Ballantyne Magazine

WINTER 2016-2017

Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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Page 54 of 99

NOW THAT IT'S THE SEASON OF PARTIES THAT CARRY US INTO A NEW YEAR AND BEYOND , you might be surprised to learn that one of the "hottest" trends making its way around town is literally doing just that. Yes, "Big Red," the vintage truck with its own mobile pizza oven, is on the road. Big Red is the event-catering vehicle from True Crafted Pizza, a Ballantyne restaurant known for fresh, good food. When the shiny truck pulls up, chefs emerge to cook and serve everything from fresh-baked pizza to grilled shrimp to roasted filet mignon. It began when members of the Callaghan, Gallinek and Martino families decided to take part in Charlotte's emerging culinary scene and open a restaurant. Ken Martino and Todd Gallinek traveled the U.S. sampling and scrutinizing pizza. They commissioned the creation of their own proprietary dough and opened True Crafted Pizza in May 2013. It's a modern space with a comfortable vibe, and the thoughtfulness is evident. Co-owner Ken Martino explains, "We want to elevate the quality and the service experience." Pizza Creations Menu standouts include the applewood bacon and egg pizza with roasted potatoes, perfect anytime, even for breakfast. A hybrid of modern and traditional ingredients results in a delicious broccoli rabe and sausage creation. These and many others are oven baked in time-honored style, but the eatery is especially favored by people who crave a newer style of cookery: pizza prepared on a grill. This imparts a smoky flavor to the crust. The signature prosciutto di Parma pizza is grilled with tangy arugula, fig preserves, balsamic glaze, and topped with Asiago and Parmesan cheeses. On chilly days, a grilled four-cheese sandwich is a simple pleasure, served with house - made tomato soup and basil oil. The owners had seen mobile rigs in other cities, so it wasn't long after opening their storefront that they'd found a truck of their own to be upfitted with everything they'd need to stage an outdoor pizza party. The candy-apple red 1947 Ford, formerly a farm truck, is fully reconditioned with a Valoriani oven that can reach 1,000 degrees, a large grill, refrigeration units, firewood and running water. Pop-up awnings, rough-hewn tables and lights complete Big Red's gear. By Amy Rogers | Photos by Ray Sepesy "There's a fine line between a perfectly cooked pizza and a fireball." — Chef Brendan Treyball Pull-up Party Vintage 'Big Red' and True Crafted Pizza Deliver Fun The restaurant's elongated table showcases pizza selections and the popular four-cheese sandwich. A former farm truck, Big Red contains a Valoriani oven and is fully reconditioned. True Crafted Pizza co-owner Ken Martino BALLANTYNE MAGAZINE 53 WINTER 2016-2017

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