Beverly Shores, IN: The Rolling Stonebaker Pizza & the Purple Pig
A recent trip to northern Indiana (apparently they call it “The Region,” which makes it sound like something from an episode of “Lost”) meant fun food exploration. My kind host Mark was more than willing to accommodate.
He drove me up to a little train stop town called Beverly Shores on the Indiana Dunes at Lake Michigan. Although not too far from Chicago, its really feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere. The most exciting things seemed to be the gas station, a vacant office building, and the quaint train station. Actually, those were the only things that seemed to be there. That is, until I saw the vintage firetruck red Studebaker.
It turns out there’s a reason why it’s firetruck red–because it’s a firetruck. Well, it was a firetruck until it found a new, and dare I say, better, life as a rolling oven food truck. Studebaker was manufactured in nearby South Bend, Indiana–home of the Fightin’ Irish–so the choice is a good one for the area. This one was a ’49 truck, they also have a second truck from 1951.
Rather than putting out fires, however, this firetruck actually contains a fire in its retrofitted stone pizza oven that rests on the back. I’ve eaten at my share of food trucks, and I have to say the Stonebaker truck beats them all for cool factor.
While the Rolling Stonebaker does, indeed, roll to various locations and events, they also own the lot in Beverly Shores where they set up on a regular schedule. The scene is bucolic with picnic tables available for customers. The fall weather was perfect for outdoor eating.
I thought, “I could eat this every day.”
Cleary the Stonebaker crew like to have fun. They offered a “Mystery Pizza” the day I was there. You could ask three yes or no questions about it. I asked one, gave up, and simply ordered it. Mark ordered a Purple Pig, which is their signature pizza of pulled pork, barbecue sauce, cheese, and red cabbage slaw on top. I had them throw in a locally made cold bottle of root beer.
They went to work making our pizzas and began firing them in the truck’s pizza oven. It’s a bit of a surreal scene, really. I also have never seen someone at a food truck chop their own wood, either.
The pizzas came quickly enough. The mystery pizza turned out to be pepperoni and pineapple and they threw on a few peppers at Mark’s request. The pizza was top rate with good crunch and a balance of savory and sweet.
But there’s a reason why the Purple Pig is Rolling Stonebaker’s signature pizza. In fact, Food TV proclaimed it the featured pizza in the entire state of Indiana. They were on to something. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a better pizza than the Purple Pig. I certainly didn’t think so while I was eating it. With pulled pork and slaw it’s like someone captured Southern barbecue, spirited it to Yankeeland, and turned it into fired flatbread goodness. At the time I thought, “I could eat this every day.”
For overall food truck experience, The Rolling Stonebaker at Beverly Shores simply can’t be beat. A picturesque setting with a unique truck combined with some of the best pizza you will ever eat makes Beverly Shores a real food destination. The food truck schedule at Beverly Shores is limited seasonally, so check the schedule on the Rolling Stonebaker website to see if you’re within striking distance of a vintage Studebaker firetruck.