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Team,

We have been reading this forum for a long time and found it very helpful in enhancing our dining experience.

Now, me and my partner Enzo Algarme have opened our own food establishment and want to invite you guys to check it out.
Enzo, who is from Naples, Italy, worked in the kitchen of the renown "Il Pizzaiolo del Presidente" (certified by Verace Pizza Napoletana) in Naples, where he learned how to make authentic Neapolitan specialties, which we are now making here, in Arlington, Virginia. Some things, like the Neapolitan Fried Calzone, you can't find anywhere else in this area.
We also make Palle di Riso (crunchy rice balls stuffed with peas, veggie crumble and cheese), Panzarotti - potato croquettes stuffed with mozzarella, Neapolitan-style pizza (we do not have a wood-burning oven, but use the same recipe and the ingredients as pizzerias in Naples).

The food we serve is the authentic Neapolitan STREET food, just like you find on the streets of Naples.
Our food establishment is a STREET CART, not a restaurant, so the prices are more than reasonable.

We have been open for about 1 week in the neighbourhood of Ballston, in Arlington, VA just outside the Metro station, at the corner of Stuart and 9th streets. We are only open Mon-Fri for breakfast and lunch right now, from 8 to 3:30, but soon will be open until 8pm.

Come to give us a shot!

Anastasiya and Enzo

pupatella.com
myspace.com/pupatella1pizza

the_cart_014.jpg

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Thanks for the info. I'm glad to hear you'll soon be staying open until 8pm - let us know when that happens. I don't work nearby so I couldn't make it during the day but I would definitely come by after work.

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I've passed you several times and like the idea you are presenting. Looks like I'll have to give it a try some time this week!

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Great call to keep it open until 8PM in the near future, but are there any thoughts on opening earlier for breakfast? I'm not complaining, 8AM seems more than reasonable, but there is a significant amount of people hopping on that metro between 6:30 and 8:00 that would probably love the idea of grabbing a croissant to take with them to work.

Or, maybe that's just me.... :blink:

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Great looking cart! Lunch starts at 11:15 AM. Anyone who has nutella and crossants on a breakfast menu is OK in my book!

Now THAT makes me wish I commuted from Ballston in the morning. I heart Nutella.

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Just stopped by on the holiday day. Good pizza (meatball with buff mozz) and 5 little profiteroles draped with nutella. $11. Great deal. Only wish they were open late as I don't work in Ballston, only live there.

Nashman

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Excellent pizza, though it comes steaming out of the oven so it's more of a "buy and take back to the office to infuriate the bag lunchers" sort of thing. I ate all the prosciutto off of mine while I waited for it to cool. The buffalo moz was very tangy and the grilled eggplant was perfectly done.

It will have to be a sick day/day off place, though, as I second or third the working far away problem. Lucky NSF/DARPA folks get it, I suppose.

It's also amazing how much is crammed into that cart. It's like getting pizza cooked on the space shuttle.

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I went there last week before the Bourdain talk at Lisner - here is my blog post (with pictures)!

I enjoyed the fried stuffed rice balls. I also tried the fried calzone and a nutella pizza. Anastasiya was nice enough to add pear onto the pizza.

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Thank you all for your feedback and complements. I am so happy you guys enjoyed the food!

We'd love to be open till 8pm, but right now we can't physically do it, as we need to do all the prep work in the evenings. I am waiting for the cart to become more popular and generate more cash flow so that we could afford to hire somebody to help us do all the prep and then we will be open for dinner as well.

Thanks again for your support, guys!

Pupatella.

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Had a chance to have lunch here today and was impressed with what they were doing. I order the Margarita and while I was waiting I was offered a sample of the roasted pepper soup. The soup was perfect on this cold day, nice flavor. I was the first pizza order of the day and had to wait a bit, but it was worth it. The crust was decent as was the ingredients. The only recommendation I would make would be to hit it with a little salt at the end.

Well worth the trip. Unfortunately I am usually no where near here for lunch.

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Part of my New Years resolution was to bring my lunch to work more often. Between that, and the nasty, wet, cold Jan/Feb, I haven't had the desire to wander from my new office in Ballston to the Pupatella cart, a quick 4 block jaunt.

Damnit, so much for the diet. I could eat here every day. I tried it for the first time on Friday, and here it is Tuesday, and I'm already back for seconds.

On Friday, I came late, hoping I'd miss the lunch rush. Well, I did, but I also missed the lunch INGREDIENTS. There was dough, sauce, and toppings, but Anastasiya had just run out of cheese! So much for the Margherita, but I was hungry, so I asked her just to throw together a non-cheese pie. She made me the special - roasted potato, rosemary, caramelized onions, and BACON. And OMG that crust - crispy, chewy, but not a cracker - fantastic. I hardly missed the cheese! She didn't charge me for the toppings as an apology for the lack of cheese, and in fact couldn't break my $20, so I even got a further discount to the $4 I was carrying instead of $5.

Today I decided to head out early, and got there at 11:45. Just a couple of people waiting, and this time I got my Margherita. Crust was still excellent, and nicely browned. Cheese had just the right amount of snap, and the sauce was tangy but not sweet. Nice, sharp basil. It survived the 10 minute walk back to the office with aplomb, and I was the envy of the break room. No salad, so I had to settle for fried rice balls. Yum - those went down on the walk back. Today's total was a ridiculous $12. ($5 pizza, $4 rice balls, $1 to repay her for last time, and $2 in the tip jar).

I'm hooked! Anastasiya, I'll see you next week!

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We are only open Mon-Fri for breakfast and lunch right now, from 8 to 3:30, but soon will be open until 8pm.

I visited the website, which says that closing time is 4:00. My hope was that showing up a little after 2:30 yesterday would not be too late, but apparently it was.

Is this the case every day, or was yesterday an exception? I was really looking forward to trying the margherita and croquettes!

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Sausage, grilled by Enzo, layered on the Margherita with nearly carmelized onions.

Steak sandwich, also grilled outside the cart.

It's a wonder I'm able to resist coming more than once a week...

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Missed the arancini on Monday, just before closing, but split a Margherita. Really good! Very friendly. I hope the business thrives and that we get to hear about a new restaurant some time in the near future.

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They have fried to order doughnuts in the morning for $2 each. I had a tasty nutella doughnut (a hole-less doughnut sliced crosswise like a hamburger bun, spread with nutella, and reassembled like a sandwich.)

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I stopped by today after hitting the Farmers' market. Took the calculated risk of taking my Margherita home and it held up quite well. The crust was still pretty crispy by the time I got home. Enzo and Anastasiya were really friendly.

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I, too, finally sampled your menu when I checked out the farmers' market a few weeks ago. What a brilliant idea you've brought to Arlington! I am now a huge fan. You've definitely elevated "street" food to a whole new level by bringing a piece of Italy and Europe to your little spot in Ballston. More power to you, and based on what I've seen in recent days, you just may need help sooner rather than later during that lunch hour peak.

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Just got back from lunch at the Pupatella food cart. I gotta say, they are making some good food over there! The arancini were great, very close to the real deal, al dente, little spicy, peas, and soy meat. The soy meat was pretty convincing as the real thing, although, if I am not mistaken, in Naples it is usually stuffed with saucy ground pig organs, (YUM!).

Anyway, great food and nice people. I will be back!

p.s. considering the oven, the margherita with buffalo was pretty darn good too. I've had worse at local pizzerie.

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p.s. considering the oven, the margherita with buffalo was pretty darn good too. I've had worse at local pizzerie.

The question is: Have you had better pizza in North Arlington? I haven't, and that includes Italian Store and Pie-tanza. The $6 Margherita ($3 upcharge for buffalo mozzarella) is remarkable given the oven, and the grilled steak sandwich ($6) with mozzarella and grilled onions was very good, too.

Given that Pupatella has chosen to compete with Potbelly, Cosi, and Ruby Tuesday - all less than a block away - this great food cart is on my short list of the most significant and important lunch spots in all of Washington, DC. The quality and attention to detail here are remarkable.

Minor nitpick: I asked how long my food would be, and was told 10-15 minutes, whereas it took 32 (I wasn't timing; I just happened to feed the parking meter after ordering). Mind you, this food is well-worth the wait, but people may want to avoid the prime-time lunch crush - Pupatella is open 8-4.

I sent another chef there today, and am curious to know what he thinks...

Cheers,

Rocks.

P.S. They apparently post their menu online every day!

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Minor nitpick: I asked how long my food would be, and was told 10-15 minutes, whereas it took 32 (I wasn't timing; I just happened to feed the parking meter after ordering).

I've only ever seen a wait that long on Friday, when the Ballston Farmer's Market occupies the same square. Never waited longer than 10-15 minutes any other day of the week.

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