When the temperature drops, we often make up for the mercury deficit with an indulgent caloric splurge. This year, if you're not into starving yourself the first week of January until you give up on that crash diet, then head strait to Cart-Driver for the pizza that would have inevitably broken your fast anyway, and high-five yourself for choosing that fresh, warm, delicious pizza.
This week, we explored the white pizza from bottom to toppings: mozzarella, smoked ricotta, basil and garlic, all layered onto a thin crust that's lightly crispy on the bottom and yet somehow maintains its fluff. Granted, pizza eaters all have their individual preferences, but the wood-fired crust at Cart-Driver, inspired by Neapolitan originals, is a great middle ground to bring pizza lovers together, landing somewhere beyond ultra-thin, crispy crusts without ever approaching big or doughy.
The four toppings and the crust meld together like the Lion Force into Voltron. It's light and not too saucy, with creamy ricotta is scattered gracefully throughout the pizza, strategically placed so that the rich cheese does not become overbearing. Each bite yields varying amounts of basil, garlic, or both, but the distribution makes for a pizza full of flavor and devoid of uniformity.
And while many customers find the flavors nicely balanced as is, there are those of us who desire a little kick to our pizzas. Cart-Driver wont let you down; it now offers a house-made hot sauce -- think Frank's, Cholula, and Tabasco as inspirations. The sauce has been such a hit that it's been disappearing from the tiny dining room, so now Cart-Driver will be bottling and selling the product. Later this winter you'll be able take home your pizza and a bottle of hot sauce to go with it. But dining in the tiny pizza joint ( built from a 640 square-foot shipping container) is a little more fun, even when it's busy, because of the aroma of of the wood-fired oven and the energy of the kitchen. Prosecco on tap doesn't hurt either, and if things get a little crowded, customers can spill out onto the covered and heated patio.
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The white pizza, rings in at $13 and could reasonably be shared between two people -- or polished off by one person with a healthy appetite. We suggest finding some good company and sharing a few pizzas among the group.