Mia’s Pizza goes mobile

Mia’s Pizza goes mobile

New catering offshoot features transportable pizza kitchen

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Melissa Ballinger, owner of Mia’s Pizza, has always been hesitant to bring her pies to private parties. She’s been asked; it’s just that she’s never been happy with the reheated results.

With her new mobile wood-burning pizza oven, however, “the pizzas are absolutely beautiful,” she says.

In fact, the portable pies are now the focal point of her new catering business, Mia’s on the Move. Already, she’s lined up a graduation party, rehearsal dinner, wedding, and Bar Mitzvah. 

Aside from pizza, however, Ballinger will provide appetizers, salads, other main courses, plus desserts. And she also has a catering license to serve beer, wine and liquor. “That allows us to do the whole shebang,” she says.

Ballinger bought the mobile kitchen and the van that tows it from Mitch Berliner, a longtime foodie who is now co-manager of the three Central Farm Markets (Bethesda, Pike Central and North West).

The kitchen trailer, a sort of junior version of a food truck, includes a wood-fired oven, hot and cold running water, and electricity. Ballinger says she can use the same wood—cherry and beech or birch, plus some oak—that she uses to fire up her restaurant oven.

Berliner operated the pizza kitchen for a couple seasons at the Bethesda Central Farm Market and at private events, along with Chef Dennis Friedman. Then in April 2011, Friedman went on to open his own restaurant in Bethesda, Newton’s Table.

Now, Mia’s on the Move is taking their place, as the pizza kitchen has already rolled into the Pike Central Farm Market in Rockville, and in the next couple of weeks, will start firing up pies at the Bethesda market. Ballinger said she plans to buy ingredients from farmers at the markets to assemble her pies—for example, she’s already used potatoes and eggs for a breakfast pizza.

Mia’s on the Move will be at the grand opening of the Pike Central Farm Market on Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 11806 Rockville Pike (at the front of the Mid-Pike Plaza). Soon, the pizza kitchen will also be at the Sunday Bethesda Central Farm Market at the Bethesda Elementary School.

For more information about the full catering services, call the restaurant at 301-718-6427 and ask for Ballinger, or e-mail info@miaspizzasbethesda.com.

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