PORTLAND — Pizza for lunch can sometimes be a problem. You can wait for an entire pizza to be baked, but your half-hour lunch break might be mostly gone by then. Or you can buy pizza by the slice, but it might not be that fresh.

Pie in the Sky Pizza confronts both problems head on. The place specializes in personal-sized, made-to-order pizzas that are ready in about five minutes and range from about $4.95 to about $5.95.

The place is on the second floor of the Public Market House on Monument Square. The space, which opened in December, has lots of seating for people to eat lunches they’ve bought on either the first or second floors. There are also couches, games and toys to create a casual and friendly dining or coffee-sipping spot. Plus, there are great second-story views of Monument Square.

Pie in the Sky is an offshoot of Big Sky Bread Co., which sells breads, sweets and sandwiches on the first floor of the Public Market House. So it’s no wonder Pie in the Sky pizzas are made on Tuscan bread crusts.

There are six pizza varieties on the menu:

A three-cheese with mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and tomato sauce for $4.95.

A Greek with roasted red peppers, red onion, kalamata olives, baby spinach, crumbled feta cheese and tomato sauce for $5.75.

A Margherita with fresh mozzarella, basil, roma tomatoes, tomato sauce and balsamic vinaigrette for $5.50.

A BBQ chicken pizza with pulled chicken breast, barbecue sauce, red onion, Monterrey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese and tomato sauce for $5.95.

The Bianca, with fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella, provolone, cheddar and olive oil (no sauce) for $5.25.

A pepperoni, which is the three-cheese pizza topped with pepperoni, for $5.50.

Plus there are daily special pizzas as well as soup specials. Salads range from $3.95 to $4.95 for a small, and come in four varieties.

You can also get a snack or small lunch with an order of garlic/cheese breadsticks with marinara sauce for $2.95.

Desserts include several treats made at Big Sky’s bakery, including brownies ($1.80), whoopie pies ($2.20), chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies ($1.45).

I sampled the Margherita. I saw it being made, and sat by a window gazing onto Monument Square while it cooked. The crust was more like a bread than your average pizza crust. There were big dabs of fresh mozzarella melted onto the sauce, with tomato slices and a generous portion of basil leaves.

Overall it was a very nice, and filling, lunch for $5.50. I didn’t need one, but I also had a Big Sky oatmeal raisin cookie, which was the size of a small dinner plate.

It was also really good, which I would expect from a Big Sky baked good.

It used to be I’d only get lunch from a Public Market House vendor in good weather, when I could take it outside to eat in Monument Square. That’s because there was very little seating on the first floor.

But now with the addition of the second-floor space, there’s plenty of room to eat lunch indoors all year long.

Besides Big Sky and Pie in the Sky, other vendors currently at Public Market House include K. Horton Specialty Foods, selling cheeses and spreads; Maine Beer & Beverage Co.; Spartan Grill, with Greek food; Market House Coffee; and Peanut Butter Jelly Time, specializing in PB&J sandwiches.

A soup place, Kamasouptra, is scheduled to open on the second floor in mid-April.


The Features staff of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram anonymously samples meals for about $7.


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