Saturday, December 19, 2015

Surprise: My Favorite Pizza May Be Outdoors, And It's Leaving This Weekend (Until Spring)

River House Pizza Company "namaste" toppings with a kid-friendly section
I'm trying to restart my blogging with a bunch of surprises that I've had while HowChow was quiet.

Like -- my favorite pizza may be served outside.

It's the River House Pizza Company that runs an mobile wood-fired oven off Main Street in Ellicott City.  This is part of the Tonge Row shops anchored by the Little French Market.  Lil' Chow and I split a pie last weekend, and I'm blogging this morning because this is the last weekend until spring for you to run over and enjoy a pizza yourself.

This is part of a "Surprise" series that I'm writing as I try to start blogging again.  Come back for more over the next few days.

River House sells crisp pizzas with a perfect char and a variety of high-end toppings.  You order at a window and then pick up the pizza from the chefs working under an awning next to the movile oven.  Last Sunday, Lil' Chow and I walked partway up the Trolley Trail towards the Breadery, then circled back to walk up Main Street.

Discovery #1:  Lil' Chow doesn't want to window shop.  He was polite.  But he was on my shoulders, and I'd hear a firm "No" whenever I paused to look in the window a store.

Discovery #2:  He likes pizza better without sauce.

Lil' Chow loves to cook pizza with me.  He has never eaten a huge amount, and I realized a few weeks ago that he preferred the crusts to the even the "plain" slice with sauce and cheese.  So, when we wandered to River House off the parking lot behind Tersiguel's, I asked to fill three-quarters of our pie with their "namaste" toppings and one-quarter with just cheese.

This is really exceptional.  It's better than the pizza that I make at home.  That wood oven chars the crust and browns the mozzarella.  They dot the surface with toppings -- dashes of chunky marinara sauce, onion, baby portabellos, and roasted red pepper.  We had the added pleasures of a warm December day and a toddler who ate with enthusiasm and good cheer.  But that pizza stands up on its own.

Unfortunately, they're closing up shop after this weekend for a cold-weather break.  Probably back in March.  Go for lunch now!

Now, I'm a sucker for the wood-fired ovens.  So my other top pizzas run from Facci on Johns Hopkins Road to the other mobile pizza oven at Brick'n Fire that often parks in Oella.   Lil's Chow and I also really enjoyed Bella Luna in Columbia.  With these ovens, pizzas differ.  It takes a skilled chef, and the pizzas at each place vary depending on who is running the oven.  Check out all my posts about pizza.

Anyone have other recommendations for pizza?  Anyone know the status of new restaurants on Main Street.  There had been talk about Joe's Squared coming to Ellicott City, but I guess that hasn't actually happened.