Put it in your mouth

You know it, you love it: It’s pizza. And so it goes that college students have always had a tender spot in their young hearts for those greasy, cheesy and oh-so-delicious slices of savory pizza pie. On campus, there are several places to nurture the relationship between your belly and pizza’s provocative advances; two of which are Pizzicato and Hot Lips.

Hot Lips Pizza

1901 S.W. 6th


Hot Lips knows how to take care of business, offering six sexy pizzas to choose from every day during lunch hour. With an even ratio of meat to veggie options, Hot Lips has something for everyone. They even offer a vegan slice! Depending on the day, your meat options vary from “Mandy’s,” with free-range chicken, onions, greens, feta cheese, garlic and olive oil to the “Omnivore Bliss” with pepperoni, bacon, Italian sausage, sweet onions, black olives, mushrooms and garlic. Both of these meaty pies are dripping with greasy, tongue-pleasing goodness. And, people, please don’t dab the grease with a napkin. It does little to reduce the fat content, and you look ridiculous. Try to accept the pizza for what it really is: a perfect, heaven-sent glimpse of the pizza-laden afterlife.

And all you vegetarians out there, don’t worry, Hot Lips does put out. The “Vegetarian Nirvana ,” a titillating combination of Roma tomatoes, roasted peppers, onions, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, mushrooms and garlic is so damn good I forgot there wasn’t even a trace of meat on the slice. And the “Greek,” with feta cheese, kalamata olives, tomatoes, peppers and oregano tastes like, well, Greek-flavored pizza. I don’t really like kalamata olives. I think there are a lot of people who feel the same way. They have a peculiar flavor. I guess they are a lot like Woody Allen: you either love ’em or you hate ’em. Anyway, the point is if you like ’em, you’ll like the Greek pizza.

Neither I, nor Hot Lips have forgotten about you dedicated, health-conscious vegans out there. We both know that you like pizza, too. So for you, Hot Lips presents a number of pizzas that you can enjoy. The “Vegan Pizza ,” with fresh seasonal vegetables roasted with garlic, olive oil and sea salt is a great way to get your pizza fix.

Hot Lips would like you to know that behind the flashy logo and colorful T-shirts, there sits a company committed to Oregon and its local farmers. This is beneficial to the local economy and also to you the customer. By buying direct from local farms, Hot Lips is able to ensure a fresh, high-quality product and an ever-changing, seasonally determined menu.

Pizzicato Gourmet Pizza

1708 S.W. 6th


And then there’s Pizzicato. If Hot Lips were wearing a mini skirt and red pumps, Pizzicato would be wearing an evening gown and spilling champagne on your shoes – probably cheap champagne, too. But don’t get me wrong, I like “gourmet pizza,” and Pizzicato has some really fine pies. The “Pepperoni Supreme,” with mildly spiced pepperoni, pepperoncini, smoked mozzarella, black olives and tomatoes, makes my mouth water just thinking about it. Sometimes, it’s as if regular old pepperoni pizza isn’t good enough. Everybody knows it, but nobody says anything about it. Then Pizzicato came along, built a fancy new restaurant by the fancy new streetcar and said, “Here you go. This is for you, sir. Would you like a glass of Chianti or perhaps a Caesar salad?”

Pizzicato offers a wide range of pizzas, salads and panini. I don’t know why, but ever since I was a kid I’ve always loved meatballs. So it’s not surprising that I really like the meatball panini at Pizzicato. It must be my Italian genes, but to me, there ain’t nothing in the world like provolone cheese, meatballs and red sauce. The “Black Forest Ham panini,” with fontina and aioli, is really tasty, too. But let’s not get too far away from the point of this article, which is, after all, about pizza.

Pizzicato offers six different pies at lunchtime. It has three standards: the “putanesca,” the “cheese,” and the “pepperoni.” It offers one monthly special and two daily specials. All and all, Pizzicato’s pizza is really good, and the restaurant is a nice place to sit and enjoy your lunch break. It also serves beer, wine, coffee, milk and soda, and a number of different salads and antipasti.

In my opinion, you could put almost anything from either one of these establishments in your mouth and be satisfied. So get to it!