Life of Pies

Neapolitan pizzas, flatbread sandwiches, and arancini at Pupatella in Arlington

For pizza purists, a whole pie is only as good as the sum of its dough, cheese, sauce and oven.

And at its new brick-and-mortar Arlington restaurant, Pupatella–the popular Ballston food cart–has perfected its formula for simple Neapolitan pies. The menu reflects owner Enzo Algarme's fuss-free style with a list of 10 classic pizzas, a few hearty sandwiches (served on house-made flatbread) and giant, tomato-and-mozzarella-packed arancini ($3.50).

Naples-born Algarme looks to his hometown for ingredients. The flour, cheese and tomatoes used to make the pies are all Italian imports, and even the custom wood-burning oven was shipped from Naples.

The red-tiled dome oven heats to between 800 and 1,000°F, puffing the hand-stretched dough into soft, pliable and perfectly blistered crusts in under a minute.

The margherita ($9) is a textbook Italian pie, with zippy tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, but the Real Margherita ($12) goes a step further, adding glistening slices of buffalo mozzarella that keep their firm, slightly runny form (a desired result explained in the pizza FAQs). Other excellent toppings include grilled sausage ($11) and prosciutto with arugula ($12).

The food cart has temporarily ceased operations, but the team hopes to resume once things settle at the pizzeria. One important hallmark of the cart remains: All menu items are $12 or under.

Pupatella Neapolitan Pizzeria & Friggitoria, 5104 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 571-312-7230 or pupatella.com