Story of a Pizza Taste Tester
North Ambergris Caye residents and visitors have been waiting with bated breath to enjoy the official opening of the new pizza container at popular local hangout – The Truck Stop (TTS). Of course, a few lucky ones, myself included have already sampled the goods as they perfect their process.
I am sure tropical takeout will be quite popular. I have already been a food runner and brought some great eats from Rasa to my friends Denise and Jean before. That was a win-win; they did not have to miss any football and I got to enjoy a picture perfect Sunday drive to The Truck Stop and back to town.
Story of a Pizza Taste Tester
Jackie, one of the business owners at TTS, Facebook messaged me and asked if I would like to join in on the “press” tasting afternoon. I was all in for that adventure.
The night before the event I had Facebooked the San Pedro Sun crew to find out which one was going and hopefully score a ride. I got a fast answer; it was Mary. We left off the communication with thoughts that hopefully Friday would present a good 4 wheeled solution – I was prepared to walk or hitch a ride if need be.
It ended up that we had a couple of options thanks to Mary arranging to start with a cab to bridge and then Truck Stop staff Mike was willing to meet us at the bridge and delivers us to the all important taste testing.
I know waiters are supposed to be friendly but ours was extra smiley, could be that he had 3 or 4 cameras pointing at him every time he set foot close to our table 😉
Of course, we were all smiles too as we got to enjoy the following pizzas and new food items.
- White Pizza with conch and garlic. A delicious adaptation from the popular New Haven Style with clams.
- Pepperoni – this old standby always delivers on taste.
- Bacon and mashed potato – we all agreed this would make great breakfast pizza especially with a friend egg on top.
- Anchovy habanero – surprisingly I did not find this one too spicy but anchovies.
- Margherita – this one gets fresh mozzarella cheese made on site.
- Traditional and spicy buffalo wings with homemade blue cheese dressing.
And the winner for me was….. the garlic conch. I will say it was very close, the bacon mashed and margarita were both close seconds. Nothing against the old standard of pepperoni or the anchovy; they were both good too.
As to how we made it back to town, I decided since Mary scored us ride there, I would do what I could to help get us home. That turned out to be very easy thanks to my ride hitching skills and our friends Bob and Rose.
About Slice of Haven
In the world of pizza making persistence, passion and patience definitely pays off and the staff is definitely working hard on the art of making proper New England style thin crust pizza. Their role model, the famous Pepe’s pizza ranked #1 in the country.
It all starts with the oven a handmade Forno Bravo Pizza oven from California, a great culinary teacher and well-known chef Hasni Ghazali and great cooking staff who are willing to learn new tricks. Alongside Hasni are Ernesto aka Chip, Israel and Roshani.
Cooking in the tropics for various reasons always takes a bit of a learning curve and adaptation. In Connecticut, they use coal in their ovens. Since we there is no easy access to loads of coal in Belize, they opted for the propane conversion to their oven. Hasni told me they started at 700 degrees and moved down 10-degree fluctuations to hit the perfect cook temp of 625. Once the technique and temperature are solid, a good cook can work 6 pizzas at once.
They let the dough rise for 24-48 hours. Timing is everything with a 15-second window between perfectly cooked and overdone. The pizza gets turned every 10 seconds and has a cook time of 2.5-3 min per pizza. The goal is to get a nice char on the crust and bottom but not burn it. Hasni also pointed out it important when cooking pizza, to consider how will it fare as leftovers.
You can read more about the pizza on Bob’s bound for Belize blog post – Truck Stop’s Taste of Haven makes pizza taste like heaven.
More About The Truck Stop
Located on North Ambergris Caye and worth crossing the bridge for a tropical suburban drive to a funky, fun neighborhood bar and eatery. Constructed from shipping containers and features some delicious food. Each container houses it’s own name and specialty. Arpea Latin American Fusion Rasa South East Asian Kitchen; Cool Cone has yummy ice cream, a great bar with an iconic Belize sign and now the new addition, Slice of Haven pizza. It’s a very friendly atmosphere, you are highly likely to see people you know and meet a few new ones.
The Truck Stop is not only a great place to eat but they host some pretty cool entertainment:
- Wednesday night movie night
- Thursday night Trivia
- Sunday live music, pig roast and corn-hole tournament
- Monthly “north of the bridge” Poker Run stop (usually on a Saturday)
For more info on their events and pictures like The Truck Stop Facebook page.
“Great food and a really cool place” click through to see more traveler reviews.