First fast casual pizza business comes to Toledo

. February 27, 2017.

You may recall my pizza posse, I have referred to them from time to time. We’re just a group of friends who have an insatiable appetite for the Italian pie, and we enjoy experiencing the varied pizza places around town. There is something unique about each of them, and the newest kid on the block, Pizza Fire, is no exception. Already I’m lacking focus putting pen to paper as all I can think about is which pizza I will order on my return visit and how soon that return visit might be. Focus, Karen. Focus.

Neapolitan pizza meets the fast casual dining concept

Ever since opening its oven to the public in December, my pizza posse and I were chomping at the bit to check it out. Located on Secor Road in the heart of the new expansion, “we will be opening three to four more this year,” said General Manager Troy Manteuffel.

Neapolitan is an Italian style of pizza, with a very thin crust, somewhat charred around the edge. The special wood fired brick oven was made in Italy and assembled in the U.S. according to Mr. Manteuffel. The décor is “industrial” and “minimalistic” yet bright and colorful. Upon entering, walk straight to the counter with the bright red brick oven centered in the background and a plethora of food on display in front of you.

Though a couple other establishments in town make Neapolitan pizza, the Pizza Fire concept is countless choices on display in front of you and you literally “build” your own personal pizza, having it assembled before your eyes. There are six sauces, five kinds of cheese, 11 kinds of meat, and 17 vegetables to choose from.

They also offer specialty pizzas, a pizza of the month and six fresh salads. But here’s the kicker. Your pizza is literally done in 180 seconds! In the three minutes or longer that it may take you to pay your bill and get your drink, your pizza is done and ready to be devoured!

Happy campers

Surprisingly, happy campers is not a word I can always use with my children when it comes to pizza. Why? Because though we may all agree about how much we love pizza, lately we can never agree on the toppings. Pizza Fire has changed that for us. And I’m a happy camper because the price point for this high quality pizza didn’t break the bank to take my kids to dinner.

To go with the pizzas, we shared an order of Firestix, their version of breadsticks. If you are a fan of roasted garlic you will LOVE the Firestix. We shared three large all beef meatballs served in Neapolitan sauce and Ricotta cheese as well.

The kids’ meal is a 9” one topping pizza served with applesauce and a Capri Sun drink for $5.99. On Wednesday kids eat free and on Thursdays you get a free cookie while supplies last. Since I was a little overwhelmed by the choices on this first trip, I opted for one of their seven specialty pizzas; six of them are named after a city. Our friend from Cleveland ordered the Cleveland, fittingly, with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and red onions. In the mood for something less traditional, I chose the Hollywood. They start with basil pesto sauce and cover it with chicken, roasted garlic and roasted red pepper and then I chose mozzarella, for only $7.49!

Predictably, I tried everyone’s pizza. The Buffalo, as you may have guessed, had buffalo chicken with a couple cheeses and a ranch bacon sauce; also just $7.49. Others in the group built their own concoctions to suit their cravings. An interesting side note: they grow their own basil and lettuce right there in the store in a hydroponic cooler. There are also no microwaves or freezers on site. Fresh is their middle name.

Pizza Fire Toledo

Pizza Fire Toledo

Bottom Line

Pizza Fire has found their niche. The fast casual concept mixed with personal Neapolitan Italian pizza seems to already be a fan favorite. The price point is spot on and kids even eat free on Wednesdays. With everyone creating their own pizzas, dinnertime just became much more harmonious.

The Short Course

Kid-friendly: Yes
To avoid wait: Anytime
Noise level: Moderate
Bathroom amenities: Changing station in both the men’s and women’s restroom
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? No. However, Capri Sun drinks come with kids’ meals and sparkling waters and apple juice are available.
Kids’ menu? Yes, and kids 12 and under eat free on Wednesdays with purchase of adult pizza. Dine in only.
Allergy info: Gluten free dough
and vegan free cheese is available. No peanut oil is used and roasted almonds are the only nuts used on one particular salad.

Karen Zickes is a mom of three active children and a freelance writer who resides in Holland, OH. She can be reached in c/o
3444 Secor Rd. | Unit 205
Toledo | 
Sun-Thur: 11a.m.-9:30p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11a.m.-10p.m.