Gambit Reviews Midway Pizza

Review: Midway Pizza

Ian McNulty on a pie joint where the specialty is deep-dish

Published February 14, 2012 for the Gambit Weekly

The Midway is another chapter in the well-documented rise of Freret Street as Uptown’s new ad hoc restaurant row, and like the other new eateries here, it has its niche. The Midway brings deep-dish pizza to the party, along with some exceptional salads and a first-rate bar. It also brings an easy atmosphere, and late-night hours are always welcome but never more so than during Carnival season.Deep dish pizza will always bring to mind Chicago, but the direct inspiration for The Midway is actually in Alexandria, Va. That’s where former pro hockey standout Bryan “Bugsy” Watson opened his own deep-dish pizza restaurant in the early 1980s. When his son Steve Watson, a longtime New Orleanian and co-owner of the King Pin Bar, decided to join the Freret restaurant boom along with business partner Ben Sherman, he already had a model in mind. 

The crew here has devised some original pies — like the Natty E, with chicken, bacon and streaks of creamy, brightly-flavored Green Goddess dressing, and the Latin-inspired FD Squared, with chorizo, chiles and crumbly cojita cheese. Caramelized onions and Gorgonzola are as gourmet as the roster of toppings gets, but this kitchen does a lot with the basics. The meatballs — springy, moist, deeply flavorful — are a particular glory. Forget ground or even sliced meatball toppings you’ve seen elsewhere. With their sturdy crusts, these pizzas can swaddle whole meatballs, which sit on the surface like they were shot from a cannon onto a round cheese target.

WHAT
The Midway

WHERE
4725 Freret St., 322-2815; www.midwaypizzanola.com

WHEN
Lunch, dinner and late night daily

HOW MUCH
Inexpensive

RESERVATIONS|
Accepted for large parties

WHAT WORKS
Fresh salads, original pizzas, a bargain wine list

WHAT DOESN’T|
Large pizzas are sometimes undercooked

CHECK, PLEASE
A new Freret pizza parlor is both hip and family-friendly

CLICK TO READ FULL STORY