There are three things in life I will always have an undying affection for: food trucks, pizza and grilling food. So imagine my delight when I found out that there was a food truck that served grilled pizza. To say I was ecstatic was an understatement.
My first opportunity to try Byrnes’ Grilled Pizza came at the unseasonably cold and rainy June First Friday Food Truck Festival (affectionately known as FFFTF). For those not familiar, the FFFTF brings dozens of local food trucks (along with live music, games, and BEER!) to the parking lot of the Old National Centre downtown on the first Friday of every month, coinciding with the numerous other First Friday events happening in the downtown and Fountain Square areas. FFFTF is a great opportunity to try items from many different mobile kitchens if you are a food truck novice. Because of the large number of people who attend FFFTF, which can easily get into the hundreds, some places only serve a portion of their regular menu. So if you go there looking for your usual full menu, you may be disappointed.
For this particular review from Byrnes’, I only tried a slice of one of their specialty pies (they also had a regular cheese slice, and a pepperoni slice). The pizza has everything a traditional pizza-lover could want on a piece of pie: lots of fresh toppings, a great sauce, and plenty of delicious cheese. Even more, Byrne’s Grilled Pizza is well…grilled. Grilling the pizza allows them to keep an extremely crispy and delicious crust (which is made from scratch). It really reminded me of the thin and almost wafer-like crust you might find on a St. Louis-style pizza. This is better than the St. Louis pizza, though. It combines the best way to prepare a crust and the best way to top a pizza.
While Byrnes’ offers a good pizza with fresh, quality ingredients and a great crust, I was still left looking for something more. The appeal of grilling something, for me, is not only how the grill cooks the food but also what it does to the food: it gives it a smoky flavor unmatched by any other cooking method. Of course, this wonderful, awe-inspiring flavor that comes from the grill can only happen when cooking over charcoal or wood so I have to give Byrnes’ a slight break. This particular night, they were “grilling” their pies over a propane fueled grill. But really, if they were to cook their pies over charcoal, it would not only allow for a great crust but also add a new dimension of flavor to their ingredients.
As you can probably tell, I did have to nit-pick a bit to find ways to improve Byrnes’ pizza. It’s good stuff, I cannot deny that. They make a good pie and they do it the right way with fresh ingredients and a fantastic cooking method. However, I am left thinking what could be. What would this pizza taste like if cooked over a beautiful charcoal grill? I have dreams of a grilled pizza utopia. Even more, what if all their ingredients were cooked over open-flame? My world would be changed: grilled vegetables, grilled meats! These are the things I long for more than anything else. Forget love. Forget liberty. I want a truly grilled pizza.
Totally subjective score I won’t explain to you, even if you ask: 7/10.