Roberto Hernandez Guerrero labored the line in the course of what he phone calls the “golden age” of Andina, when potential Paiche chef Jose Luis De Cossio was at the helm, and the when modestly sized Peruvian restaurant was escalating to a 600-seat behemoth.
That could explain why he looks so serene operating the domed oven at Reeva Cafe y Cocina a la Leña, the meals truck he and wife Roceva Alcerro opened previous month on Northeast Sandy Boulevard. Below on the gravel great deal beside Blossom landscaping, Hernandez Guerrero lifts a margherita pizza so it gets bathed in the warmth gathered at the leading of the Italian-crafted dome, drizzles on olive oil and a handful of ripped basil, then takes advantage of a metallic peel to chuck a handful of sawdust into the flames, all even though taking orders and pouring cafecitos, usually by himself.
It is early days at Reeva, but it would not be way too bold to say that the pies coming from this former FedEx truck already rank among the best Neapolitan-type pizzas in Portland, joining the likes of Nostrana, Hapa Pizza in Beaverton, La Sorrentina in Vancouver and the nearby Pizzeria Otto, where by he used to function and whose operator, Clark Hale, recommended I check out late last thirty day period. Nevertheless as excellent as people common pies are, with bright tomato sauce and fantastic olive oil mingling deliciously on slender-stretched, char-dappled dough, they’re not the primary reason to stop by Reeva.
That would be the pizzaleada, a Reeva unique riffing on the Honduran baleada, with refried beans, four sorts of cheese and bitter product folded in quarters in the “portafoglio” (aka “wallet”) style preferred as a avenue food items in Naples. Hernandez Guerrero, who was influenced to build the pizza just after hoping a standard baleada — essentially a huge bean and cheese taco on a flour tortilla — designed by Alcerro’s mom, will propose you incorporate some chorizo or a couple discs of sweet jalapeño for punch, and people aren’t negative concepts. But even in its a lot more primary type, the mixture of chewy dough, melted mozzarella, sour cream and possibly some dripping yolk from a flash-cooked egg, is just one of the tastiest items I have eaten this 12 months.
Hernandez Guerrero hails from Querétaro condition in North-Central Mexico and, given that going to the United States 20 decades back, has worked at numerous of Portland’s most effective-recognised eating places, which includes Andina, Beast and, for the earlier 3 and a 50 % many years, Pizzeria Otto. His to start with specials at the cart have leaned into Peruvian components, including a modern “Machu pizza” with a base of salsa Hauncaína, a spicy yellow-orange sauce normally created with blended chiles and cheese. Experiments with beef sluggish cooked in a sizzling box could before long inspire a pizza based mostly on the quesabirria development. We can not hold out to test it.
Appropriate now, Reeva opens early 5 days a 7 days for espresso and breakfast, together with that pizzaleada, and is little by little incorporating Sunday brunch dishes, including baked chilaquiles, steak and eggs and huevos rotos, a mix of wood-fired potatoes, egg, arugula and fresh romesco sauce. Time will tell no matter whether Portland embraces the morning menu — other restaurants have tried using breakfast pizzas ahead of — but with one person manning the oven, sign up and espresso device solo, a number of a lot more prepared-to-eat sandwiches or baked items may not be a negative strategy. A contemporary-baked roll break up in 50 %, even now steaming, and smeared with fresh new romesco that Hernandez Guerrero sliced into tiny bites to share with prospects on a the latest pay a visit to could be a good area to begin.
Heading ahead, Hernandez Guerrero and Alcerro plan to add picnic tables and some barrel tables to the ton, wherever they could even host wine tastings from the wonderful Mother & Pop Wine Shop just west on Sandy. Several hours will probably keep in flux as Reeva figures out what accurately its Roseway community needs from a pizza truck, and new dishes — just about every with its own punny name — could surface 7 days to 7 days. Just never count on to see Hernandez Guerrero get flustered.
“I just have the mindset that I have bought to be ready for no matter what,” Hernandez Guerrero explained. “I’ve labored in some of Portland’s busiest restaurants. I can take care of tension really perfectly.”
Reeva Cafe y Cocina a la Leña opens from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Sunday brunch, 7727 N.E. Sandy Blvd., nevertheless hours are most likely to alter often in the coming weeks.