Transcendental Pie

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I had long wanted to catch up with the Pi Pizza truck, especially since it seemed like a slice would be the perfect grub after hanging out at Catbird’s for awhile, but the planets just never aligned. Until, that is, the Petrol Station started remodeling their Lilliputian kitchen and hosting a concatenation of food trucks. The vaunted Oak Forest craft beer mecca and the city’s finest mobile eateries? They had me at hello. So when I saw the Pi Monster coming up to bat, I made plans to stop by.

A secondary reason I made that first trip was the Spanish Chorizo pizza I saw them pimping on Facebook and Twitter. I love a good Iberian-style sausage, and it sounded incredible with paprika-caramelized-onions and manchego cheese on a handy pizza dough conveyance. And while the chorizo was certainly piquant and savory, and played into harmonious whole with the other ingredients, there’s really just no way around chorizo being greasy with its electric orange drippings. A picture doesn’t do it justice if you’ve never tried it, but it did leave me desperate for a second visit and a slice that didn’t so visually remind me of school cafeteria pizza.

Pi Pizza TruckThat next visit soon followed, partly due to Petrol’s tapping of a rare, bourbon barrel-aged Human Blockhead, part of Shmaltz Brewing’s “Coney Island” series of specialty beers. You commonly see stouts and porters getting the barrel-aging treatment, but the Blockhead is what Shmaltz calls an Imperial American Bock. I’ll go into more depth separately, but this was a big, boozy brew that actually paired pretty well with the amazing Cordon Bleu pizza I ordered from the truck. Pi Pizza has a PDF menu of their rotating specialty pizzas, and while the Spaniard is listed there, the Cordon Bleu is not – but trust me, you need to keep your eyes peeled for this one.

The thin crust was crispy with a few blackened spots that lend that nice carbon tang, and made a sturdy canvas on which to display the culinary masterpiece. The slice featured all of the ingredients from that French staple, with pulled chicken, pork, and cheese. But where ham would traditionally be used, in a stroke of genius the Pi guys used thick-cut bacon instead, and while I only saw mozzarella listed on the menu, there was definitely the unmistakable tartness of bleu cheese. One might suspect that, as a pizza ingredient, chicken would run the risk of drying out in the oven, and though it came close, the talented team managed to keep it tender, and while others might turn it to chalk, the copious bacon was perfectly cooked and not overly crispy. It is right that you should salivate upon gazing at that photo.

After hearing their praises sung from virtually every corner, I was glad to catch up with the Pi Truck at Petrol Station, and the Chicken Cordon Blue in the Face did not disappoint. It was a great idea to have these trucks on parade while the kitchen was being remodeled, but I know the Petrol denizens are missing their Rancors. Only one truck saw fit to pay homage to that epic burger, but Ben Fullelove and the rest of his team hear you clamoring for the original. The kitchen was scheduled to open earlier this week, but Murphy’s law and some last minute plumbing issues pushed it back. Today, however, is the day. Head over to Petrol to be one of the first to enjoy a burger off the new line, and keep the food truck love alive as you track down the Pi Pizza truck around town.

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