Proprietor Joshua Schainbaum got his first taste of baking in a wood-fired oven when he put one in his back yard in the Philadelphia suburbs. A businessman who previously cooked only as a hobby, he fell head over heels in love with the wood-fired hearth - so much so that he and his wife built a 1,100-sq.-ft. addition surrounding it, complete with outdoor kitchen.
He started spending most of his time there, baking a variety of different breads with grains from Castle Valley Mill, less than 40 miles away. These wheat, rye and spelt breads and crackers are still available as part of Fire Eaters bakery division, but Schainbaum felt a desire to make pizza. So he fired the oven up to 1,000F and experimented until he found the perfect combination of flours (part local, part double-zero flour from Italy), and got the pizza timing down pat.
The results are what you’ll now find on the (kosher-certified) trailer, which runs whisper-silent without a generator, using mostly wood and battery power. The plan is for Fire Eaters to edge slowly onto the Philly scene - Schainbaum is a huge fan of currently pizza trucks Pitruco and Nomad, and wants to pioneer new, underserved areas for his vegan-charcuterie- and local-veggie-topped pies. For example, he’s set up on Townsend Road in the Northeast, at a spot near Philadelphia Community College and a huge beer distributor “that has almost nothing to eat!”
Expect a more regular schedule for Fire Eaters as soon as some staff is hired, including both lunch and dinner service. Schainbaum isn’t sure if there’s room in Center City for the large trailer, but we’re holding out hope he’ll find a way.