If you're anything like me, or 90 percent of the population for that matter, you love a good pizza. Assuming that you fall into that 90 percent category, then you'll want to make your way to Ivy Bear Pizzeria near the Villages of Mt. Hood.
You likely have seen Ivy Bear as you drive to and from Mt. Hood. Noticeable by the giant ivy bear that sits outside (imagine that), this landmark has been a stop for families looking to refuel after a long day on the mountain since 1945. Scott Olsen and his wife Lindsay purchased the Ivy Bear back in 2010 and made a lot of changes, while also keeping the long history of the business first and foremost. The rich heritage of the site is great, but the pizza really is where it's at.
Scott showed me his process for making a margherita pizza, which is just as much an art form as it is anything else. His thought process is similar to a composer, and he likened the recipe to a symphony: every instrument has the proper level at which to play, too much of any one sound and the song is ruined. The same goes with the pizza. I learned this because I put way too much cheese on mine, and he (very kindly) corrected me. I guess if it were a symphony, it would have been a bit too brassy. Is the cheese like the brass section? Maybe the strings. Yes, string cheese, let's go with that analogy. Either way, thanks to Scott's corrective efforts, the pizza was delicious despite my initial topping flaws.
One very interesting side note that most customers would miss, the point of sale system that the Ivy Bear runs on is completely custom, and crafted by Scott. He wrote the programming from scratch, and it's functionality is truly impressive. It's something you wouldn't ever notice as you go there to eat, but it's worth acknowledging that he could easily be making millions in Silicon Valley, and we'd all be missing out on a great pizza experience.
The Ivy Bear is located at 54735 HWY 26. The official address has it in Sandy, but it's much further east than the town, and is actually closer to Brightwood and the Villages of Mt. Hood. They're open seven days a week from 11am-9pm. Bring a friend and your appetites, it will be well worth the stop.