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Neapolitan Pizza on Wheels

New Dallas food truck BellaTrino has grand plans for Neapolitan-style pizza

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Bellatrino food truck
One BellaTrino cheeseless pizza with mushrooms, broccoli rabe and a golden-charred crust. Photo by Marc Lee
Bellatrino food truck
BellaTrino food truck has a domed oven inside. Photo by Marc Lee
Bellatrino food truck
BellaTrino is serving Neapolitan-style pizza from a truck. Photo by Marc Lee
Bellatrino food truck
BellaTrino co-owner Tracy Sanford shows off a pie. Photo by Marc Lee
Bellatrino food truck
BellaTrino food truck has a pretty lady on the side. Photo by Marc Lee
Bellatrino food truck
Bellatrino food truck
Bellatrino food truck
Bellatrino food truck
Bellatrino food truck

Fans of authentic Neapolitan-style pizza have yet another option, this time in mobile form: Welcome to BellaTrino Neapolitan Pizzeria & Cucina, a new food truck that makes pizzas the way they do in Naples, Italy.

There are other pizza-themed food trucks in Dallas, including Gepetto's and Doughboys, but none do Neapolitan.

BellaTrino comes from Tracy Sanford and John Cooper, who met 20 years ago when they both worked at Bennigan's. They stayed in touch with the idea of working on a project together. That project became a food truck dedicated to the kind of Neapolitan-style pizza pioneered by the likes of Cane Rosso and Cavalli.

 If you like Cane Rosso's stretchy, flavorful aged crust and its use of distinctive toppings such as broccoli rabe, well, then you're gonna love BellaTrino.

The similarity to Cane Rosso is not coincidental; Sanford and Cooper hired two of the restaurant's former pizzaioli. If you like Cane Rosso's stretchy, flavorful aged crust and its use of distinctive toppings such as broccoli rabe, well, then you're gonna love BellaTrino.

Sanford describes himself as a Navy brat who spent four years in Naples. "I grew up on Neapolitan-style pizza, and that's pizza for me," he says. "We use Caputo flour and San Marzano tomatoes and Bufala cheese. We try to be as authentic as possible. We try to use the stuff that if you go to any Neapolitan-style pizzeria, you'll find."

In addition to pizza, they're also doing salads and "panuzzi" sandwiches, using bread they make from the same dough as the pizza.

"We didn't want to have to buy sandwich rolls just to have sandwiches," he says. "I finally found a restaurant in New York, that's all they sold. I found out that the panuzzi sandwich is made from the same dough as pizza dough.

"So now we can have sandwiches on the trucks. And a lot of ingredients on the salads are the same ingredients that go into sandwiches and pizzas."

Enthusiastic though they may be about Neapolitan pizza, their real goal is to get into the food truck business.

"We're building more trucks," Sanford says. "What we want to do eventually is franchise this idea and build trucks for people who are wanting trucks like this. It took us nearly a year to put this truck together. We went through a lot of vendors before we got what we needed."

Theirs includes the signature Neapolitan-style domed oven as well as flaps that pop up to allow for impromptu seating. They plan to specialize in catering and private events, but, for now, they're scrambling for berths at all the usual places you'd expect to find food trucks.

"We're taking anything we can get right now," he says. "For right now, we're trying to do as much as we can to get seen. We've been to some of the breweries, and over at Sigel's on Greenville Avenue.

"Of course we're talking to the Truck Yard and Dallas Arts District. There are so many trucks, and they're all fighting for limited space."

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