Northwest Pizza

The new owners of Northwest Pizza are working hard to restore the Ashland eatery to good standing in the community.

If you have ever Googled the pizzeria, you — like me — might have been turned off by less-than-favorable reviews. However, a tip from a co-worker convinced me to pay the restaurant a visit.

John Bohn (who also owns The Vinyl Club), ex-wife Robin Bohn and their friend, Morgan George, purchased the business last July and, after completely remodeling the interior and applying some paint to its faux-timbered exterior, reopened Northwest Pizza in October.

The owners and chef, John Demoss, Robin Bohn's fiance and a recent graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, created a modest menu of traditional pizzas, salads, pastas and Strombolis as well as a few unconventional dishes to distinguish it in Ashland's dining scene. Some of these quirkier items include an Oregonzola pizza, touting one of Rogue Creamery's signature cheeses, and a sausage-and-mushroom pie with seasonal mushrooms purchased at the farmers market and sausage prepared by Smithfields chef Neil Clooney.

Deep-fried lasagna ($7.95) also is a curious novelty. John Bohn explains that the lasagna is rolled, breaded, deep-fried, served on a bed of Alfredo sauce and covered in marinara sauce. Italian comfort food on steroids, by the sound of it.

The menu also features four supreme pies, available in large ($28.95) and extra-large ($32.95); five specialty pies, available in four sizes; and a more affordable, build-your-own option with a fairly standard list of toppings.

Mozzarella planks, zucchini fries, chicken fingers and wings, breadsticks and hand-cut potato wedges are available and would pair nicely with any of the 11 craft and domestic beers on tap.

Less than a mile east of Southern Oregon University, the pizzeria will compete with nearby Great American Pizza Co. for college clientele but, for the most part, entertains families and athletic teams in its large, sports bar-like parlor, complete with 10 flat-screen televisions, arcade games and a pool table.

Bohn's Italian grandparents' wedding and naturalization certificates hang on the wall, adding some authenticity to the recipes, which were handed down to their grandson.

I patronized the restaurant on two occasions last week. The first time was for takeout, the second for a late lunch with a co-worker.

Before my initial visit, I looked up the restaurant's menu on Facebook and called ahead to order a large, half Hawaiian supreme and half Oregonzola pizza. My husband and I arrived early and ravenous after a full day of skiing on Mount Ashland. George greeted us and kindly brought us glasses of water while we waited.

We had planned on waiting till we got home (Medford) to dig in, but I caved before we'd reached Talent. Demoss makes his pizzas on a thin, New York-style crust.

Although I typically prefer Hawaiian pizza, the Oregonzola was my favorite of the two. The variety boasted five cheeses — mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, Romano and the tangy Oregonzola — on a base layer of housemade bechamel sauce. A few pieces of applewood-smoked bacon were scattered on top, but for the most part, it was a sophisticated cheese pizza.

Kalua pork and Spam differentiate the Hawaiian "supreme" from a typical Hawaiian. (I asked to leave off the latter ingredient.) The pizza also featured a four-cheese blend and pineapple tidbits, Canadian bacon and small clumps of pulled pork.

More recently, my co-worker and I arrived at Northwest Pizza a few minutes before it opened, but the staff kindly obliged. This time around, I ordered the "fresh garden harvest" Stromboli. The turnover was filled with an assortment of vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, peppers and zucchini with Bohn's grandmother's marinara sauce.

My friend ordered a personal-sized gourmet Greek pizza and a plate of zucchini fries, which we shared. The breaded, greasy zucchini straws were served with a small container of ranch dressing and, like our entrees, on white dinnerware.

Northwest Pizza delivers for free to Ashland residents. If they could only make it to those of us in Medford, too.

— Teresa Thomas

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