An unpretentious pizza joint off SE Powell complete with a flatscreen tv and plenty of movie memorabilia, Rudy’s pulls off what most other Portland pizza places can’t. As soon as I walked in, I had flashbacks of being in Kustom Pizza Co., and might have walked out immediately if not for the friendly lady behind the counter, who greeted us warmly before asking for our IDs (a 21+ ‘za shop!). I soon realized that the posters on the walls were in no way creepy like at Kustom Pizza Co., where the decorations are in such wild juxtaposition that one forgets he’s eating in an official eating establishment and instead fancies himself a visitor of a rather gay funhouse.
As for the ‘za, it’s American Dream without the crackery, intolerable crust (read: much better). Tons of cheese cooked to a slight scorch thrown onto a thick, chewy crust. As a result, you get a great slice of ‘za but its sauce suffers, serving only to provide a respectable barrier between crust and cheese.
Though I do like the way the cheese is cooked, I can’t say any distinct flavors in it popped out at me. Thankfully, though, it doesn’t take on that rubbery quality like so many cheeses sitting atop ‘zas of this nature seem to possess. And while I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to taste any zing in the sauce, I am grateful that they didn’t plop a bunch on, which would’ve made this ‘za a mess to handle. As is, I’m happy with the proportions but am interested to see how Rudy’s develops a way to give their sauce its own voice in a world dominated by cheese and crust.
Other pluses include free bottled water when you eat in the shop, packets of very potent red pepper when you get it delivered, and a super friendly staff (extremely pleasant delivery guy).
Definitely give this shop a visit if you’re in the area.
|4716 SE Powell (map)|