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Midwest Pizza Company


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#1 Adam

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 06:57 PM

Midwest Pizza Company

4233 N Mississippi Ave

Portland, OR 97217

503-697-4992

www.mwpizza.com

 

Heard about this place a few weeks ago and met a fellow square pizza lover there today for lunch. It's in the Mississippi Marketplace pod next to Prost. Their menu is confined to Chicago-style pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, and Detroit-style pizza. I'll try the Chicago-style pie another time, because I only had eyes for the Detroit-style on this visit. A 4-slice whole pie is $10 and the 8-slice is $15, which is a crazy good deal when you consider that the slices start at $4 with no toppings.

 

Unfortunately, the owner (according to his website, a longtime Portlander and former Midwesterner) had run out of several toppings the night before, so what he had on hand was quite limited. We went with onions on one half and pepperoni on the other.

 

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The photos on MPC's website look incredible, with mottled brown cheese, crisped-up pepperoni edges, and plenty of sauce showing through. This wasn't quite that. Maybe he was afraid of the crust burning if he left it in the oven (a Peerless deck oven) any longer, but I wouldn't have minded. Not that the crust was underdone by any means. It was fantastic. With an oiled pan, the dough essentially fries in the hot oven, leaving a crisp shell around the perimeter where the dough and cheese meet metal. It's the best thing about any square pie and it's no less wonderful here. Here's a closer view from the side:

 

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And the top:

 

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Hungry yet?

 

The pie was very hot but I couldn't stand waiting any longer to get my hands on it, so I'm sure I missed some of the nuances in the sauce. Suffice it to say it's an herby, zesty sauce that works well with this style of pizza. Lots of gooey melted mozzarella and jack. The dough itself is fairly dense and I wouldn't mind seeing a more open crumb, but it's a minor quibble. I'd say if you can, get the 4-slice whole pie, or multiple 4-slice whole pies, because then you'll get all corner pieces. Those make the pizza.

 

Very happy to have this place in Portland. With some minor adjustments it could be really great.


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#2 ExtraMSG

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 07:15 PM

This is also what Pizza Hut does with their pan pizzas.  How is it better than that?


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#3 Adam

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 07:30 PM

The idea is the same (dough baked in oiled pan), but...

 

Better ingredients. Tastier dough. Crust is much crispier. Toppings go all the way to the edge rather than a thicker rim of end crust. Doesn't make my stomach ache afterward.


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#4 FoodKid

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Posted 14 September 2014 - 10:58 PM

I've been to this place three times, and each time they've been out of pizza. I just have the worst luck sometimes.



#5 Jill-O

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 08:58 AM

Hey Adam, how does the crust compare to a NYC Sicilian slice?  

 

Those pepperoni slices in the pic above make me want to take a schlep up there...


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#6 Adam

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 10:39 AM

Hey Adam, how does the crust compare to a NYC Sicilian slice?  

 

Those pepperoni slices in the pic above make me want to take a schlep up there...

 

They are very similar. The thicker crust, the herbed sauce, the oiled pan. I think where Detroit-style breaks off is that toppings/cheese goes all the way to the edge of the pizza, whereas the typical NYC Sicilian slice has a defined rim that puffs up a little more because it isn't sauced. Also, from what I understand of Detroit-style, the sauce goes on top of the cheese instead of under it, but that wasn't the case at Midwest Pizza Company. I think I will ask for it prepared that way next time unless the owner has some objection.


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#7 FoodKid

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Posted 18 September 2014 - 10:27 PM

Got lucky (kinda) today and managed to grab a slice of the daily Chicago combo. Toppings were pepperoni, ground beef, and Canadian bacon I believe. Very hearty to be sure with that load on there, and the sauce was quite herby. I appreciated that aspect. That said, the crust was all wrong. It was bready, not buttery and flaky. If I had to guess, I'd say he's using the same dough for both the Detroit and Chicago pies. I suppose that makes sense given the money/time/space constraints of running a cart solo, but it doesn't make for a pizza that I want to have more of.



#8 Adam

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 12:52 PM

Bummer. Yeah, a deep dish crust should (ideally) be crumbly (true deep dish) or flaky (stuffed pizza), but definitely not bready. It definitely should be a different dough than a Detroit-style pizza.

 

Probably best to stick to the Detroit-style. Also curious to see if the dogs are any good.


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#9 crepeguy

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 10:41 AM

Adam, did you know your made it on their menu?

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#10 Adam

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 11:40 AM

Ha! I did not know that. As if I have any clout whatsoever in convincing people to pick this cart over the one next to it! I am flattered.

 

I do need to get back to see if the Chicago-style is any good. But it'd be tough to pass up the Detroit-style. He should design a pan that gives him 2-inch wide slices that are all outer crust.


Adam Lindsley

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