Monday Night Bluegrass is Back at OTTO

Three years ago, the acclaimed bluegrass player Joe K Walsh started a Monday night tradition in Portland’s Arts District: Bluegrass Night at OTTO.

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Photo by Gabe Souza/PPH

Joe and Friends have been a staple at the 576 Congress Street location, laying down some of the best performances (of any genre) you will find anywhere in Maine.

We’re pleased to announce that, after a short winter hiatus (while Joe was on tour with Mr. Sun, his band with Darol Anger, Grant Gordy, and Ethan Jodziewicz), Bluegrass Night is back, starting Monday, March 28. The first edition of 2016 will feature Joe, along with Steve Roy, Lincoln Meyers, and Lukas Pool.

For the uninitiated, Joe Walsh was the first student at Berklee College of Music to graduate with a degree in performance specializing in mandolin. He currently teaches at Berklee, where he serves as Managing Director of the American Roots Music Program.

The world-renowned fiddle legend Darol Anger called Walsh “one of my favorite musicians on earth.”

Joe has played in several renowned bands, including Joy Kills Sorrow, the New England Bluegrass BandNorthern Lights, and the Grammy nominated Gibson Brothers.

Writing in the Portland Press Herald, Bob Keyes wrote, “Walsh is the most in-demand mandolin player in Maine, and one of the most sought-after in America. He could easily live in Nashville, Austin or any other acoustic music hotbed, but chooses Portland because he loves the city and is well-treated here.”

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Photo by Gabe Souza/PPH

And he loves it so much, each Monday night he assembles a handful of the best roots musicians in Maine, or in America, for a fireworks-display of fretwork, lonesome harmonies, and good times.

Some of Bluegrass Night’s past guests have included members of Crooked StillDella Mae, the Josh Ritter Band, and the Ray LaMontagne band. You never know who might pop up, but you can always expect to be blown away.

And to boot, the shows are 100% free.

So, grab your family and friends, pop over for a few pies, some local craft beer, and take in some of the very best bluegrass you’re likely to hear anywhere.

The 1st OTTO Oscars! Submit your OTTO-themed Movie Poster and Win $100 Worth of Pizza Delivered to your Door on Oscar Night

It’s that time of year again – Oscar season! In honor of the 88th Academy Awards, we inviteTheShining you to post your own versions of OTTO-themed movie posters on our Facebook timeline and WIN!

Submit your movie poster by Thursday, February 25th. On Friday, February 26th we will choose the three best entries and award the following prizes:

1st place: A pizza party of $100 worth of pizza delivered to your home on Oscar Night* OR a $100 gift card & an OTTO T-shirt
2nd place: $50 OTTO gift card & an OTTO T-shirt
3rd place: $25 OTTO gift card & an OTTO T-shirt

A couple of rules to follow:

  1. You must incorporate one or both of the following: A photo of OTTO pizza AND/ORSpottolight the word ‘OTTO’ (Otto’s or Otto’s Pizza will not be accepted)
  2. Please use an existing film poster for your entry (see the Facebook gallery for examples)

Entries may be posted on our Facebook timeline or emailed to contactus@ottoportland.com. Winners will be contacted via Facebook or email on 2/26.

OTTO reserves the right to remove and/or disqualify entries that are not suitable for all ages, or which are otherwise not aligned with OTTO’s good taste.

We will add the very best entries to our ‘OTTO Oscars’ Facebook gallery, and elsewhere.

Get to it and good luck!

*The address must be within delivery range of one our locations in Maine or Massachusetts to qualify for an Oscar Night delivery

 

Who is Elliott Brood? And Why Should You Care?

Elliott Brood is on tour and playing a bunch of shows in the northeast before heading over to Europe.

Music is an important ingredient at OTTO Pizza – we listen to it all the time. We listen to music while we’re setting up shop in the morning; it’s playing during the day when we’re taking care of our customers, and we crank it up at night while we’re cleaning up the shop to do it all over again the next day.

Some of the folks who work at OTTO Pizza are musicians themselves, and there are a ton of local bands that we love as well, but every once in a while, a band comes along that really grabs us and maybe we go a little crazy.

Elliott Brood is such a band. These guys are amazing. But don’t take our word for it. Check ’em out for yourself.

And apparently, Elliott Brood is on tour right now, which is great. Anybody else really like Elliott Brood? Why don’t you drop us a line at ottopizza668@gmail.com?

OTTO TO GO: Pizza Delivery Available in the Portland Area

Why order delivery from the big chains, when OTTO Pizza will come to you?OTTO Pizza delivers!

Now, of course we love to see you. Your smiling face brightens our day. But we also know there are times when it’s hard to get out of the house, or you just don’t feel like getting out of your pajamas.

If you live in the Portland area, you can order any of our deliciously different pizzas by phone or fax. Whether you’re in the East End, the West End, downtown, the Arts District, Old Port, or Munjoy Hill, OTTO will ensure your pizza is delivered hot and fresh from our oven.

Delivery times may vary, depending on volume, but you can expect to have our custom-topped gourmet pies within 30-45 minutes. Some of the big chains can’t even do that.

It’s OTTO-Matic. For the people.

WooHoo! It’s National Cheese Pizza Day!

OTTO Pizza owners Anthony Allen and Mike Keon show the hosts at Fox’s “Good Morning Maine” how they make their award-winning cheese pizza. Sept. 5 is National Cheese Pizza Day. To see the full video of the spot, click on the link in the post.

Yep, that’s right! Today, Sept. 5, 2012, is National Cheese Pizza Day.

How it became National Cheese Pizza Day in America is something of a debate. There’s no Presidential or Congressional proclamation declaring National Cheese Pizza Day, if the historians are to be believed, but it seems to have evolved by virtue of widespread common belief. If everyone believes Sept. 5 is National Cheese Pizza Day, then ipso facto, Sept. 5 is National Cheese Pizza Day.

So in honor of National Cheese Pizza Day, we put together a few fun facts:

  • Americans eat 350 slices of pizza per second.
  • The average American eats 23 pounds of pizza each year.
  • 93 percent of Americans eat at least one slice of pizza each month.

In celebration of National Cheese Pizza Day, OTTO Pizza owners Mike Keon and Anthony Allen paid a visit to Good Day Maine, the Fox Network morning show in Portland, Maine, to show everyone exactly how OTTO Pizza makes a cheese pizza, which serves as the foundation for many of the OTTO Pizza flavor combinations.

Watch Mike and Anthony work their magic.

And you can bet we’ll be checking in with one of our favorite bloggers later today to see how she marks the special occasion.

OTTO Pizza to be Featured on Boston’s Wicked Popular Phantom Gourmet Show

Phantom Gourmet segment producer Deb Hurley and videographer Greg Dole shot a piece recently at OTTO Pizza’s Coolidge Corner shop in Brookline, Mass.

If you live in the Boston area, you are undoubtedly familiar with an enormously popular television show called the Phantom Gourmet. If you don’t live in the Boston area, you might want to take a look at it anyway because the Phantom Gourmet consistently highlights the best in Food & Fun in Boston and beyond … including forays into Vacationland to shine their spotlight on some of Maine’s best offerings.

And yesterday, the Phantom Gourmet crew brought their cameras to our OTTO PIzza Coolidge Corner shop to get the story from that angle and show their viewers exactly how the magic happens.

Segment producer Deb Hurley and videographer Greg Dole spent four or five hours at OTTO Pizza, interviewing owners Anthony Allen and Mike Keon, getting a behind-the-scenes take on our specialty pies and shooting footage that will give their viewers a first-hand look at what inspires such fanatical loyalty among our OTTO Pizza customers.

Of course, the inimitable Masher — featuring mashed Maine potatoes, bacon and scallions — was on the menu, but so were several other OTTO Pizza specialties, including the Pulled Pork & Mango, the Butternut Squash, Ricotta and Cranberry (a very popular item with our vegetarian friends) and the often imitated but never duplicated Margherita, which features fresh Roma tomatoes and pungent basil, painstakingly prepared by OTTO Pizza’s kitchen artisans in a delicate chiffonade.

The Phantom Gourmet airs in the Boston media market on myTV38 on Saturday and Sunday 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively. The show is also a feature on the WBZ4 Evening News. The Phantom Gourmet airs on CW28 in Providence Saturday at 10 a.m. and WPME-TV, the CW, in Maine, on Sundays at 11a.m.

Phantom Gourmet is live on 96.9FM Boston Talks Saturday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The OTTO Pizza segment is expected to air sometime in mid-August.

Win An OTTO Pizza Hat Just Like the Ones Worn by the Folks Behind the Counter!

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Here’s your chance to win an official OTTO Pizza hat, just like the ones worn by the folks who work there!

If you’ve been to OTTO Pizza, or had OTTO Pizza delivered to you, you’ve probably seen them — those sylish, white hats that the kitchen and delivery staff wear. Here’s your chance to get one for yourself!

To snag one, all you’ve got to do is visit our Facebook page, click on the “OTTO Hat Contest” link and fill  out the form by 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 1, 2012. We’ll select a winner at random from among the entries on Monday, July 2, and the lucky entrant should be sporting that new cap by the weekend!

These are great hats, featuring the OTTO Pizza logo embroidered in black thread on the front of a 100-percent cotton, pure white cap, and until now the only way to get one has been to work at OTTO Pizza — which is a possibility. We’re always looking for good help.

But if you’ve got a job, or are otherwise occupied in that respect, this is your best bet to get an OTTO Pizza hat. We’ve got no plans to offer them for sale. So get on over to our Facebook page and enter! You can’t win if ya don’t play.

OTTO Pizza’s Deering Little League Girls Softball Team Closes Out Season

OTTO Pizza coach Brian Carleton serves up some pizza to the members of the Deering Little League OTTO Pizza Girls AA Softball Team as they celebrate the close of their successful season with some pizza at OTTO Pizza’s Munjoy Hill location last night.

This year, OTTO Pizza sponsored a girls softball team in the AA Division of Portland’s Deering Little League. The girls, all seven and eight years old, wrapped up their season last night with a game at the Hall School field, whereupon the entire team adjourned to OTTO Pizza’s East End location on Munjoy Hill for a celebratory pizza party.

In addition to the pizzas, the girls enjoyed a special cake commemorating their season and tore into two packs of Topps 2012 baseball cards, supplied by Assistant Coach Danny Terroni.

It was a great year, and the best part of it was watching all of the girls improve as players as the season progressed. It was a real treat to watch them learn how to play the game and then put those skills to use on the diamond in the games each week.

The members of OTTO Pizza’s Deering Little League AA Girls Softball team gather for a team photo at the beginning of the season.

Coach Brian Carleton did a great job teaching the girls how to hit, how to field and how to make accurate throws, and every game was well-attended by the players’ parents, friends and family.

“We had a great year because we had great kids and all the parents were involved, too,” Coach Brian said. “That makes a big, big difference.”

We’re proud of the girls, not just those who played on the OTTO Pizza team, but of all of ’em who played in the league this year. It was an honor to be able to be a part of it all and we’re looking forward to being involved again next year.

 

A member of the OTTO Pizza AA Girls Softball Team in Portland’s Deering Little League drives a solid hit up the middle as her teammates look on.

What do the Maine High School Basketball State Champs Have in Common with OTTO Pizza?

OTTO Pizza co-owners Mike Keon (L) and Anthony Allen (C) receive kudos from Portland Mayor Michael Brennan Monday evening at City Hall in Portland, Maine.

A lot more than you’d think.

F’rinstance, all of ’em are from Portland. For those of you who somehow didn’t see the news, Portland’s Deering High School boys basketball and McCauley High School girls basketball teams were both the best in the state this year — and OTTO Pizza is arguably the best pizza in the state, if not New England.

And all of ’em were at City Hall in Portland, Maine, on Monday night to receive commendations from the members of the City Council and Portland Mayor Michael Brennan; the members of Portland’s championship teams for their outstanding athletic achievement on the court, and OTTO Pizza for supporting the Portland Recreation Department’s after-school program.

And while we certainly didn’t set out seeking such recognition when we became involved with the Rec Department, it was an honor to receive it, nonetheless.

Thank you.

Anthony & Mike

OTTO Pizza to Open in Brookline, Massachusetts

OTTO Pizza is coming to Coolidge Corner in Brookline, MA.

OTTO Pizza is set to open a new store in the Coolidge Corner neighborhood in Brookline, Massachusetts.

“This is a great location,” OTTO Pizza co-owner Anthony Allen said. “Coolidge Corner is a fantastic neighborhood, and when the location opened up it seemed like a natural fit for us.”

The new shop, which received licensing approvals from the Brookline Board of Selectmen last night, will offer OTTO Pizza’s full menu of interesting and unusual pies, including the signature Mashed Potato, Bacon and Scallion pizza that has drawn national media coverage, as well as special creations featuring seasonal ingredients. The menu will also include several salads and desserts.

Allen said the new store, which will be located at 289 Harvard Ave. in Brookline, will have 60 seats when the build-out is complete and is on schedule to open in May  2012.

“We’re going to provide people with a place to come in, sit down and have an excellent meal without breaking the bank,’ Allen said.

Allen’s partner in OTTO Pizza, co-owner Mike Keon, said the new store will also feature a selection of beer and wine available by the glass.

OTTO Pizza is owned by Allen and Keon, both veteran restaurateurs with decades of experience between them, and currently has four locations: two full service restaurants in Portland, a delivery restaurant that is also in Portland, and a Harvard Square shop in Cambridge, Mass., that offers take-out service. The Brookline, Mass., store represents the fifth OTTO Pizza location.