An Early Look at Fuel Pizza (Pictures)

The Carolina pizzeria chain opens its first Washington-area location.

The Ultimate, a sampler of slices at Fuel Pizza. Photographs by Erik Uecke.

Washington is no stranger to high-quality gas station food (R&R Taqueria, Fast Gourmet), and now there’s a new eatery with diesel-themed decor in town: Fuel Pizzeria, which opened Wednesday at 16th and K downtown.

Co-owner Jeremy Wladis, a New York native with local family ties, is bringing the signature slices of his home state—by way of the Carolinas, where he’s road-tested eight Fuel locations—to Washington, as well as crispy hot wings, calzones, garlic knots, and stuffed subs. District-specific items include Old Bay–dusted fries and wings, and the %$^& (translation: a habanero-spiced hot wing that’ll scorch your taste buds). There’s also a pizza take on a favorite local dip, loaded with artichoke, spinach, and lump crab, and a dessert pie topped with slow-cooked cherries. Sound too snazzy for a slice? There’s still crisp-yet-chewy-crusted wedges spread with tangy tomato sauce, fresh mozz, and pepperoni. Gluten-free versions are also available.

Fuel’s model is the fast-casual/sit-down hybrid we’ve seen with places like Pork Barrel BBQ, order-at-the-counter eateries where you can still sip a cold beer or margarita (Fuel will serve both when the liquor license comes through, which it is expected to do this week), and attendants can bus your table, bring another round of drinks while you’re watching the game on a flat-screen, or, in the case of the pizzeria, show up at your doorstep with a hot pie. The initial delivery area will be within a six-mile radius, but look for that to expand, along with the operation itself: Up next is a second location in Penn Quarter. Check back here for details.

Fuel Pizza. 1606 K St., NW; 202-659-3835; Monday through Wednesday 11 AM to 11 PM, Thursday through Saturday 10 AM to 3 AM, Sunday 10 AM to 10 PM.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.