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Fire Works Pizza, a Virginia Chain in Several Virginia Locations


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Has anyone had an opportunity to visit Fireworks Wood Fired Pizza in Leesburg, Virginia?

http://www.fireworkspizza.com/HOME2.htm

My family and I have eaten at the restaurant once, and ordered take out twice.

On our first visit, the first pie we ordered was the: quattro carni. The second (take out) was the: smokey blue, and the third (take out) was the: fire cracker.

Our favorite pie thus far has been the: smokey blue, but felt that the service each time has been poor. During our first visit, the wait staff neglected to remember one-half of the order for my family. As a result causing the food delivery to be staggered. Each time we have called to place take out orders, the phone manners from the wait staff/bartender taking the order has been less than stellar.

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Fire Works Pizza has been great everytime I have been there. The crust in light as they are in Italy, the toppings plentiful and fresh. Service is young there but efficient. This is a pizza place not fine dining, the owners were looking for an alternative to all the chains out in the suburbs. (Disclaimer: I am friends with the owners.) This is owned by the same family who owns Tuscarora and Magnolia's. Personally I like it better than 2 Amy's and Paradisos' Pizza. though 2 Amy's has it beat with their winelist . They also do not serve as many cool appetizers as 2 Amy's but I know that they tried to establish what their "market would bear".

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Fire Works Pizza has been great everytime I have been there. The crust in light as they are in Italy, the toppings plentiful and fresh. Service is young there but efficient. This is a pizza place not fine dining, the owners were looking for an alternative to all the chains out in the suburbs. (Disclaimer: I am friends with the owners.) This is owned by the same family who owns Tuscarora and Magnolia's. Personally I like it better than 2 Amy's and Paradisos' Pizza. though 2 Amy's has it beat with their winelist . They also do not serve as many cool appetizers as 2 Amy's but I know that they tried to establish what their "market would bear".

Have you seen that a new location is going into Arlington?

http://dcmetrocentric.com/2010/03/04/courthouse-space-finally-leased/

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As of 2:15pm today, the papers are down, cleaners are there in full-force cleaning windows, chairs, with more bar stools outside to be moved in.

The trio I talked to (did not ask their affiliation to the restaurant, though), said there's a soft opening Sunday, with the official opening "sometime next week" (no more specifics than that quote).

Lettering on the door said "open daily from 11:00am."

HTH.

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The trio I talked to (did not ask their affiliation to the restaurant, though), said there's a soft opening Sunday <snip>

If the soft opening happened, it was certainly over by 8pm, as there was no one inside upon a walk over there. Since this is close by, I'd be happy to keep updating this post.

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Having never been to the Leesburg site, could someone please fill those of us who are clueless as to the merits of FW?

I am interested in trying the Arlington spot but there are a plethora of wood oven pizzerias in the area all of which tout their cutie pie specialness. Plus, the FW site lacks a description of their product. What say ye posters? Why should I spend time and money on the FW Arlington pie vs. the nearby robust competition?

Pizza lovers, start your engines!

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Decided to go to Fireworks at Courthouse last night. I was early (6pm), but when the wife and I arrived the bar area was full (and loud). We asked to be seated indoors, as it still looked like it might rain, and we were quickly placed at a two-top in the middle of the dining area. I would have preferred one of the available booths, or one of the two-tops along the divider between the bar and the dining area, but wasn't inclined to ask for it, since the seating along the divider had more of the noise from the bar and all the booths were set up for parties of four. As it happened, most of the booths were filled with only two people each by the time we left.

Before I talk about food, I should tell you that my wife is an Italian American, born and raised in the Bronx. She has very specific ideas about what constitutes good pizza. I ordered a 'little bite' of roasted olives, and decided to try one of the standard pizzas on the menu, the Soprano. The olives were a good start, with an assortment of different kinds of black and green olives roasted to the point where they were warm and slightly soft. The Soprano pizza was topped with cheese, tomato sauce, mushrooms, onions, sausage and truffel 'essence'. What suprised me when the pizza arrived was how strong the scent of the truffel essence was. You could literally smell nothing else of the ingredients on the pie. I thought that the scent aside, the mix of mushrooms, onions (nicly soft and sweet) and sausage was a good combination. My wife was not as enthusiastic, complaining that the smell of the truffle essence was too overpowering - she called it almost "industrial".

I tried the only Cider option on the menu (cannot remember the name) and a brown ale. Both were quite good, and I noticed that they use a number of different types of glassware to serve the beers in, depending on the brewing style.

Overall, a good looking space, with friendly, enthusiastic servers. I would probably opt for the outdoors seating for dinner in the future, as the loud crowd noise from the 20 to 30 somethings bar scene inside really washes over the divider into the dining area.

TSchaad

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The reasonably priced beer list and the service, especially for a newly opened restaurant, were excellent. The food (calamari and their version of a supreme pizza) was 'meh' - not bad, but not particularly great either. Hopefully just an off night; be back when I'm thirsty for beer and hungry for something other than chili covered tots and vegan hot dogs.

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We had a truly excellent pizza here about a week and a half ago. The crust was crackly and tasty, the toppings were superb. My guys went for the multiple meat pizza, so we had: their housemade sausage, which was extremely flavorful (but not too spicy for the kid) and plump and just marvelous; meatballs, which were large but still well-cooked throughout, and tangy and lovely; and two other meats I can't remember, I think a house-made pepperoni and something else. All of the meats were nitrate-free, which was a good thing to see.

My sandwich was tasty but not quite as successful: roasted veggies and Coach Farm goat cheese on foccaccia. The bread was lovely, rosemary-scented and well-textured. I think the generous amount of veggies (eggplant and mushrooms and squash, maybe something else too) overwhelmed the sandwich, without something to mellow them. The terrific goat cheese would have done so, if there had been more of it compared to the veggies - it was just a light spread. Well-intentioned and just needs some tweaking, I think, to be a very good sandwich. Maybe a little arugula or something green to temper the roasted veggies a bit and offer a contrast? And definitely more of the cheese.

The kiddo was a huge fan of the warm chocolate chip cookie dough sundae dessert. We all liked it, but he's a fan for life. The cookie dough is part soft and part cooked by the intense but brief heating in the oven -- an unusual texture to have both cookie and dough in the dessert, and it worked well.

Service was very good and attentive, though the server didn't know the non-pizza menu items that well yet.

I would very much like to see the thoroughly-stocked bar offer a few non-alcoholic cocktails as well.

Overall, we were fans - we're in the neighborhood and will definitely be back with some frequency. I need to try the less meaty pizzas (some sounded very appealing), though I'll make sure to sample the guys' meatballs and sausage.

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I've now been there twice and both times my appetizers were, at best, luke warm.

Last night I had the goat cheese stuffed lamb meatballs. They were delicious! But it would've been nice if they'd been hot.

The service was rather off as well. My waiter was spending a good bit of time at the bar or just out of sight.

The pizza (the quattro carni or however they spell it) was tasty, though.

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I've now been there twice and both times my appetizers were, at best, luke warm.

Last night I had the goat cheese stuffed lamb meatballs. They were delicious! But it would've been nice if they'd been hot.

That was the same reaction we had to the smoked gouda tomato soup today at lunch. It was a good soup, but would have been far better if it were hot. The quattro carni is a fine pizza.

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Has anyone else noticed that the "classic" margherita is made with cherry tomatoes instead of sauce? It tastes OK, but is that really the "classic" formula? I am by no means a pizza expert, and do not insist on authenticty at all costs. I only noticed because of some persnickety youngsters that love tomato sauce, yet will not tolerate tomatoes. Margherita is usually a go-to pie for them. At least the menu identified the cherry tomatoes. Sadly, this has caused problems at Pizzeria Paradiso, where the menu is not so specific.

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They had the very tasty Oliver's E.S.B on cask last night, which made me happy when I got to the bar.

For dinner I had the Thick Cut Pork Chop, served with an olive plum sauce, roasted shallots, and buttery linguini. The lean rib chop was slightly overcooked, resulting in a rather dry piece of meat. The pork was rather mild and would have been improved by brining. The sauce helped a bit, but it would have been nice of the small olives had been pitted. The linguini was properly cooked and surprisingly garlicky, considering no mention of that on the menu, and needed a touch of salt.

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Stopped by the bar for a quick lunch. Sampled the Oliver's E.S.B. and the Victory Yakima Glory to go with one of the pizzas (topped with Gorgonzola/bacon/onions).

The beers were excellent but the pizza was just average. Very little taste in the crust, it served as only a vessel for the tiny bit of gorgonzola, bacon that could've been a tad more crisp, and onions drizzled with a balsamic reduction. The bartenders were very pleasant and there were only about 3 others at the bar when I stopped in at 2:30. It's not a place I'd make my plans around going to, but for a late lunch it served the purpose today as I was in courthouse running errands.

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I decided to give FireWorks another chance. I swung by on a hot and muggy Tuesday night and snagged a seat right in front of the oven.

At first I regretted it but then I realized - I was acclimating to the temperature. When I left later, it didn't feel so bad!

That night I just had a couple of cask beers, a couple of beers from the kegs, and a plate of their "THS Wings" (Tangy, Hot, Sweet, if I remember correctly) that came with a side of creamy gorgonzola. The wings came out hot and delicious, unlike my previous experiences, which made me happy.

So I went again yesterday. I hadn't been there for the happy hour - from 3-6:30 they've got a number of beers at $3 and some of their pizzas at $5 (for the 10"). I'd been curious to try the Guadalajara, which features spiced beef, fresh jalapenos, lettuce, and a sour cream drizzle so I ordered it.

WOW that was spicy. Totally kicked my butt. I was being kind of a wimp but WOO. So I got a box for it and ordered a "Sopranos", with mushrooms, Italian sausage, onions, and truffle oil essence(?). That was a bit more my speed last night, and I took half of it home too. Drank through a few beers and called it a night.

Had I remembered I had an ice cream sandwich I might've finished off the Guad today, but alas, I got confused and ate the sandwich first. Had to cut through the wrapper with kitchen shears. What up with that, Good Humor?!

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FYI, Fire Works in Arlington is hosting Blue Point Brewing Company on Tuesday, March 27 at 4:30PM. I know that the Fire Works Events web page and their Facebook posting in some places indicate that this event took place in 2011, I was just there yesterday and saw a sign at the door indicating that this was happening this week.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Blue Point Brewing Steal the Pint Night!

Come to Fire Works Arlington & Steal the Pint! We'll play host to Blue Point Brewing Company Tuesday, 3/27/11 at 4:30PM. They will join us as we pour their Rastafa Rye, Sour Cherry Imperial Stout, Blueberry, and No Apologies Imperial IPA. Come grab a pint or two at the bar* & take home official Stone glassware - yours to keep when you buy the beer!

*Glassware available at bar & bar tables only (limit 1 per customer)

Via Twitter Fire Works announced that they have added Hoptical Illusion to the lineup for Tuesday.

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In Leesburg, Fireworks is far and away the best pizza. Not that there is a lot of competition.... They have a couple things I do really like, one, they do an awful lot of local sourcing, which gets a thumbs up from me. They also have a solid beer tap of good brews (usually in teens on tap).

Try the meatball, sausage and mushroom calzone, its pretty good.

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This is more of a general question, but my most recent experience was at Fireworks so I thought I'd put my question here.  The bartender prints my check after I order my drink and places the check in a cup.  Then, when I order another drink, the bartender reprints my check.  I like the bar at Fireworks, and it's not a big deal, but just curious as to why some bars have that practice?  I know they must want me to order more drinks or food, but having the check already printed almost discourages me from ordering anything further.

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This is more of a general question, but my most recent experience was at Fireworks so I thought I'd put my question here.  The bartender prints my check after I order my drink and places the check in a cup.  Then, when I order another drink, the bartender reprints my check.  I like the bar at Fireworks, and it's not a big deal, but just curious as to why some bars have that practice?  I know they must want me to order more drinks or food, but having the check already printed almost discourages me from ordering anything further.

It's good service. The check is always ready. I wish my bartenders would do it.

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After reading "Where's the Wheat?" in the Washington Post last week, we decided to try the pizza at Fire Works in Arlington today for lunch.

It's a very attractive space, although I can imagine that when it is full it would be quite noisy. The service was cordial and efficient.

We each got the Fire "Works" pizza, mine on a gluten-free crust. The toppings were plentiful and fresh tasting. My crust had good flavor and acceptable texture. Gluten-free flours will never replicate the texture of pizza crust made with wheat flour.  Although it's a hike from where we live in Burke, I will definitely return to try more topping combinations.

Their gluten-free beers are mainly sorghum based, which are not my favorites.  I much prefer the Belgian gluten free beers like Brunehaut Bio Blonde, but as that one is made from barley with the gluten extracted at the end of production, it runs afoul of the FDA regulations regarding labeling of gluten free beers. However, I appreciate the fact that Fire Works offers four choices of gluten free beer.

The article in the Post says that the gluten free crust is made from scratch in the restaurant, but a sign on the door named the source of the crusts as a bakery in California. Either way, it was delicious and safe.

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I've eaten here a couple of times in the past couple of weeks. Not as often as when I lived in Courthouse, but whatevs.

While the pizza is, IMHO, fine - no, it's not OMG fantastic, but it's solid and well-priced in my opinion - what I like a lot of the times when I go there is the enthusiasm and knowledge of the bartenders when it comes to beer. In a lot of bars, you've got one or two "beer guys" and a decent selection but that's it. However, almost all of my bartenders at FireWorks have been enthusiastic and knowledgable.

An example: when I was there two visits ago, I wanted to try a specific Terrapin beer simply because of its name. They were out of it, but the bartender suggested another one. I went with it, and as I was about to ask her if she wanted to try it, she asked me if she could have a small taste as she hadn't had it before. We both loved it, and because I shared it with her she took my pizza off the bill. :-)

When I went back the last time she pointed out that through tonight, a number of their big bottles are half off. I'm tempted to go back down there...

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I've eaten here a couple of times in the past couple of weeks. Not as often as when I lived in Courthouse, but whatevs.

While the pizza is, IMHO, fine - no, it's not OMG fantastic, but it's solid and well-priced in my opinion - what I like a lot of the times when I go there is the enthusiasm and knowledge of the bartenders when it comes to beer. In a lot of bars, you've got one or two "beer guys" and a decent selection but that's it. However, almost all of my bartenders at FireWorks have been enthusiastic and knowledgable.

An example: when I was there two visits ago, I wanted to try a specific Terrapin beer simply because of its name. They were out of it, but the bartender suggested another one. I went with it, and as I was about to ask her if she wanted to try it, she asked me if she could have a small taste as she hadn't had it before. We both loved it, and because I shared it with her she took my pizza off the bill. :-)

When I went back the last time she pointed out that through tonight, a number of their big bottles are half off. I'm tempted to go back down there...

I think one of the best bartenders I've run into for customer service/ knowledge helpful tips is at Fireworks in Arlington.  Her name is Gina.  While she took our bartending course that has nothing to do with her abilities.  She is simply great.   Not long ago I ran into some Fireworks employees elsewhere and referenced her.   They raved about her also.

Before her I didn't think much at all abt the bartenders there.  Not helpful, energetic or knowledgeable.  That is a place where knowledge could help.  They have a huge variety of beers and wines.  Huge.

Is she a spectacular mixologist?  I have no idea.  She gives incredible service and is tremendously helpful.

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Fireworks is not going to set the pizza or beer worlds on fire/generate hype, but both programs are very solid and as SeanMike said, well-priced.  For instance, Pizzeria Paradiso gets more hype in the beer world, but their expensive pizzas are merely decent and not a good value at all.  For the pizza/beer value, I think Fireworks in Courthouse is probably the best deal in the DC area.

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Is she a spectacular mixologist?  I have no idea.  She gives incredible service and is tremendously helpful.

Well, yeah, but FireWorks is not a mixology kind of bar. They have some cocktails, but given the crowd they get, they are exactly what they want. My friends' wives have never complained about what they ordered. (Now some of my friends have complained about the beers, but that's because they listened not to the bartender, and drank some random 10%+ Czech beer at the end of a long night of cheap beer, and you don't want to know who ended up in the bathtub, but it wasn't me.)

Myself, I know as both a cocktail and beer lover not to order mixed drinks there, because I'm going to overthink them. But Claira (who I had, and I think I've had Gina before) was great, and I always get good advice on the beer. They have lots of good ones on tap, some casks, and I don't feel as financially burdened as I do at (say) Rustico Ballston.

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It's not a mixology kind of bar, but they've made me nonalcoholic cocktails when I've asked, and now they've added some to the menu.  Makes me happy.  So few places do that.

http://www.fireworkspizza.com/Arlington/Web/Menus/Cocktails.pdf  See the "Mocktails" listed:

Blackberry Iced Tea (blackberry syrup, cherry juice, cran juice, iced tea)

Cherry Lime Rickey (fresh squeezed lime juice, bing cherry juice, simple syrup, soda)

Dandy Shandy (housemade lemonade, white cranberry juice, ginger beer)

Strawberry Crush (fresh muddled strawberries, mint, lime juice, simple syrup, ginger beer).

they also have Maine Root ginger beer, which is a nicely spicy drink.

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I've come to like and value Fireworks more.  Its certainly convenient to where I work most of the time.  Initially ( a couple of years ago) I really disliked their pizza.  I would have described it as "some kind of crusty thing"   with various flavors on top.  Its their own style, and doesn't fit in with most pizza classifications or styles or any type of traditional pizza.

I believe its improved.  The crust/ pizzaness is better.   Not sure exactly how to define it.  The toppings are still inventive and actually quite good IMHO.   Again they aren't traditional. But they are certainly tasty.  I've had the "shrimp one"//the marisco.  Excellent flavors and spicyness.  That is excellent.  Today I had a bacon/white pizza w/ apple.  Great toppings.   Slightly better crust than in the past..or significantly better...but definitely improved over several years ago, IMHO.  Maybe the pizzas should be renamed "flatbread base" /sort of like Pizza, round and cut up like pizza.

There are other attributes to Fireworks.  They have a huge beer menu and know their beers.  Frankly I'd defer to SeanMike on this topic...but from my perspective its huge...and good.

I like the staff.  They are beer smart.  They are very professional and effective.  Today I was there for a late lunch with overlapped with their early "happy hour".  Jillian was the bartender.  She has been there virtually since they opened.   I was impressed....from an operational perspective and from a niceness perspective.

Jillian gets off officially at 4 pm.   She was vigorously doing prep work for the evening staff.  She was industrious.  She did a ton of work on their behalf, while eyeballing the customers at the bar, making sure they were well taken care of.  After watching for a while we spoke.  I commented on her effort.  She referenced that they had a very large party on the patio for the evening and on top of that ...who knows how busy the restaurant would be that evening.  Friday nights in the summer.  Could be busy...could be that the population is at the ocean or elsewhere.  Hard to tell in the summer.

But man she was busting on behalf of the evening staff.  She said she got the same treatment from other staff for her evening shifts.   They work for one another.

Boy is that great.  Customers during the evening don't see this, but that prep work enables the existing bartenders to focus on service.  Really great.   I've questioned her and one or two others, including Gina who I've referenced above...who seems to ooze a terrific friendly hospitalityness.    The staff really likes their owners.  They like the way they treat the staff and assist them.

I'm not crazy crazy about their food...but its not bad.  For pizza I don't like Pete's in Clarendon.   I did like Toscana as its pizza was traditional NY/NJ style in a way that very few places in this region provide...but have not been back there since Joe left.   I like Fireworks pizza better than Pete's.

For all around service..Fireworks is excellent...and professional.   Its not top of the line quality food, imho but its good and better than most.

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I really like their Tartufo pizza, which has shiitake, cremini, and maitake mushrooms, as well as truffle salt (and fontina and grana padano cheese - no tomatoes).  Very tasty, excellent mushroom variety.

They have a huge spinach salad with blackberries and pistachios and "local bacon" and blue cheese (though I order it with goat cheese - they have Cherry Glen).

One night instead of pizza I got the 3 Gs grilled cheese:  smoked gouda, goat, and gruyere cheeses, with tomato jam (on the side).  Extremely tasty.

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The last couple of times I've been there it's been impossible to get into - just too many people. That's good for them, but makes me sad. :(

Oh well! I used to be really, really tired of "thin crust" style pizza but since I'm trying to watch what I eat more nowadays, I find their plain cheese and herb with a couple of crunchy veggies added to be quite tasty.

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The last couple of times I've been there it's been impossible to get into - just too many people. That's good for them, but makes me sad. :(

Oh well! I used to be really, really tired of "thin crust" style pizza but since I'm trying to watch what I eat more nowadays, I find their plain cheese and herb with a couple of crunchy veggies added to be quite tasty.

I wish you would have come with us!  Early on it was pretty empty and quite enjoyable, it did pick up towards the end, but was still nice.

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Meatball subs are sporadically mentioned on dr.com but lets face it;  they are not the highest order of dining.  I, on the other hand could easily consume 40-100 per year, maybe more maybe less. I've gobbled them across the country in countless places.  I grabbed a late lunch at Fire Works, Arlington, and was scanning the menu for something different, when I kept coming back to their meatball sub and succumbed to a menu item that has sustained me for decades.  It is not what I would think of first when thinking about Fire Works, with its tremendous beer and wine menus and various other dishes.

It was superior.  Delicate high quality meatballs, with ample cheese, and a nice but minimal sauce that enabled the meatballs to shine, and stand out among a world of meatball sub mediocrity.  It literally blew me away.  In fact there was too much "sub" bread.  I ate the meatballs separately adding a bit on sandwich to boot.  The order came with crisp quality potato chips.

The sub stunned me; it was so much better than anything I've had for a while.  I commented upon it to the bartender on duty who said she ate it all the time.

Who wouldda thunk it.  A high quality meatball sub just steps away from where I usually work.  ...and its not even Hoboken or Brooklyn.

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