The Byrne's Grilled Pizza truck has been showing up in places like the Wednesday-night version of the Broad Ripple Farmers Market in Broad Ripple Park lately, but its abiding location is the gravel parking lot beside Flat 12 Bierwerks, just around the block from the Midland Antiques building. Folks in this hardworking enclave of hip entrepreneurs are now able to take a seat at a patio table and enjoy a fresh brew from Flat 12 while sampling Byrne's thin-crust, New York-style pizza.
Byrne's takes its name from the former pastor of nearby Holy Cross Church, Father Jim Byrne, a longtime family friend of the Reinstroms - investors in Flat 12 Bierwerks and the team that's put this food truck together. The truck's manager, Derek Reinstrom, was baptized by Father Byrne.
By his count, Reinstrom has worked in seven pizza joints over the years, in Indianapolis and Bloomington. The relatively modest cost of setting up a food truck has enabled him to establish his own brand in a town with a penchant for pie: "All our stuff is handmade, hand-cut, nothing's frozen. It's all about the freshness and appearance," he says.
We sampled slices of the Byrne's Original ($3), featuring a blend of mozzarella and asiago cheeses that we enhanced with pepperoni for an extra buck; and the Byrne's Specialty ($5), a combination of pesto, artichoke hearts and ricotta cheese with fresh spinach and tomatoes.
The crusts on these slices were crisp and slightly chewy at the center, which give them a pleasing pop. The Byrne's Original benefited from the asiago's bite, and the Specialty's pesto followed through with a heady whiff of garlic. Its only drawback was the canned artichoke hearts, which lacked the zest of the other ingredients.
"These things are legit kitchens," Reinstrom says of food trucks. "The beauty is you can have a kitchen in a 7x15 space." Reinstrom preps his ingredients at Indy's Kitchen, the restaurant incubator on Central Avenue, at the start of each day.
Reinstrom would love to see the Circle surrounded by food trucks offering their various wares for the appetites of passersby. "You could fill it with 10 trucks," he says. "It's a win-win."