Louie’s Pizza and Catering is owned and operated by Luigi “Louie” Cortese, who, at the age of 12, his first job in the restaurant business was doing the dirty work: sweeping, cleaning the bathrooms and doing dishes at his cousins SE Portland Italian restaurant.

Over the last 20 years, Louie had been making pizza and serving amazing homemade Italian food at the now closed Nicola’s Pizza and Pasta, and is excited to carry on the tradition Nicola’s started of serving the North Portland and St. Johns neighborhoods, with his own take-out Pizza and traditional Pasta he learned to make from his Mother’s Italian linage’s recipes.  Louie says of his food, “I offer a good solid foundation to my food. People respect the restaurant because the menu is simply delicious basics. If you want a frilly pizza with scented lavender, sunflowers, lamb liver and grilled shrimp, this isn’t your place.”

The Louie’s  business and personal philosophy are both one in the same, “I want to make people happy and I love watching people enjoying great food.”


Inspiration and work ethic.

People are everything

Louie’s two inspirations are his Mother (God Rest Her Soul) and his Uncle Sal. “Of course my mother is a great inspiration in both life and cooking- she was an amazing woman and has always been there for me. She was always cooking, and it was old school straight up regional Calabria deliciousness. I do my best to try to emulate what I’ve learned from her over the years,” he goes on to say “And my Uncle Sal… I respected the way he treated both his customers and his employees at his Italian restaurant back East. He’d welcome customers with a big smile, get to know them and you could tell he genuinely cared for people. At the same time he ran his restaurant like a tight ship and was respected and admired by his employees. He’s who I base my business ethics on and the way I treat people.”

LouieQuestion and Answer

  • What are your hobbies: Trying as many great Portland restaurants and food carts as I can. I’m turning into quite the foodie.

  • What are 2 pet peeves: They’re both about myself. I have to be the last person to say “Thank you” when talking with people, and also that I have to go back 2 or 3 times to double check the kitchen at the end of the night to make sure everything is off.

  • What was the last book you read: The Bible, in the doctors office.

  • What’s the most unusual food you’ve eaten: I’d say eel, but now with sushi everywhere- its not so unusual. Does snake count?

  • Would you rather eat a whole cake, or box of Ice cream: Ice Cream for sure.

  • Broccoli or Spinach: Broccoli

  • Would you rather watch Baseball or Basketball: I’d rather watch Football.

  • Would you rather do dishes or clean the bathroom the rest of your life: I’ve done both from an early age and have a lot of experience with both, so I’ll go with dishes.

  • If you could only eat Hot or Cold food for the rest of your life, which one: Hot food, because you’d freeze to death in these cold Oregon winters without it.

  • If you woke up one morning and had a squirrel tail or antlers, which would you rather have: Definitely the squirrel tail. That way I can put on pants, tuck it in and pretend I’m still normal.