Midwest Pizza Company
4233 N Mississippi Ave
Portland, OR 97217
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.
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:
And the top:
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.