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.
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