In a nutshell: For drool-worthy dough and top-notch toppings, drop by this unassuming pizzeria in Southeast Portland.
With “pizza” in its name, the pies have to be good. Indeed, Apizza Scholls offered an ethereal experience with its heavenly Neapolitan-American-style pizza. Upon arrival, we encountered a bustling waiting room and an hour-long wait, something that Apizza handles on a regular basis. If it wasn’t raining outside, a line would have surely snaked out the door.
There are a number of equally-delicious-sounding combinations on the menu, making it tough to determine which one to order. From the Coastal Margherita (tomato sauce, whole milk and fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano/grana padano, Scalia anchovies, fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh basil) to the Pig and Pineapple (the house plain pie plus house cured, smoked Canadian bacon, onions, and pineapple) to the Tre Colori (whole milk and fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano/grana padano, semi-dried tomato & walnut pesto, ricotta, and jalapeño), you can’t go wrong. There’s also a Build-Your-Own (BYO) Pie option in which diners can select up to three toppings for their pie.
We finally settled on a ½ and ½ pizza: ½ Tartufo Bianco (whole milk and fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano/grana padano, truffle oil, and sea salt) and ½ Bacon Bianca (whole milk mozzarella, pecorino romano/grana padano, lots of fresh garlic, herbs, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and house cured bacon).
The team at Apizza Scholls uses an electrically heated Baker’s Pride pizza oven to bring their pies to life. Owner and pizzaiolo Brian Spangler explained in an interview that “it’s all about the BTUs. This oven makes pizza at 700°F, and that’s plenty hot enough to bake my pies quickly and throughly and get my crust as crisp and airy as I want it.” A noncontact infrared thermometer gun helps in monitoring the temperature.
Apizza’s crust was absolutely salivating. It is one of the best I’ve had with the right chew and airiness. Blistered lovingly in the oven, the base has a gorgeous char and crunchy exterior that gives way to a French bread-like softness. There’s just something in the water in the Oregon area that makes incredible bread and baked goods. The cheese combination–baked until it bubbled pleasantly across the surface and turned to a tantalizing shade of golden brown–had a creamy freshness and the perfect gooey, stretchy consistency, complimenting the other ingredients quite nicely. The Tartufo’s truffle essence gave the pizza slices a rounded richness, which I can only describe as the ultimate umami. The bacon on the Bianca was generously spread atop its respective pizza half; its crispness and smoky saltiness added to the full-bodied flavor.
It’s easy to see why one bite of this pizza will turn you into a fanatic. Bravo!
4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd