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Originally published Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 7:04 PM

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That's Italian! Pizzas are hot and fast at Via Tribunali

Hungry, hung over or hurried? Via Tribunali's crispy happy-hour pizzas will not disappoint.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Happy hour |

Fast is Via Tribunali, where a 1,000-degree wood-fired oven can crisp up a pizza as fast as 60 seconds flat.

A useless, trivial fact.

Unless you're hungry, hung over or in a hurry.

Or all of the above. Then a fast pizza sounds pretty good about now.

On a recent visit to Via Tribunali in Fremont, I ordered a $5 happy-hour Margherita. Saw the pizza maker (called a pizzaiolo here) take my ticket order. Watched him stretch the dough. Glanced at my text messages, and next thing I knew, the pizza was on my table, all before Tom Petty finished crooning "Free Fallin' " through the speaker.

Via Tribunali prides itself on being so authentic that it gets its sauce, flour, oven and even pizza boxes from Naples. But it went all American on the happy-hour pepperoni pie, with mounds of toppings to the point of salty. Goes down well with its Peroni beer. Just not as nuanced as the other Neapolitan pizzas.

Its happy-hour Marinara (with oregano, garlic and olive oil) and Margherita (tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and olive oil) stay truer to tradition. Fans of Via Tribunali will appreciate these two.

Six years ago, Via Tribunali opened its first pizzeria on Capitol Hill to acclaim and long lines, then expanded to four other Seattle neighborhoods, with another coming to Pioneer Square (on March 15) and soon, one in Portland.

Its happy-hour pizzas — smaller, about 9 inches — are available at all locations: Belltown, Capitol Hill, Fremont, Georgetown and Queen Anne. All feature the same happy-hour menu but each runs a different happy-hour schedule. Some run both early and late happy hour; some just late. Check the Web site for happy-hour schedules. Menu features $5 pizza, $3 Peroni beer, half-liter of wine $8, liter $16 (www.viatribunali.net).

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com

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