We’ve been really excited over the past couple of months about how many places here in Portland Oregon now offer gluten-free pizza! It’s really amazing, and would appear to mostly be thanks to one company, Nugrain Foods. Virgo and Pisces is one of the few places that make their own gluten-free pizza crust. Unfortunately, that’s about all I can say about their pizza right now because I didn’t try it during our visit to Virgo and Pisces.
Virgo and Pisces is located on NW 21st Street at Glisan, so it’s located in quite a hot-spot. They’re just a half a block away from the New Cascadia Traditional Bakery and Trader Joe’s. We went there at 7:00 PM on a Friday night.
Being in such at hot-spot at 7:00 PM on a Friday night, we were worried that we would have to wait before we could sit down. On the plus side, that was not the case. On the minus side, the place was practically empty, which I never take as a good omen.
Virgo and Pisces is a bar and restaurant. One room is the bar and the other the restaurant. On one end of the restaurant room there is a small area where bands play. It looks like they have live music there on a regular basis, and as we ate, a band was setting up. We left before they started up, though (not because we weren’t interested – we usually love live music. We had a prior commitment.)
The space is nice. Our waitress was extremely helpful and the food came out promptly. Our one big complaint with the atmosphere was the music. The music playing in the bar was different from the music in the restaurant. That wouldn’t normally be a problem except that the music in the bar was turned up a lot louder, so we were treated to both at the same time. I find listening to two different pieces of music simultaneously to be jarring and annoyingly distracting.
Sienna got a hamburger (which was not gluten-free) and I ordered the fish and chips. I’ve been on quite the fish and chips jag (what with our recent review of the Starfish Gluten Free Battered Cod, the gluten free fish and chips at Hugo’s Restaurant in Los Angeles, and the gluten free fish and chips at the Hawthorne Fish House, we’ve been looking really seriously at battered and breaded fish. So I figured it would be worth doing. (By the way, Gina over at Gluten Free Gourmand has an excellent review of the Starfish Battered Halibut and Haddock.) At one point we had the idea that Virgo and Pisces had gluten-free pasta, but that is not the case. Virgo and Pisces also has gluten free beer. We’ll have to go back for their pizza sometime too.
So how was the food? The food was good. It was pretty standard bar food kind of fare. If I had to come up with a word to describe the food it would be “functional.” The thing with bar food is very often you’re really there for something else, like some live music, or to knock back some drinks with your friends. Very often bar food is just background filler, even at bars that are known for their food. The food at Virgo and Pisces is like that. The fish was tilapia. I usually love tilapia, but in this case it was a little tasteless. The fries were a hair too mushy. The coleslaw didn’t turn me on, but I’m not really a coleslaw fan. Sienna’s burger was good.
And that, dear reader, is about all I have to say about this place. I am curious about their pizza, but considering the place was empty on a Friday night, I don’t have big dreams about it. Maybe the place fills up once the music starts?
We want to know: Have you had the pizza at Virgo and Pisces? Let us know in the comments!
Times we have visited: 1 (So your mileage may vary.)
Overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same
Virgo & Pisces
500 NW 21st Ave, Portland, Oregon 97209 / 503.517.8855
I’ve been to Virgo and Pisces several times. The owner is very accommodating to gluten-free patrons. I haven’t been there in a long time, but they used to have a GF tempura-style shrimp appetizer that was pretty good. The quality of their drinks and service varied depending on who was serving that day. I just recently noticed that they have GF pizza now, but I haven’t gone over there to try it out yet. Now that I know it’s a house-made crust I’m even more interested! I’ll let you know when I get around to it.
I’ve been to Virgo and Pisces twice… I can see the gluten free pizza sign(on the street) from my balcony and it drew me in 🙂
anyway, both times I’ve been, It seemed like it took a ridiculously long time to get our food. That was a major downer. The first time I went I got the Alfredo-pesto mushroom pizza that was absolutely delicious! I’ve never had such amazing sauce on any pizza I’ve had in my life!
My second trip was just 2 days ago, in which I went with my whole family. My sister, who was also ordering gluten-free, didn’t find anything she wanted on that menu, so they made her one of the crepes w/out the crepe. which was really just a pile of potatoes, tofu, and spinach I think… she liked it. I however, decided to try the rice pasta with alfredo sauce(and salmon, but I had that left off). I was VERY disappointed. the pasta was very very undercooked and I had quite a few crunchy noodles. I know rice pasta is hard to cook and can get mushy easily, but this big of a mistake shouldn’t be made at a resteraunt of any quality.
I LOVE the gluten free pizza at Virgo and Pisces!!!! It is BY FAR the highest-quality and cheapest GF pizza in Portland. It only costs something like $15 for a large (compared with at least $25 for a medium other places). They make their own crusts and even source GF blue cheese. I cannot say enough about this pizza and I hope that they get enough business to continue offering it. It would be great if glutenfreeportland.org tried their pizza and reviewed it. I swear I am not affiliated with this restaurant, just an enthusiastic customer who hopes to eat their pizza for years to come.
I discovered this place trying to find a way to my new office. Once I saw the sign saying GF pizza I wanted some.
I called in a to go order when I got off work, after checking out the website and got the alfreda – spinach – mushroom pizza. To die for!
I’m fighting the urge to eat another piece and that would make 1/2 the pie.
With all the comments about them not being busy makes me worry. It’s a Thurs eve about 8PM when I was in there, all the surrounding businesses were busy. Inside there were 2 tables and 2 people in the bar, there was a bunch of people hanging outside.
is it really closed?…I loved their pesto alfredo sauce pizza…sooo sooo sad.