Ten Years of OTTO: Customers Tell Us About Their Favorite OTTO Experiences

As part of our 10 Year Anniversary celebrations in June, we asked customers to tell us about their favorite OTTO experiences. We received hundreds of lovely comments and decided to publish a handful here on the OTTO blog. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

When we started OTTO in 1992, we had a few simple goals: To elevate pizza above its ‘staple’ status, and to create moments worth sharing. It was sharing that got us where we are today — word of mouth from the people we served day in and day out.

Thanks to all our customers for ten great years. We wouldn’t be here without you. We look forward to helping to create ten more years of memories with you.

My best friend and I discovered OTTO on Congress several years ago. We’d often grab a late afternoon slice on our downtown walkabouts. Over the years, when one of us needed advice, a shoulder or a serious chat, we’d declare an OTTO. We could talk anything through over a slice. Though our friendship has moved apart over the years, I know if one of us declared an OTTO, the other would show up. — P. D.

When my husband was offered a job in Portland in 2017 and my family considered making the move here, from Brooklyn NY, a place that has some serious pizza game, we came on a visit and happened upon OTTO. The first pies we ordered, Mango and Pulled Pork and Eggplant Ricotta and Basil, we’re life changing experiences and totally made us feel like we could picture ourselves in this new city. The flavor! The crust! We are now OTTO’s most devoted fans! DiFara no more! John’s is gone! Every Friday is OTTO night! — Amanda S.

Dinnertime with my family can be a real challenge but bringing my three kids, (1 vegetarian, 1 pescatarian and 1 gluten sensitive) to OTTO and watching them devour their pizzas and buffalo fries is such a gift! At OTTO, everyone can find a delicious option to fit their dietary needs and it’s a relief for a mom like me that all of your ingredients are high quality! Thank You OTTO! — Carrie C.

When I moved to Boston from Portland and saw an OTTO in Brookline, I knew it was going to be ok. — Leigh M.

Last summer, when we ordered OTTO and it never even made it in to the house…we just sat on the steps and ate it there in the dark. — Kate S.

We’ve celebrated our now-11 year-old son’s birthday twice at OTTO because it is his happy place. Friends, family and potato, bacon and scallion pizza. We know it will be a good time. ūüôā — Melissa P.

We had our favorite Mushroom and Sausage pizza from OTTO and ate it on the beach on Plum Island moments before we got engaged! — Jennifer G.

We are from NYC, just moved to Portland and had a couple of Italian-American friends visit. We had low expectations of pizza in Maine. Ok, no expectations. But a fast delivery, that weird sheet that keeps the crust crispy, and the smell of real cheese made the crowd sit up straight. First taste? One bite and the Italians stopped laughing at the bacon and mashed potatoes on the pie, and generally did not resume conversation until three boxes were empty. A few years later, the same friends came back to Portland with a list of things to do in Portland: eat OTTO pizza, and eat lobster, in that order. This year they ate lobster on their OTTO pizza. Respect. — Mary W.

The first date I had 5 and a half years ago was to OTTO with my now fiance! A memory we treasure. — Ryan J.

When we moved to Maine 5 years ago we had no idea where to get food. Didn’t even know where the grocery store was. But OTTO came through and delivered pizza everyday that first week to our doorstep and hasn’t stopped since. — Dan P.

The night before our wedding in August 2017 we had dinner with my soon to be father-in-law who was visiting from Texas. His wife was a chef who had recently passed away and he an avid foodie and (sometimes) critic. He was super impressed by the pizza and salads at the South Portland Cottage Rd restaurant and insisted we go again the next time he visited. (He also gave us a very generous gift to use toward our honeymoon!). He asks us about OTTO every time he plans a visit! — Stephanie M.

My wife and I were working very hard one humid summer evening painting the interior walls of the condo we just purchased on Washington Avenue so my son could live there for school. We had nothing left in us, no energy, no life. And we were famished…so we ordered from OTTO, which we heard great things about (but had never eaten). What a great gastronomic experience! Fresh, crisp, tasty, LITE (not chewy) pizza – what a reward for the hard work and sweat. We have since moved to Portland ourselves and have made OTTO our #1 pizza choice! — Ken S.

When I first moved to Maine my friend took me to OTTO and was like, “You have to try this mashed potato pizza.” I thought that sounded ridiculous until I tried a slice. I think I found Jesus in that moment. All my worries melted away amongst that delicious buttery potato and bacon goodness. I might name my first child Otto. — M C

Hello, Saco! OTTO opening full-service location adjacent to Cinemagic IMAX!

Untitled-1The rumors are true. OTTO will be opening its 7th Maine location this June on Route 1 in Saco, adjacent to the Cinemagic IMAX theater and across the street from Funtown Splashtown.

The 80-seat location at 779 Portland Road will feature all the OTTO bells and whistles, and then some:

  • Quick-serve slice counter
  • Full-service dining room
  • Full bar (with 12-20 taps of regional craft beer)
  • Takeout counter
  • Outdoor patio seating
  • Delivery
  • Weekly fundraiser series

We are thrilled to become part of the neighborhood, and we have been humbled by an abundance of well-wishes and welcomes from Saco residents, businesses, employees and organizations. We can’t express how excited we are.

To stay up to date on our progress, opening dates, events, and more, please like our OTTO Saco Facebook page.  For employment opportunities, please visit our careers page.

See you this summer, Saco!

OTTO featured in ‘Crusts: The Ultimate Baker’s Book’

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OTTO founders Anthony Allen and Mike Keon are featured in Crusts, a brand new, 848-page baking book from Cider Mill Press.

Crusts: The Ultimate Baker’s Book features over 300 recipes from expert bakers around the world, covering breads, croissants, pizzas, pies, and more. The publisher describes the cookbook as “the ultimate resource for every level chef, and is a keystone addition to your cookbook library.”

Written by Barbara Elisi Caracciolo, owner of Spigamadre bakery in Sweden and blogger behind Bread and Companatico, Crusts runs the gamut, featuring: gluten-free, Paleo, vegetarian, and vegan recipes; complete how-to sections on making your own dough, bread, and pizzas with easy-to-follow instructions; helpful tips and techniques from expert bakers and chefs; culinary histories behind your favorite loaves and pastries; an illustrated catalog of more than 100 grains from around the world and throughout time, and much more.

IMG_7097The book features a profile on OTTO, an interview with owners Mike and Anthony, and the recipe for OTTO’s signature ‘Masher’ pie (Mashed Potato, Bacon & Scallion), which has been named one of the best pizzas in America by The Food Network.

It’s an elegant and informative book, packed with a wealth of insight and inspiration. Pick it up at your local independent bookstore, directly from the publisher, or anywhere books are sold.

Celebrate OTTO’s 8th birthday with 8 throwback pies throughout June!

On June 18, OTTO turns 8! To celebrate, we will be bringing back 8 classic OTTO pies for a limited time throughout the month of June!  Each week, we will be featuring 2 throwbacks, including fan faves like our Zucchini, Spinach & Summer Squash pie, and our Apple, Bacon & Red Onion.

Each Friday at 5pm, two pies will be available for 7 days. Check out the schedule below and mark your calendars!

18893282_1706999769311946_2863031500396257067_nThrowbacks will be available at all OTTO locations.

We have lots of other good stuff planned for June, including a very special birthday beer collaboration with Rising Tide. We’ll soon be pouring OCTO, which is a potato IPA (!!!) using Maine potatoes, as well as¬†Nugget and Cascade hops from The Hop Yard!

Stay tuned!

Celebrating New England Craft Beer

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While our main gig at OTTO is crafting an array of delicious pizzas, we also like to celebrate the range of local craft beers we have on tap from breweries across New England. From an Austin Street Patina to a Lamplighter Lucid Nonsense, we’re always seeking out the best local beers to pair up with our pies and slices.

Overwhelmingly we’re serving beers from breweries in the two states we call home – Maine and Massachusetts. Our New England offerings come from as far north as Atlantic Brewing in Bar Harbor and as far south as Stratford, CT, the home of Two Roads Brewing Company. Our Massachusetts beers come from as far west as Big Elm Brewing in the Berkshires to as far east as Cisco Brewers on Nantucket.
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AND, just last year our hometown of Portland was recently named America‚Äôs Craft Beer Capital! While the city’s population is smaller than all of the other cities on the list with only about 66,000 people, there‚Äôs an average of 25.5 microbreweries per 100,000 inhabitants! Yep, Portlanders like their beer. Each year, droves of beer lovers trek to Maine just to check out the 60+ breweries across the state.

Here at OTTO we¬†also have a bi-annual collaboration going with Rising Tide, our not too far away neighbors in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland. Each year, we brew two beers with Rising Tide ‚Äď ¬†Oscar Tango Tango Oscar, our spring collab (coming right up!) and Autohelm, which is released in the late fall. The two beers are available exclusively at OTTO locations and in the Rising Tide tasting room. Our employees enjoy working together with the Rising Tide crew each year to brew these fan favorites.

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Back in the fall, we opened our newest location in Portland (250 Read Street) with our most taps yet ‚Äď TWELVE. The majority of these taps serve up local Maine beers, but we always offer a few options for those wanting to grab some brews from a bit farther afield like Jack‚Äôs Abby and Lord Hobo.

Since we opened our first location in 2009 in downtown Portland, we have enjoyed ‚Äėgrowing up‚Äô alongside the craft beer scene and supporting our local brewers. We‚Äôre proud to be currently serving beer from over 20 New England breweries and cider makers! These local breweries make it easy for the love match between beer & pizza to continue‚Ķforever.

MAINE
Allagash РPortland
Atlantic РBar Harbor
Austin Street РPortland
Banded Horn РBiddeford
Bissell Brothers РPortland
Foundation РPortland
Funky Bow –¬†Lyman
Lone Pine РPortland
Oxbow РNewcastle
Peak Organic РPortland
Rising Tide РPortland
Urban Farm Fermentory РPortland

MASSACHUSETTS
Bantam Cider РSomerville
Big Elm РSheffield
Castle Island РNorwood
Downeast Cider РEast Boston
Ipswich Ale Brewery РIpswich
Jack’s Abby РFramingham
Lamplighter РCambridge
Lord Hobo – Woburn
Night Shift РEverett

CONNECTICUT
Two Roads РStratford

OTTO Yarmouth Now Delivering!

yarmouthdeliveryWe are excited to announce the addition of delivery service at our Yarmouth location (367 Main Street)!

Delivery service is now available for all of Yarmouth, as well as parts of Freeport, Falmouth, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. (See current delivery area below.)

Customers now have three different ways to get their OTTO fix:

  • Take-out
  • Full service dining (with beer & wine)
  • Delivery

Whether¬†a meal for one, family pizza night, a party, business meeting, or a large event, we’ve got you covered. ¬†(Learn more about OTTO Catering.)

Order online, via the OTTO mobile app, or dial 207-846-1325.

We look forward to serving you.

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OTTO Yarmouth delivery area

Rising Tide-OTTO collab ‘Autohelm’ release party tonight at NEW Back Cove OTTO!

Join us tonight at our brand spankin’ new Back Cove location at 250 Read Street in Portland, as we start pouring the third annual release of Autohelm, a deliciously hoppy amber ale brewed by Rising Tide Brewing Company in collaboration with OTTO.

250mapOur Autohelm release party is from 5-7pm today (Wednesday, Oct 12). Rising Tide and OTTO staff will be on hand to talk about the beer, and there will be schwag! Come check out our new digs while enjoying the first pours of this delicious winter beer.

This limited special collaboration will be available exclusively at OTTO locations in Maine and Massachusetts. (Note: Only 250 Read Street will begin pouring today. Other ME locations will begin pouring early next week, with MA locations in late October.)

If you haven’t had an opportunity to try Autohelm¬†in the past,¬†you won’t want to miss it this year.

The brew has 3.73 rating on social beer discovery service Untappd, eliciting some of the following responses:

autohelm-screen-copy“Delicious!”
“This is incredible.”
“Super solid!”
“Very solid hoppy amber. Piney hops with a strong malt backbone!”
“A sweet, hoppy Amber.”
“Very smooth. Almost creamy. Nice rich malts with hop balance.”
“Oh so good.”
“Great hoppy awesome. Full body with a little sweet.”
“Fan-freakin-tastic! Well done. Hoppy , refreshing, in a season of big heavy beers this was a refreshing change.”
“Wow that is delicious!”

Thirsty yet?

Come on¬†down, grab a few pies, and a few glasses of Autohelm¬†— and be sure to let us know what you think.

OTTO Mallside: One of SoPo’s Hidden Gems

In an unassuming industrial park a stone’s throw from the Maine Mall, sits one of SoPo’s hidden gems.

Don’t blink;¬†you might just miss it.

Tucked between the mall and¬†Clark’s Pond Cinema¬†(and right next door to Maine Escape Games), you will find the most spacious OTTO in Maine. ¬†And one of¬†the only restaurants in Maine with its own indoor bocce court (which doubles as a cornhole court, if you’re so inclined).

Those who have discovered the Mallside OTTO have become enamored with it. Its casual backyard barbecue ambience, the ample parking, and the convenient location make it a great alternative to fast food, and other national chains that line Maine Mall Road.

Keep your GPS on and hone in on it. It’s worth a few passes,” writes Christine B. on Yelp.

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A rare gem in [South Portland],” according to Derek B.

Shannon S. writes, “One of those “if you don’t know it’s there, you won’t know it’s there” kinda locations…cozy vibe and pizza was on point.”

Janice B. says, “So happy to find a spot like this near Maine Mall. We grabbed a bite and then went to a movie – perfect!

Ben V writes, “Ordering online for both takeout and delivery have been flawless. Same great pizza as their other locations, and easily the best pizza in the entire state.”

So, whether it’s a night at the¬†movies, holiday shopping, car shopping, or a trip to the hardware store, you can still get your OTTO fix at one of SoPo’s best kept secrets.

Make your own Masher!

KR1_96621This Labor Day weekend, we’d like to share the recipe for our award-winning Mashed Potato, Bacon and Scallion pie!

The pizza named one of the ‘Best Pizzas in America’ by The Food Network is not only a joy to eat, it’s a blast to make.

If you’re feeling adventurous over the three-day weekend, give it a try! Share pictures of your experience with us via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. ¬†We’d love to see your take on this fan favorite!

Ingredients
1 16-ounce proofed pizza dough cornmeal (to taste)
Olive oil (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons grated Asiago
1 cup mashed potatoes (recipe follows)
7 ounces grated low-moisture mozzarella
Heavy cream (to taste)
¬Ĺ cup chopped cooked bacon
¬Ĺ cup bias cut scallions (1‚ĀĄ8-inch thick)
1 tablespoon chopped mix of parsley, rosemary and thyme Salt (to taste)

Instructions
Stretch the pizza dough into a 16-inch circle and place on a peel that has been dusted with cornmeal.
Brush the dough with olive oil.
Season with the black pepper and Asiago.
Break up the mashed potatoes and distribute evenly around the pizza, spreading all the way to the crust.
Top with mozzarella, making sure to cover the entire pizza, and drizzle generously with cream. Top with the bacon, scallions, parsley and salt.
Bake in a preheated 500 F pizza oven until golden brown.
Rotate the pizza half way through for an even bake.
Cut and serve.

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Mashed Potato Ingredients
Ingredients
Mashed Potato
1-2 pounds Maine or red potatoes
¬Ĺ pound unsalted butter
¬ľ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoon black pepper
2 cup heavy cream

Mashed Potato Instructions
Fill a large pot with the potatoes, enough cold water to cover, and half the salt.
Bring to a simmer.
Cook until the larger potatoes can easily be crushed with tongs.
Strain in colander.
Immediately add the potatoes to a large container with the butter, remaining salt and pepper.
Mash until smooth and no large lumps remain.
Stir in the cream.
Refrigerate immediately.

OTTO/Rising Tide Spring Collaboration Launch Parties in ME and MA

1609996_1190159957662599_4654903827232278965_nPlease join us on¬†Wednesday,¬†March 30th¬†as we launch¬†OTTO and Rising Tide Brewing Company‘s¬†spring collaboration, Oscar Tango Tango Oscar¬†—¬†a crisp, snappy, and sessionable pale ale brewed with rice.

The celebration will be happening simultaneously in Portland and Massachusetts, with launch parties at two OTTO locations on Wednesday, March 30. Join OTTO and Rising Tide team members at 225 Congress Street in Portland’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood¬†or 289 Harvard Street in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner from 6-8pm, as we start pouring this delicious brew. Lucky attendees will receive Rising Tide and OTTO schwag!

This limited special collaboration will be available exclusively at OTTO.

12745742_1171284872883441_949013297044290465_nThe brewing process kicked off on February 23rd, with OTTO team members on site. This is the second year of this annual spring collaboration, which currently holds a respectable 3.71 rating (with 218 check-ins) on the popular social drinking service Untappd.

Oscar Tango Tango Oscar’s citrusy snap goes perfect on our sunny patios while sharing one of OTTO’s spring pies — eggplant, ricotta and basil, or roasted chicken, caramelized pears and fontina.

Oscar Tango Tango Oscar’s profile is sure to provoke an onset of Spring Fever. Proceed with caution.

Aroma: tangerine, orange peel, grapefruit, rose
Taste: tangerine, grapefruit, cereal, crisp with a snappy bitterness
Malts: 2-row, flaked rice, carapils
Hops: amarillo, mandarina, cascade
Yeast: house american ale
Specifics: 4.4% abv, 1.044 o.g., 4 srm, 25 ibu

Cheers!12144691_1171284999550095_5301404358084709220_n