I recently mentioned Fire & Hops Pizza Co. on this site writing about the "craft" pizza + "craft" beer non-trend I've noticed around Richmond, VA. Well this week I took the time to give it a try. Short version? It was good, and I'd like to go back for more.
I'm no beer expert, but if beer is in (or implied by) the name, I expect to see a variety on the menu. I saw a few reliable favorites, but it was Bingo Beer's lager that caught my attention, and proved to be the right drink for my lunch options. I tried some of their house-made mozzarella sticks (tree trunks, really) which were delicious, but definitely intended for sharing. I feel like we used to see more batter-dipped mozzarella sticks in my youth, but if they're going to be breaded, these were great. I had one and shared the rest with my family at home.
The main event for me was pizza, and my standard practice is trying out a "plain" pie when I eat at a new place. While I think I could have ordered a shredded cheese-topped red pizza from the build-your-own option, the Margherita was the true basic choice since Napoletana pizza is clearly the intended style. And you know what? It was tasty. I gave honest feedback to the...owner? GM?...when he asked; I think a Margherita shouldn't have so much cheese (it has a tendency to all come off at once), and I prefer the fresher, less wilted taste and texture you get when the basil is added post-oven. But the pizza tasted good, and that's what matters most. Flavorful, chewy crust that held its structure without being too thick, just enough simple and tasty sauce, and a bit of leoparding on the bottom.
I'd like to go back and explore other parts of the menu, and even some of the other house pizzas and toppings. A number of the pasta dishes really caught my eye as well. I think next time I'll bring the family.