Street vendors are known mostly for hawking greasy comestibles for low, low prices. A serving of chicken and rice from the local halal cart might run you four to five dollars and will last for couple of lunches at least. But then, you just might die of salmonella poisoning. Well, for those of you lucky enough to find yourself by the Ballston stop on the DC metro Orange line on a workday between the hours of 8am and 4pm, I have a foolproof answer to your stomach's lunchtime grumbles: Pupatella Neapolitan Food Cart.
I dropped by Pupatella on a frigid, snowy day last week to see if the rumors of quality pizza pie-ing were true, which clearly, based on the tone of this post, they are. Pupatella is run by a former employee of 2 Amys, who, along with her boyfriend (who learned the pizza-making craft in Naples), opened up a fire engine red food mobile. The pizzas are cooked at 650ºF in what looks like either a small gas or electric oven with a couple ceramic tiles on trays. I ordered a margherita extra (sauce, buffalo mozz, basil, cherry tomatoes, all topped with a drizzle of olive oil), which baked for a about two minutes. The results:
Even at 650ºF, the crust was very good--crisp yet pliant, with a nice char. The cornicione, sadly, was lacking in the oven springiness department. However, that's about the only negative comment I have for this pizza. It is magnificent. The sauce had a light sweetness, the buffalo mozzarella was creamy and salty with a slight tang, and the basil packed a punch, which was impressive considering the season. I was all set to give it top honors for the best pizza I've had in DC.
Then I went to 2 Amys.