News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Pizza town

Pizza is the ultimate take-out food, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that Cibelli’s Pizza has opened in Sisters — the newest of their six locations — no fewer than six establishments in town feature pizza on their menus. Three are primarily pizza, with little else: Cibelli’s Pizza; Martolli’s Authentic Hand-Tossed Pizza (under new owners Jennifer and Kelly Brock); and Boone Dog Pizza, the only wood-fired-oven pizza maker in Sisters — even more impressive is that they are mobile, cooking on wheels.

At Hop & Brew, hand-tossed pizza is one half the menu. Takoda’s and Three Creeks Brewing Co. have a wide selection of pizza as a portion of their larger menu, at least six varieties in multiple sizes cooked to order. Only Martolli’s delivers and only after 4 p.m. Neither Uber Eats nor Door Dash have delivery service in the 97759 ZIP code as of yet. Martolli’s also offers pizza by the slice and a half-baked option where you finish the pie in a home oven for peak freshness.

Last year, U.S. consumers spent a whopping $46.24 billion on pizza dining according to Statista. Of that a third is takeout. Sisters has a tiny slice of the 78,000 pizza establishments in the U.S., who employ 837,000 persons.

Pizza is a very personal thing and highly subjective. Pizzas have “styles” – New York, Chicago, Neapolitan, Sicilian, Roman, Greek, and more. But find two New Yorkers – if you can in Sisters — and you won’t likely get agreement on what real New York pizza is. Arguing the merits of pizza is as American as baseball or as Italian as the Vatican.

Shape and crust thickness do not determine style. Each Sisters pizza shop makes one shape — round — and one thickness: roughly 1/8-inch for their particular menu. Handmade dough and hand-tossed are not the same thing. None uses ready-made crust. All make it from scratch. However, only Cibelli’s and Martolli’s guarantee you seeing it tossed into the air. Pizza is fun food, after all.

Martolli’s is a Neapolitan style, an ever so slightly thinner crust than their fellow pizza makers. Cibelli’s identifies their pizza as New York style. Its crust has a chewy, puffy rim. Boone Dog’s is a regular crust, as are Hop & Brew’s, Takoda’s, and Three Creeks’ — whose dough is infused with one of their signature brews, Knotty Blonde.

The secret sauce. Apart from the art of the dough, most pizza gets its reputation from the sauce and the toppings. This is where the real creativity comes into play. Martolli’s offers four sauce options: tomato, garlic olive oil, pesto, and sun-dried olive on any of their pizzas.

At Three Creeks you can choose pizzas with tomato herb or basil pesto sauce. Takoda’s has no less than 17 pizza choices built on either tomato, pesto, barbecue, or alfredo sauce. Hop & Brew divides their pizza choices over a marinara or alfredo sauce, and gluten-free is an option. Plus, they have a take-n-bake option for their 18-inch pie.

Boone Dog Pizza may be the most eclectic of the group. Their offerings are heavy on seasonally rotated, fresh produce grown on their own land. They are open four days a week at the Eurosports “food cart garden.”

Cork Cellars Wine & Bistro is in the mix, albeit in a class all their own. They have five “flat bread” pizzas — although they do not use the word pizza in the description. Many of their customers do though — and they report favorably on them.

Like nearly everywhere, pepperoni is the favorite topping for Sisters pizza lovers. There’s no lack of really good pizza in Sisters — and no national chain shops.


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