#292 Firehouse Pizza

12:20PM 5/6/2023

It’s been a bit of a struggle this year to keep up a good pace here. I’ve been working on some behind the scenes maintenance lately when I find time (updating the “completed” pages that I neglected for over a year, making a sticky post with all the new places on my updated ToDo list, etc). This last weekend I decided it was time to get back to it, and having seen a number of new pizza joints added to my list lately it seemed like an easy way to jump back in. I looked at a few and ultimately settled on Firehouse Pizza.

Firehouse Pizza is located in the awkward little shopping center, at Rocky Ridge and Douglas, where you’ll find Mario’s Early Toast and Sunrise Natural Foods. I hate this parking lot so much. It’s waaaaay too busy and cramped, at least while Early Toast is open for breakfast/lunch. I lucked out with a parking spot after only a lap and a half around the lot. The last time I was here, just over ten years ago, this was Master Pizza. Looking back at my photos from that visit, the space hasn’t changed much at all in terms of layout. It has, however, received a welcome facelift to the small lobby area, including a couple of counter areas facing the windows and some stools with a very satisfying pneumatic cushion action when you sit. Upon entering at about 12:20pm I was greeted by a lone employee manning the counter.

I looked at the menu online to pick out my pizza and planned to order it there for take out. The offerings are pretty standard for a pizza place (pizza, wings, pastas, salads). Their specialty (or “gourmet”, I suppose specialty is a Round Table term) pizza offerings are mostly standard with some interesting Hawaiian variations such as Hawaiian Sweet Corn (Marinara, Mozzarella, Ham, Corn, Pineapple) and Hawaiian Extreme (Marinara, Mozzarella, Ham, Pineapple, Corn, Mushrooms, Black Olives, Red Onions, Green Onion). I opted for a large with half Classic Chicken Garlic (Mozzarella, Garlic Sauce, Chicken, Cheddar, Red Onions, Green Onion) and half Fire Meat (Marinara, Mozzarella, Pepperoni, Salami, Ham, Sausage, Bacon). Since I had been looking at three pizza places earlier, I couldn’t remember if this one had a thin crust and asked the person taking my order if they did, to which he replied “yes we have thin crust”. The only reason I bring up this particular interaction is that they also have a thin and crispy crust, which I almost certainly would have ordered instead. So up a the counter they had a little one page menu, but it didn’t show crust types. I wish he had clarified, but also If I had looked up at the full menu on the three LCD menus I would have seen it. So kind of a goof by both of us here. Anyway, I paid up ($25.85 including tax, and as an aside – if I had ordered this online they had a coupon on their website to discount a large gourmet pizza to $18) and then headed back out into the chaos of the tiny lot to grab my photos while he started working on my pizza. Back inside I took a seat on the nifty stools until my order was ready. In total it just a bit over ten minutes. I was offered the standard accompaniments – Parmesan, red pepper, plates, napkins, etc. I got some Parmesan and then forgot I put them in my pocket until later in the day, doh!.

On my short drive home I opted to set the box in my trunk, something I don’t think I’ve ever done with pizza, and I was amazed at how much pizza smell still made it’s way into the rest of the car even with all four windows down. I was so ready to eat by the time I got home. Opening the box up I was pleased to see a nice topping coverage, with only a few bare cheese sections showing through. The most jarring thing about this pie was the cheddar cheese on the Chicken Garlic half. It was melted great, but the splotches of yellow just looked out of place to me for some reason. On the plus side it acted like a glue to keep the toppings on this side in place. I had a little bit of trouble with runaway sausages on the meat side.

Picking up a slice from each side I was a bit disappointed with the crispness of the crust. Aside from the edges, which looked nice and browned, the underside ended up much less done than I like and needed a lot of additional support (this is where my runaway sausage issues mostly stemmed from). Digging in, I found the chicken garlic to be pretty tasty. The garlic sauce wasn’t particularly garlic-y, but the chicken was perfect. Good sized chunks of tender white meat, usually one in every bite. The cheddar cheese added a slight bright flavor and the green onions a tiny bit of crisp texture.

Even though the chicken side was good, I have to say I was surprised that I enjoyed the meat side a lot more. Something about their marinara sauce just grabbed me. It’s wasn’t really spicy – it may have been a little on the sweeter side – but man it just worked so well. I usually prefer almost all other sauce options vs a red sauce, but this was excellent. As for the meats, they also delivered. All five were delicious and worked great together. This was a pretty greasy pizza, but that’s to be expected from all meat. I ate almost half of this pie before calling it quits and putting the rest in the fridge for later.

Two days later I fired up the oven and reheated the remaining slices for dinner. In my experience, even bad pizza usually gets elevated to decent, at a minimum, upon a reheat (see BOSS Pizza+Wings). In this case the floppy crust got nice and crispy, just the way I like it. If you don’t expect to have leftovers and like a crispy crust, I would suggest asking for this to be a little well done, or trying out their thin and crispy version.

Overall I was pretty well satisfied by this pizza joint. We have a lot of options for pizza here but for a solid, non-gimmicky, local joint I’d recommend them.

Just as I got home today to get this post uploaded, in a fun coincidence I had a Firehouse Pizza door hanger waiting for me 🙂



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