, pie crust and streusel to become the best blizzard you’ll have.
The Campfire sundae is a decadent frozen s’more situation with graham cracker crumbs, gooey toasted marshmallow fluff and chocolate fudge sauce to bring that soft-serve vanilla ice cream to a whole new level.
What pizza are you loving these days?