Handsome Pizza

BY DAY: It’s Seastar Bakery, baker and purveyor of fancy toasts and baked goods with interesting flours and ingredients.

BY NIGHT: It’s Handsome Pizza, purveyor of wood-fired pizza. (And any pastries that happen to be leftover from the morning.)

By day/by night can be a tricky prospect to manage in the restaurant world; people think of a place as a coffee place or a bar, not both. But with the separate names and concepts, it’s easy for the old brain to enjoy Seastar’s bright and light space for an extended work session with the laptop in the morning, and then drop in in the evening for Handsome Pizza with the family.

So that’s what we did the other night.

Our go-to pizza is a simple mushroom and olive, but we decided to ride with the vegetarian special: the Nellie McAdams, with mozzarella, ricotta, arugula, capers, lemon, and garlic.

Handsome Pizza in Portland, Oregon | vegetarianPDX

Some part of me, when I order a pizza like this, regrets the lack of tomato sauce that a “real” pizza has.  I know, how pedestrian of that part. I can’t help it! I grew up eating the best of Beaverton’s Godfather’s and Roundtable pizza, and pretending to play video games because our parents never gave us quarters. (To be fair, we could have used our $1/week allowance, but I liked to save mine.)

The rest of me liked this pizza.

The toppings made for a lovely balance. When the ricotta threatened to make things a bit flat, the caper would some in with a briny punch. When the arugula seemed a bit grassy, in came the lemon.

The crust was blistered in spots, especially around the edges, but floppy enough that the first few bites were two-handers. And it had a distinctly sour tang — it was almost too sour for the delicate toppings. I noticed it even more the next day at 10pm, eating the last slice cold.

Yep, we had leftovers; We took home three of the eight big slices. So though our meal was about $38 before tip (roasted veggies, large pizza, and a beer), we got two meals out of it.

Roasted leeks and rutabaga at Handsome Pizza in Portland, Oregon | vegetarianPDX

The seasonal veggie was roasted rutabaga and leeks in brown butter with mustard and Calabrian chile. It was very tasty, but how much rutabaga can one really eat in a sitting? If you have any ideas for how to use two-day-old roasted rutabaga, please let me know. But keep an eye out for seasonal salads; they seem to know what they’re doing with vegetables here.

Specials board at Handsome Pizza in Portland, Oregon | vegetarianPDX

If none of the pizzas on the menu board interest you, build your own with the usual suspects (garlic, onion, hot pepper, etc.) or less common toppings like za’atar, shallot, salsa verde, or… kale. Hey, it could be good!

Pizzas come in small or large. Small is close to personal size, and large could probably feed four reasonable people.

Eat in, or order pick up, or do as the neighbors seem to do, and order takeout. There were plenty of boxes flying out the door on our visit.

1603 NE Killingsworth St.


Have you been to Handsome Pizza? Did you go for a classic pie or something a little out there?