Custom Fuel Opens Today. Guess Which Chef We Spotted There?
The team behind Fuel Pizza opens a new pizza spot today at 1747 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, and it's a little different than chain's locations in Chinatown and on K Street. It's called Custom Fuel, and instead of whole pies and slices, the restaurant will offer custom,personal-sized (13-by-6 inch) pizzas that are baked in a conveyor belt oven within two minutes. If it sounds a lot like H &pizza, well, it is.
Y&H stopped by for lunch and spotted none other than former 701 and 8407 Kitchen Bar chef Ed Witt wearing a Fuel T-shirt. Witt, who knows Fuel co-owner Jeremy Wladis from his New York days, says he's just temporarily helping out, adding his two cents here and there, but did not design the menu. Witt has parted ways with Hawk 'n' Dove, where he most recently worked. He says he revamped the entire menu there in 10 days, but the management has since reverted the menu back. He says he's still figuring out his next move.
Back to Custom Fuel: It's marketed as an "upscale version" of Fuel Pizza, incorporating organic seasonal local produce. Diners choose a crust (traditional, whole wheat, or gluten-free), sauce (tomato, pesto, barbecue, spicy marinara, etc.), cheese (including dairy free and fat free), and other meat and vegetable toppings including pork belly, shrimp, crab, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes.
The restaurant also offer a dozen signature "vintage" pizzas like gorgonzola, pear, prosciutto; Old Bay shrimp; Hawaiian; and Veggie Delight. There's even a dessert pie with Nutella and seasonal fruit.
Customizable pizzas with two toppings and the signature pizzas are $7.97. Classic pizzas like pepperoni or just cheese are $6.97. Salads, which are also customizable, range from $6.97 to $7.97.
This is just the beginning for gas station-themed Custom Fuel. Wladis says another is on its way to 2301 Georgia Ave. NW near Howard University, and another is planned for Harlem, New York.
Custom Fuel, 1747 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; (202) 530-3918; customfuelpizza.com.
Photo by Jessica Sidman