Red Sauce Pizza’s Shardell Dues Shares Their Must-Try Restaurants in Portland

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Shardell Dues from Red Sauce Pizza likes to keep their namesake sauce as simple and high quality as possible. “We don’t do much about it,” Dues said. “We use a good canned tomato, herbs, sea salt, fresh garlic.” This philosophy extends to almost everything else on the menu — “Really good cheese, good flour, Revel Meat’s summer pepperoni sausages. We smoke our own Canadian bacon, grind up pork butts and make sausages, use local farms for salads, we like to try to do it all.

The door to Red Sauce Pizza.
Thom Hilton / Eater Portland

Eater: There are a lot of specialist pizza makers who say, “I make 20 pies a night and then I’m done.” But one look at your menu and you can tell that’s not the case here.

Shardell dues: We make around 150 to 200 pizzas a night.

It’s a huge accomplishment.

We are a busy restaurant. We do a lot of DoorDash delivery, we have the patio. We don’t do indoor dining at the moment, but we don’t need to – it’s just too risky right now. I defer to the staff. Who wants to be afraid of work? I don’t want people to have anxiety, I don’t want to be the person doing this. Sometimes leaders are really serious. It sounds like such a serious matter, even though it’s not. It’s not fair that people are in panic mode and not enjoying their shift.

It’s good to go to a restaurant where happy people work. Also, it’s good to go to a pizza place where I can’t feel embarrassed to eat pineapple pizza, because you have of them! It makes me feel good.

I love pineapple. I’m obsessed with pineapple. I know people like to have a lot of opinions…

So what are your favorite places to hang out?

I feel like I haven’t been out to a restaurant in two years.

What are the places that are so in your groove, in your routine, that you don’t even think of it as an outing?

Nong’s Khao Man Gai is my delivery note. I love their coconut soft serve. I love DoorDash-ing Sweet and Sour Chicken and Mushroom Fried Rice from Eem. It is quite economical; even with the delivery charge and tip, he feeds two people for about forty dollars. On DoorDash? Even with all the fees? It’s a flight.

Where do you eat in your neighborhood?

If I want to go out for a drink with my friends, Hi-Top Tavern down the street has an amazing patio, great nachos, and great margaritas. I like this place Peter’s Bar & Grill around the corner, it’s just a little dive bar vibe-meets-Red Robin: chill for old or younger. They have a great burger and tater tots.

What is your coffee supply?

I’m big on coffee; must have two a day. The guilder is the best. They roast their beans on site and it’s special, it’s like no other. They’re also making affogato right now, with a little scoop of ice cream. Bison Coffeehouse is a Native American owned cafe on Cully Boulevard and their coffee is wonderful. They offer you the choice of a light, medium or dark roast and Loretta bakes all the pastries on site. Don’t skip the coffee cake or bison sugar cookie.

What are your favorite places for lunch?

I started weight training and I’m so hungry, I really need a burrito and I really don’t want to be disappointed for my lunch. My go-to is Loncheria Los Mayas on Prescott; I probably go two or three times a week. I get the chicken burrito, extra sour cream, no lettuce. Or, I have the cochinita pibil, a very slowly cooked pork shoulder. Their sauces are full of flavor, they salt everything, it’s amazing. The family that runs it takes the weekend off. They do it well.

Where do you go for comfort food?

XLB is my comfort food. Shanghai pork and prawn noodles, dumplings, bao buns comfort me so much. I love this place and feel like it’s underrated. Also, Rangoon Bistro – the chicken danbauk and the pork and pickled mango curry are to die for.

What about late night drinks?

Expat is my favorite. I’m not a heavy drinker, but if I go I’ll have three cocktails. Burmese tea salad is so fresh, textures and crunchy – on a hot day you want to eat this. I always order the cheeseburger and fries. It’s a really fun date night.

And what’s for dessert?

I’m such a chocolaty person. Papa Hadyn has the best German chocolate cake in town, they are classics. Kee’s #Loaded Kitchen is amazing, she does so much for our community. She makes banana pudding and 7 Up cake. She can cook on such a large scale, I’m like, “How the hell are you even doing that?” It’s hard to cook in a cart, period. I have like two buildings and a patio and it’s hard.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

4212 Northeast Street Prescott, OR 97218
(503) 754-3059

5701 Northeast Fremont Street, OR 97213
(503) 460-0544

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Sandy A. Greer