IF YOU’VE EVER FANCIED A PROPER HAND-MADE, WOOD-FIRED PIZZA WITH A TASTE YOU SIMPLY WON’T FIND ANYWHERE ON THE HIGH STREET, WASHINGTON HAS YOU COVERED.
Last summer, after years of plotting the move, Clare and Chris Graham took the leap and picked up a horse box to convert into their very own food trailer.
And amid a mini-boom in mobile food services over lockdown, the decision couldn’t have come at a better time.
The two set about converting the trailer into what is now the mobile headquarters of Clarabell’s Wood Fired Pizzas.
But if you’ve seen their tidy blue horsebox zipping around town, chances are they’ve either sold out for the day or they will do before long.
Their homemade dough and fantastic selection of toppings has been a big hit with locals across social media, so we decided to give their pizzas a go.
After a round of magazine deliveries earlier this year, we popped along to Oxclose Church car park where Clarabell’s was set up for a few hours on an evening.
To check out two different offerings, we opted for one Garlic Chicken (£7) and one Hawaiian (£6) with added mushrooms (an extra £0.50 per topping).
The Garlic Chicken sported a garlic base topped with chicken, red onion and mozzarella cheese, while the Hawaiian, as usual, had a tomato base with ham and pineapple…along with our added mushrooms, of course.
Ordering couldn’t be more simple – you can either email, message Clarabell’s Wood Fired Pizzas on Facebook, simply text or even give them a ring, letting them know what you’d like along with your preferred collection time.
As we had to get back to the office for a late shift, we asked for a 5pm collection – at the beginning of their time slots – and sure enough, our pizzas were ready to go and piping hot, bang on time. All pizzas are made by hand and from scratch with fresh ingredients, so it suffices to say they’re made to order.
It seems a bit obvious, but the pizzas are HOT. They come out of a wood-fired oven which is typically much hotter than your conventional home oven, so be careful even if you’re dying to sink your teeth in.
The crust on both pizzas (9in diameter as standard) had a great crunch to the outside, with a nice, soft, chewy dough just underneath that crunchy exterior. You can certainly ask for a crispy base, but we found Clarabell’s standard cook to be spot on for our tastes.
Personally, I love a garlic base on a pizza. I know it’s not to everyone’s liking, but it’s probably my unhealthy obsession with butter that made me lean towards the Garlic Chicken – and it didn’t disappoint.
As with most garlic base pizzas, you do get something a touch drier than an average tomato base, but that’s what you tend to get with garlic butter bases as standard and I absolutely love it. The chicken wasn’t dry at all, the red onions gave it a lovely bite and the mozzarella was perfectly creamy.
Now if you’re one of those who believes pineapple on pizza is sacrilege, we invite you to skip to the end where you can find much more on Clarabell’s menu. But for the Hawaiian lovers out there, give this a go.
The ham was nice and moist, despite being baked under the wood fire flames, as was the pineapple which lifts each bite with a nice hit of sweetness. As for the mushrooms…well, mushrooms go nicely on anything – why not add the to your pizza?
The infamous Clarabell’s horsebox has been hitting locations further afield recently but if you do happen to catch them on a night when they’re set up in Washington, do take advantage. At £6-£7 per pizza, you’d struggle to get anything of handmade quality with as good a crust for less.