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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Firenza

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I’m not gonna lie to you my pizza was very bomb but everything else was very not.

Firenza (located in downtown Boise) looks, feels, and acts like a corporate fast food franchise because it is a corporate fast food franchise but it’s a corporate fast food franchise that offers vegan pizza, and if it wasn’t for the damn up-charges it would be, on the cheap. 

My Masterpie

My guests and I walked through the front door of Firenza (which was kinda hard to find to be honest) and I immediately got thrown back to my high school cafeteria and not in a pleasant way. Imagine bare white walls and what looks like a giant high school logo painted over a pizza assembly line. 

We approached the pizza assembly line and I immediately told the staff member who welcomed us that this was our first time visiting the restaurant and asked for guidance. They said ok and blankly stared at us until I eventually broke the awkward silence and started asking about vegan options. 

The sauces on the menu were clearly marked as vegan with a cute lil (v) next to them but the crust and topping options were not marked with any (v)s, so I started my questions there. The staff member helping me explained that the gluten free and cauliflower crusts were the only vegan options in regards to crust. After flip flopping back and forth, I ended up ordering the gluten free vegan crust for a $1.99 up-charge with roasted garlic base and vegan cheese for an additional up-charge of $1.99 (but if you get the larger pie that up-charge for vegan cheese will run your bill up an extra $3.99). For my toppings I chose fresh mushrooms, fresh spinach, and caramelized onions. 

Assembly line style establishments tend to freak me out due to the potential of cross-contamination and I’m always worried about how fresh the vegetables actually are so one can only imagine how pleased I was to find that the vegan cheese was kept separate from the assembly line items and all the veggies looked like they had just been cut literal moments before we stumbled in the front door.  

But the time we ordered drinks, paid our bill, and found a suitable place to sit, our pizza was ready. Y'all I was so hungry and that pizza came out so very quick - like less than 3 minutes. As I stated before, my pizza was good. I mean it came out a little greasier than I expected but my period was on it's way so I was for it at the time. Despite being greasier than expected, the gluten free crust was light, crisp, and basically perfect. The roasted garlic base was just as garlicky as I could have hoped for and they use Violife cheese so you already know that shit was good. My guests however felt like their non-vegan pizzas were just ok and rated the pizza “5/10 as good as dominos.”

After we finished eating our pizzas I found out that the cauliflower crust is, in fact, not vegan as the staff member had previously stated and I was relieved that I didn’t order it.  Also, turns out their hand tossed dough is vegan which led me to assume that the staff member I was original talking to was confusing gluten free and vegan. 

Back to the ambiance of Firenza: I don’t know if it’s where I chose to sit or if it was like this throughout the nearly empty restaurant but the music was just a little too loud. Just loud enough to feel like you have to scream over it. Maybe we sat right under a speaker. I don’t really know. 

Of note: they only have one single stall restroom in the restaurant and it’s gendered! It’s a locked restroom in which you have to go up to the counter and ask for the key and the door has a “women’s” sign on the front. If you want to use the “men’s” restroom you have to leave the restaurant, walk down the hall, look for the elevators, walk past those, and find the locked single stall men’s restroom. This made one of my guests very uncomfortable. Since the one restroom in the restaurant has a single stall and requires a key to gain access, I implore the owner (who I met and was very kind) to turn it into a gender neutral restroom. 

Wrap it up, Pollard:

Would I order pizza from Firenza again? Probably in a pinch, but I would def order my pizza to go because although the pizza oven was the coolest part of the spot the rest of the ambiance was majorly off putting. 

Cost $: you can get a small vegan pizza and a glass of wine (of which they only have 1 red cab sauv, and 1 white Chardonnay, but they do have a decent beer selection if you’re into beer) for about $15. 

Parking: not free and not easy; wonder what parking would be like if the restaurant is ever popping off? 

Recommended for folks who dig Subway and/or Chipotle kiosks in hospital cafeterias. 


Slideshow of that first bite of Za

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