A recent addition to the Northeast Portland Zipper building, Boxcar Pizza is an 100 percent vegan pizza parlor, specializing in Detroit-style square pies. Gluten-free crust is a major focus of Boxcar—at chef Odie O’Connor's wood-fired vegan cart on SE Hawthorne, Baby Blue Pizza, he could only offer gluten-free crust once a week. At Boxcar, he's able to have gluten-free crust all day, every day. Boxcar Pizza easily falls into the category of vegan food that you crave, even if you aren't vegan. The luscious imposter mozzarella and ricotta on Boxcar's Bianca pie may as well be real cheese for all its melted, gooey goodness. While walking home from Boxcar on a misty winter evening, I achieved a perfect hygge moment after chomping into a garlic piece buried inside seasonings of basil, sea salt, and red pepper flakes, all while grease ran into the palm of my hand. The crust at Boxcar (I got the regular, not the gluten-free) is a pillowy delight, but perhaps not crunchy enough to rival the true Detroit pizza crust. To be honest, that feels like the best of both worlds. Boxcar started as Detroit-style pizza, but landed on a cloud of puffy crust that is perfectly wonderful in its own right. SUZETTE SMITH
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