Monday, November 29, 2010

Fireside Pies. Well . . .

This is a tough one.

We got off to a bad start. Our seating was a booth placed too close to a table of eight. My instinct was to ask for a different table but I didn't. My instinct was right because our server forgot to put in our pizza order. Our pizzas arrived twenty minutes after we had eaten our salads and appetizers. Too long.

But people make mistakes and I can deal with a lot when the food is good. So, let's talk about the food:

We ordered an appetizer: meatballs with marinara sauce. Five very small meatballs with a steamy, just-right tomato gravy (that's Philadelphia for spaghetti sauce). Really delicious, but they could be called meat-dots.

Salads: good, cold, fresh lettuce and other leafy vegetables.

Pizza: The pizza is Italy-style, not New York style. The crust is like Il Cane Rasso or Cavalli's. I liked it. Crispy crust, tasty, nice sauce and cheese. Baked in big 550 degree ovens.

Now the tricky part because I want to be fair to Fireside Pies.

Fireside Pies is a very good looking restaurant and bar. Beautiful woods, nicely finished, comfortable seating, Big cylinder-shaped pizza stoves. It's an attractive place to eat and the vibe is upscale pizza. It's a place for the younger business crowd to drink, talk, and enjoy good pizza. If that's what you are looking for I can understand going to Fireside Pies. But for me it's an expensive pizza restaurant.

The pizzas are in the $13 - $14 range, the salads in the $12 - $13 range, and the appetizers, $8 - $15. There were four of us in our party. We ordered one appetizer, two pizzas and two salads -- our server suggested that the salads and pizzas could be shared. But, we discovered, the pizzas are small for two people, especially at $14 a pie. Our bill was $64, without tip and without beer or wine. That's not bad for four people, but considering two of the party left hungry, I think it's expensive.

Put it this way, take off the appetizer, add a 20% tip and you're at $17.00 a person for a smallish portion of pizza and salad, and an iced tea.

Fortunately, any evening Marian and I have with our son, his wife, and their daughter is a good night for me. Maybe I'm just a cheapskate. If you have been to Fireside Pies, please comment.

I rank the quality of the pizza in the  restaurants that serve this style of pizza, thusly: Cavalli's in Irving, Il Cane Rosso at Times Ten Cellars, Fireside Pies, and finally, Patizio's at 7th across from Fireside Pies.

There are five Fireside Pies in the DFW area, including one in Fort Worth, and one in Grapevine.

Fireside Pies website
Fireside Pies - Fort Worth
2949 Crockett
Fort Worth, TX  76107



Anonymous said...

I am an early 30's working professional and have looked forward to Fireside Pies on this side of town for a long time. I was one of the first to visit and would no consider myself a regular. Fireside has a great atmosphere with an upscale vibe that centers completely around the kitchen. The menu is different from the Dallas Fireside, but that is what is so great about it. It just isn't pizza, as this review indicates, it is much, much more. I personally think the artisanal appetizers, salads and pastas are some of the best I have had in the area. Fireside is about premium products, and for premium I expect to pay a dollar or two more per pizza for that quality. I love this restaurant from the cocktail menu, food menu to the wine list. Don't listen to this mediocre FRUGAL review. Fireside is worth every penny.

Try: Pimms Punch, Baked Ricotta Crostinis, Steamed Mussels, Salumi Salad, Panzanella Salad, Panchetta and Egg Pie, Little Neck Clam Pie....I could go on, everything is wonderful here!

Francis Shivone said...

Anonymous -

First, I like disagreements. I wish the disagree-ers would have the huevos to put a name on the comment.

Second, "artisanal appetizers." Give me a break.

henry rockford said...

WHAT?!?! Fireside Pies in Ft. Worth is amazing! To all readers reading the Star Telegram, please don't let this cheapskate, bitter writer rob you of a wonderful dining experience. Mistakes are going to happen everywhere, you're a fool to expect an error free restaurant experience anywhere. As far as pricing is concerned I find the menu to be incredibly reasonable. Let's think about this folks, Fireside Pies always uses super delicious, fresh, high quality ingredients (toppings) on all of their pies which is one of the main reasons we all chose to go to FSP, right? My recommendation for the Star Telegram writer is this; if you want cheaper prices and you don't mind skimping on quality than stick to Domino's pizza or maybe Cici's pizza where you can feed an entire village for 3 dollars, because you my dear sir or madamme don't know greatness if it bit you on your cheapskate face. I love the new Fireside Pies in Ft. Worth for the following reasons: Amazing food, superb drinks, and great service! Please don't let the clueless and obviously archaic writer/ critic rob you of a truly amazing dining experience!

Francis Shivone said...

Henry --

First, I don't know whether to laugh or delete your comment for the personal attack: a "clueless and obviously archaic writer/ critic."

I'm not sure a person can be archaic. I am old, yes, archaic are my ideas, thank you very much.

Second, I do not work for the Star-Telegram, they have much better taste in writers.

Third, admit it, you really didn't read my review, did you?

Jake Good said...

Welcome to the internet. Haters gonna hate.

I haven't been to Fireside pies, **yet** but presenting opinions with personal attacks is exactly the wrong way to get your point across.

Oh and there are a couple of other interesting opinions on Twitter:

here's one

here's another

Francis Shivone said...

Jake -- I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on FSP. Thanks. Your Twitter links were to the point.

John said...

Never disagree with a hipster. We're all entitled to their opinions. ;-)

Derek said...

Great atmosphere, if that's what you want to pay a lot of money for then this is the place to hang out. I thought the food was good, but not great for that kind of money. $4.50 for a Michelob Ultra is not my idea of premium products at premium prices. N
ext time I'll take my money where I can get a better meal.

Francis Shivone said...

John -- Another comment that I will steal and use.

Derek -- I'll not argue with any man that runs 50 miles for fun.


Becca said...

First-I have a feeling that anonymous and Henry are somehow involved with FP. They both seem to have had a rather intense reaction to this review- maybe it is personal? Secondly, my husband and I went here the first weekend it opened and it was good pizza. We had a hard time shelling out 13 or $14 for salad and the appetizers looked ok but were pricey. We enjoyed our pizza and drinks and will probably go back again. We really like the atmosphere at Patrizios though and the pizza is good and less expensive. I think if we can get a comparable experience for less(not to mention across the street) then we will take it. The next weekend we ate pizza at Patrizios.

Bob said...

My wife and I have eaten at FSP in Ft. Worth 3 times, once by ourselves, once with our 15-year old son, and the last time with friends. We've eaten at FSP on a Friday, a Saturday and on a Tuesday night. The visits have ranged from the second week it opened to the week of Thanksgiving. The service has been consistently mediocre no matter where we sat. We have ordered three different salads which have been fantastic, if overpriced. On each visit we have asked that the pizzas not come until we had finished our salads; however,the pizzas came very shortly after the salads were served twice and we had to beg for them the third time. The pizzas were expensive for what we were served. I don't mind paying the price for quality, providing it includes sufficient quantity and one pizza is not enough for a couple. My family dove to Dallas many times to the original (and at the time the only) FSP when it had no competition for good pizzas. We do not order from any of the national chains, but Rocco's provides an excellent pizza for far less. For that matter, Winslow's serves better pizzas, a good salad and an entire bottle of wine in an excellent setting for far lass than FSP. I have spoken to several friends who have eaten at FSP and all but has said they do not intend to revisit.

Sunni R. said...

I love the hipster comment too- so true. Honestly, I'm tired of the whole pizza deal. No one ever gets it how I like it (thin crispy crust, extra sauce that's NOT sweet, easy cheese, and veggie toppings like artichokes and fresh spinach in case you were wondering).

Francis Shivone said...

Becca -- I think Anonymous and Henry (fake name?) are the same person. Maybe he'll fess up. I liked Patrizio's Pizza, too.

Bob -- sorry to hear you didn't care for FSP. I liked the pizza, but the value equation doesn't add up for me either.

Sunni -- I like the Italy-style crispy crust, but I will always prefer New York/Philly style pizza I am sure because that's what I grew up with. I could eat pizza every day, even cold for breakfast.

Thanks all.

John said...

After reading the review of Fireside Pies in Friday's Star Telegram I'm gonna take a guess at where you're coming from.

I'm willing to bet that the food is good because of the quality of the ingredients and attention to detail in the preparation. So paying a premium might be warranted.

However (as my wife has learned to her chagrin) my preferences in pizza lean heavily toward the casual side of things. By that I mean a) pizza toppings *start* with pepperoni and build from there, b) rarely include a vegetable other than mushrooms, and c) are more New York style. We get pizza from Bellisimo's in Colleyville and Tony's in Bedford (when we used to live there).

The trick is to cook the pizza long enough so the pepperonis curl up like a little bowl and fill with grease.

Second, expensive food and excellent service must be coupled. If I'm going to shell out extra for a meal, I want the service to be seamless. In fact, nothing ruins a meal out like poor service, regardless of the venue.

But I'm so far out in left field when it comes to dining out that my opinions mean nothing. (One of my mantras is never eat chicken in a restaurant.) We dine out at 5pm specifically to avoid lines and crowds. In fact, tonight we're going out at 4:30. (Maybe we'll get the 50% off discount.)

Francis Shivone said...

John -- I hadn't read the ST article until now. Thanks.

I am going to try the pasta dish sometime. Like you, I prefer the New York style pizza, and the good, crispy pepperoni.

I think FSP will find a market here for its style of pizza and atmosphere.

And I doubt the owners will lose any sleep that I am not a part of that market. I like the 7th Street development and hope all of them do well.

Oh and occasionally, my wife and I enter the Mr. Seinfeld hour of early dining discounts, too. Scary. said...

I ate at Fireside Pies tonight and was extremely disappointed. We ordered a salad, one cocktail and a chicken sausage pizza. The pizza came with no sausage, we complained and the manager came out and said she would bring us a bowl of sausage. We were stunned as we sat for 10 minutes watching out pizza get cold. Our "bowl" of sausage arrived as we were eating the last piece of pizza. I don't know about you but I like my toppings on my pizza, not in a bowl! Anyway, manager took pizza off and our bill was $22 for a salad and one cocktail. Really, I don't mind paying for good food, but this was unbelievable.
Suzan Gill
Fort Worth, Texas