Easy Day has turned my family’s world upside down.
At least when it comes to pizza.
That’s because Easy Day, a bowling ally and restaurant which opened in March on Broadway in South Portland, serves something they call “Detroit-style” pizza. This style of pizza has the toppings on the bottom, but above the crust, covered by cheese and then sauce.
Yes, the sauce is on top. Instead of being spread out like sauce on most pizzas, it’s kind of drizzled on top.
You wouldn’t think changing the position of ingredients would make that much of a difference, but it does. My daughters especially love the “upside down” pizza at Easy Day and ask frequently for repeat visits.
When we went for dinner recently, my 11-year-old daughter Sophie picked the toppings, or maybe fillings is a better word, and I thought they sounded odd: bacon and artichoke hearts. Yet, the salty chunks of smoked bacon mixed really well with the thin artichoke hearts, which were lightly toasted by the oven as they peeked through some cheese.
The crust on the pizza was also notable. It tasted to me more like a pastry, flaky and buttery, than a traditional pizza dough. The sauce, because it was on top, seemed to have more flavor, more tang, than the sauce in other pizzas I’ve had. Another difference between this pizza and most was that it was cut in squares, making it easier to handle.
Sophie and I split a large ($12 plus $3 for two toppings) and we had half of it. That left four pieces left over for lunch the next day.
While we ate, we gazed out large windows that allowed us to see the Fore River, the Casco Bay Bridge and downtown Portland. We could also see people on Easy Day’s patio playing “cornhole,” a game where you toss a bean bag into holes in a board. And beyond them we could see people strolling on South Portland’s Greenbelt Walkway.
If you want the view we had, you probably have to ask for it. There are also lots of tables near the bar and bowling lanes, which don’t share the same view. But being in the bowling area provides plenty to look at too, including the bowlers themselves and lots of big-screen TVs, most turned to sports when we were there.
The pizza menu at Easy Day offered some interesting combinations, like the Easy Day with sliced tomatoes, fresh basil, roasted garlic, red onions and sea salt. Then there is the chicken Caesar with chicken, bacon, red onions, Caesar dressing, Romano and Parmesan cheese and romaine lettuce.
And of course you can mix and match, with toppings/fillings that range from pepperoni, sausage and bacon, to feta cheese, goat cheese and banana peppers.
Easy Day also has thin-crust pizzas, wraps and sandwiches, burgers, and entrees like linguine and mussels ($15) or maple-bourbon pork loin ($15). Plus there are lots of appetizers, from nachos and wings to short rib sliders and Parmesan risotto cake.
It occurred to me that the dining room where we sat, with views of Portland, would be a great place to just have a beer and appetizers with friends. Usually when people think of a waterfront restaurant around Greater Portland, it’s looking away from Portland.
So I thought it was cool to be looking at Portland across the water for a change. It was a view of Portland I hadn’t seen before, while eating anyway.
And that tied in nicely with the upside down pizza, because I had not viewed pizza in that way before either.
But now I’ve seen both.
WHERE: 725 Broadway, South Portland; 207-200-2226; easydaysopo.com
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily
WAIT: About ten minutes.
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes.