Trailer-Made: Spartan Pizza

By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 10.07.11
A funny thing about trailers: I get good customer service at trailers. No matter how hot or how cramped or how busy, people in trailer windows seem just fine with being there. It’s the magic of small business and the sense of ownership — not to mention the presence of ownership — it breeds.
I say that because the guy at Spartan Pizza caught me at an indecisive moment weighing loyalties among the gods and the mortals. Zeus, Apollo and Hades versus Helen, Agamemnon and the Spartans. He laid out the weapons for each one, like that show on Spike: Zeus with his roasted garlic oil, the Spartan with tomato sauce and bell pepper. In the end, they battled for the Deadliest Warrior trophy at $8.50 apiece for a six-slice, 10-inch pie. Pizza is also available by the slice for $2-$3. A 14-inch pizza is $14.50.
Sorry, mortals. Score this one for the Olympians. Zeus makes a mighty pizza, muscled with bacon and fresh mozzarella, brightened by slices of tomato and crisp leaves of spinach. Olive oil infused with roasted garlic takes the place of tomato sauce, but it’s more subtle than the notion implies. This isn’t the untangled garlic knot some lesser pizzas turn out to be.  If it were, you wouldn’t get the full benefit of the bacon that makes this pie a more carnivoral experience.
This isn’t to say the Spartan will be a pencil-neck guest star on “The Big Bang Theory.” Its embrace of raw white onions is defiant, its deployment of green pepper strategic, its tomato sauce the price it paid for defying the gods. Like Gerard Butler with painted-on abs, this pizza kicks regular red sauce into the abyss. This is oregano. This is rosemary. This. Is. Spartan.
Both pizzas draw strength from a crust somewhere between Neapolitan crackle and half-risen pastry-style dough with bubbles like carbohydrate carbonation. It starts firm and crisp then mellows into elastic foldability.
But enough about my dinner with Joseph Campbell. The aluminum fuselage of this ‘50s-era Spartan trailer is a welcome part of the East Sixth food-truck scene, where posted hours sometimes don’t mean what they say, where one trailer in a collection of half a dozen might be open at any given time. Chances are good Spartan Pizza will be one of them.
Spartan Pizza
1104 E. Sixth St. 484-0798,
Hours: Noon to 10 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday. Noon to midnight Thursday. Noon to 3 a.m. Friday. 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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