I’m usually fairly indifferent about food—I’m someone who just eats to survive—but there is one particular aspect about food that I believe in strongly. This aspect is when someone asks you, “if you could eat only one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” Yes, I understand that this question is generally asked to gauge what your favorite food is. However, if you take the question literally, I think the closest you can get to an objectively correct answer is “pizza.”
Pizza is so dynamic and flexible in variety and potential ingredients that it can usually be made and personalized to fit anyone’s preference. It also is one of the very few foods where you could theoretically put anything on it, and it will provide you with all the nutritional value you need to survive. Now, if you put it that way, then yes, I guess “pizza” is a cheat answer, because by saying “pizza” you are functionally including infinite potential toppings, and thus, you’re not actually really picking only one food.
Anyway, when I get pizza, I usually go to a build-your-own pizza place and add on some basic meats and basic vegetables as to not make the pizza taste too crazy. Sometimes I experiment with adding one or two extra toppings, but apart from that, I usually keep my pizza straightforward.
That changed for the first time yesterday when we had a company event and got catering from Urban Pie Pizza.
Urban Pie, which you can find on Instagram at @UrbanPieLA, has a mobile pizza truck named Speak Cheezy, which you can find on Instagram at @Speak_Cheezy. Long story short, they literally built a pizza oven inside a Chevrolet Express van and cook pizza on site when you call them out for a catering session.
While the oven was heating up and they were preparing the ingredients, we had a Caesar salad to start, with romaine, baby kale, parmesan, anchovy breadcrumbs, black pepper, and lemon. It was a little bitter for my personal taste, but the general consensus among our staff was that it was one of the wildest and best salads they’ve ever had.
The first pizza was the most basic and straightforward, which they call the Margherita, with tomato, parmesan, fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and sea salt. This closest resembled the kind of pizza that I usually have. (One of our employees was very hungry and managed to grab a slice before I could take a photo.)
Next up was the Black Garlic with fresh mozzarella, parmesan, smoked ricotta, basil, black garlic-infused olive oil, and black pepper.
Our third pizza was the Brooklyn Bee with tomato, shredded mozzarella, Calabrese salami, basil, Grana, and Calabrian chili honey. This was the most interesting-tasting pizza, and the most flavorful in a non-traditional way. They left some of the toppings on the side so we could use our own discretion when it came to deciding how deep we wanted to go with the extra flavors.
Next was the Potato Pie with Yukon gold potatoes, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, Fontina, red onion, and rosemary.
The second-to-last pizza was another topping-packed and flavorful one, called the Bon Chovy, with tomato, tomato jam, black olive spread, capers, garlic, Sicilian oregano, anchovy, Grana, and burrata cheese.
And finally, my favorite one was last, the Carbonara with guanciale, shredded mozzarella, smoked ricotta, scallion, pecorino, garlic, and egg yolk.
I thought this was an amazing experience. The three chefs had great personalities and added to the fun and excitement of the environment with their own positive attitudes. I wouldn’t say that all the pizzas were perfectly to my liking, but I’m very glad that I tried one slice of each type, and I did find a few of them exceptionally delicious. That, mixed with the novelty of them bringing a pizza oven on-site in a van, and I’d say this was one of our best company events we’ve had.
If you’re also interested in ordering Speak Cheezy by Urban Pie Pizza for catering for your own event, I imagine you want to know how much it would cost; here’s how much we paid for a party of 12:
|Pizza ×14||$ 276.00|
|Salad ×12||$ 81.00|
|Gratuity (22%)||$ 94.82|
|Sales tax (10.25%)||$ 53.90|
(Disclaimer: These are the prices that we paid, and might not necessarily reflect the prices quoted to you on a future date. Keep in mind that they reserve the right to adjust their pricing based on changing costs of ingredients, levels of demand, and any other reason at their discretion.)
For the purposes of simplifying the calculation, I consider 3 salads to be equivalent to 1 pizza. This means that we received a total of 18 “dishes” or “items.” Divide the total cost by 18 and we ended up paying $32.21 each.
That does sound like a lot for a single pizza, considering they were fairly thin and resembled the size of a personal pizza around 8-10 inches in diameter. However, this is Southern California with inflated prices, and I’ve seen gourmet pizzas at restaurants go for $25-30 each without even including taxes or dine-in gratuity. So, with that in mind, the price of Speak Cheezy by Urban Pie honestly wasn’t really that bad. We also got an experience unique from any regular restaurant, where we got to see a mobile pizza oven inside a van and enjoyed a company dinner on the patio of our own oceanside office.
So, the final verdict. Would I recommend this? … It depends:
If you’re an in-house corporate event organizer looking for a fun team activity for your employees and you have some street space in front of your office for the van, then absolutely yes. You’re saving money by using your own office that you’re paying a lease on anyway, so you don’t have to go pay extra to rent out a party space. Even if people are familiar with food trucks, I imagine not many have seen a literal pizza oven in one, so it’s a good way to do something new and exciting with your employees, as opposed to just going to a traditional dine-in restaurant.
If you’re having a special celebration and you have the money to spare, then probably yes. Similarly to the corporate event scenario, your friends and family likely haven’t seen a mobile pizza oven, and if you haven’t noticed yet, the recurring theme here is that this is about the unique and special experience as much as it is about the food.
If you’re on a tight budget, then no. I don’t know what the minimum order is because we had enough employees to pass it, but if they’re going to come out on-site to cook pizza for you, I imagine there definitely is a minimum order. If you’re not in a place where you’re willing to pay premium prices for food, especially considering the fact that we’re in the tail end of a global pandemic, then this is something to keep on your list for later. There’s nothing wrong with getting build-your-own large pizzas for $15 at a chain pizza store for now.
Side note: You may have noticed that the chefs are not wearing face coverings in the photographs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because we invited them to enjoy drinks with our staff while they were cooking, all three chefs were fully vaccinated, and the event took place exclusively outdoors in our patio area. If you plan on ordering Speak Cheezy while the pandemic is still ongoing, rest assured that they arrived with face coverings, and only removed them after our consent and invitation to do so.