A Slice of Heaven
With its mobile oven and eclectic recipes (Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza, anyone?), Pizza Porch is ready to smoke out the competition
Clear skies, the sound of cars buzzing by, and the aroma of cooking crust lingers in the air. Standing in front of what usually is just a gas station, people are walking by straining their necks to see what this black trailer is, why there is smoke coming out of the top of it, and why a small line of people are gathering at it.
This is the scene that surrounds Pizza Porch, a Sacramento-based food truck (or food trailer, if you will) that has served pizza around the region since 2014. It is parked at the gas station to attract people filling up their tanks, shoppers from across the street at Arden Fair Mall, employees and visitors at the nearby Kaiser medical center, and other passers-by.
Pizza Porch serves its pizza at a wide variety of different locations and events; they serve to the staff at Folsom Prison, private events including parties and weddings, and at local breweries. “Breweries are my favorite events to work because the crowd is always fun — and the beer is a plus too.” says employee Vikram Aulakh, who is also a cousin of owner Gurjit Dhillon.
Monica Avery, a 24-year-old aspiring chef and Aulakh’s fellow employee at Pizza Porch, attributes their wide range of events that they serve and their success at spreading the word of a new small local business to social media, “It helps us find events to attend as well as locations that are willing to serve our food,” she says.
Pizza Porch is an all-black trailer with an illustration of a flame that is red and white, underlined with white block letters displaying the business name. The face of the trailer that has the giant business logo and contact information opens up to display the gold tile encrusted brick oven. Dhillon, the owner, describes the oven as the “dragon’s belly,” as it gets to temperatures as hot as 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the side is opened you can see the oven covered in shiny copper tiles and a middle opening perfect for sliding in pizzas. To the right is the small silver kitchen. Outside of the trailer during business hours are a rack for pizzas to cool and a sign listing the flavors and prices.
The pizza served on Pizza Porch embraces flavors not typical to pizza, the most unique being the Chicken Tikka Pizza. The pizza is a spin on the Indian dish Chicken Tikka Masala, thick chunks of chicken smothered in a bright orange cream sauce, with naan and jasmine white rice. The sauce’s unique color is created with the use of tomato puree, yogurt, cream, curry powder, and turmeric powder. The aroma is a powerful blend of garlic and curry, the same aroma that the Chicken Tikka Pizza delivers.
Dhillon says the inspiration for his Chicken Tikka Pizza was his family because that is their favorite Indian dish to share as a family, and a way to bring more Indian fusion food to those who have not tried it before. The Chicken Tikka Pizza is topped with a tomato sauce laced with turmeric powder and curry powder but not enough turmeric powder to create that bright orange hue (Dhillon attributes that to the fact that the turmeric powder is too strong to include more than what’s already in the sauce.) The toppings include diced garlic, thin tomato slices, mozzarella cheese, thick chunks of chicken, red onions, cilantro, green onions, Serrano peppers, and minced ginger.
Though the Indian fusion is definitely a signature dish to Pizza Porch, the process in which they cook the pizza’s is unique to Pizza Porch as well. The wood burning oven creates a taste like no other. It leaves the crust perfectly crunchy with a lingering crisp wood smoked flavor, heightening the taste of even its classic pizzas like the Classic Cheese, the Combination, and the BBQ pizza. According to the owner the brick oven pizza is typical of pizza restaurants but never before has he seen it on a food truck and he is excited to have been able to successfully incorporated the brick oven to his trailer. Dhillion came up with the idea when he picked up learning to make brick oven pizza as a hobby, originally intending to make pizzas strictly for his family and eventually became excited at the thought of bringing other families together to enjoy a unique experience together.
Pizza Porch is hoping to serve the Sacramento area for many years to come; Dhillon and his team say they are excited by all of the new businesses and thriving downtown area in Sacramento and want to grow right along with it. You can book Pizza Porch for any private event by calling them at (916) 997–3001, or email them at email@example.com. To keep track of local events that Pizza Porch will be attending you can follow them on Instagram @pizza_porch.
Vanessa Henderson is a Mass Communications Major at California State University, Sacramento. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org