The Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits
22401 NE Glisan Street
Wood Village, OR 97060
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to midnight daily
Website | Twitter: @TheRock_WFP | Facebook Page | Menu
Lunch money: $$
You could say there’s already an overabundance of pizza places in the Portland area. We’ve got the national chains (Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Round Table), we’ve the local chains (Bellagio’s, Hot Lips, Pizza Schmizza, Izzy’s), then there are the one-off specialty pizza shops (Dante’s pizza window, Apizza Scholls, Ken’s Artisan, Firehouse) and now even pizza food carts, so why on Earth would we need another pizza place?
How about a new pizza place with a reasonably priced lunchtime buffet, a fun rock ‘n’ roll theme and interesting urinals in the men’s room? Yeah, that’s right, interesting urinal artwork.
The Rock Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits is actually part of a small Washington-based chain and their very first Oregon location opened in Wood Village (that’s near Gresham) in June.
We know, we know. Wood Village? For lunch? Sure, it’s a bit of a trek for most Portlanders—especially if your lunch hour really is a hour—but if you live and/or work in the greater Gresham area, The Rock should be on your list of new places to check out.
The Rock is a classic rock theme restaurant, but the theme part is actually a lot better than you might expect—i.e., it’s not that cheesy. The interior is decked out in faux graffiti, band memorabilia, neon signs and there’s lots of exposed brick and pipes. It’s actually quite strange to walk into the rather nondescript strip mall building into the much more interestingly decorated interior of The Rock. Also, as mentioned, they have some very unique urinals (which an awesome male friend offered to photograph for us).
Initially we were planning to go big and dive into the buffet, but then (after much consideration regarding how food-filled our summer has been) decided to scale back a bit and just get a personal-sized pizza. The pizza menu is a large as you would expect, and they offer several different sauce options including classic tomato, creamy white sauce and garlicky butter.
Specialty pizzas abound at The Rock, each bearing a rock song related name (“Crazy Little Thing,” “Crazy Train,” “California Dreamin’,” and “Revolution” to name a few).
We chose the “Stairway to Heaven” 9-inch pie, which had the garlic butter base topped with mozzarella cheese and then baked. Once out of the massive wood-burning pizza oven, they added fresh arugula, diced tomatoes, prosciutto and Parmesan.
Although the toppings sound simple enough, the combination was extremely flavorful. The crust was light, crispy and had great texture. The only problem was that the pizza was a little on the oily side, and we constantly needed to be careful to NOT let any of the permanent-staining oil get on our clothes. Note to The Rock: Either lay off the extra oil or provide more than one paper napkin per customer.
Our lunch buddy, Dave W., ended up ordering the “Get Back Mac ‘n’ Cheese.” It arrived at the table in an oven-hot skillet and the mac was just as sizzling. After it cooled down, the four-cheese, peppered bacon, cream sauce-coated penne pasta concoction was melt-in-your-mouth cheesy goodness. Seriously, one of the best we’ve tasted in Portland.
If we’d decided to don the elastic waistband pants, the weekday lunch buffet would have been extremely tempting. Just $8.99 (including a soda, or add $1 for a microbrew) gets you unlimited access to a variety of pizzas, lasagna, pasta dishes, mozzarella bread, fruit, veggies, a salad bar and desserts! [Just typing all of that makes us feel full!]
The Rock also offers a very reasonably priced happy hour (M-F 3-6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close). During happy hour you can get deep discounts on select appetizers ($3.99 to $5.99) and personal-sized pizza ($5.99 to $7.99) as well as deals on adult beverages.
Overall, The Rock is a very nice addition to the dining options in the Wood Village/Fairview/Gresham area. The service is great and the food is very good, very fresh and tasty, tasty, tasty. And, honestly, how could any restaurant go wrong by offering a lunchtime pizza buffet!!
Pizza lunch buffet!
Large outdoor dining patio
Friendly staff and servers
Great happy hour menu
Their website has that uber-annoying auto-play music function
If you aren’t already in the area it can be a drive