Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pizza di Joey Starts Our Parade Of Food Trucks; Jeff Reports Lunch From Annapolis Junction

Joey Vanoni of Pizza di Joey
Food trucks aren't just for cities anymore, and I want to get in on the ones that make the trek out to Howard County.

I have posted about food trucks in the past, but Jeff Givens starts off what we hope will be a series of posts about other options -- focused on trucks that visited the National Business Park in Annapolis Junction where Jeff used to work.

Jeff is a long-time friend of the blog.  He runs Southern Skies Coffee Roasters from his home in Carroll County.  He writes and photographs about food on the side, and he took notes about the food trucks at National Business Park when he was working there.  As Jeff says, the Annapolis Junction office park is massive, but offers little in brick-and-mortar lunch options.

To fill the gap, the building management turned to food trucks.  Office workers often line up more than 20 deep in the parking lot at National Business Parkway and Technology Drive, and Jeff explored his way out there.

Jeff followed the trucks' schedules on Twitter, but he has written profiles for HowChow -- starting off with the Pizza di Joey (update: who I hear also stops at the Applied Physics Labs on some days):
Monster slices
Joey Vanoni has baked pizza everywhere from the cramped quarters of fast-attack submarines to the mountains of Afghanistan. He spent 7 years on active duty in the Navy. During the long, arduous tours aboard a submarine, he helped to keep up morale by baking artisan pizzas - a skill he learned while working in a coal fire, brick oven pizzeria during his youth in New Jersey.

After leaving active duty, he spent time in Afghanistan as a contractor, where he continued to make pizzas during his off time. Joey's pizzas were so popular that his coworkers pitched together and built a brick oven.

When he returned to the U.S., Joey's retirement dream of starting a mobile pizzeria was put into high gear when the government sequestration occurred. He and his partner, Tomas Ruperto, had a truck outfitted with a brick pizza oven which can bake up to 4 pies at a time at temperatures of 700 degrees Fahrenheit. The oven weighs 4000 lbs, so the truck had to be custom built in a specialty shop in upstate NY.

About the pizza:

Joey makes his NY style pizza in true artisan fashion with high-quality ingredients. He buys hormone-free beef from a farm near Westminster, MD and the pork sausage is made locally from Duroc pork to a recipe by Rich Shore of Sausage Barons. The slices are HUGE and made simply. Even "The Works" pie has only pepperoni, garlic, onions, peppers and mushrooms. Most of the other varieties only have 1 or 2 toppings, allowing the quality of each ingredient to shine through.

The pizza was really delicious. The crust had the perfect amount of chew and was slightly crispy on the bottom. The sausage that Joey has made to his recipe was well-seasoned and fresh. One slice is more than enough for someone who sits behind a keyboard all day.

On the side of his truck it says "Serving those who have served." It's not just branding, as Pizza di Joey donates a portion of his revenue to different charities, including the Wounded Warrior Project and House of Ruth. Active and retired military are also offered a discount on their purchase.
To find Pizza di Joey, watch for updates on Joe's his Twitter feed @PizzadiJoey.  Or check their Facebook page.


JimK said...

Pizza di Joey is part of the food truck offerings started at the Applied Physics Lab this summer, and it's probably my favorite truck of the bunch. Big slice of really good pizza - meatball is the best!

Mike said...

While the pizza is tasty, it's a bit expensive for what it is. I could see paying $5 for a slice at most, not the $7-8 being asked. The truck calls them "monster slices" and while they are big for this area, they are about par for the course for the NY standard slice.