Pizza Fino

May 17, 2007
Times Visited: 3

I’m excited about Italian food again! Rarely do I desire pasta or pizza, but I visited a new restaurant in my neighborhood – Pizza Fino and the spark was lit again.

We went for a simple pizza and were amazed by all the vegan options. All the vegans items are marked on the menu with a little tomato: marinara pasta, marinaded tempeh sandwich, fake meatball hoggie, a vegan pizza, plus appetizers, another pasta dish, tofu scramble on weekend brunch and much more. They also have a cocktail menu with a good selection of bottled beers and wines (or so I’m told) I was just excited about the Henry’s root beer at a bar!

We ordered their signature vegan pizza that came with a somewhat sweet white bean sauce, some marinated tempeh and our choice of three veggies – sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and spinach. A 12″ Pizza for $14, was that a good deal? Well, it was enough food for 2 people eating an average sized meal. The pizza came out with some rice Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top and very fresh toppings on a crispy crust. I am not normally a fan of thin crust, but this tasted great and held up under the weight of all the veggies.

No wonder Pizza Fino is so vegan friendly, it’s a sister pizza shop to Bella Faccia. In a Willamette Week article the owner, Linda Zumoff, briefly mentions her history making vegan pizzas. No wonder this is so good! I can’t wait to go back.

I went back again for the Tempeh Sandwich. That is one large sandwich for $7, plus is comes with a bowl of soup – all vegan. The sandwich was too big for me to eat in one sitting. I saved it for lunch and it didn’t taste as good the second day. I am disappointed to say that I wasn’t as happy with the sandwich as I wanted to be. It’s called a Tempeh Salad Sandwich – we all know what that means – it’s a variation on a chicken/tuna/tofu salad. Crumbled tempeh with a tofu mayo, mustard, chopped celery and other spices. I was hoping for some slices of marinated tempeh.

The thing I wasn’t too happy with about the salad was that I couldn’t figure out all the flavors. While it tasted good, I just couldn’t wrap my tounge around all the flavors going on. The texture was good with the soft tempeh crumbles, creamy tofu mayo and tiny crunchy bites of celery, a vegetable I am normally happy staying away from. This sandwich is not going to defer me from eating here again by any means. Pizza Fino has some great food and next time I want this sandwich I will bring a dining partner to share the meal.

The Vegan Meatball Sandwich is a huge 4 piece meatball sandwich smothered in marinara on a thick 8″ roll. Not something to eat on a first date – Boy is this a messy sandwich! Seems like the meatballs are created out of a base of gimme-lean type sausage with many more spices and some vegetables. It tastes wonderful warm, but the meatballs can be a bit too squishy when eaten as left overs. Be sure to order this one!

Dinner Salad:
Pizza Fino - Dinner Salad

12″ Vegan Pizza
Pizza Fino - Vegan Pizza

Pizza Fino - Slice

Tempeh Salad Sandwich
Pizza Fino - Sandwich

Midwood Sandwich
Pizza Fino - Midwood

Vegan Meatball Sandwich
Pizza Fino - Meatball 2

Spaghetti with Veggie Meat Balls:
Pizza Fino - Spaghetti

Garlic Knots:
Pizza Fino - Garlic Knots

Pizza Fino - Gnocci

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Address: 8225 N Denver Ave Portland, OR 97217
Hours: Tue-Sun 11am-10pm


9 responses to “Pizza Fino

  1. I think that’s a pretty good deal for a loaded vegan pizza. The only reference I have is the Hammy’s menu on the fridge that says $16 for a 17 inch, and that’s without toppings. I want to go here sometime!

  2. That looks fabulous. I wonder if the pasta or meatball dishes are good… I will have to check that out. I’m glad you’re close to my neighborhood so you can scope out all the hidden gems for me. 😉

  3. My bf and I ate here a week ago. I had the vegan meatball sandwich, and he had spaghetti with vegan meatballs. They are really good. It’s really cool to cut open a meatball and see it full of tons of chucks of carrots. 🙂 I can’t wait to go back and try the pizza.

  4. The pizza looks good! I’m thinking of taking my mom here when she visits in a few weeks. Vancouver, WA is laking a good pizza place with vegan options, so I’m glad Pizza Fino is not that far.

  5. Holy effing crap, this place is great. I cannot believe I didn’t know it was in my neighborhood. I went tonight and had the garlic knots (only $2 during happy hour), a vegan creamy cauliflower soup that was perfectly seasoned (it had a touch of horseradish that gave it an addictive zing) and the very tasty meatball sandwich. The staff were so friendly and attentive (but not intrusive) it was almost disconcerting. I’ve lived in North Portland for 15 years and as we left Pizza Fino I told my partner “we don’t have to have Southeast envy anymore”.

  6. I have to withdraw my glowing praise for Pizza Fino. Putting aside that their new “streamlined” menu eliminates my favorites (Midwood Panini and Tuscan tempeh sandwiches are both gone) but for the second time in a month I was served burnt food. I let it go the first time but tonight I couldn’t ignore that my pizza roll was burned black to the point of being inedible. They did make amends by removing it and an appetizer from our bill but I doubt I’ll be going back. I’ll just have to hope the proposed vegan Italian restaurant comes into being!

  7. Pingback: Episode 5: Year 2 in Review « Stumptown Vegans Podcasts·

  8. I’ve had Pizza Fino 3 times, as I live right around the corner, and I must say that I’ve never been disappointed. The atmosphere is nice, the staff and patrons are extremely friendly and nice, and the Vegan Fino Roll is incredible!
    The Root Beer they serve that’s bottled in Oregon City is pretty tasty as well…

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