Tag: Pizza

Restaurant Review: P.R.E.A.M.

Restaurant Review: P.R.E.A.M. | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Review: P.R.E.A.M. | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Review: P.R.E.A.M. | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Review: P.R.E.A.M. | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Restaurant Review: P.R.E.A.M. | Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Pizza is near and dear to my heart (ok, tastebuds). I love that it can be fancy, it can be casual, it can be greasy, cheesy, covered in classic ingredients, or ingredients that you’ve never seen on a pizza before. In Portland, there are an insane amount of pizza places (or places you can get pizza), many of which are really delicious. When we decide we want pizza for dinner, we still have a decision to make. Do we want neapolitan, slightly soggy in the middle from Firehouse? Do we want slighty classed-up parlor-style from Apizza Scholls? Do we want slab pizza from Roman Candle? Do we want slightly adventurous, mix between neapolitan and pizza parlor but always delicious Oven & Shaker? The list goes on.

Up at Ned Ludd, they do this thing on Mondays. You see, Ned Ludd uses a wood-fired oven to cook all their food, but they don’t make pizza. So on Monday nights, pizza it is. P.R.E.A.M. (standing for Pizza Rules Everything Around Me) used to be the regular pop up in the spot, but then got big enough that they decided to open their own restaurant. Pizza socials still happen on Monday nights at Ned Ludd, with great Portland chefs coming in to design their own specialty pies.

I had never been to P.R.E.A.M. I wanted to go, but Monday nights were tricky, and I never could squeeze in a pizza dinner. But oh how I wanted to. I had heard great things. So as soon as I heard they were opening their own spot, I knew I needed to go. And now, having been twice, I figure it’s time to tell you about it.

First of all, they were bumping all my favorite 90s and early aughts hip hop and rap hits. You know, some Destiny’s Child, Ludacris, Ja Rule. Just really nailing it. Second, there’s a quote from Francis Mallman at the bottom of the menu. If you haven’t been watching Chef’s Table on Netflix, do it. But maybe just skip to the episode about Francis Mellman. The guy is quite a character, and cooks some of the most beautiful, rustic looking food I’ve ever seen. His love and knowledge of fire and cooking over it, in it, and with it was jaw dropping. Moving right along though – the menu is divided into Intro, Hook, Chorus, Verse, and Outro. Think appetizers, sides, pizzas, salads, and desserts. The staff was a great resource when picking dishes, which I always appreciate. Aside from that though, they seem a little green: not offering alternatives when they were out of something, and not always being on the same page regarding which server was helping us at certain points during the meal.

Let’s talk beverages. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember the name of the cocktail I got the first time – it was nearly three months ago. Plus I can’t find the drink menu online. But I will say this: it was good. It was a hot day, and my beverage hit all the right notes: fruity and refreshing while still being boozy and not overly sweet. The second trip, I got a mix between a shandy and a shrub, which was good. But be warned, on my second visit they were out of many of their beers, both on tap and bottled.

Our first time there, Jonah and I tried the escarole salad with smoked buttermilk dressing and chicken skin, which was awesome. I love crispy chicken skin, an they didn’t skimp. The dressing was creamy, but not heavy, which is a delicate balance. The second time we went with friends, we ate the summer squash with za’atar, sumac, and olive oil, which was a great, light dish. We also tried the black garlic knots in puttanesca which were tasty, but I wished there had been more black garlic in them.

Let’s get to the pizzas. These are some of the cheesiest, meltiest pizzas I can remember having, and the crust is rocking. Perfectly chewy and charred and brushed with what seems like a garlic oil. Rarely do I enjoy eating the crust as much as I do the cheesy, topping-laden part of the pizza, but this was different. In my two visits I’ve tried three pies: the fennel sausage pizza (so. much. cheese.) with lightly dressed arugula on top, plus a spicy sriracha like sauce the ‘Nduja with chicories and marinated peppers, and the tomato leaf with basil, and caramelized onion. The favorite for me is a tossup between the tomato leaf and the fennel sausage. Totally different, but both great. And the menu is changing all the time, so who knows what they’ll have next time I go.

The dessert I had there on my first trip was an olive oil cake on mascarpone cream, topped with green granita made of parsely and cilantro (nice and savory/salty), topped with marinated strawberries. Yes, the granita might sound weird, but it was a perfect salty and savory addition to what otherwise could’ve been an overly sweet dish. Plus it cooled the whole dessert down on a hot day. It was an awesome end to the meal – unexpected, playful, and refreshing.

Would I go back to P.R.E.A.M.? Absolutely. Especially if I’m in the mood for fun, nostalgic music, a good drink, and some cheesy, creative pizza.

Weekend Finds 6:29:14

Dang. It’s almost July. I apologize for my absence of late. Things have been a little busy lately, and Jonah hasn’t been here to cook me dinner, so I haven’t had as much time for writing and recipe researching as I’d like. Yesterday I was able to hit up the Organic Beer Festival here in Portland, and it was lovely, despite the clouds. Here are the weekend finds.

1. Bicycle Pizza Slicer

Fixie Bike Pizza Cutter // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
For the biking, cooking hipster in your life.

I found this pizza cutter via Food Republic, and it immediately made me think of Jonah (who makes pizzas and rides bikes). I think it would make an adorable little gift. You can find it for sale on this website. I also like their salami sticky notes.

2. How to cut a cake. Better.

Cut Cake Better // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
The new and improved cake cutting technique.

This video has been circling the internet (at least, in my food-centric newsfeeds). It’s pretty great, and teaches us a new, much more sensible way to cut a cake. Keep that pastry fresh and moist longer.

3. Pancake in a rice cooker…?

Rice Cooker Pancake // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Don’t you want to punch a hole in this pancake? I do.

Jonah discovered this method for making basically a large, thick pancake in your rice cooker. I’m not sure I believe that it will work, but I’m willing to give it a shot. Because how hilarious does that thing look?

4. Green Rice Salad with Corn and Nectarines

Green Rice Salad from Not Without Salt // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
I love the bright colors in this salad from Not Without Salt.

I’ll be honest, as far as summer salads go, this one from Not Without Salt has officially skyrocketed to the top of my list. Rice with cilantro, parsley, and jalapeño, topped with nectarines, grilled corn, and queso fresco? This is going on my July 4th menu.

5. Car Trunk Organizers

Trunk Organizer // Weekend Finds on Serious Crust
Trunk organizers even come in pretty patterns like this, with a cooler in the middle.

You know that feeling when you go to the grocery store, grab a 6 pack of beer, a bag of apples, maybe some chips, etc. You pack it all into the car and as you’re pulling out of the parking lot, you hear the sound. The sound of your apples falling onto your chips, crushing every one of them, the apples roll out into your trunk, and the beer bottles tip over out of their little cardboard case, and then spend the next 10 minutes clinking around in your trunk, no doubt bruising some apples. There is a thing that can stop all of that from happening. Read all about it here.

Weekend Finds 3:22:14: Seattle Favorites

I write about Seattle all of the time, because it’s where I’m from and I go visit my family an awful lot because, you know, I love them. You can find bits and pieces throughout this blog of things I’ve done when I’m there, or things I like to do, but I thought it might be nice to compile them all in one place. Now, you can’t go watch movies at my mom’s or cook dinner at my dad’s, but you can partake in some of my other favorite places. Scroll down to see some of my favorite things to do and eat and drink.

Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerWeekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler


Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerWeekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Eating & Drinking


Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerWeekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler


Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerWeekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler


  • The Blind Pig for a very creative meal. If you can swing it, I recommend doing a tasting menu and trying every dish on the board.
  • Bar Sajor for another beautiful meal. Definitely try the smoked yogurt!
  • Joule
  • Revel
  • The Whale Wins
  • Artusi
  • Delancey for quite possibly the best pizza in town.
  • The Walrus and the Carpenter for an oyster bar meal. But it has oh so much more – The Walrus and the Carpenter made Bon Appetit’s top restaurants in the country last year.
  • Rainier BBQ for a crazy good, authentic korean barbeque.
  • Bake’s Place is in Bellevue, technically, but they always have great bands playing, and the food is pretty darn good too.
  • La Bête

Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler


  • Canon for an incredible dealer’s choice cocktail.
  • Liberty for an awesome liquor and cocktail and really unique cocktails. The Seattle Sour is one of my favorites. If you get a chance, sit at the bar so you can watch the bartenders work their magic, and ask them questions. If you get hungry, you can order some sushi.
  • Knee High Stocking Company for the speakeasy feel – you have to text to make a reservation, and ring a doorbell to get in.
  • Essex
  • Rachel’s Ginger Beer for some amazing ginger beer, which they use to make awesome cocktails, including possibly the best hot toddy I’ve ever had.

Weekend Finds: Seattle Edition // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Restaurant Review: Oven & Shaker

Last week, Jonah and I went to see Alabama Shakes (and some other great bands) on the waterfront. The concert was part of the Rose Festival, and I bought tickets for Jonah as an anniversary present. It was on Sunday night, started at 5:30, and probably went till 10:30, though we left at 9:45 (we were hungry and also weren’t crazy about the last band). Finding a place to eat at 10 p.m. on a Sunday night was not the easiest, but after a little hunting on my phone, I found that Oven & Shaker, a very hip pizza place in the Pearl, was still open. Not only were they open, but it was happy hour, my favorite. Now, the ampersand – & – is a thing in Portland. All these hip places have two words with an ampersand between for the title: Beaker & Flask, Salt & Straw, Oven & Shaker. Is it bad that I had previously judged this place because of the ampersand? Probably. But hey, I wanted to try it anyway.

Oven & Shaker
Kyle making pizza in the wood oven.

So after the concert, we found a parking spot right out front (score!) and headed inside. We were immediately seated at the chef’s counter (our choice) so we could watch them make pizzas and, my favorite part, be warmed by the giant wood oven. We were greeted by a little blond hipster who was flinging dough around and asked us if we had ever been before. After hearing we hadn’t, he gave us a spiel about traditional cooking style with local ingredients bla bla bla…the same as most portland restaurants. He then left and another guy (whose name I later learned was Kyle) took over his station on the line. Now this guy, I liked: he seemed down to earth, asked how our weekend had been, chatted about the concert we had just been to, and said to ask if we had any questions or wanted to try anything. I like that.

We ordered drinks, the Nostrana salad (radicchio, parmigiano, rosemary-sage croutons, Caesar style dressing), and the goat cheese pizza (goat cheese, leeks, chives, basil, and speck). What’s speck, you ask? So did we. Kyle told us that speck is like prosciutto, except it has been smoked before being cured. While we waited for our food, we overheard some great conversations amongst the staff. My particular favorite was the bartender telling Kyle about the “margarita popcorn” he had made: tequila butter, lime juice, and salt-tossed popcorn. Kyle asked if it was a “Clyde Common popcorn” which I found entertaining. (Clyde Common is another very hip restaurant downtown that has fancy popcorn – think pimenton or truffle – as an appetizer.) We also overheard a conversation about a chitlin dish they were planning for the menu the next week.

Oven & Shaker
A slice of our goat cheese pizza (with a bite missing).

Anyway, after a short wait, our salad came, and man was it delicious. The raddichio wasn’t too bitter, the salad was perfectly dressed, and the croutons were deliciously flavored and crunchy. Yum! Then came the pizza. The crust was up there with Ken’s (another famously delicious pizza place in Portland), and the toppings were delicious. Ours didn’t have sauce on it (tomato or other), but the leeks, goat cheese, and ample olive oil that had been sprinkled on kept it from seeming dry. The speck was delicious. And the goat cheese was SO GOOD. Perfectly creamy and melty. I really liked this pizza a lot. We finished the whole thing. Not too shabby. As we were finishing our pizza, Kyle brought us a small plate of the chitlins we had heard them discussing earlier! Made from the prosciutto skin (instead of the pig intestine as they’re usually made), soaked for 12 hours, and then fried and sprinkled with lime zest and some other seasonings, he explained that this was the latest incarnation the chef had made and asked us our thoughts. I’ve never had chitlins before, and I’m not sure I would ever order them at a restaurant, but these were pretty good! We finished our chitlins and our pizza, thanked Kyle for a lovely meal, and headed home, perfectly full and content.