There are a lot of great pizzas in Buffalo, but not like this one.
O.G. Wood Fire is a pizza truck that makes Neapolitan style pizza in a wood oven. From my first taste, earlier this week, it's clear O.G. Wood Fire is offering a pizza Western New York lacked.
Let me explain my terms. O.G. owner Jay Langfelder makes Neapolitan-style pizza, using Italian 00 flour for a dough that blisters but does not burn in the intense wood-fired heat of 900 to 1,000 degrees. In those conditions, a 12-inch pizza cooks in less than two minutes.
Langfelder's pizza is not a "Western New York" or "Buffalo" style pie, with thick dough, baked in a deck oven, produced with a more-is-better attitude towards toppings.
I had a taste the other day, inviting Alan Bedenko, an attorney, blogger and Neapolitan pizza pedant. We tried the classic margherita, a three-cheese (mozzarella, fontina, Parmesan) and a Killer Bee, with tomato, mozzarella, hot sopressatta salami, honey, chile flakes. Each 12-inch pizza was $10.
We found the truck at Fairmont Creamery on Scott Street, got in line, and waited our turn, before walking away with these beauties.
The pizzas emerged with a crackly but tender crust, and a whiff of smoke from the fire, with leopard-spotted crust. Langfelder uses excellent tomatoes, mozzarella and fresh basil for the classic margherita pie (pictured at the top of this story). These pizzas must be consumed within 10 minutes of emerging from the fire, or their glory is diminished as the crust deflates.
The undercarriage was crispy too, the intense heat contributing to a cornicione (the crust's rim) that was eaten, not tossed aside.
The quality cheese showed its colors here. Langfelder said he uses Maplebrook Farms whole-milk mozzarella from Vermont, supplied by Michelle Stevens of Buffalo Cheese Traders. It was luxurious.
The Killer Bee balanced spicy with sweet, with a light hand on the drizzle of local honey.
Bedenko, invited because he is a Neapolitan pizza freak who has explored anything close to Neapolitan-style locally, called O.G.'s "certainly the most authentic Neapolitan style pizza anywhere in the region." For a Neapolitan fan like him, that puts it among the best in Western New York, he said.
The one major complaint we had was salt. Between the dough and the toppings, the pizzas were overly salty, especially the three-cheese number, which got additional fleur de sel. After our visit, Langfelder said he is already changing his salt use due to feedback. By the time you read this, salt may no longer be an issue.
A minor complaint was undercooked spots in the cornicione, the outer part of the crust. That can be addressed with stretching the dough a bit thinner, Bedenko noted. "It definitely satisfies my occasional jones for Neapolitan and can save me myriad trips to Toronto."
How can you find the O.G. truck? Check out the Facebook page or on Twitter at @OGWoodFire.
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