A new food truck has pulled into downtown Bentonville and it’s brought Neapolitan-style pizza with it.
It was on Tuesday, Oct. 20, that the Priato Pizzeria food truck slid open its window for its grand opening at 213 NE A Street (right next to the Crepes Paulette food truck and directly across the street from the 21c Museum Hotel).
Priato Pizzeria is a family affair run by the Jones family: Kerry, Jeff, their daughter Morgan and 14-year-old son Troy (who’ll be pitching in on the weekends). For years sitting around the dinner table, the tight-knit family has dreamed of opening a food truck. Finally a few months back, Jeff put his foot down and said, “let’s just do it!”
“We all thought, ‘we’re not getting any younger,” and to be honest, this is a chance for us to spend the daylight hours together,” explains Kerry.
And given that the Joneses are pizza fanatics, pizza was the natural fit for the truck’s concept. “Priato” is the Neapolitan word for “happy, content, pleased and satisfied,” which is both the family’s motto and how they’re hoping diners will feel after polishing off one of their Neapolitan-style pies.
For it’s part, a Neapolitan pizza is baked in a hot oven—“hot hot,” like 850 to 900 degrees hot. A super-basic dough, consisting of only flour, water, salt and yeast makes up the crust and the high temperature of the oven forces a quick (90 seconds at Priato’s), dramatic rise. The end result is a thin, crispy outer layer and an interior that’s puffy and full of air bubbles. The crust should also have a chewy bite. Oftentimes, a Neapolitan pizza is not pick-up-able, but requires a knife and fork.
Usually, a wood-fired oven is used to turn out a Neapolitan pizza, but because that would have been a bit difficult to pull off in a food truck setting, the Joneses have opted to use one of the few electric ovens—it’s an Italian-imported, stone-deck number—instead.
“It can hit those high temps allowing for the dough to do its thing,” assures Kerry.
In addition to the dough, another thing that makes a Neapolitan pizza “Neapolitan” is the use of San Marzano tomatoes in the tomato sauce. These plum tomatoes, which are grown in the soil of the Mt. Vesuvius region of Italy, are prized for their bittersweet flavor. At Priato’s, the red sauce (a white, olive oil-based sauce and a pesto sauce will also be on offer) will be whipped up using only San Marzano tomatoes.
And while the menu has its share of Italian foodie favorites, such as a “Margherita” pie, a “Proscuitto” pie and a “Spicy Salami” pie (this one’s made with real-deal soppressata salami, fresh mozzarella, jalapenos and hot honey), there are also quite a few, quirky food-trucky flavors as well. Case in point: the “Bacon Jam” pizza topped with fresh mozzarella, housemaid bacon jam, roasted grape tomatoes and arugula; the “Buffalo Chicken” pizza topped with pulled buffalo chicken, gorgonzola cheese, fresh mozzarella, jalapenos and caramelized onions and the “Bacon Ranch Chicken” pizza topped with roasted chicken, smoked bacon, ranch dressing and mozzarella cheese. Seasonal favorites, such as a “Butternut Squash/Italian Sausage” pizza will also grace the menu. In addition, diners will be able to build their own “personal” pizzas with a host of available toppings, such as pepperoni, olives and artichokes.
All pizzas are 10 inchers, expect for the kids’ pizzas and dessert pizzas, which are smaller. The latter includes flavors, such as “Nutela,” “Smore” and “Cinnamon and Sugar Streusel”.
In addition, a gluten-free crust will be available upon request as will vegan mozzarella cheese. “Pizza should be for everybody!” Kerry says.
And the Joneses are not kidding around with this, their newest family adventure. They’ll be open 7-days a week: Mon. to Fri. for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5 p.m to 8 p.m., Sat. from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sun. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We’ll be open in ice storms!” half jokes Morgan. “We’re that truck that people will ask: ‘Do they have a life?’”
In the coming weeks: a “First Taste” of Priato Pizzeria…