19 Feb Restaurant Review: Murray Hill’s Fired Up Pizza is new concept from Larry’s Giant Subs
Most Jaxsons are familiar with home-grown sub chain Larry’s Giant Subs, which has been serving New York-style sandwiches in seemingly every corner of Jacksonville since 1982. The company has evolved with the opening of a hybrid concept store in the up-and-coming Murray Hill neighborhood that combines a Larry’s Giant Subs, a full bar and Fired Up Pizza — a wood-fired pizza parlor.
You may be skeptical when long-time sub slingers venture into the world of Neapolitan-style pizza. But after trying several pies, I’ve become a fan of the flavor and consistency this newly-opened pizzeria produces daily.
Early birds will love the weekday happy hour from 3-6 p.m. featuring 50 percent off all draft beers and liquor drinks, plus 25 percent off all appetizers. Speaking of appetizers, while the Ragnar Lothbrok Norseman ($8) giant pretzel with Yuengling beer cheese flashed with a spectacular presentation, I was underwhelmed by the execution that consisted of too much dough accompanied by a thick and congealed side of beer cheese sauce. The Deanna’s State Fair Cheese Curds ($8), however, are an excellent choice. These beer-battered, fried bits of white cheddar cheese were nothing short of addicting. Choose from ranch dressing, buffalo wing sauce or marinara to dip.
The pizza menu features 14-inch pies with prices ranging from $15-$19. I like the ability to create your own 10- or 14-inch pie, customizing with a wide array of proteins and veggies and topped with your choice of eight different kinds of cheeses. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to the slightly more expensive Mozzarella Di Bufala ($2.25 for 10-inch or $3.50 for 14-inch pies), a mild, creamy cheese that stays slightly chewy when exiting the 900-degree pizza oven.
The full Larry’s menu that Jacksonville has come to know and love for 37 years is available, but this concept also introduces new sandwiches on the Fired Up side of the menu. If you’re a fan of pizza (like yours truly), then you’ll love the wood-fired oven sandwiches. These are more like pizza-dough paninis, and beg to be dunked in a side of marinara sauce. I enjoyed the Italiano ($10) stuffed with cappicola, salami, ham, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Kick it up a notch by drizzling on Raikes Farms sweet chili sauce available tableside.
I’m typically wary of desserts not made in house, but don’t let the plastic container deter you from the profiteroles ($6). These light, airy puffs stuffed with mascarpone cream were topped with a chocolate sauce that reminded me of enjoying a spoonful of chocolate pudding as a child.
In the food world, sometimes mashups don’t execute well. That’s not the case here, as Larry’s Giant Subs seems to have found the perfect, complementary companion in Fired Up Pizza.
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Caron Streibich is an avid food-lover who will review restaurants every other week in the Life section. Follow her dining adventures at facebook.com/caroneats and #caroneats on Instagram.