Going Mobile: Recession Pies takes brick-oven pizza on the road | Chow | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Food & Drink » Chow

Going Mobile: Recession Pies takes brick-oven pizza on the road

a piece of the action.I have a heartfelt sympathy for young people starting out in these challenging times. I too was thrown into the work

by

comment

a piece of the action.I have a heartfelt sympathy for young people starting out in these challenging times. I too was thrown into the work world during a recession and know the frustration of limited opportunities and chronic underemployment. Of course, I handled it the old fashioned way-the Gen-X, pre-Internet-boom way-and without hesitation or any honest attempt at alternative ideas, moved back home with my mom, wrangled up some temp work for which I was highly overqualified yet performed with total incompetence and took the LSAT, the GRE and a two-week stint in bartending school over the course of my lengthy search for direction. Not so with Alex Mackay, Tim Colla and Rachel Marcus. Life handed them lemons, and they made...pizza.

Alex, who was scraping by in Brooklyn, and his childhood friend Tim and girlfriend Rachel in San Francisco decided to take matters into their own hands. All in their mid-20s with no business or professional cooking experience, they came up with the concept of a vending cart complete with a high-temperature oven, a prep area and refrigeration space. They had their design built in California, chose Bend as their location and set up shop. Recession Pies opened for business downtown in early March. Ah, kids today.


After researching recipes and cooking techniques, they initially envisioned offering a variety of items based around pastry dough as well as thin-crust pizza. Now, with a little over three months of trial and error under their belts, they've decided to focus on pizza. They also imagined that it would be most lucrative to stake out a regular downtown corner and use the traditional street vendor model, but they're now exploring other opportunities including festivals and events, private parties and their latest success, Monday nights at the Riverside Market. The original goal was also that the business would generate enough income to support the three of them, but, alas, they have all taken part-time jobs to supplement. Yet they still see big potential. It's a constant learning experience, according to Alex, and they seem to be paying close attention to the lessons learned.

It certainly shows in the pizza. The oven only fits one large pizza at a time but at 700 degrees Fahrenheit cooks it in 90 seconds, so every pie you get is prepared for you personally and served fresh out of the oven. The crust is very thin and always crispy around the edges, but you may want to ask for it even crispier, particularly when loading it with toppings, so it's firm in the center. You can get pretty much any combination of ingredients they have in their coffers, but favorites from the menu include Redmond Smokehouse pepperoni and roasted garlic ($8), Redmond Smokehouse turkey sausage with onions and mushrooms ($9) and cheese with roasted garlic and fresh basil ($6). Smaller, personal-sized pizzas ($3.50-$5) are also available and the most popular item when the cart is parked on Bond Street and Oregon Avenue for hungry Friday and Saturday night revelers.

Riverside Market Mondays has proven to be a great fit and one of their favorite gigs. With an almost circus atmosphere-there was a masseuse stationed out front working for nothing but tips and a gaggle of drunken men with guitars last week-and a rotating crowd of both Riverside regulars and Recession Pies fans filling the outdoor tables, it may be the most entertaining spot in town to enjoy hot pizza and cold beer on a summer day, all for recession-level prices. Also look out for Recession Pies at Bite of Bend this weekend, as well as events throughout the year.

Recession Pies
Mon. 5-9 p.m. at Riverside Market, 285 NW Riverside Blvd.; Fri.-Sat. 10:30 p.m.-close at Bond St. and Oregon Ave.; e-mail bendpiecart@gmail.com for info on participation in events and private catering.

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Alice Finer

  • Repeat Offender: Central Oregon's bad-boy Top Chef defends his title

    Kokanee Cafe's Roscoe Roberson takes home the top honors again at this Bite of Bend
    • Jun 30, 2010
  • Little Bites: Repeat Offender: Central Oregon's bad-boy Top Chef defends his title

    Another Top Chef Competition at Bite of Bend has come and gone, leaving delicious memories in its wake (and for us judges the residual heartburn and sunburn that go along with them!).
    • Jun 30, 2010
  • Après Ski Pub Crawl! - Eat and drink your way down the mountain for a song

    There are pros and cons to situating a ski resort on National Forest land, but one of the biggest cons for Mt. Bachelor - that last call for food and alcohol coincides with the last chair at around 4 p.m. - can also be a huge pro. Since après ski up top lasts only a few minutes, local businesses all the way down the mountain and into town roll out some excellent happy hour options to lure in passers-by looking for post-play refreshments. Whether you're a vacationer or a local, a hungry winter sportsman or simply a bargain hunting day-drinker looking for a deal, there's après ski merriment to be found around every corner. Set yourself up with an appetite and a designated driver and embark on your very own après pub-crawl down the hill - a must for any winter in Bend. Here's one possible route, in geographical order:
    • Dec 30, 2009
  • More »