It’s a Beautiful Pizza

Update 2/12/2010 It’s a Beautiful Pizza suddenly closed for business last week.

Date: November 13, 2007
Times Visited: Too Many Too Count

It’s a Beautiful Pizza has a fun name to say and sing. Their creatively named and fresh ingredient topped pizzas are generally beautiful too, as well as their artsy sign and spacious, comfortable location on SE Belmont. I dig that although their double dining room is incredibly large, the lighting and the table layout makes your table space feel intimate. Their two-sided menu asks you to ‘paint your own masterpiece’, aka design your own pizza. The pizza is touted as ‘legendary’, and their aptly named specialty pizzas are named after music legends: Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Ravi Shankar, Jimi Hendrix and just ‘Jerry’. I don’t know about legendary, but the veganized Ravi Shankar featuring their special peanut-tamari sauce, roasted coconut, scallions, shredded carrots, peanuts, tofu and cilantro is quite talked about among my friends.

After a couple unwanted cheddar and nacho soy cheese substitutions on pizzas over a year ago, I recently went back after an extended absence. Perhaps it’s matured, perhaps it’s because I went with a large group of vegans all ordering soy cheeze and keeping the cooks on their game, but the medium pizza with olives, marinara and soy cheese I shared with my partner was alright. Very alright. Not great, and doughier than I’d like, but literally loaded with olives and soy cheese so I felt like I was getting flavor and my money’s worth with all the toppings. The pies was also promptly delivered to our table within 20 minutes.

Although this is not all vegan establishment, the marinara and dough are always vegan. The staff knows what vegan means, and even the fantastically cheap ($1) breadstick deluxe and marinara sauce are vegan. There are typical salads, tofu can be subbed for chicken, and vegan soy cheese can be added to any pizza for the price of adding an extra topping ($1-2, depending on pie size). One can only assume their tasty toppings are local and even organic, as a large pizza with three toppings will exceed $20 bucks.

What’s not beautiful? The crusts and the consistency. I’ve seen Follow Your Heart appear to melt before, but it doesn’t quite happen here. Consistency wise, some of my fellow soy-cheeze-consuming friends remarked that they have had tastier pies there before. I’ve heard talk of vegan single slices, but never actually seen them. The marinara sauce is sometimes really zesty, and sometimes not. The bottom line is that it’s Portland pizza, and it’s vegan with bonus soy cheeze available for dine in or local SE delivery. It’s the only pizzeria in Portland with vegan soy cheeze (Kalga also has soy cheese but it’s not a pizzeria), and it’s located in the adorable, albeit condo-ing up Belmont neighborhood. I usually prefer my pizza soy cheeze-less, but when the mood hits, it’s cool to have the option. It’s a Beautiful Pizza also feature average priced microbrews on tap and live music weekly.

Medium sized pizza with soy cheeze, marinara and olives on half.

seattle coffeefest 006

Rating: 3 out of 5
Address: 3342 SE Belmont Portland, OR
Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday & Saturday 11am-11pm
Delivery available 6pm till closing, $15 minimum, limited area


14 responses to “It’s a Beautiful Pizza

  1. Great to know!! I love the vegan pizza at Mississippi Pizza but it’s comforting to know there’s a soy cheese option in town, and quite close to home too!!

  2. me, maeve and susie had our own slices. you get to pick 3 toppings(soy cheese, or any cheese i believe, is considered a topping). the cheese seemed to melt better on our slices than the whole pizzas i saw at our table. i just loved what the one employee said when a dining companion asked for her soy cheesed pie to heated longer for the cheese to melt more and it came back a little burnt, he said “it’s not going to melt well, it’s not real cheese”….no shit….

  3. I’ll have to give it another try (that picture is making me drool)… I went a few months ago with a group of vegans and they were out of soycheese 😦 but I got a slice with lots of veggies and tofu and it was damn tasty. And the wine by the glass is really cheap.

    This is the only place I’ve heard of here that has soycheese for pizza – can that really be true? Who wants to start a new pizza joint? Anybody? LOL

  4. So they served the three of you single slices? How did that work?

    Megan – That’s right by Karla’s work and she keeps raving about it too – must finally go!

    Chelsea – Start a new pizza shop, please? We’d love to review it~

  5. it’s on the menu(the singles) but it’s kinda hard to figure out. i wouldn’t have known about it except i was ordering with more experienced customers.
    not sure how that works crust wise…like maybe they cook up a plain crust first….but i don’t think that would work….yeah, no idea…

  6. Kalga Cafe also has vegan pizza with soy cheese. I think they’re the only exclusively vegetarian place in region offering it. It’s good, but expensive.

  7. I believe “Flying Pie” has soy cheese too, but I don’t think it’s ‘Follow Your Heart’ and therefore probably has casein or milk protein in it. Their crust is magnificent as well.

  8. I’ve ordered delivery and picked up a few times from here, and I gotta say, for the price the pizza kind of sux. $20 for a large vegan pie is kind of high, its super garlic (and I love garlic, but its too much for me)…

    and number 1! the dude that takes orders is a douche! I’ve called and had him be rude to me twice, once he claimed I was yelling at him when he didn’t understand my address, and the other when i ordered a vegan pie and he immediately asked if i wanted soy cheez. I said yes, and he went into a tirade about how all these vegans call and they want soy cheese but they never say it and you gotta say it if you want it and blah blah blah.. does he think a ‘plain vegan pie’ is gonna be bread + sauce? And give someone a second to order the soy cheese that you think y’all are so special for carrying

    tl;dr: spend your money on a place that treats vegans with respect, ill never order from here again

  9. oh yeah, my paradox cafe boss was just telling me about them closing!
    i suppose i don’t care much since i only went there twice and neither times was my idea. not that the pizza was bad, it just wasn’t, in my opinion, crave-worthy.

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