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Portland's Life of Pie: Wood-fired pizza at its best

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There's something new on the corner of North Williams and Beech in Portland, Oregon. Life of Pie is a warm and welcoming new restaurant with wood-fired pizza and much more.

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Life of Pie, the creation of former Paccini's owner Jason Kallingal, serves pizzas fired in their custom Ferrara oven, uses locally sourced ingredients for a fresh take on salads and toppings, and does as much in-house as possible. Sausage is mixed and seasoned in-house, mozarella is freshly made and greens are garden-fresh.

Kallingal, originally from Guam, takes pride in the restaurant's decor and actually lives in the contemporary multi-use building. He has used wood grain throughout, adding a warmth to the otherwise industrial decor. The walls are decorated with vintage pizza peels (paddles), all wood.

The evening we were there we started with a glass of house wine (excellent) paired with an arancini, risotto croquette with ricotta and mozarella served over a light marinara sauce. A great companion for the arancini was the crunchy kale and arugula salad with honey lemon vinaigrette. As we enjoyed this combination we thought this would make a great lunch choice.

But of course we had to try the wood-fired pizza. The Life of Pie website devotes an entire page to this custom made oven. My favorite, by far, was the zesty fennel sausage pizza with those reasonably hot delights, Mama Lil's peppers. Those who wanted something more mild, raved about the seasonal mushroom pizza with shaved pecorino romano cheese and truffle oil. And the crust.... perfection! It is a light crust with a raised edge. When hot out of the oven, these pies are fantastic!

The prices are reasonable and Life of Pie is open for lunch. Commuters traveling down North Williams might do well to stop and enjoy an appetizer or dinner before heading back out into the fray.

Right now is an amazingly good time to head to Life of Pie. To introduce the eatery to the neighborhood Life of Pie is offering an extended Happy Hour pricing featuring $5 Pizza Margheritas paired with $3 beer and wine. That means there is every reason for devoting at least one meal-time to trying Life of Pie.

Address: 3632 N Williams Ave., Portland, OR 97227

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Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary meal for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

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