Family fuels the fire: Pizza Amore excels, expands
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • April 16, 2012 @ 9:03am
Family is unquestionably central to Italian tradition, and Dave and Diana Perri have strengthened their household bonds around another quintessential slice of Italy: pizza.
With children DJ, Danielle, Dominique and Devon—who range between 15 and 22 years old—the Perri family runs Pizza Amore, one of fewer than 10 wood-fired pizza trailers in the country. Based out of Grand Island, the family business has been operating since June 2011, but greater plans are in the works.
Having served at the Sabres Alumni Wine Festival, the Erie County Fair and countless other local festivals, Pizza Amore will open a stationary location—not quite a restaurant, but more of a thruway food stop-type business—on 2024 Grand Island Blvd. with Dunkin’ Donuts and S & G Express. Perri plans to serve Sweet Melody’s gelato and sorbet from the new location as well.
The new location shouldn’t restrain the trailer’s exploits, however, as the family plans to vend at the Italian Festival on Hertel Avenue, the Niagara Falls Italian Festival, the Lewiston Jazz Festival and in front of several Niagara wineries, such as Black Willow, this summer as well.
Finding extra help won’t be a problem for the Perris, as Dave Perri mentioned that, when additional help was needed at last year’s Erie County Fair, his mother-in-law and 72-year-old father were both excited to join the family fray as cooks.
“Being Italian, everyone is always related to someone else,” said Perri, who also works a full-time job in addition to helping his wife Diana with the trailer on weekends.
For downtown Buffalo workers and residents, Pizza Amore posts up between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. outside the First Niagara Center every other Wednesday, with the next appearance coming this week (April 18). Try to arrive toward the early portion of that time-frame, however, as Perri admitted that he’s sold out of dough a little after 1:30 a few times.
If you’re new to wood-fired pizza, there are several perks to the process.
“[Wood-fired] pizza has a different taste because of the freshness of the wood,” Dave Perri explained. “The taste isn’t heavily smoky either, and our low-gluten flour crust is lighter and thinner, so you won’t have the thick crust or the God-awful amount of cheese. I can’t eat another type of pizza.”
The pizza cooks rapidly over the wood fire which reaches 750 degrees, and the Italian delectable is ready in five or six minutes. Perri brings roughly 12 hours worth of locally-sourced wood, which he stores in the silver wood box at the front of the Fire Within trailer and in a convenient space under the stove.
Stay tuned for details about Pizza Amore’s official opening date on Grand Island Boulevard, and stop by their spot outside the First Niagara Center to taste the wood-fired fare.