Firebird have a tremendous, hard-earned reputation for their wood-fired sour dough pizza. The outside marker of the Finnieston strip, this neighbourhood hangout was one of the early trailblazers for that hip bar-meets-bistro vibe.
There’s more than just great pizza here, but let’s deal with that first. Some of the best combinations on the menu are the Catalan – topped with chorizo, piquillo pepper, fior di latte and red onion – and the Fumo which comes with smoked chicken, parmesan, balsamic and honey. Incidentally, fior di latte is a semi-soft cow’s milk cheese and it is delicious. The pizzas are cooked at temperatures of over 400 degrees Celsius for around 90 seconds.
Every evening there’s a steady flow of these creations from the kitchen. You’ll find a buzzy atmosphere and beer. Daytime, there is a more of a laid-back feel, and lunchtime specials make this a popular choice.
As we sit down, the parade of pizzas being placed on tables around us focused our attention in that direction. There’s more to the menu, which should be explored. The steamed mussels for instance. Or the ox cheek pasta. Maybe the beetroot and pumpkin flatbread.
Today, we settled on the sandwiches listed on the last page of the menu. At lunchtime, the soup and sandwich deal is a bargain at £7. The salmon gravalax option sounded tempting. However, the consensus was that there was only one winner.
So, three identical plates arrived at our table, bedecked with a piping-hot bowl of butternut squash soup and a steak sandwich on tasty, toasted sourdough bread, with piccolo peppers, Pecorino fresco cheese, grain mustard, paprika mayonnaise and rocket (you pay an extra £2 for the steak sandwich on the lunch special. Worth it).
Life’s too short to spend your time eating disappointing sandwiches. Go somewhere like Firebird. Find a place where they really care about food. Have a very simple, straightforward lunch that is a positive way to punctuate the day. Look for kitchens that can get the basic things right. Everything else builds from there.
This wasn’t a life-changing meal, no point effusing at length about the excellent marinated steak or the satisfying, warming butternut squash soup. Suffice to say we felt better after our visit than we did before we walked in. Mission accomplished. We’ll be back soon.
So, in closing, remember that Firebird is more than a pizza joint and worthy of your immediate attention.
1321 Argyle Street
T: 0141 334 0594