THE OREGONIAN—You know how you can tell food critic Michael Russell isn't messing around? He dropped two pizzeria reviews on the same day, taking on both Mark Doxtader's Tastebud and Tommy Habetz's Pizza Jerk. Both get his "Good" 2-star nods of approval.
Russell says Tastebud is Southwest Portland's "best restaurant in a decade," and he adds that while he likes the cheesy "Avoid the Noid '80s" pies, other dishes are worthy of attention; for instance, the kale caesar is "properly dressed under a shower of parmesan," and the whole roast chicken is as "simply seasoned and juicy as ever."
As for Pizza Jerk—Russell writes that its menu "has more crossover potential than a Taylor Swift album." You can get eggplant parm as either a lunch sandwich or a dinner pizza, or broccoli rabe as a component of either a pie or a bowl of fried rice. Habetz's pastas seem "like a placeholder" for now, but Russell adds that, while nostalgic "throwback pizzerias" are "thing right now," none "are doing pizza at this level."
PORTLAND MONTHLY—Food critic Karen Brooks also reviewed Pizza Jerk, and she writes that Habetz's Sunday Gravy pizza has more "exuberance per centimeter than any dish in Portland." Did she seriously just say that? Yes, yes she did.
Also, the pizzeria's Dan Dan pie, with its chile paste, "sweet pork shreds," and "bitter, crackling mustard greens," is "an intense, inexplicably addictive reminder of how rare it is to taste something truly new." She thought the caesar salad needs work, as well as some of the other side dishes, and she writes that one real hiccup is inconsistency. "You know what happens when the Blazers bench players come in? That's Pizza Jerk when Habetz [...] takes the night off."
PORTLAND MONTHLY—PoMo's Benjamin Tepler writes that Melissa Mayer and Maylin Chavez's Olympia Oyster Bar on N Mississippi is an "earnest oyster joint with a creative vision and expertly made cocktails." That earnestness helps, he writes, because the menu, still in the experimental phase, "meanders." Still, the kitchen's kataifi oyster, while looking "like Cthulhu," ultimately achieves a "nicely balanced trifecta of spicy, sweet, and crunchy."