Jared Rasic: Normally when we're headed into a restaurant to review food for the Chow section, we try as many dishes as possible. It allows us to get a varied sampling of the menu to write about and, selfishly, to have plenty of delicious delectables to mow down upon. At Olde Towne Pizza, however, one large pizza was almost too much for freelancer Russ Axon and myself. Hey Russ, what's your relationship to pizza? You guys close?
Russ Axon: Believe it or not, Jared, the third word I ever spoke was "pizza." In fact, my dream job as a kid—after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle—was pizza connoisseur. You know, that guy or gal who travels the country—nay, the world—feasting on the pies of any and every pizzeria to objectively determine which spot serves the best pizza. (I don't know that it's a real job, but it would be an honor to be the first.)
JR: We'll make it real, Russ. We'll make it real. So, we ordered a pizza called The Old Sow (coincidentally, also my nickname in high school). It was massive, like that shut-in from "Seven" massive, and smelled like a meaty paradise of vegetable-devoid happiness. What did you think, Russ?
RA: It was perfect for a family of four, or two starving Source writers. The entire pizza was packed with ham, Canadian bacon and Italian sausage, with the tastiest pieces piled high in the middle like a veritable Mt. Bachelor of Meat. And the blend was perfect: the texture of the ham gave everything a nice chewiness, while the bacon and sausage hit the ideal levels of savory and spicy, respectively.
JR: The cheese was melted flawlessly over Meat Mountain, USA. It should have been too much, but somehow all the flavor combinations worked. The garlic and seasonings also were present enough to be mouth-watering, but light enough to not overpower the individual meats and cheeses.
RA: I don't know about you, but I didn't taste a whole lot of sauce. There was a subtle sweetness and a tomato-red mantle to each slice, so I know it was there. But it didn't pop like the other ingredients. Which is fine; it was just surprising considering how strong the other elements were. It might be that the sauce was overwhelmed by the micro-slaughterhouse on top of it. We'll probably have to eat there again just to be sure.
JR: In order to properly follow the scientific method we are required to.... Tell me 'bout that crust, yo!
RA: To me, the most important and underrated part of any pizza is the crust. That both literally and metaphorically makes or breaks a slice for me. Olde Towne has a great balance: the bread was thick like a deep dish, but malleable like a thin slice. And I was glad to see you eat your slice the correct way, i.e. the hand fold. If you'd gone for that knife and fork, we couldn't be friends anymore.
JR: If I'd gone for the knife and fork I would already be dead inside.
RA: Duly noted, amigo. Outside of the actual pie, my favorite part, surprisingly, was the wait time. It's nice to know that Olde Towne does call ahead orders for people on the go, but I enjoyed how the chef took time to create our pie. It meant we got a delectably-fresh pizza, and we had time to talk about important things like if Wolverine really could survive a fight against the Hulk, and how badass Bill Paxton is.
JR: As you so wisely pointed out, Bill Paxton is the only person to ever be killed by an Alien, a Predator and a Terminator, so he is very obviously badass. So is Olde Towne. They've been quietly and consistently making the best pizza in town since 2001 and they'll keep doing it for years to come. Pizza is like art: it's relative to the participant, but Olde Towne's Pizza is like love: eternal, elemental and mysteriously delicious.
Olde Town Pizza
118 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend