OTTO to OTTO: 130 Mile Ride to Raise Dough

glv_ride_blogOn Saturday, September 24, the OTTO-sponsored bicycle racing team Green Line Velo will cycle from OTTO’s Comm Ave location in Boston to OTTO’s Munjoy Hill location in Portland to raise money, and awareness, for two vital New England bicycle organizations, The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine.

In one day.  That’s over 130 miles.  They’re gonna need your help, and a lot of pizza, to power through.

Green Line Velo and OTTO have been working together for a few years now (OTTO has been the final stop on GLV’s Wednesday Night Group Rides for years). The relationship grew out of proximity, shared values, and, well, pizza, bikes, and beer.

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Wednesday Night Group Ride in Brookline

When OTTO became an official sponsor of the team in 2016, the idea of a Boston to Portland ride was sparked.  With a shared vision of improving our communities, the decision was made to raise funds and awareness for MassBike and Bicycle Coalition of Maine, with funds going towards cycling safety, infrastructure initiatives, and the promotion of cycling for fitness, fun, and transportation.

Final Wednesday Night Group Ride & Fundraiser
To kick off the event, we will be holding a fundraiser at our 888 Commonwealth Avenue location in Boston after the final Wednesday Night Group Ride on Wednesday, September 14. A portion of every sale between between 6pm-10pm will be donated to MassBike and Bicycle Coalition of Maine.  Please feel free to come out and celebrate another great season, and wish the team best of luck in their 130-mile journey.

Show Some Love — DONATE!
Anyone willing to make a donation to support cycling initiatives in Maine and Massachusetts can do so at the ride’s fundraising page.

Arrival Party, Giveaways, Food and Drink Specials
On Saturday, September 24, we will be holding an arrival party at our 225 Congress Street location on Munjoy Hill in Portland from 4-7pm.  There will be some great food and drink specials, giveaways, and other goodness.

As an added bonus for our cycling enthusiasts, our usual 10% offer to all Bicycle Benefits members will be extended to Buy One – Get One on all slices during the party. You can learn more about how the program works here. If you haven’t already signed up, the time is now!

Come out, meet the team, and support the cycling community!

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Green Line Velo is a bicycle racing team based in Boston dedicated to competing at a high level and developing both individual riders and the sport in general.  By focusing first on a high level of camaraderie, they strive to create a team experience that is similar to collegiate cycling and which creates a cohesive group both on the road in races, as well as on training rides.

GLV are dedicated to the love of the bike, the spirit of competition and, more importantly, to the pursuit of fun and enjoyment for all.  They believe that the bicycle provides the means for their members to enact social good. Through a combination of competition and community outreach, they seek to promote that social good both on and off the bike.


The Bicycle Coalition of Maine works to make Maine a better place to bicycle. Founded by a small group of cyclists in 1992, the Bicycle Coalition has grown into one of the most effective bike advocacy groups in the country. 


The Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) promotes a bicycle-friendly environment and encourages bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation.


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)
½ cup chopped cooked bacon
½ cup bias cut scallions (1⁄8-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
½ pound unsalted butter
¼ 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.

Spring Has Sprung: New Pies, New Menu, New OTTO Site

No better time than Spring for new beginnings, and we at OTTO are sprouting all kinds of goodness: a brand new menu (with 7 new pizzas, new salads, new apps, and our new kids pie!), and a brand new website!

Seven New Signature Pies:

SNew Piesriracha, Chicken & Avocado

Blue Cheese, Roasted Pear & Arugula

Genoa Salami & Ricotta

Roasted Pineapple, Bacon & Red Pepper Flake

Sausage, Broccoli Rabe & Red Pepper Flake

Tomato, Salami & Scallion

and Mushroom & Roasted Cauliflower

 

New Salads:

SaladsRomaine & Fennel

Chopped BLT Salad

Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil

 

Two New Appetizers:

Sweet Italian Sausage with Cannellini Beans, Fresh Herb & Asiago

Bruschetta

 

Kids Pizza (12 & Under):

8″ Cheese Pizza (served “old school” — sauce spread evenly underneath the cheese)

 

As always, we will continue to have weekly special pizzas — keep your eyes peeled for some great new creations and old favorites this summer!

Come on in and give the new menu items a try. We can’t wait to hear what you think.

 

OTTO Expanding Sustainable Delivery in Cambridge

IMG_0436If you’ve spent any time in Harvard Square, chances are you’ve seen an OTTO delivery bike. We’ve been delivering via bike for a year or so, but if you haven’t seen us out and about, you’ll be seeing more of us in the coming weeks and months as we ramp up our sustainable delivery operation at our 1432 Massachusetts Avenue location.

Currently, OTTO employs four bikers who make approximately 100-125 deliveries per week. In February, we’ve biked nearly 500 miles, saving approximately 25-30 gallons of gas, and reducing the number of vehicles that clog the streets of Cambridge at any given hour.

We have recently tripled our bike fleet to 3 delivery cycles, and have plans to double this in the coming months, in addition to expanding our delivery radius in Cambridge.  To do so, we’ll be looking for 12-15 new part-time delivery cyclists.

If you’re a bicycle enthusiast who is interested in joining the OTTO team, we’re looking for you. Send a brief introduction and/or resume to employmentma@ottoportland.com.

See you on the road!

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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.

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

OTTO to Make Four Appearances at the 2016 International Pizza Expo

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OTTO co-owners Mike Keon and Anthony Allen, and OTTO Director of Marketing, Eric Shepherd

This March, three members of the OTTO team will be making a total of four appearances at the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. (Yes, that’s really a thing.)

Over the past thirty years, thousands of restaurant owners, managers, manufacturers, distributors, food brokers, and service providers have been convening every March for this industry event — the largest pizza show in the world.

In addition to the International Pizza Challenge (bake-offs before judges in five divisions, with Pizza Maker of the Year finals) and the World Pizza Games (skills competition in five divisions), the four-day convention also features approximately 90 keynote addresses, seminars, workshops, panel discussions and demonstrations.

OTTO co-owners Anthony Allen and Mike Keon will be making two appearances.

On Tuesday, March 8, Mike and Anthony will be performing a live baking demo, ‘Pizza Outside the Box,’ where they will discuss OTTO’s penchant for non-traditional ingredient combinations. Attendees will get to watch step-by-step baking demonstrations of two of the pizzeria’s signature pies: The Mashed Potato, Bacon & Scallion pizza, and the Butternut Squash, Cranberry & Ricotta.

On Wednesday March 9, Mike and Anthony will present a seminar, ‘Creating a Unique Dining Experience in Nontraditional Settings,’ in which they will discuss OTTO’s unique dining environments — from a location in a former gas station to booths built out of scrapped pianos.

Eric Shepherd, OTTO’s Director of Marketing and Communications will be making two appearances at this year’s Pizza Expo.

On Monday, March 7, as part of the School of Pizzeria Management, Eric will be co-conducting a 4-hour workshop entitled ‘A Coordinated Marketing Plan for Pizzerias,’ in which he will share knowledge, tools and techniques to raise brand awareness, expand customer bases, and increase repeat business.

On Wednesday, March 9, Eric will lead a seminar entitled ‘Grow Your Customer Base With Cause Marketing’ in which he will discuss OTTO’s dedication to the communities in which it does business, through multiple weekly fundraisers in two states, and year-round support of local and regional charities, organizations, and schools.

This will be Mike and Anthony’s second year presenting at Pizza Expo, and Eric’s third time around.

If you happen to be in Vegas, come by and say hello. Other OTTO team members will also be on hand. We look forward to seeing you, and we hope to come back smarter, and inspired.