American Dream Pizza/Crow Bar, Corvallis, Oregon

We had a great day Saturday. So many things got done - one of my favorite kind of days. That kind AND the ones where we're totally rusticating. :>)
We ended the day with a drive to Corvallis. I love that drive - the back way. With autumn coming it'll just get better.
Once we arrived in town we realized that we'd picked one of their busier evenings to visit. The downtown sidewalks were full of happy groups of people of varying ages (of legal drinking age, of course!), holding empty wine glasses in their hands. They were participating in the annual Rhapsody in the Vineyard Downtown Walk. Each person buys a wineglass that they take with them while they walk around to the local shops and try a different wine at each stop. What a great community event! I hope it catches on.
And so we were concerned about how busy American Dream Pizza/Crow Bar would be. Since the coveted roof was full with a 25 minute waiting list, we walked in to see if there was room to wait in the Crow Bar down the hall. Much to our surprise it was nearly empty. We decided on a pitcher of microbrew to drink while waiting, but when N went up to the bar to order the beer he was told that we could order our pizza, too. Time becomes more important than desired atmosphere when you have a 45 minute drive to get home, and so we decided to eat in the bar.
The longer we sat, the noisier it became, but it was gradual enough that we adjusted our voices to hear each other and even began to enjoy the happy din.
We ordered two medium pizzas; "Ska", with jerk chicken, feta, artichoke heart, roasted peppers, fresh tomato and a "Dream Special," with Italian sausage, Am bacon, mushroom, olive, tomato. Due to it's "irrisistableness", I think we order the Ska every visit. On top of their hearty crust, the strong, delicious flavor of the jerk chicken is a wonderful delight to the taste buds. Especially with the addition of feta, artichoke hearts and roasted peppers. I'm ready to go eat one of our few leftover slices after writing this!

The Dream Special is a more traditional pizza for the less daring (we had one of those folks in our group of 4), but thanks to the excellent quality of the sausage, bacon, and sauteed mushrooms it also has a delicious flavor - enough to stand up to the crust.

We were enjoying each other's company so much that we ate more than we should've and so decided to take a walk around the downtown blocks. There were still many people out and about, but mostly gathered around the eating establishments that were still open. Every time we visit Corvallis I tell myself I could easily live there with their bustling downtown, proximately to the coast and the extras provided to a community that is home to a university.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's up with the slices of tomatoes on pizzas? I that an Oregon thing? A California thing? A West thing? Don't get me wrong. I like it, but it's something you don't see as much elsewhere.

Roxie said...

Hello, I'm curious. Can we submit a review about any restaurant out of the Salem area? The reason I ask is because I thought this was Eat Salem, Salem Oregon restaurant reviews.

Lisa Anne said...

I don't know what makes so many pizza places on the west coast put raw tomato slices on pizzas, but its my favorite part. I was distraught when I went to my first pizza place in Virginia and I had asked for tomatoes. I got a little sprinkling chopped tomatoes and didn't know what to think. :-p

KandN said...

Hi Roxie,
Early on there was a favorable discussion on the blog about including some of the local establishments in the towns surrounding the Salem area.

Anonymous said...

I think including the Salem area which typically does not include Corvalis but would include Stayton, Woodburn, Monmouth, Independence, Dallas, and even as far as Gates makes sense to me. These towns are economically and socially tied to Salem. I'm not sure how I feel about including a review of a Corvallis restaurant when considering the purpose of this site. If it was a review of a more unique eatery that's in Corvallis like say Nearly Normal's -- that would make more sense. Perhaps for Salem vegetarians, it's worth the trek to Corvallis. However, including a review of a spectacularly humdrum eatery like this one seems silly. Please, don't go to Corvallis for the purpose of eating this pizza! It's not worth the drive. Go some place more interesting.

Leah said...

I completely disagree with anonymous above...As a native of Salem currently living in Corvallis for work, I think it's great to see reviews of all surrounding areas (within the greater Salem vicinity). Corvallis really is only 40 minutes away. Also, American Dream Pizza, in my opinion, is the greatest pizza I've had (though I am a Straight from New York fan as well and I know they are vastly different in their style and texture). Especially the Edward Abbey...Delicious!

Salem Man said...

Roxie, you're right, this is a Salem restaurant blog with reviews and thoughts about the capitol city. We are not changing that. The blog has been going for over a year and we have a pretty good database of places to eat in town. You are welcome to post reviews about places that you have eaten in the surrounding areas as we have recently. Eating at new places all the time has been somewhat challenging for me and my family and I know that you would be bored to read about every trip we make to Buster's BBQ. There are some places I've been meaning to get to like the new Salad Express on Commercial.

Anonymous said...

Okay, after thinking about it a bit, while I think the pizza is not out of this world, I do appreciate that they have wheat crusts and a variety of veggie combos. The place is also lively, and it's open late. I still don't think it's worth a drive to Corvallis for this pizza.

And come to think about it, I did enjoy reading the review, but it still waters the theme of the site. There are plenty of restaurants in Salem that have not been reviewed.

KandN said...

I have to admit that my main reason (aside from wanting to share about a spot we discovered when our youngest went to OSU) for writing that post, was wanting to spread the word about Corvallis' "Rhapsody in the Vineyard Downtown Walk". I think it would be a great event to have in downtown Salem.
Plus, with some life changes in our household, we're unable to go for vacations. So we try to find ways to incorporate nice drives and food.

Anonymous said...

American Dream Pizza is nothing special. They have great toppings, but their crust is severely lacking in taste IMO. I've tried almost all pizza joints in Corvallis that aren't chains and they're all nothing worthwhile. I grew up in Salem and Salem has some really good places for pizza.

Next time you're in Corvallis try eating at Baguette, which is downtown on Washington and 2nd. It's a Vietnamese sandwich shop and they have by far the best sandwiches I've ever tasted. Nothing is more than $4.25 there either. I wish Salem had something like them for when I come and visit.

Jess said...

I lived in Corvallis for a year, within stumbling distance of six bars, but the Crow Bar is my favorite, hands-down. Their infused kamikazes are to die for.

Anonymous said...

I was just in Corvallis for a board meeting, and for the third time I made the mistake of eating at American Dream.

First let me say it was 8 pm at night, so maybe those pre-made pies were old. Second, the employee that helped me looked like he really couldn't care less and that never helps.

BUT, the pizza was poor. I have eaten pizza far and wide and will give credit where it is due, but this was just not good. The crust lacked flavor and had obviously was old and had been brushed with oil. There was practically no cheese on it. The sauce was non-existent. I could see the sauce, but not taste it.

I love the location - very cool place to drink a beer, but I could not recommend that pizza.


I had a relative at Providence Hospital in Portland and ate several times at the American Dream across the street - - same thing. The pizza was unbearably poor. They pre-make all their dough crusts in the morning and they sit around - that sure doesn't help. Luckily for them, they are the only food right there with a huge captive audience.

Again, I thought that location is cool and a great place to have a beer & people watch.

Atomosphere = Excellent
Pizza = Poor

KandN said...

I'm sorry you've had three bad eating experiences there! I think I would've given up!
Maybe we've just been really fortunate in all the times we've visited American Dream, but then again we've never ordered a slice out of the case - always a whole pizza.

Anonymous said...

KandN - the place is so inviting I keep going back, probably six times between the two locations, and the beer is good, but I just can't find any good words for the pizza.

Again the locations are very cool.

Anonymous said...

The dream pizza has been a favorite for years, since growning up in Corvallis- I have fond memories of going there and enjoying the breadsticks to coloring on the plates. This place wil be around for years.