Half Time Pizza in Toledo (Ohio)
Rich spicy sauce, deep molten cheese, and the baked not-quite-burned perfection have been quick to gain a loyal following in northwest Ohio.
Ever since Myles Pizza in Bowling Green, OH closed down, Chris has had a pizza shaped hole in his heart for not-quite-burnt hand tossed sloppy deep-ish worth-it’s-weight-in-cheese pizza. Some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend, legend became myth. Rumor grew of a new pizza place slinging pies in a suspiciously similar fashion, and our quest became clear. Chris is gonna kill me for the Lord of the Rings reference lol but look at the way he’s looking at his precious!
Of course we are talking about Half Time Pizza in Toledo, Ohio (view on map). If you know, you know. Locals have been getting their fix from Half Time since it opened. As the Toledo Blade describes it: "Half Time Pizza is not Myles Pizza. But it is not not Myles Pizza."
We called ahead and stalked them online before going. I asked if they had dine-in and they said yep, but I didn't realize it was limited to a couple booths and one table. Most people got carry out orders from the walk up window. Heads up, they have bottled soda and no alcohol, so don't plan on gathering with a few draughts - it's really more of a carryout place.
We can confirm, the smell as you walk in is definitely reminiscent of Myles Pizza. We got pepperoni and bacon, which is Chris' go-to order. The crust is hand tossed and comes out with a harder bottom to support all the toppings. They use real bacon strips cut into manageable pieces and a pile of cheese. It's almost like a deep dish pizza worth of cheese on top of a hand tossed crust.
The bacon was amazing, and the pepperoni had a good peppy spice to it. The sauce was really good and unique - we couldn't quite place the flavor, it was spicy but not like hot sauce spicy, more like spicy pepperoni sauce. The sauce is not very acidic and on the thicker side. The Toledo Blade calls it a "bold, savory, carbon-rich spicy sauce" - see that's why they're professional journalists because I keep calling everything 'great' or describing meat as meaty flavored haha.
Check out this cheese pull video, it was one of our best!
I gotta say, these thick pizzas with heaps of cheese and just the right amount of burned (or "carbon-rich") flavor have more nuance to it than you might think. There are so many ways this could go wrong, from soggy crust to steam pockets in the cheese - but whatever Half Time is doing they seem to have tapped into this magical Goldilocks zone that keeps people craving more.