Oh pizza, how I love thee! Let me count the ways! I don’t know about you, but ever since I was a kid I have been a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur. So when Portland Pedal Power teamed up with Pizza Oasis, the childish connoisseur within had seizures of joy. That’s right folks, you now have the option to have pizza delivery to your door by way of your favorite local bicycle delivery crew!
Pizza Oasis offers a combination of custom pies such as “The Combo from Hell”, “Vegetarian Vortex”, and “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.” For you who are vegan, do not fear for Pizza Oasis has not forgotten you. They also offer vegan pizza including Vegan Italian sausage and a Chorizo pie for the more extreme herbivores out there.
Since 1986, Pizza Oasis has been serving great, hand-tossed pizza in Portlandmade from the finest ingredients available. The dough, the sauces, and even the sausages are made from scratch from age-old recipes.
Ian and Casey bought Pizza Oasis in April of 2011 and believe you me, this couple knows their pizza! Being partners and all we decided to go in and say hey to the lovely couple. Unfortunately Casey was quite a busy pie maker, but we got to steal Ian for a nice chat!
Ian: I basically paid for college by working in a pizza place and making pies. After college I still worked in pizza before moving to Korea and teaching English. When I came back I decided to buy Pizza Oasis. It was a good fit since I had been working with pizza for years before I left.
PPP: What’s your favorite pizza?
Ian: I think the Old Smokey is actually my favorite.
PPP: The Old Smokey?
Ian: Yeah, it’s BBQ chicken with red onion, tomato, and cheddar. We roast our own chicken and make our own BBQ sauce. It’s a really thick BBQ sauce, really tangy.
PPP: What’s the strangest damn thing you’ve ever seen on a pizza?
Ian: Here or anywhere?
Ian: Actually in Korea what they really like to put on pizza is seafood but they do a battered fried shrimp. That’s really popular. You’ll also see things like squid and octopus. They actually have one pizza in this place called “Mr. Pizza” and it was just a little pizza with about four different kinds of pizza on one and it came with four different dipping sauces. One of the dipping sauces that you always got no matter what was unsalted butter.
PPP: Was it good?
PPP: How do you plan to rock 2012?
Ian: Well let’s see, if we make it through 2012, Mayan Calendar set aside… well I mean we just did the floors, which made a significant improvement. I want a new paint job on everything and to spruce it up! I don’t mind being a dive, but I don’t really wanna be “just a dive.”
PPP: You’re more than “just a dive.”
Ian: Yea! Exactly, and we’ve done some stuff like our mural on the wall and the windows. A friend of mine designed the chalk menu. Before it used to just say “All slices made to order” and people just wrote random things on it…
PPP: And now it looks like an Oasis!
Ian: And now it looks like an Oasis.
When we took the place over there were actually like 20 cactuses lining all the windows and they were dead, basically petrified. Now we actually have someone in the area that comes in and takes care of the ones we kept. She waters them, uses coffee grounds, the whole nine yards. Oh, and she helped start our Open Mic night on Monday nights! We have one of those now! It’s actually doing pretty well. We have musicians come in, people that do poetry, and a couple guys that read stories. We have this one guy named Harry and we didn’t know he played anything and then he just came in one day and started playing and had this booming voice and we were like “Holy Crap! I did not know that about you!”
PPP: Rock on Harry. So how about changes on the menu?
Ian: Yea, we’ll be changing the Pizza Oasis menu up so that it’s a little easier to read. Right now it’s not really divided up for omnivores, vegetarian, vegan, or anything like that so we’re gonna section it out so it’s a little easier to read. We’ll have a vertical layout with the starters, salads, whole pies, and calzones. We have set calzones, but we also have the “make your own,” we just don’t really advertise that. Really any of these pies can be made into a calzone.
PPP: So do you ride?
Ian: Yea, actually I did the STP (Seattle to Portland bike ride) last year. I may not look like it but I’m actually a good rider. I did the two day last year, but plan on doing the one day this year. I’m trying to get Casey to do it, but she’s more of a runner. I wanna do the Portland Marathon this year and in 5 years I really want to try and do the Hawaii Iron man competition. I know I can do the bike, I don’t know if I can run it yet, and I’m pretty sure I can swim it! I think it’s like a 10-mile swim and I’m not really a fast swimmer, but I can swim for a very long time.
PPP: Gahh, long swims freak me out, especially in lakes and anywhere I don’t know what’s underneath me.
Ian: Oh yea, that’s freaky. The whole idea freaks me out.
PPP: So what do you ride?
Ian: An ’84 LeMans Centurion. It’s technically considered a mid-range multi-purpose bike.
PPP: Nice! So before we go, what tells the story of this place?
Ian: Pizza Oasis is your old school Portland vibe.
PPP: Any last remarks?
Ian: I couldn’t do it without my wife Casey. She’s the backbone and does the work. I’m just the showman.