Hot Lips Portland, OR
For those who adhere to the More is More topping principle and who think "gourmet pizza" is a wonderful way to gather your favorite ingredients onto one toothsome crust, Hot Lips is for you. Choose your own pizza adventure from a menu packed with foodie favorites. On my last trip--Hot Lips has become a ritual pit-stop during Portland family visits--we hit the flavor jackpot with this spicy, earthy, Greek-style number: stone-ground whole wheat crust, cilantro pesto, house-made sausage, pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, red onion, garlic and mushrooms. Mind you, traditionalists can take heart with classics like pepperoni or cheese, but I suggest using Hot Lips as a laboratory of ingredient integration. Experimentation has never tasted so good.
Hot Lips is purely Portland. The salad greens come from local farms, OR rules the beer taps (we dig the hop-tastic Boneyard RPM IPA), the crust is made from locally stone-ground wheat, and they make their own soda featuring fresh fruits from the Pac NW. The only non-local feature, the Sunday NY Times, still fits in with the Portland ethos, nourishing our mind and bellies in one savory swoop. Hot Lips is great for a solo slice or family-style sharing; some of the locales feature patios perfect for upcoming summer sun. Or, take their dough to-go to test your pizzaiola chops in the kitchen.