Fire It Up

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill Keeps Things Fresh

Writer / Seth Johnson
Photographer / Sarah Browning

The team at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill knows there’s nothing like eating a dish that came fresh off the grill.

“We are a wood-fired grill kitchen – there’s no gas involved at all,” says Andy Wilzbach, a Firebirds regional manager who overseas several Midwest Firebirds locations including the restaurant in Carmel. “We use hickory and oak, and cook over the coals themselves.”

Firebirds’ Carmel location first opened in September of 2016 and has been serving up delicious, wood-fired fare ever since. The Carmel location offers dynamic lunch and dinner menus, with brunch served Saturdays and Sundays beginning at 11 a.m.

Originally started in 2000 out of Charlotte, North Carolina, Firebirds has now expanded to 55 locations spread across 18 states in the U.S. In addition to cooking dishes over a wood fire, the business is also known for the freshness of its food.

“We’re a scratch kitchen, so everything we make is handmade in the restaurant on a daily basis,” Wilzbach says. “All of our soups, our sauces and our dressings are all made from scratch, and our chefs butcher the steaks themselves.”

When it comes to Firebirds’ appetizers, Wilzbach says a customer favorite is the lobster spinach queso. “It’s made with claw meat and is a top-notch appetizer,” he says. As for their cocktail menu, Wilzbach recommends the Double Black Diamond martini.

“With that, we take pineapple, dice it up and then soak vodka in it for 21 days,” Wilzbach says. “After that, we press it and it makes the pineapple martini, which is so tasty on a hot summer day.”

Having served brunch since April, Firebirds puts their own spin on a traditional brunch menu.

“We don’t offer waffles, pancakes or anything of that sort,” Wilzbach says. “We have a steak-and-egg bowl, where we use a tenderloin, seasoned potatoes, some veggies and a horseradish sauce. Then it gets a poached egg over top of it. We also have a salmon Benedict, which is wood-grilled salmon with a poached egg, and then we use a lobster fondu sauce that goes over top of it.”

Through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, Wilzbach says loyal Carmel customers showed the restaurant their support.

“I feel like the community has rallied around us,” Wilzbach says. “They kept us afloat during COVID when we did to-go only. When we opened our doors back up, we were busier than we had been.”

As Firebirds continues to thrive in Carmel, Wilzbach ultimately hopes to see more and more repeat customers at the restaurant.

“When a guest leaves, we want them wowed,” he says. “We want them to be impressed with the meal they’ve just had, as well as the hospitality. Even before they’re out the front door, we want them to be thinking of their next visit with us.”

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill is located at 9611 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis. For more info, call 317-564-3042 or visit

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