Greg Bye at his cart on opening night. Photo courtesy of Streetzeria.
The Truck:Streetzeria, found at the corner of Northwest Market Street and 24th Avenue Northwest on Fridays and Saturdays (6-10 p.m.) and Sundays (11 a.m. - 2 p.m.).
The Fare: Gourmet, from-scratch pizzas.
The Stop: Greg Bye has a theory. It's only "conjecture and opinion," he said, but to him -- former four star hotel general manager and current Ballard resident -- it makes sense.
Bye recently opened Streetzeria, a humble, space-efficient cart that he tows using his 2004 Nissan Altima. From the cart, he spins handmade pies that sport foraged greens, fresh mozzarella, as well as meat from Pioneer Square's Salumi and Ballard's CasCioppo Brothers. Right now, Streetzeria is a modest, family-oriented operation, started because Bye wanted to spend more time with his 11-year-old son. Someday he hopes to join the group of great pizza makers -- and open a fleet of carts.
"I don't know that I emulate them, but I think they're highly respected," Bye said. Veraci, Via Tribunali, and Delancey are a few on his list.
He's making a name for himself, slowly, at the pace that his modest, gas-heated oven allows: four minutes to cook a pie.
Margherita pizza with fresh mozzarella and basil.
Each 6- or 10-inch pie (priced at $4 and $8, respectively) emerges from the oven with a bubbly, golden crust and is decorated with toppings like rich, creamy goat cheese and hot Italian sausage, or roasted bell peppers and melted leeks. They're flavor profiles that Bye said he's created with the help of his family.
As the pizzas revolve on the turnstile, Bye chats with his customers. It's one of the things he most enjoys about his business, he said.
He even weathers the elements to do so, standing behind his cart and under an umbrella in the rain and wind.
When asked if he hides out in his car when waiting for customers, Bye laughed.
"No, I put on a warmer jacket," he said. "I grew up in Minnesota."