Life of Pie, a new wood-fired pizza shop, just opened up on N Williams, and if you don't have any lunch plans, here's a good reason to give it a whirl: For a limited (and unspecified length of) time, they are offering an extended happy hour from 11 am-6 pm daily, wherein you can get one of their 11" margherita pizzas for $5 (normal price is $10) and $3 draft beer and house wine. That's a tempting enough point of entry for me, but if you need more intel:

It belongs to Jason Kallingal (his former joint was Paccini) and "pizzaiolo" Nick Burger. They have a Naples-originating Stefano Ferrara oven, which is a BFD, and inherited by former pizza-slinging tenant Oro di Napoli. And, the rest of their menu features a small handful each of apps (risotto croquettes, meatballs, cauliflower au gratin, $6-8); salads (7-9); and spaghetti ($6-8, with a gluten free pasta option for two bucks more). Their normally priced pies range from $9-12, with nothing too earth shattering in terms of experimental combos (that's not a criticism, if it ain't broke, etc), with the exception of a pie that combines spicy salami, peppers, goat cheese... and honey.

Portland has some great wood-fired pizza joints, but the more famous ones (Apizza Scholls, Ken's), have prohibitive lines (I heard or read somewhere recently someone saying that Apizza Scholls isn't a restaurant, it's a day trip). I'm loyal to Pyro myself, which seems to dodge the most massive crowds by hiding out in a cart pod, though I think it's on par with its more high-profile competitors. Then there are a lot of in-between places that are good but not usually madhouse—Firehouse, Via Tribunali, etc.

Poised as it is on one of the busiest new commercial corridors—right at the corner of Beech—this could easily go the hyped, crowded route or be a quieter addition to the neighborhood. Five bucks a margherita to find out.

Looks legit.
  • Life of Pie
  • Looks legit.