Portland, OR – Geraldi’s Italian Eating Place

When the sign on the door says “25 years in business” (and hopefully it isn’t left over from the last guy), well, that’s a pretty good sign.

I’ve been in here before, had an Italian beef ‘hero’ (they called it “Chicago beef”) which was pretty good, as I recall. I didn’t ask them then, or today, if they made the roast in-house or purchased it. It’s not Vienna’s product, which I usually prefer.

Odd tho, when I was here before, I didn’t notice that they served pizza, and probably the reason was last time I was focused on getting a sandwich, or the fact it’s not on their printed menus, and/or, there is a very small sign offering it, and/or, everybody local already knows this. Or some combination of the above.

Somebody has said “you should try Geraldi’s pizza,” so I thought I would spend a leisurely afternoon alone there, munching a pie, reading the paper, at least that was my intent, but my intent was stabbed in the back by a domestic crisis of minuscule proportions.

So I told them to box up the pie for consumption in BurgerDogBoy’s testing lab, er, man cave, so he could eat, pout, smoke, and do the Sunday crossword simulaneously. Multi-tasking, as it were.

I noticed they had a standard two deck gas oven against the back wall (but didn’t notice if it was Blodgett or Baker’s Pride, so I knew what I was approximately in for in the finished product. I ordered sausage, pepperoni, and double cheese, very hard to find a pie place that offers green olives around here, one of my favorite toppings, especially the marinated green Silicians from Roma, the pizza suppliers. (or whomever distributes the standard in this category).

I didn’t watch assembly, so I have no idea if they roll the crusts on the spot, or what the other ingredients shape up like, tho I have a few clues from popping the cherry on the take home box. The sausage was bulk, hand-pulled in chunks, which I always prefer. It has a little kick to it. The pepperoni slices are larger than, say Hormel’s product of pizza, and it has a distinctive pepperoni flavor. No cupping or charring, either, so it’s a lean product. Real cheese produces the “stretch” when you lift a slice from the box, and also assures the toppings stay in place during the “lift.”

The sauce was a bit sweeter than my personal preference, but not enough to put me off the pie. It also could have been cooked a little longer, for my taste, but that was not a distraction either. The crust is neither thin nor thick, has some crisp and char on the edges, but the balance of it is doughy-chewy.

If I lived closer, this would be a regular stop for me, especially if I could persuade them to stock the olives. On Worstpizza.com‘s scale of 1-8 slices, I give Geraldi’s a solid 7. And that says a lot, coming from me!

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