Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Can Good Pizza Be Made In The Back Of A Truck?

Say, that's a sweet bike.
It was recently brought to my attention that right here in Phoenix there is a weekly gathering of food trucks just a few short blocks from my place of employment.  Food trucks that have, you know, good food.  I didn't see anyone dishing up nachos with cheese that comes from a can.*

Lady Luck and I made plans to meet up at this food truck rally, along with a few friends.  It only seemed proper to ride the Vespa to such an occasion, and I was glad I did.  Parking was slightly confusing (but ample), and I wouldn't have been able to pull off some of the maneuvers I did if I'd been on the Triumph instead of the scooter.

There were roughly ten trucks in attendance.  Among our group we tried a decent Indian Fry Bread, some killer corn dogs and bratwurst, excellent jambalya and totally excellent ice cream.

But enough about those inferior foods.  I hear you asking, "What about the damn pizza?"

If I had to drive a truck...
The Pizza People truck was in attendance.  I couldn't see all of the inner workings, but based on their menu options, I suspect they make each pizza to order.  It took about 10 minutes between ordering and getting my pie.

I ordered the "Testosteroni," which is a dumb name**, in my always humble opinion, but a good pizza.  As you might imagine, it was meaty.  If I recall correctly, pepperoni, sausage and hamburger, along with black olives and mushrooms.  The real star was the crust, which was chewy and crunchy in exactly the right ways, and far too good to come out of a truck.  I would gladly eat it again, so to answer the question in the title, yes, good pizza can be made in a truck.

Adding to the festive food truck atmosphere was one of the local classic rock stations.  They were pumping the greatest hits of the 80's as we ate.  One of the DJs came by our table and tried to get us to record one of those "Hi, I'm Joe Smith and you're listening to Morning Breath with Micky Mac and The Nibblin, on 99.5 KLMN!" station identifiers they always insist on playing over the intro or outro to your favorite song.  Since we wouldn't do that, they asked us if we had a story we could tell about something that happened while listening to a song by one of the bands on a list.

What an adorable little pizza
I was sorely tempted to make up a story about blasting "Don't Stop Believin'," by Journey, on the stereo of my Ford Escort station wagon back in 1989 when I killed a man in Reno just to watch him die, and how I then buried him in the desert to the strains of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," by U2.  And then mention what good timing that was, since the body has yet to be found.

However, that's hardly appropriate lunch-time conversation, so I decided a simple "No thanks," would be the most appropriate response.

In all, a fun lunch-time expedition.  The rise of high class food trucks seems like a good thing to me.  I hope it continues.  Word on the street, though, is that chain restaurants are muscling in on the food truck action, and soon we'll have to contend with an Applebee's food truck instead of one run by a few passionate people.  Sad.

* Not that there's anything wrong with cheap nachos, you understand.  If I had my day, my four basic food groups would be pizza, burgers, cheap nachos and hot wings. 

** Were you able to figure out how to say "Testosteroni" right away?  It took me a couple tries before I got up the nerve to actually order it.  But maybe I'm just special.