A Palpable Passion for Sourdough and Pizza – The Turning Peel in Portland, Oregon
Words by KC Shomler Photos by Steven Shomler
Cursing my map app for leading me astray yet AGAIN, I looked up and realized it was actually I who had failed to recognize that the cute house in front of me was the restaurant. Oops! Tucked into a residential stretch of Division, The Turning Peel is a little hidden oasis of delicious pizza.
Open just a few weeks when we visited, we were immediately struck by the charming space and the kind earnestness of the husband-and-wife team of Candy & Akshay running the place. Akshay currently handles the front of house duties & serves as the sous chef, and Candy bakes up the pizza love.
There is an equally charming story about the evolution of the sourdough crust recipe, but I will leave it for you to discover those details when you go.
Candy & Akshay
The Turning Peel’s Crust is a Perfect Combination of Crunchy, Bubbly, Thin, Yet Chewy
Back to the crust – for me it is the perfect combination of crunchy, bubbly, thin, yet chewy. Sparing use of high-quality toppings, not overly cheesed and a great size for devouring all by yourself or get a couple of pies to share.
We tried the seasonal version which on our visit had a pumpkin base, fresh sage, mozzarella, and arugula with prosciutto added. It tasted delightfully like fall.
On the pepperoni pie beware there is an extra kick from the added chili flake in the tomato base, but we are suckers for the teeny-tiny crispy pepperonis. The margherita was our favorite though – the OG, perfectly executed.
The space is casual, you order at the counter and then pick a seat in the converted Craftsman with plenty of tchotchkes to peruse. On nice days the patio out back is a green dream.
Open hours are limited during the soft opening period, but they appear to be active on social media getting the word out about updates to dates and times.
Address: 4546 SE Division St, Portland, Oregon 97201
Style: Sourdough based crust
Sold by the slice: No
Better with beer or wine: Wine
How it tastes cold from the fridge next day: Holds up well
The Turning Peel Photos
Organic San Marzano tomato sauce, basil and fior di latte mozzarella. Finished with extra virgin olive oil
Organic San Marzano tomato sauce with chilli flakes, pepperoni and fior di latte mozzarella. Finished with extra virgin olive oil. (chef suggestion: add roasted fresno chillies)
The Fall Pie
Pumpkin based, sage, fior di latte mozzarella, hot honey, parmesan, with portobello mushroom or prosciutto and finish with arugula
Additional Turning Peel Photos
The Backyard Outdoor Patio
The Charming Indoor Dining Space
Look for This Enchanting Building