I know when winter strikes, the first thing I think about is dining outside!
Yeah, no. I'm a wimp. I hate eating outside in December unless my job forces the issue. And that brings me to today's blog post - al fresco wood-fired pizza.
Despite the chill, I had to check out one of Pierce County's newest mobile food vendors - Pizzahood in downtown Puyallup.
I rolled up to the 76 Station on East Main and eyed the mobile unit surreptitiously. Was this going to be one of those deals where a slice of "previously baked pizza" (insert your own imaginary air quotes around that) would be "reheated" in some kind of portable contraption?
I imagined a sad slice of floppy trouble, covered in an orange sheen. Then I got out of my car.
The freshly made wood-fired pizza had a base that was crackery and thin, but with enough chewy resistance to make the crust interesting. The toppings were evenly distributed and of good quality. I watched as the female part of the duo made my pizzas to order; her male co-worker rung me up (they take cash or plastic). Both pizzas took about 7 minutes to bake, which is a long wait by food-truck standards, but I'm not going to complain because good food never is made quickly.
The double pepperoni had what tasted like crushed tomatoes as a sauce base and a dusting of dried herbs blanketing the pie. The artichoke pesto chicken pie was loaded an inch deep with toppings (which meant some toppled off, but that didn't bug me). I appreciated the seesaw of sweet and smoky from bacon, red onions and roasted sweet hot and red peppers. All pies are priced the same - $7.99 for a small (feeds two) and $14.99 for a large (feeds 3-4).
The truck is wrapped in thick plastic, which acts as a sort of hermetic pizza seal. Find the entrance on the rear right of the plastic tent.The wood-fueled oven takes up the center of the truck, a prep area is to the left, and a pay station is to the right. The fun part was watching the pizza chef slide the pie into the wood-fired oven using a paddle. They advertise they only use apple wood to fire the oven.
(Tip: If you have not yet checked out Olympia's Ricardo's Woodfire Express, you must do so).
PizzahoodWhere: 1504 E. Main (in the 76 Station parking lot), 253-200-1203, woodpizzahood.com
Proving it's never too cold to start a mobile business, check out my recent stories (here and here) about the mobile bagelry Budha Bear and the Italian sandwich truck, Bella Amore. We Northwesterners are hardcore. That's all I'm saying.