Pizzaiolo Jordan Biberkraut certainly took the road less traveled to create his Hang Time Pizza concept. An Information Technology professional, Jordan honed his pie-making skills as his office moved to his home like countless others since the emergence of COVID-19.
This passion turned to a part-time ghost kitchen followed by a Monkland Village pop-up specializing in Detroit-style pizza by the name of Fungool – which I discovered and loved during La Pizza Week last May.
This journey finally culminated with Hang Time in September, a brick-and-mortar pizzeria one block removed from Concordia University's downtown campus. Tonight, I picked up a handful of pies from there on my way home for dinner with my family.
I already sampled Hang Time following its opening thanks to an invitation from Mr. Biberkraut. My kids and I needed a pit stop during a bike ride, so we dropped by for a couple of slices of pizza. The menu at the time listed a handful of pies in each of the circular New York or square Detroit styles.
The selection has since grown significantly to a dozen varieties in multiple sizes. Pizzas are all named after iconic sitcoms from the nineties (see below). In fact, the decade is the inspiration behind the eatery's entire persona from its logo and iconography to its decor. Of the two pie types, I preferred the square shape hands down.
The New Yorker's thin dough was quite tough throughout. The Detroiter's thick crust, on the other hand, goes from a cloudy, fluffy center to a delightfully-crispy edge. I particularly enjoyed the Buffalo pizza with its crispy chicken bits topped with ranch and Frank's Red Hot sauces. Under normal circumstances, chicken as a pizza topping repulses me (don't ask); but this one was a champ!
"house tomato sauce, house cheese blend"
"cheese, smoked meat, sauerkraut, pickles"
"cheese, mushrooms, house tomato sauce, shaved parmesan"
"buffalo chicken, mozzarella, red onion, frank's red hot, ranch"
Pizza has come a long way over the last decade, with new forms such as Roman, Sicilian and Detroit joining the Neapolitan and "Montreal" styles historically available. With Hang Time, the downtown/university crowd will be able to latch on to this trend with a fresh take in a retro vibe.
Although I found the thin round pizza forgettable here, the deep-dish square variation is a noteworthy standout. For someone who was not even in the restaurant business a year ago, Mr. Biberkraut has accomplished an astonishing feat.
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.