Togoz Pizza - Wyoming

Tasty Happens When Fried Pizza and Old Forge Pizza Collide

Togoz 6 Cut Pizza featuring an Old Forge Cheese and Sauce Blend on top of a Pan Fried Sicilian Crust
Togoz Pizza is a small take-out and delivery pizza joint on the hotbed of great pizza joints that is Wyoming Avenue in Wyoming.  I heard about Togoz from the NEPA Nation not long after they opened almost 6 years ago and based on the volume of high recommendations from readers whose pizza taste buds I trust, I moved it up to #1 on my list of pizzerias to try next.  For a variety of factors including limited hours of operation and my busy schedule, I hadn't gotten there - UNTIL NOW!

Seeing as I was in the area and Togoz was open for lunch, I called in a 6 cut (half tray) of pan fried Sicilian pizza which costs $8.10.  I was told it'd be ready in 25 minutes and I was a little early which fortunately allowed me to get to know the place a little better.  I learned that it's harder and harder to go undercover like I used to as NEPA Pizza Review grows, because regardless of my showing up spontaneously and unannounced, I was recognized immediately by John the owner who may or may not have been tipped off by my photographing the front of his store on my way inside!  


Togoz Pizza Storefront in Wyoming, PA


Togoz History

John was very welcoming and generous with his time, and I could tell by his interactions with the customers that came in and out during my stay that the personal touches and friendly conversations were not unique to me and everyone seemed to be treated well and be on a first name basis.  Next to eating pizza, there is really nothing I enjoy more than talking pizza and hearing the history of a pizza with pizzeria owners who take so much pride in their products.  John told me that he and his wife both grew up in West Wyoming and spent most of their lives in what could be known as the "Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza Capital of the World" (if you add in Exeter, Wilkes-Barre, Dallas, etc).  The only other place they they lived was in the Pizza Capital of the World itself, Old Forge where they had an apartment located on the same block of the world famous Revello's Pizza.  


It was in this small one bedroom apartment that John came up with the idea to combine the crust of a Pan Fried Sicilian with the sauce and cheese blends of an Old Forge pizza and made test pizzas in his home oven.  John figured that people love pan fried style from the Wyoming Valley region and also love Old Forge style, so he couldn't go wrong with a combination of the two.  He experimented with some different combinations until one day he shared one experimental cut with his wife when she told him that recipe was it, and he needed share this one with people and sell it.  After perfecting his recipe at home, he decided it was time to bring this pizza to market and opened Togoz Pizza on October 7, 2013.  In developing the name for the pizzeria, John had a list of names he was considering, until it came to him one day while walking his dog.  He would call the restaurant Togoz (pronounced tow-goes) as it fit his vision of a small take-out and delivery shop.


The crispy edge of Togoz Pizza~

The Pizza Review

I had planned to do this review in the pizza mobile on the run, but since we had such a great conversation going and there was a table, chair, and some good lighting available I decided to try it out on location!  I popped open the box to find a magnificent looking crust smothered in a gooey and flowing cheese blend that looked slightly more yellow than a traditional pan fried Sicilian pizza - an homage to the blend's Old Forge roots.  The edge crust looked unbelievable with a deep golden brown crispness that I was tempted to grab onto immediately, but this pizza was so fresh and hot, I couldn't risk a trip to the Emergency Room!  

After a quick cooling off period, it was time to give the pizza a try.  The first texture I experienced was a pleasant crispness and crunch that was very satisfying.  The middle of the pizza also had a pillowy softness to it that just created a complex and satisfying pan fried Sicilian base for which the Old Forge sauce and cheese to rest atop.  A traditional pan fried Sauce is typically simpler with crushed tomatoes, lightly seasoned, and slightly acidic.  Togoz sauce is from the more full-bodied, heartier, and flavorful Old Forge variety and makes a big difference in the flavor profile.  The cheese blend on a typical pan fried pizza could include cheeses such as a mild cheddar or mozzarella, while a typical old forge pizza utilizes more flavorful and gooey processed cheeses like American, Brick, sharp cheddar, and more.  I can't speculate what the cheese blend here was, but it was much more aligned with the Old Forge blend described above.  
Togoz Pizza Crust is Golden Brown and Cooked to Perfection!
Before tasting I wasn't sure if the stronger and bolder Old Forge cheese and sauce flavors would work with the pronounced fried flavors and textures of the moderately thick crust, but the nuances of the bolder tastes all played off one another creating a powerful combination that was interesting and satisfying.  Speaking of flavor combinations, while talking to John he asked if I had ever heard of the popular tendency of the locals dipping the pizza in bleu cheese dressing.  He alerted me to the fact that it was "a thing" in the area and I had to try it.  Now, the First Lady of NEPA has quite the aversion to bleu cheese and all things white dressings so I was taking quite a marital risk in agreeing to this taste test, but she's very supportive of my hobby and really the only reason this blog continues to exist and grow.  Fortunately, I was on my own eating today and there is also a small chance that she might miss this post so I agreed to give it a try!  I have to say, it reminded me of eating a chicken wing - just with no bone and no chicken!  Fried stuff always goes with bleu cheese so I can easily see how this is "a thing!"


6 Cut Togoz Pizza from above!


The Bottom Line

I love Pan Fried Sicilian Pizza, but many are very similar and lack highly distinctive qualities.  This bold flavor choice really differentiates itself from the rest of the pan fried market and provides a friendly welcome for resident Old Forgers to begin crossing over and dabbling into the fried pizza genre!  It also provides a pathway for those who grew up on Victory Pig and Pizza Perfect to dip their toes into the waters of Old Forge pizza.

For as hard as I work to educate the public in making the distinction between a Pan Fried Sicilian and an Old Forge pizza, Togoz had to go ahead and combine the two and blur the lines further!  That's ok, because the execution and careful combination of the flavors really work and the world can finally know what the offspring of a fried Sicilian and an Old Forge would look and taste like!  I will reserve my rant on the distinction between the two styles for another day and acknowledge that the two can coexist in harmony in one pizza box!  If you are a fan of either pan fried or Old Forge pizza but haven't tried one or the other, you really should try this pizza to help bridge the gap between the two.  WARNING, it could be a gateway drug that can send you into a spiral trying every Pan Fried Sicilian in NEPA or vice versa!  At the end of the day, Togoz is making a pizza that has characteristics of some other local pizzas, but in totality is unlike anything else in NEPA.  Combining that with the high rating scores below, this places Togoz firmly in the "must try" category.  So go check it out, and if you have already tried it please share your experience in the comments!

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The Ratings

Restaurant: Togoz Pizza
Location: Wyoming, PA
Date: July 2019
Eat In/Take Out: Take Out
Pizza Ordered: 6 Cut (1/2 Tray)
Price: $8.10

Crust: 4.75/5
Sauce: 4.5/5
Cheese: 4.25/5
Overall Taste: 4.5/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 5/5
Overall Value: 4/5
OVERALL RATING: 4.5/5

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Wyoming 6743162377290833706

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