If timeliness is next to godliness, then Kerien Fitzpatrick is a saint. Of pizza.
Standing on the back patio of Arsenal Cider House, Fitzpatrick is manning what he calls an "open-air pizzeria" — a mobile pizza unit that he boasts can churn out a pizza in 90 seconds.
"People are amazed when they see us at wedding receptions and [can] handle 200 people," says Fitzpatrick of Wood Fired Flatbreads, a roaming enterprise that he operates with his wife, Kim.
The couple has two separate rigs, each fueled by kiln-dried oak that heats the oven to precisely 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature allows Fitzpatrick to cook pizzas quickly, with almost no room for error.
With a reasonable dose of journalistic skepticism, I ordered a basic $9 margherita pizza (fancier options with other toppings are also available). Magically, it spent just one minute, 16 seconds in the oven — and was delivered four-and-a-half minutes after I ordered it.
But while the result is tasty — Fitzpatrick notes they are committed to fresh ingredients — it's not the same as a pizza that has spent 10 minutes in an oven. The crust, for one, tends to be less uniformly cooked: crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. And the end product is decidedly thin (which both allows for fast cooking and explains the "flatbread" nomenclature).
Fitzpatrick is no apologist for his pizza. But perhaps to acknowledge that they see themselves as something a little different, he notes: "We still like Mineo's."