Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ken's Artisan Pizza

Portland, OR. Duck for cover from those chilly and rainy autumn nights and head into Ken's; no, not the bakery, though its co-founders are one and the same. Ken's Artisan Pizza is a 'why not' choice - a bread maker having mastered the craft branching into a related dish of dough palatable by many a person? It seems a rather natural fit. Seeking the toasty warmth of a nearby wood-fire oven and the pleasure of a tall stout, this Portland eatery accents a natural craving.

A friend of mine and I wandered in after a day of filling our bellies with all sorts of good and bad. Though quite full, a pizza suggestion (this place winning in our word-of-mouth recs over neighboring franchises) was easily convincing. It was a chilly evening, one of my last to endure on the visit, and seeing the dim light filtering onto the street was as welcoming as I needed to nod my head to a potentially lengthy wait. We sat at a narrow bar, were served up some bread, and absorbed the menu. Unfortunately, the hours are narrow as well, open for five hours in the evening on any given day, further limiting the seats available on those busier nights.

Fennel Sasage Pizza

Fennel Sausage and Onions with hot Calabrian Chiles - came with a thin spread of marinara over an only slightly thicker crust. The edges of the crust were crisp and airy, and chewy when left absent a topping. The sausage was fair, and as suggested by our generous bartender, getting the chiles on the side made better sense for a sensitive mouth. The sausage and grilled onions tamed the heat-packed chiles and the smoky and tang hinted in the crust supported its toppings.

Radicchio Pizza

Radicchio Pizza - was similarly built to the other: thin, crisp, airy crust, thin layer of sauce, thin layer of cheese. I've been accustomed to the bitter taste of radicchio and was pleasantly surprised that in its preparation to its wood-fire roasting, the flavor softened up and rounded out the pizza. My friend is a vegetarian and chose the grilled radicchio, grilled onions, and blue cheese combo as a 'new' alternative she has yet to have on a pizza.

We came, and after our day, we may as well have conquered, for our pizzas somehow disappeared before we even realized. The sizes for personal plates are fine and to share is ideal given the assortment of flavors. It must be warned that these pizzas are thin, and if looking for an overwhelming doughy dine, this will not be the place for such an indulgence. Appetizers and sides exist, but they may become unnecessary when even the restaurant's name suggests the prime eat of fancy.  As a whole the pizza struck a balance that warmed up our tummies in a way that only pizza can.

Ken's Artisan Pizza
304 SE 28th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 517-9951

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