Picture this: Grandmaster Flash pumping at full volume, plastic, red checkered tablecloths, and just-baked, smoke-kissed pies popping out of the oven. It’s not the typical scene at Ned Ludd, a rustic, wood-fired eatery on Northeast MLK Boulevard commanded by fire-tamer Jason French. Since December, Ned Ludd (known for smoky meats and vibrant salads) has been transforming every Monday night into an '80s hip-hop dance party to write home about: one with blistering pizza and Oregon microbrews on tap.
On Mondays, French hands over the keys of his six-foot-deep red-brick oven to Nicholas Ford, one of Ned Ludd’s line cooks with a passion for great pizza and old-school rap. Essentially it’s Ford’s pop-up show, modeled after New York's hip, casual Roberta’s Restaurant where he tuned his pizza palate before moving to Portland last year. It's a loud, informal departure from Ned Ludd's usual vibe—one that goes well with a cold beer and a personal pie.
The tiny menu might feature a snack, a Ludd-ite salad or two, and a handful of 12” pizzas, from classic margherita ($13) to house-ground pork sausage, fennel, and roasted mushrooms ($14). The dough, swollen with a blistered char, has a thin crackly crunch, and a pleasant, yeasty chew. Go for the always-changing special pie, which, on a recent visit, came in the form of “Brassica, Bacon, and Egg”: a garlic-lemon zest-parsley gremolata, tossed with glazed, house-cured bacon and slow-cooked onions, the whole thing topped with a runny egg. Right now, it’s on par with some of the better pies in the city, with a consistently better soundtrack to boot.
Ned Ludd Pizza Night
3925 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Every Monday, 5:30-10 pm