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It isn’t all roses in Portland, Oregon any longer. The city, affectionately nicknamed, “The City of Roses” can now add “Street Food Capital of the U.S.” to its nickname repertoire. As far as the street food scene is concerned, southeast Portland has something no other part of Portland can claim -Cartopia. If you haven’t read my previous blog post about Cartopia – southeast Portland’s late night street food Utopia, you should take a look at what this pod has to offer. We spent a few days in Portland last week, meeting with some of the city’s street food gurus, and getting a taste of street food life in this city that’s become the gold standard in the street food revolution. Heck, there’s even a book about it.

We started our visit at Cartopia at Pyro Pizza, a wood-framed cart with its own wood-fired pizza oven built inside. From the outside, the oven looks like a giant igloo, taking up almost half the stand inside.

The stand is owned by John Eads, who also owns a brick and mortar pizzeria in downtown Portland. As legend has it, John built about half a dozen of these monsters, before he perfected his wood-fired pizza cart. The cart offers eight pizzas (two meat and six vegetarian), most including their fresh, house made mozzarella, three salads and house made organic sodas.

Pizza pies vary in price from $7 to $9, and additional toppings, including fennel Italian sausage, white anchovie fillets, grated parmesan, mushrooms, kalamata olives, vegan field roast sausage and vegan cheese.

The service at Pyro Pizza is outstanding. The guys on the other side of the window were courteous and friendly, and greeted Andrew with a smile as soon as he approached.

Andrew ordered the Margherita from the top of the menu board. Seemingly one of the most popular pies on the menu, the Pizza Margherita is a delightful combination of both color and taste that will appeal to the taste buds as much as it does t the eyes.

Pizza Margherita is actually a dish named after Queen Margherita of Italy in 1889, and its colors represent the Italian flag adorned with red, white, and green.

A whole-wheat crust is topped with marinara sauce, house-made mozzarella, and fresh basil. We decided to kick it up a notch with a little meat, adding fresh fennel Italian sausage to top it off. The crust was fired to absolute perfection.

Pyro Pizza’s Margherita pizza delivers on taste and presentation, and would undoubtedly win the Queen’s approval.

Though there is no doubt that the Margherita would stand the test of even the most discerning pizza critic on its own, it was definitely wise to add the fennel Italian sausage to this pizza. The sweet in the sausage, juxtaposed with Italian seasonings was a perfect pairing with the fresh, house made mozzarella.

Amazingly affordable at $8 + $2 for the additional topping, this 12-inch pizza was well worth the money and more than enough for two people.

Follow Pyro Pizza, and be sure to tell them that Stitches ‘n Dishes sent you when you stop by.

On the web: pyropizzacart.com

Pyro on Twitter

Pyro on Facebook 

Service: 4.0
Menu Selection: 4.0
Quality: 5.0
Creativity: 4.0
Price: 4.5
Overall Impression: 4.3 Plates!
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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.