- Griffin Swartzell
- The Southwestern, with surprise chipotle sauce atop.
Two months in business and Witty Pork's Woodfired Pizza is still establishing a routine. If they weren't diligent about responding to Facebook messages, that would make it hard to pin them down. But what they lack in rote scheduling, they make up for with work ethic — we catch the truck picking up the holiday slack at Nano 108 Brewing Company.
The truck, which, yes, contains a wood-fired pizza oven inside, is one of two under the Witty Pork moniker. Chicago-born brothers Todd and Brent Cunningham co-own both this pizza truck and Witty Pork Street Treats, their ice cream and lunch truck, now 6 months old. The trucks are managed by upstate New York transplant Matthew Banach and Springs native Kevin Hill.
"[The pizza truck has] been an idea of ours for a little while," says Hill. "We've all worked together in a brick-and-mortar before." He says that the four of them have been in the restaurant business for a combined total of 54 years, doing "everything and anything" from busing and hosting to ownership.
Ultimately, there's no pizza without good crust, and the crust here rates pretty damn good. Cooked up fast by the flames and convection current, it's crisp with some chew and an overall pleasant flavor, staying sturdy under most of our topping options.
"Our biggest problem has been the shelf life of the dough," says Hill. "We have to make it pretty much daily."
Our favorite pizza, the Southwestern, sampled on first visit, replaces red sauce with house-made green chile, featuring Colorado-grown Anaheim peppers, garlic, onion and tomato. Though non-spicy, the chile plays relatively well with the toppings: house-braised pulled pork with cheddar, pickled jalapeños and a sweet, creamy chipotle sauce on top. It's a busy bite, but not bad. Service is fast, but some ingredients haven't transcended their Costco origins. Hill does note they're trying to lock in local sources.
But on next visit, I notice the chipotle sauce isn't on the Southwestern pizza, according to the menu. It's not the only service irregularity — when we order a barbecue chicken pizza, we get a chicken bacon ranch instead. The only difference is the sauce drizzle atop — ranch versus tangy-sweet barbecue sauce — so it's not a baffling mistake. Either way, our server brings the original order in a to-go box when told of the mistake, free of charge.
That chicken bacon ranch sees the three ingredients atop cheese and red sauce, and though pleasant, it begs for something green to break up the meat and fat. Credit where it's due, though, the chicken's moist enough. The barbecue chicken pizza has less of the meat-and-fat-only problem due to the sauce swap, though there's nothing compelling there. We'd likely order the standard pepperoni 'za over either. And we'd skip the caprese pizza altogether, downright soupy due to thick-cut tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette on top.
By this point, we notice a theme in our experience with the truck: flaws and hiccups aplenty, addressed with ready and willing effort. With that in place, Witty Pork has the potential for excellence. Given time, this truck could become something special, but right now, it just offers good beer food.