Pie Time, just off Lake Avenue in Charlotte. The site has been home to several pizzerias over the years.
I got there around lunchtime, and a pie was just coming out of the oven. It was a half-cheese, half-pepperoni pie, and I opted for a slice of the latter.
First impressions. Pizza tends to be at its most aromatic when it's freshly baked, and with this one I caught a whiff of garlic. Overall, not a bad looking slice, at first glance at least.
A check of the underside revealed a couple of things. It was unevenly browned,with some areas dark brown and some pale.
The crust was also uneven in terms of thickness, as shown in the bottom photo. One side of the slice, paper thin, the other rather thick, probably close to an inch. Even on the thick side, though, it did not seem to have risen much; it wasn't dense, in a heavy, leaden kind of way, but it wasn't bubbly either. The interior was what I would describe as cottony.
The edge was formed into a cornicione of uniform thickness. It was browned on top, pale underneath, with a crunchy exterior. There was a smidgen of oven soot along one part of the underside.
On top, the cheese was a little browned and congealed. It was chewy, but not very smooth or stretchy.
There wasn't much sauce to speak of. What there was had a thick consistency, with a generous amount of dried herbs (although I can't say whether the herbs were in the sauce to begin with or were sprinkled on after the sauce was applied).
The cup and char pepperoni slices were well crisped along the edge, tasty and not overly oily.
Pie Time pizzas come in 10-, 12- and 16-inch sizes, as well as sheets. They offer 16 toppings. A cheese slice will set you back $3, not bad for a slice this big.
They also do wings, calzones, stromboli, subs and wraps, fish fry, "plates," a few dinners (chicken parm, spaghetti and meatballs and the like), and the usual sides: fries, onion rings, etc. Although Pie Time's website still shows them opening at 3 p.m., the menu I picked up has them open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. As I mentioned, I got there around noon and a lunchtime pie was in the oven.
Reading back over what I've written, I get the sense that this review makes this slice sound worse than it was. I started with my first impressions, and I'll close with my overall impression. It wasn't bad, but there were a lot of flaws. No one defect stood out or ruined this slice for me, but put all the little stuff together and you've got a slice that just wasn't too good. I have to give this a D.
Pie Time, 4410 Lake Ave.
434-4766 (phone) 434-5464 (fax)
Open daily 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.