Name of restaurant: Town Pizza
Concept: A brand new sliced pizza establishment on the ever-evolving York Boulevard in Highland Park, complete with a healthy assortment of locally sourced toppings and intriguing styles (including plenty of gluten-free and vegan options).
What dish represents the restaurant, and why? A slice of the mole pizza; it tastefully pays homage to the surrounding neighborhood's Latino roots with its subtle flavors of sweet and smoky mole. The mole combination is a subtle one made with Stumptown coffee, allowing the toppings to shine: flavorful roast pork sourced from Lindy & Grundy, chile-lime corn, cotija cheese and crunchy pickled red onions. The crust is thin, chewy and crusty, made to stay moist on the inside and crunchy on the edges through the reheating process.
Runners-up? A slice of gluten-free vegan pizza made with vegan cheese and topped with mushrooms and kalamata olives, because it is Highland Park after all. Also, it does not taste half bad because the intensely salty olives help replicate real melted cheese's umami effect on pizza.
Who's at the next table? Young families taking a nightly stroll and walking in to try out the food and a hungry yogi just out of class munching on a slice of vegan cheese pizza.
Appropriate for: A good place for a quick snack with friends or a date before an easygoing night out on York Boulevard, can be easily followed up with local craft beer, handcrafted ice cream and do-it-yourself doughnuts for dessert a couple of storefronts down.
Service: Counter service. Servers are nice and helpful when asked about ingredients.
Uh-oh: Get ready to stuff yourself solely with pizza, because pizza is the only thing on the menu for now.