Tuesday, June 18, 2013
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Yeasty Beasty owner Thomas Jones spent months perfecting the crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside dough recipe for the new pizzeria and pub in Monmouth.
September 04, 2012
MONMOUTH -- Thomas Jones said it took several months of kneading, rolling and baking in a test kitchen during the last year to come up with the recipe for a pizza dough for his prospective restaurant.
By the seventh month, he had come up with a combination that had the taste and the crispy, yet chewy texture he was looking for.
"It was a magic moment," he said.
Jones calls the crust of the pie the "bone." And it's one of the calling cards for Yeasty Beasty, a pizzeria and pub on Main Street in downtown Monmouth. The business opened in early August and will hold a grand opening on Sept. 22 to coincide with the start of school at Western Oregon University.
Yeasty Beasty bakes "craft" pizzas, using as many organic and local meats, cheeses and vegetables as possible, Jones said.
"People go the easy route and for cheap ingredients to make it fast," he said. "We're the opposite of that."
Yeasty Beasty cultivates and manages its own yeast, an Italian strain which also serves as the inspiration for the restaurant's name and mascot. The dough uses flour from Bob's Red Mill, an organic flour made in Milwaukie. Pizzas are baked in a massive stone deck oven shipped in from New York City.
"I think this generation is way more sensitive to the quality of food they're eating," he said. "They understand what you eat is important."
Born and raised in El Paso, Texas, Jones previously co-owned an advertising agency that dealt with the high-tech and retail sector. A few years ago, he reached a point in his career where he could afford to try a new venture -- namely, a restaurant.
Ivan Kuletz prepares a "spicy beasty" pizza featuring Italian sausage, red onions and a special spicy sauce Aug. 28.
"I've worked in restaurants for 15 years," he said. "I did everything from bussing tables to waitering to line cook," he said.
After living in the Caribbean for four years, Jones and his girlfriend moved to the Willamette Valley and started searching for a place to live and open a business. They moved to Monmouth in January.
"The town has been super supportive," he said. "They were keeping track of us on Facebook even before we opened."
Jones said he's further developing his menu, which will soon also include salads and sandwiches. Pies offered as daily specials often come from customer requests -- such as a veggie pizza with portabella mushrooms, bell peppers and broccoli, and a taco pizza with ground beef, tomatoes and cilantro, and a sauce spiked with cumin and chilies.
Yeasty Beasty also provides 16 craft and microbrewed beers on tap, half of them from Oregon breweries.
"We're trying to have an overlap there, with craft beers that are locally sourced and made," Jones said.
Try a Pie
What: Yeasty Beasty.
Where: 167 Main St. W., Monmouth.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Of note: Pizza by the slice runs from $2 to $2.50. A 16-inch pie will run between $16 and $20. Beer, cider, soda and wine is also available.
For more information: 503-837-1222 or www.yeastybeasty.com.