Eugene may be a cute little hippie town, but man do they have some great food (shout out to you, Cafe Yum!!!). Contrary to assumptions that the Eugene food scene comprises little more than vegan bakeries, there is actually a remarkably diverse array of seriously delicious cuisine. What’s more, because Eugene is also a college town, a lot of amazing restaurants there are ridiculously affordable. While I was visiting Eugene last weekend, a friend happened to mention La Perla to me. After explaining to me that La Perla was, in fact, a local restaurant and not an upscale lingerie brand, I decided I had to give it a try.
I was blown away by La Perla Pizzeria. The atmosphere is precious and reflects the vibe of Eugene; there is a laid-back mix of families, students, elderlies, and hippies munching away happily. Amazingly, La Perla is one of only thirty restaurants in the United States to be certified by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Italy. AKA they are authentic like it’s their job. These true Neapolitan pizzas are crazy yummy and so flavorful. They cook them by layering fresh ingredients on handmade dough, then cooking them for 90 seconds in a domed-shaped, wood-burning oven that reaches temperatures of up to 1,500 degrees. The heat and fire give it what they call a “slight rustic char.” The crust is light, and tender, with a perfect dose of crunchy. Also, 90 second cooking time means you can go in there hungry and expect to eat within just a few minutes!
My two friends and I split two pizzas, and we were very full. We ordered the Margherita ($9.95), and the Quattro Formaggi ($12.95). That averages about $7.64 per person for a delightfully filling, unique, and totally authentic Italian pizza feast. And these pizzas are unreal. The Quattro Formaggi was my favorite, mostly because I’m a cheese fiend. That pizza boasted fresh house-made mozzarella, Gorgonzola, fontina and Parmesan. Also, the chefs will put fresh garlic on any pizza for free (obviously you should utilize that privilege). The product is an explosion of fresh, tangy, sumptuous flavor.
If you live in Eugene and haven’t been here yet, I highly recommend it. It is sooo good and I will be remembering that experience for a long time! Visit http://www.laperlapizzeria.com/ for menu and location.