Families and foodies in Vancouver, Washington, it’s time to rally and check out the brand new pizza spot, Rally Pizza!
Just north of Portland, Oregon, a hop-skip-jump over the Oregon-Washington border, is the town of Vancouver, Washington. Longtime Pacific Northwesterners affectionately call it The Couve (some might do so not-so-affectionately, but that’s a Portland/Vancouver history lesson to discuss another time), and it’s often viewed as a suburb of Portland.
This past weekend, I attended a media preview of a new pizza restaurant, and I realized with great disbelief that I have never, ever covered a Vancouver, Washington restaurant in the entire 12-year-history of this blog. Wha wha WHAT?! How is that possible? I know via your emails, social media messages, and general blog analytics, that a lot of you live over on that side of the Columbia River, and I feel like I’ve totally let y’all down in only covering Portland and the rest of the world’s restaurants, when there are a lot of cool things happening in The Couve/Camas area, too.
So today that all changes, my foodie-wine-travel-loving friends. This is Vancouver’s chance to shine and I’m pretty stoked that my first restaurant review in Vancouver, Washington is the brand new Rally Pizza, celebrating its grand opening TODAY, September 26, 2016!
Rally Pizza is a brand new restaurant that serves pizzas, salads, side dishes, and fresh frozen custard desserts. There is a full bar, with a nice wine and beer list. It’s totally family-friendly, and would also be a fun spot for a date night, a girls’ night out, double dates, or a great spot to take the soccer team after the big game.
Note: the sign in the photo above is temporary. Permanent signage is coming soon!
Located right off of Mill Plain Boulevard, Rally Pizza’s exterior stands out from the typical strip mall facade with its Whole Foods Market-esque wooden planks and large wall of windows. If you’re coming from Portland, it’s easy to get here from either I-5 or I-205.
Here’s what I appreciate the most about Rally Pizza’s space: it’s large, with plenty of room in between tables. Unlike many other pizza joints, I never felt crowded in, never felt rushed to hurry up and finish; I really enjoyed that the amount of seating and the amount of aisle space at Rally Pizza allows families and friends to converse easily, and to fully enjoy their food.
I also am in love with the divider installation that separates the bar area from the main dining room, which was designed and installed by a friend of the owners. The lines add to the modern feel of the space and create a divide without fully closing off either area.
There’s a full bar which is framed by a gorgeous modular wall shelf built by friends of the owners. As a reminder to all Portlanders venturing up to Washington: minors are not allowed in the bar area at any time of day, but they are allowed in the rest of the restaurant.
Now onto the real reason you’re all here: the food!
You should know first, that Rally Pizza has two kids’ pizzas on the menu: Kid-Sized Cheese Pizza ($8) and Kid-Sized Pepperoni Pizza ($9).
For big kids and grown ups, there are six standard pizza options, a daily special, and several tasty additions from which to choose for your pizzas.
I’m a gal who likes a good Margherita ($14) and the one at Rally Pizza is tasty, with a nice balance of the traditional mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and fresh basil.
Other favorites from Rally Pizza’s media preview:
- Piggy Back pizza ($18) with house-smoked Canadian bacon and belly bacon (ALL the bacon!), tomato sauce, mozzarella, picked smoked jalapenos, Vella Dry Monterey Jack
- Calabrian Sausage ($17) with tomato sauce, mozzarella, smoked mozarella (two mozzarellas? Ok!), house-made sausage, sweet & sour onions, and bread crumbs
- Tocco di Verde ($16) with house-made ricotta, hand-pulled mozzarella, Parmigiano-Reggiano, fennel/chile/garlic oil, and salsa verde.
Fave topping addition: Fried Duck Egg ($4) (pictured above)!
Fellow dairy-free friends: Co-owner Shan tells me that they can make pretty much any pizza dairy-free. Just let them know when you are ordering!
Salads and Small Plates
My absolute favorite dish from Rally Pizza that I tried so far: the side dish of Pork and Duck ($13). It’s a plate of sausage and pok belly porchetta, fried duck egg, and spicy pickled vegetable salad.
I love when pizza joints offer unexpected, elegant side dishes like this. What a tasty flavor combo, and I love all of the textures of this dish. Our friends next to us loved it too but said it was a little heavy, but I say oh no, not too heavy for me…bring it on! More Pork and Duck, please!
My husband’s favorite was the Caesar Salad ($10). Again, Rally Pizza goes beyond the traditional and elevates a classic. You get hearty greens, a bright lemon anchovy dressing, sprinkling of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a really nice amount of crouton bits, which we discussed was SO much better and more logical than big crouton chunks. This way, you get some nice crunch with each bite you take of this salad.
These Crispy Potatoes ($7) are served with warm prosciutto cracklings and are best eaten immediately, while the potatoes still have those nice crispy edges.
I’m not going to lie: my family’s favorite part of Rally Pizza is the dessert bar.
At this magical counter, located right by the entrance (because let’s face it: sometimes dessert before dinner is the way you’ve gotta go!), you can order thick, rich vanilla bean ice cream on its own, as my son prefers, or mixed in with a variety of glorious fixings into Concretes or Sundaes.
My husband opted to try the Clouds in My Coffee Sundae: chocolate-coffee pudding, mocha sauce, and chocolate pearls. Holy moly, friends: GET THIS. It’s so good. I am just sad I could only have two bites because, ya know, that pesky dairy-free life of mine. Sigh.
Meanwhile, my daughter, as always, decided to go big or go home with her dessert. Behold: the Devil’s Food Concrete:
With chocolate cake and chocolate frosting mixed into the frozen custard, this is a truly decadent and delicious treat.
She stopped eating long enough for me to take this picture. Wasn’t that nice of her? If she looks a little impatient for me to hurry up and do my job, it’s because she is. She ate the WHOLE thing!
Here’s my crew, enjoying Rally Pizza’s desserts, and absolutely making it impossible to get one photo with all of them looking at the camera at the same time. Because ICE CREAM. I don’t blame them!
The People Behind The Pizza
Rally Pizza is the dream child of General Manager/Pastry Chef/Co-Owner Shan Wickham and her husband, Executive Chef/Co-Owner Alan Maniscalco. Both have a long culinary history spanning their time in California, Michigan, and Oregon, including Alan’s recent endeavors opening Ken’s Artisan Pizza with Ken Forkish. Alan and Shan love raising their daughter Sage in the Pacific Northwest, and as parents, they recognize the need for a place like Rally Pizza where families can gather, enjoy good food and company, in a comfortable space (with lots of high chairs and room for high chairs!).
I really enjoyed meeting Alan and Shan, and was honored to visit their new baby, Rally Pizza. My whole family had a fantastic time here. We all thought it was awesome, and I think YOU will love it, too!
So what are you waiting for? Rally Pizza opens TODAY at 4:30pm! GO and check it out for yourself!
Visit Rally Pizza
8070 E. Mill Plain Boulevard
Daily, 4:30 – close
What dish photographed or mentioned here would you most like to try?
All of the items photographed here were enjoyed during a complimentary media preview of Rally Pizza. As always, all opinions and photos are my own. Thanks so much to Rally Pizza for a wonderful welcome to their restaurant. We look forward to returning with the whole family and some friends again in the future!