Back in the day, Eddie’s Ma and Pa owned traditional Italian delis and restaurants throughout Northern Illinois and Southeast Wisconsin. Not a fan of frigid Midwestern winters, Eddie made his way west from Chicago in 1991 and opened his first Portland venture in the atrium building at Skidmore Fountain Market. Skeptical of the west coast pies he found about town, Eddie introduced hungry market-goers to Chicago thin crust pizza. Twenty years and four locations later (including a short stint as a food cart), Eddie’s on N. Killingsworth has now been a beloved corner-fixture of the Overlook neighborhood for seven years.
Butcher, Baker, Flat Iron Pizza Maker: Eddie didn’t miss a detail in his quest to match the flavor and authenticity of an Italian American upbringing. Windy City curiosities pepper the menu, including Mostaccioli (don’t let him catch you calling it penne), Italian beef, fresh ricotta, and flat iron toppings like green olives, breaded eggplant, and house-cured Canadian bacon (recipe compliments of his Pa, a butcher). This über thin-crust pizza is the yin to Chicago’s deep-dish yang: Midwesterners fondly call its smashed (not stretched!) gluten “cracker-crust,” which Eddie bakes to crispy perfection on steel oven plates. His pies are even served divided into “tavern cut” squares—the Chicago workingman’s solution to a beer in one hand, slice of pizza in the other.
A trained baker since 18, Eddie himself bakes the bread that morphs into their famous oven-baked sandwiches, pinwheels and kale rolls, garlic bread, pizza crust, and hamburger buns. Not in the mood for pizza? Eddie’s expanded menu has offerings to satisfy the entire family. Don’t miss the Old Fashioned Burgers, crafted with locally-sourced, all natural St. Helens beef, and an array of homemade soups, salads, sandwiches and fresh-baked desserts (coconut cream pie, anyone?).
But who are we kidding? The highlight of this gem is the pizza, which Eddie has perfected by tirelessly sourcing the freshest ingredients to replicate the tastes he grew up with: Italian sausage and marinara from Chicago, mozzarella direct from upstate New York. Trust us, the bright tomatoey zing of Eddie’s house sauces isn’t like anything you’ve ever tasted. Unless, of course, you’re also a Midwest transplant—in which case, your first bite will be just like coming home.