Ameraucana Wood Fire


Ameraucana is now parked in a semi-permanent location downtown at 720 SE 2nd Street and is open from Wednesday through Saturday from 6 to 10 PM.

Ameraucana Wood Fire embodies what a true food truck is all about. These mobile eateries serve as a platform for young, talented chefs to springboard their careers. Most of them have aspirations to go brick and mortar, while others embrace the cult following that so many excellent food trucks create. The irony of having gourmet, delicious, and piping hot food out of a truck on the side of a road has been catching on in every major city. But up until Ameraucana rolled onto the streets of Gainesville last November, our local food truck scene was comprised entirely of fried foods, grilled cheese sandwiches, and basically whatever grease plates a person can dream up after a night of consuming some illegal substances. This is a game changer.

Chef Tyler Black attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York and cut his teeth at high-end restaurants in Philadelphia until he recently moved back home to Gainesville. That’s when Ameraucana Wood Fire (named after a breed of chicken he raises) was born. Armed with a 1000+ degree wood fire oven, wild yeast sourdough, and an array of fresh and quality ingredients, Chef Black is serving up what I wholeheartedly believe to be the best pizza in town.

Every pizza is handmade and takes under 5 minutes to complete from the time you order to getting the piping hot lava in your hands. The dough is slightly chewy, the crust is thin, and the cheese actually doesn’t taste like melted plastic bags. Cheap cheese is a pizza’s worst enemy, it’s all that low moisture mozzarella that restaurants love to use. You won’t find that here. This is the real deal. You won’t find pepperoni on this menu either, you can get that places like Blue Highway. What you will find are inspired pizzas that you won’t find anywhere else in town.

There is an ever-rotating menu based on whatever fresh ingredients they can get their hands on. My personal favorite is the Mortadella Vetri, a pizza made with slices of Mortadella sausage (what Bologna is derived from), homemade pistachio pesto, and Fior Di Latte (fresh mozzarella) cheese. A close second is the Spicy Pancetta, slices of crisped pancetta (Italian bacon), fresh basil, crushed red pepper flakes, Fior Di Latte cheese, and topped with local honey. Both are just absolutely fantastic, but if you’re looking for something a little more conventional, the Housemade Sausage Pizza (spicy housemade pork sausage, Fior Di latte, fresh basil) and The Marge (basically a cheese pizza with San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, Fior Di Latte) are both excellent choices as well!

While my debit card activity will certainly attest to the fact that I genuinely believe this is some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, don’t just take it from me. Part of the beauty of a food truck is the ability to interact with other diners in such a casual setting. I’ve met folks who will drive across town (and from as far as Alachua) to have this pizza, Italians visiting for business who have said, “it’s better than the pizza we have in Italy”, and even proud New Yorkers have reluctantly conceded that it’s the “best pizza outside of New York City.”

The price per pizza is anywhere from $11 to $14, about 12 inches big, and no, you cannot buy it by the slice.

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© 2020 by Ken Peng & Ken Eats, LLC. Title image courtesy of Jesse Adrian Scanlon Media.

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