Get a ‘pizza’ this: Porch Light reinvents the pizza

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A Geno pizza made at Porch Light Pizza. At Porch Light, you can order pre-determined pizzas off their menu or create your own masterpiece.

LAUREN ELLENBECKER, Mint columnist

Porch Light Pizza is conveniently located between downtown Pullman and the outskirts of College Hill, but this restaurant’s easy accessibility is only one of the restaurant’s highlights.

Jim Harbour, co-owner of Porch Light Pizza, said the availability and vibes of the property are what drove his decision to start a pizza shop. When the property presented itself, the pizza-slice-looking building on the lot was a tremendous contributor to what the restaurant is now known for: pizza.

“The simplicity and beauty of the building is unique,” Harbour said. “You don’t see that as often nowadays.”

This restaurant by the river is not only enjoyable for its distinctive location, but the food is also a plus. The special thing about pizza is the infinite variations that can be created by the customer. Okay, maybe not infinite, but there are several choices when creating your cuisine.

However, don’t start taking all of the credit for whatever you’re served at Porch Light Pizza because the real specialty is in the crust.

The recipe for the crust contains flour that was developed by a grad student at WSU, and Porch Light Pizza was the first commercial establishment to use it in their food.

According to a Washington Grain Commission report that proudly hangs on Porch Light Pizza’s wall, the use of this soft durum [wheat] is part of a “gastronomic revolution” in the making – as opposed to the previously used “Soft Svevo” desert durum.

In addition to pizza, Porch Light also offers cold beer, especially brews commonly found in the Northwest. Customers have their choice of IPAs, stouts, dark beer and light beer.

Although Harbour strongly believes that the formula for Porch Light Pizza’s success can be narrowed down to the location and product, he admitted that often what shines beyond these features is the price.

Pizzas range around $8.35, salads cost $7.42 and taps run at $4.50.

For the extreme penny pinchers out there, Porch Light Pizza has discounts, as well as a loyalty program.

These discounts and deals tend to be sporadic, but when they are created, it is something to get excited about. Harbour said, for example, during winter the high was approximately 19 degrees, so he used that as an inspiration to create a discount: since it’s only 19 degrees outside, come get 19 percent off pizza.

There are also regular discounts like Micro Mondays, which gives a discount on drinks between a certain timeframe on the universally dreaded Monday.

In addition to fun offers, Porch Light Pizza has a special SMS loyalty program for customers. When putting your number into their machine during checkout, you can become an exclusive member, and every seventh time you come in, you get a free pizza. Become enlightened with the fame and fortune being in this VIP-like program can cause.

“With promotions like these, it allows us to communicate better,” Harbour said. “It is more fun than traditional coupons.”

Lauren Ellenbecker is a freshman studying communication from Anchorage, Alaska. She can be contacted at mint@dailyevergreen.com.