Originally published in The Gonzaga Bulletin
There aren't very many things in Spokane that remind me of the SoHo neighborhood in New York City. Besides the decrepit buildings with antique advertisements painted on the sides and the quaint coffee shops already well-known to locals, Spokane is missing the chic urban allure of SoHo. Then again, nobody wants another carbon copy of SoHo, except for probably me.
Fire Artisan Pizza sticks out like a well-manicured thumb painted with matte CHANEL nail polish on Sprague Avenue. When my friend Karina Ko and I waltzed in for a lazy Sunday lunch, we were pleasantly surprised by the exposed brick, unique lighting and clean interior design.
Fire’s menu has pizza, of course, but each item is crafted with interesting ingredients like Kansas City bacon, Sirracha, habanero sea salt, dates and balsamic reduction (note that these are all on separate pizzas, not the same one … because that would be gross, not gourmet).
Before we made our entrée choices, we were served a cool glass of cucumber-infused water by a friendly waitress. Conversation and veggie aqua flowed while we pondered pizzas to an ambient indie soundtrack.
Karina opted for the “Camino,” a BBQ chicken pizza with cilantro and white cheddar cheese. I chose the pesto pizza to calm my (constant) Italian craving.
I kept an eye on the pizzas as the cook pushed them into the restaurant’s single wood-fired oven.
Our personal-sized pizzas, priced at around $15 each, arrived hot, fresh and delicately placed on a slab of wood.
It was love at first bite for both of us.
A fluffy, substantive crust circled the toppings and sauce that was just as much fun to look at as it was to eat.
The whole experience took me back to my recent trip to New York City, where the dining is always exceptional because bad chefs can’t afford to survive there. Fire Artisan Pizza has thrived since early 2013 and will keep thriving despite its non-SoHo surroundings.
Everyone loves pizza, from Manhattan’s elite to the No. 1 pizza eating demographic: college students.
For a chic change of pace from Iggy’s, try the fashion-forward Fire Artisan Pizza.
SoHo would be proud.