Neapolitan Pizza on the Quick
Firecrust Pizzeria ushers in new wave of fast-food pies
One of the first in a wave of quick-serve Neapolitan-style pizzerias to hit Dallas-Fort Worth has arrived and is slinging pies at Knox and 75.
Firecrust is the concept from a Canadian-born restaurant company that also oversees quick-serve Asian chain Wok Box. It is Neapolitan-style in that it employs a domed oven that bakes pizzas quickly, with a more upscale selection of toppings than what was previously found in Dallas, such as arugula and fresh tomatoes. The standard by which all can be measured is Cane Rosso, which is a true Neapolitan pizzeria with a VPN certification.
By that standard, the pizza at Firecrust comes up a bit short. Toppings were noteworthy, but the crust was pale with no charred edges. It seemed like it hadn't baked long enough. The flavor was wan, without the personality or flavor of Cane Rosso's crust.
Atmosphere and service were both very good. The dining room is lined with brick, a cement floor, marble-topped tables and black-and-white vintage prints on the wall. Staffers, who walk you through a cafeteria-style buffet of toppings, were friendly and helpful.
The service line follows the Chipotle service model, allowing diners to create Neapolitan pizza customized to their tastes. The pizzas are sent down the line to be baked in domed ovens that cook the pizzas at 900 degrees for approximately 90 seconds.
Firecrust is brave. It took over what was previously a Pie Five, in a shopping center that until recently housed another pizzeria, Farnatchi, which just closed in June.