Pizza in the ’Burbs

Pronto Pizzeria and Kitchen serves up perfect thin crust and a healthy kids’ menu.

FamilySupper-2A strip mall in Clackamas might not seem like the most likely location for a thin-crust pizza joint that gives Portland’s best a run for their money. But that’s just what you’ll find at Pronto Pizzeria and Kitchen, along with a stellar kids’ menu and extra-friendly service.

For grown-ups, the pan-seared goat cheese rounds with crostini and a spicy tomato sauce ($7) make a nice starter. If you order the polenta fries ($6), there’s a good chance your little ones may gobble them up you before you get much of a taste. You won’t be disappointed with the salads either. The homemade croutons on the Caesar salad ($5 small, $7 large) are addictive. And the seared Brussels sprouts salad ($7 small, $9 large) is amped up by house-smoked bacon and toasted walnuts.

Your kiddo will not have to settle for slice of cheese pizza. My 2-year-old daughter shared the seasonally changing Pronto snack plate ($4.50) with her 7-month-old buddy. She dove into the cheese slices, housemade bread and grapes. Her friend happily mouthed bits of melon. They both ignored the housemade hummus, but overall it was a win. Older kids will love the choices offered in the balanced Pronto Plate ($6). They can choose baked chicken, mac and cheese, or 2 meatballs for a protein, and seasonal roasted veggies, Caesar salad or garden salad for a veggie. The plate also comes with fresh fruit and a drink. And if all your kid really wants is that cheese pizza, then hit Pronto Pizza on Monday night: You’ll get a free 2-topping kids’ pizza with the purchase of a large pizza or equivalent meal. (They also have an all-you-can eat lunch menu that’s a steal at $10 for adults and $5 for kids.)

My toddler also loved the Margherita pizza (12-inch $16) that the adults ordered. Though the toppings are simple – San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil – when Margherita is done right it’s elevated beyond its commonplace components to a truly memorable dish. This Margherita is done right. Pronto Pizzeria serves Neapolitan-style pizza — that means thin crust with a bit of chew and nicely charred edges. Fans of the similar style served at Apizza Scholls take note: At Pronto Pizzeria, it doesn’t take an hour to get a table!

We also ordered an mmmm-worthy Rogue pizza (16-inch $25) with white sauce, house-smoked chicken, roasted red pepper, fontina, Oregon blue cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. And we tried the smoked chicken pasta with housemade spinach fettuccine ($12.50), which at first seemed too heavy. But I kept going back to it, and the plate was demolished by the end of the meal.

This restaurant is huge. In addition to the dining room, there’s a sizeable party room and a partitioned-off long banquet table perfect for kids’ parties or celebrating soccer victories. They also have a small play area off the main dining room. We could easily spy it from our table, so we let our toddler loose. She happily connected Brio tracks and fiddled in the toy kitchen while we finished up our dinner and waited for dessert to arrive. One order of the zeppole ($6), tiny, cinnamon-sugar donuts, is perfect for sharing. You may fight your dinner companions over the lemon curd that accompanies them though.

Pronto Pizzeria and Kitchen, 16050 SE 82nd Drive, Clackamas. Open daily for lunch and dinner. 503-655-5094, www.prontopizzabar.com.

Denise Castañon
Denise Castañon

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