Restaurant Review: Oasis Cafe Pizza

We are really excited because we found a great place to have pizza that’s not all the way down in Sellwood (sorry, Picazzo’s)

The Oasis Cafe is on SE Hawthorne in Portland Oregon, just down the block from Powell’s, and across the street from the Bagdad theater. I love and hate this slice of Hawthorne. Love because of Powell’s and because there’s good people-watching and bustle and it’s groovy. Hate because it reminds me of the Haight in San Francisco.

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Two things become very clear after you’ve spent a couple of minutes in the Oasis Cafe. One: You are in a pizza joint. Two: They are doing brisk business. There are people going in and out. Most people are getting slices and leaving. Like most pizza joints, the place isn’t insanely clean but you’d have to be pretty uptight to be offended by their level of cleanliness. The music is abrasive. There might be a screaming kid in the booth next to yours. There are pinball machines, and you can sit at a bar that faces the windows and watch people go by (and stuff your face.)

They serve beer, salads, sandwiches, and pizza. They also have some cakes, which we saw a bunch of people order so they must be OK. Did I mention that the people watching was good?

Now two bad things: We were told the pizza was going to take 25 minutes and it took 35. And the gluten-free pizza is available in 12″ size only and it’s $4.50 more than the regular pizzas.

One not bad but not real good either thing: The caesar salad is only OK.

Some other good news: A phone call to the Oasis revealed that they do their best to avoid getting wheat flour on the gluten-free crusts. They get the crusts packaged and take steps to keep from contaminating them. (This contrasts with a phone call we made to a different place we won’t name where the person who answered the phone said “If you’re really allergic to wheat you shouldn’t eat here because there is flour on everything.”)

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The awesome news: The pizza we got was awesome. We got the Oasis, which is mozzarella, feta cheese, garlic, tomato sauce, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach. The sauce was flavorful. The garlic was chunky. The crust was thin and crunchy. The Oasis uses the Nugrain Foods pizza dough which a lot of other pizza places in Portland Oregon have adopted. We are happy to report that the Oasis pizza crust was great. We both actually feel that the crust at Picazzo’s would be better if they cooked it more, but the crust at Oasis was just right.

If we were just rating the pizza we had, we would give the Oasis a 5 out of 5. But when you add on the various annoyances, the too-long wait, and the expense, we had to dock them a point.

We want to know: Have you been to the Oasis? Do you have a favorite gluten-free-friendly pizza place in Portland? Have you had a similar experience? Let us know!

Times we have visited: 1 (So your experience may vary.)
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Add $4.50

Oasis Cafe
www.oasispizza.com
3701 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, Oregon 97214 / 503.231.0901

Comments

  1. I love this blog! Thanks for trying all these places out for the rest of us in Portland!

  2. Pizza is an item I miss oh-so-much. Thanks to this blog, I discovered that Bellagio’s does gluten-free pizza. The company I work for orders Bellagio’s regularly for lunch meetings, and both myself and another co-worker who is gluten intolerant had been sitting there, eating our packed lunches, and drooling over the pizza for quite a while until we made this discovery. She is really sensitive to gluten, so she dropped an email to the company asking how they deal with cross-contamination issues, and got back an AMAZING email from one of the higher-ups that they had researched celiac’s for months before offering GF pizza. They only use rice flour in the kitchen, have one person who is dedicated to making GF pizzas, keep GF mozzerella separate from regular, etc. Even after having sat in the box for at least 30 minutes, the pizza we now get regularly is fairly good (the crust is a little bland, but at least it’s fairly pizza-y), but it’s good to know that they are so aware of/concerned with cross-contamination issues.

  3. Glad to hear you’ve sound such a great and yummy sounding gluten free pizza place!

    Feeling like a normal customer is a luxury for us celiacs, but its absolutely great when it happens, right? :)

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Natasha, and thanks for the link.

    I keep hearing about Bellagio’s and it’s good to hear that they’re taking steps to prevent contamination. Thanks for letting everybody know, Andrea.

    Thanks for coming by, Dana. I still haven’t had a chance to try the Chinese New Year Cake recipe you posted, but I’ll let you know when I do!

    -Dave

  5. I’ve had Oasis’s g-f pizza, and I enjoyed it. I think I prefer Picazzo’s less-chewy crust, but Oasis’s location is a plus for me.

    People might want to call ahead, though: The first time we tried to order at Oasis, they were out of g-f dough. Very disappointing.

  6. Hi Dave!

    Thanks so much again for writing these reviews– they really help.

    Ee went to Picazzo’s over the weekend and I was really happy with the whole experience. The space is pretty charming (as opposed to Oasis) and the gorgonzola and pear salad they served was incredible. We had the sausage and peppers pizza and it was very good– but as you have already mentioned, they just need to bake the crust longer. I also really enjoyed the Bard’s ale that they served and was able to find some at Whole Foods in the Pearl.

    I will try Oasis next time I am in the neighborhood!

  7. I have tried the GF pizza at Oasis. I found that the crust is very good but the ingredients they use often make the whole pizza soggy. Other people I’ve polled who ate the regular crust agree that everything comes out soggy sometimes. I was impressed with the texture of their crust (in the non-soggy parts). It seems like they may use a hand-tossing technique. It was a lot lighter and fluffier than other GF pizzas in town. I agree about the hectic atmosphere, but I guess that’s what you get on Hawthorne!

  8. I tried Oasis pizza. I was not to happy with it. They burnt the pizza but we ate it anyways because we were so hungry. Excpet the burnt and soggy parts in the middle. A 12 inche pizza should not cost 23 dollars. That I found kind of ridiculous. I did mention that the pizza was burnt after we ravenously ate it and we got a new one. So that was good, although they seemed really rude about having to give us a new one.

  9. Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience. We definitely feel like the place is a genuine pizza joint and as such the service lags a little, and yeah, the pizza is expensive when you compare it to a Domino’s pizza or something. We think it’s worth it though!

  10. Hello all,
    My husband and I have gotten the gluten free pizzas here a few times over the last year or so that they have carried them, and although there seemed to be a learning curve as far as cooking the pizzas goes, the last few times we have ordered they have come out really well! We did get a pretty burnt crust once when we first went in there, but the (very busy) kitchen staff tried to offer us another one, which was pretty gracious. We have finally figured out that less is more with these pizzas, and leaving off potentially soggy ingredients like mushrooms and tomatoes is best, though I think they offer the option of fresh tomatoes added after cooking… maybe not. My brain tends to get a little fuzzy in the early hours. At any rate, even my husband (who is fine with wheat) has grown to love the GF pizza here, which is saying something!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Oasis Cafe Pizza on SE Hawthorene is a great source for gluten free pizza. Read this review or this report from an enthusiastic [...]

  2. [...] are some more gluten-free pizza reviews: Restaurant Review: Virgo and Pisces Restaurant Review: Oasis Cafe Pizza Restaurant Review: Picazzo’s Gourmet Pizza Restaurant Review: Mississippi Pizza [...]

  3. [...] The Oasis Cafe is on SE Hawthorne in Portland Oregon, just down the block from Powell’s, and across the street from the Bagdad theater. I love and hate this slice of Hawthorne. Love because of Powell’s and because there’s good people-watching and bustle and it’s groovy. Hate because it reminds me of the Haight in San Francisco. Gluten Free Portland – Read More> [...]

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