Portland’s vegan pizza scene is getting even better. A new food cart is opening on SE Hawthorne, slinging meat-and-dairy-free pizzas with char-blistered, cart-made sourdough crust.
Baby Blue Pizza comes from Odie O’Connor, a vegan chef most recently spotted at rising star pizza cart Gracie’s Apizza. O’Connor started making vegan pizzas at home before transitioning into pop-ups, eventually deciding to open a cart himself. “I went vegan about four years ago, and when I did that, I felt like the vegan pizza options around town were a little lackluster,” O’Connor says. “That’s not a slight to any pizzeria, but it wasn’t anyone’s focus at that point.”
After leaving Gracie’s, he brought a souvenir with him: Some of Gracie’s owner Craig Melillo’s sourdough starter, which he uses as the foundation for his pizzas. “Some people think egg has to be in pizza dough, but that’s not the case,” O’Connor says. “Just water, salt, starter, and flour.”
The pies get spotted with char in a wood-fired oven, with toppings like house-made seitan pepperoni, house-made ricotta, and blended San Marzano tomato sauce. Beyond the cart’s six permanent pizzas, with names like Gringo Starr and Truffle Shuffle, O’Connor makes seasonal, rotating pies, including his already-popular peach and jalapeno pie.
Baby Blue has opened sporadically over the last week while training staff, but the cart will open for good on Sunday, July 14, right next door to the blazing-hot barbecue cart Matt’s BBQ Tacos. “They’re super meat-heavy, but they’re the reason we got in [to the pod],” O’Connor says. “It’s cool — this meat-centered cart helped out a vegan cart.”
• Baby Blue Pizza [Official]
• Baby Blue Pizza [Instagram]
• Killer Pizza Cart Gracie’s Apizza Will Open a Restaurant in St. Johns [EPDX]