For the uninitiated, New England Greek-style pizza can be a somewhat peculiar beast. While this style of pizza can certainly include feta cheese and Greek olives, the term “Greek style” more often describes the style of the crust, not the toppings, in these particular restaurants. Rather than being cooked directly on the floor of a brick oven, or on the bottom of a steel pizza oven, Greek-style pizza is cooked in a heavily-oiled pan. This creates a deep, lightly greasy crust, with a medium-thick, very crispy (though not cracker-like) bottom, with a very thick, rolled edge around the outside. The tomato sauce skews heavily on the oregano, and cheese application is comparably light and cooked until just melted.
I’m pretty strictly a New Haven-style pizza guy, with its charred blisters and thin crust; Greek-style pies are not what immediately springs to mind when I think of “pizza.” Based on a reader’s suggestion, though, we gave Pizza Plus a try. She suggested we try Pizza Plus’ “Philly Cheesesteak” sandwich, an offering which, she swore, was vetted even by her boyfriend, a Philadelphia native. Because we were feeding a crowd, we passed on the steak-and-cheese on this trip, instead opting for a half pepperoni, half sausage-and-jalapeno pie, and an order of hot wings.
Thankfully, the wings wore none of the breading that can be typical for buffalo wings in Portland; these were dry-fried and I’m sure at some point, were crispy. Their time spent sitting in a Styrofoam box left them fairly soggy by the time I got to them, though I could see that these would be a fine option for dining in. The sauce was perfectly vinegary, with a lot more spicy heat than I expected, and a large portion of blue cheese dressing that was tangy and sharp.
I was less enthusiastic about the pizza itself, though not because of any inherent fault in the preparation. This was, I think, a fine example of Greek-style pizza, which unfortunately is simply not our favorite. The crust was thick and buttery, with just a hint of sauce. The pepperoni was fairly characterless, and added little to that side of the pie. The spiciness of the pickled jalapenos made the other side of the pizza a lot more interesting, though again, the sausage didn’t do much to enhance the flavor of each slice.
Pizza Plus has an easy-to-use online ordering system, requiring you to pick your pie up when it’s ready (Pizza Plus doesn’t offer delivery), and some of the warmest, friendliest employees we have yet to encounter in an area pizza restaurant, who are quick to joke, easy to talk to, and who make a point to remember their regulars. Prices are fair, and the encyclopedic menu has something to satisfy any potential nighttime craving. Their wings are certainly solid, their ingredients and toppings fresh (we were particularly happy to see fresh mushrooms used, instead of canned), and their sandwiches look amazing. Unless you happen to live nearby in Scarborough, though, or unless you grew up eating Greek-style pizza and still have fond memories of its unique characteristics, it’s hard to imagine going out of your way to visit. It’s certainly an improvement over Domino’s or Papa John’s, but for pizza, there are other options that we would consider first.