6024 NE Glisan, 238-3514
I grew up near Chicago, and was weaned on deep-dish, inch-thick piecrust. But that doesn't mean I prefer it that way. No, I actually don't need to eat an entire loaf of bread with my pizza. Instead, I like my crust just hefty enough to carry its load of meat and vegetables--a mark that UFO hits exactly. The pizzas range from the simple Moon (just cheese) to the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Galaxy (pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage, bell peppers, mushrooms, and olives). No yuppie gimmicks like pesto and pine nuts here--just down-to-earth, good pizza. PB
2924 E Burnside, 236-1790
The food is not as super-spicy as I'd like, but it's damn good regardless. Most of the dishes are up to the standards of Americanized, greasy Indian-food goodness with a balanced seasoning of dry Garam Masala, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. The distinctions end there, as the dishes tend to blend together into a sweetly rich taste that is cut beautifully by plates full of delicately steamed, sticky rice. Since everything is good and greasy, I generally like to stick with the classics, like the Matar Paneer--cubes of dense cheese and peas, cooked slowly in a yogurt gravy with ground spinach. I also highly recommend the Murgh Pakora: marinated chunks of chicken breast fried to a spicy, delicate crisp. KD
Kanzeon in the Kitchen
www.dharma-rain.org for reservations, Feb. 8th, SE 25th & Madison
Love vegetarian food, love Buddhism? Support the Dharma Rain Center (a meditation/Zen center) by eating their cooking. The banquet offers four dishes with influences from the Mediterranean (navy bean and sundried tomato calzone) to Southeast Asian (spring rolls with BBQ tofu) to Latin American (cocoa-sesame mole over veggie and bean stuffed dough shells) to Local Fusion (hazelnut and fake ham stuffed pepper), and proceeds go to support the center. Plus, you get to eat in the dope looking meditation hall. $25 per person, $40 per couple.