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NY Style pizza in KC?

I am searching for a good slice of pie in KC. Please don't suggest Minsky's or Pizza Shoppe. I'm looking for NY style pie...the kind you fold and then the grease drips off on your chin. I'm a Rochester girl, looking for a slice of heaven. HELP!

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  1. You should check out D'Bronx. I think they even sell pizza by the slice. It is the thin and wide slices that you fold in half to eat. They even have the "char" around the edges.

    Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 45 reviews
    3904 Bell St
    Kansas City, MO 64111
    (816) 531-0550

    1 Reply
    1. re: jm054

      Sorry to disappoint you all but I lived over 10 years in new york and every chance I got I go back just to taste the Italian food and pizza there....and D Bronx does not even hold a candle to good new york pizza. ...good new york pizza has a slightly sweet sauce...DBronx has a slightly salty and bitter sauce...so not in the same ball park. I hope we get a good pizza place someday....maybe the new one opening up (the art of Pizza) with do the trick....Avelluto's Il Trullio on metcalf has great wood fired pizza but it is a more gourmet type pizza ( I was not wild about the Avelluto's Italian Delight in Shawnee...not nearly as good as the one on metcalf...but again you are comparing apples to donuts) and Cinzentis also has great pizza, again wood fired more upscale types....and Papa Keno's in downtown overland park has good pizza...I would consider it much more NY stype than DBronx and much better...I get it with extra sauce and tomottoes....but it is pricey...but you get what you pay for there and it is back up and running... and Original Pizza is ok a bit better than the DBronx in my opinion....but again does not have the passion that real NY pizza has....

    2. I'm not sure if this is NY Style or not as I am not a huge pizza afficinado, but we like Papa Keno's. You can buy a whole pie or by the slice. The slices are huge and there are tons of toppings available. I've been to a couple of the locations, one in Lawrence, KS and one in Old Overland Park, but there are a couple in KC, MO. The menu and locations are available online. www.papakenos.com

      6 Replies
      1. re: amy_rc

        Bye, bye, Papa Keno's. I will miss you, my sweet Papa. Apparently, if you no pay-a da taxes, they shut-a you down.

          1. re: kctraci

            That's yummy news. I got my first taste of Papa Keno's in mid to late May right before they were shut down. I thought I had been teased by tasting the great pizza and then never having it again!

            1. re: kctraci

              Yea!!! I've missed you, Papa! I like mine with spinach, roma tomats and extra sauce.

              1. re: amy_rc

                Have you noticed a difference between the different locations? My first (and utterly amazing) experience was in Lawrence, but when I tried the OP location this weekend it was very underwhelming. I'm curious if there is a difference since they have reopened, a location difference, or if my visit to Pizza Bella earlier in the week ruined all other pizza experiences for me for the immediate future.

                1. re: pollymerase

                  I noticed a difference from visit to visit at the same location (waldo/brookside)...the last time we went which was just before it shut down it was HORRIFIC..like bad cheese horrific. One or 2 times it was amazing. A couple mediocre. But that last experience made us swear never to step foot in a Papa Keno's again. Plus the fact that no cared that our pizza was inedible.

        1. There's a place rumored to be opening in the not-too-distant future at 18th and Baltimore called Art of Pizza, supposedly NY-style. I wouldn't hold your breath that it's the pizza you dream of, but we'll see.

          1. I swear we've had this topic come up before, but hell if I can find it with the stupid search engine! Anyway, I've never had NY style pizza that I know of, but I would think Papakeno's would be close with your description. I think D'Bronx was the most recommended last time.

            13 Replies
            1. re: Katie Nell

              The only time I was at Papa Keno's, my slice was about two feet long and cut into lots of smaller slices. Is this typical?

              I suppose it could approach NY-style, but I recall the crust being too thick and sturdy. I wasn't really looking for NY when eating it, though.

              Sbarro, anyone?

              1. re: Aaron Deacon

                Yeah, that's typical of Papa Keno's, although you don't have to have them slice it. It can be fairly sturdy, so maybe that's not the closest?

                1. re: Katie Nell

                  Pizza pie! YUM! I wonder if what they say about NYC pizza is similar to what they say about good NYC bagels . . .if you don't have water from the city of New York you can't make or find the real thing. I'll let you be the judge.

                  Of course, d'Bronx is the first place most of us think of . . .funny, I just had this conversation with someone else this week and did a little homework. I will share my results with you, but cannot vouch for ANY of them personally. They are "on the list". Speak up if you know something about any of these, if not, explore and enjoy at your own risk:

                  Original Pizza
                  400 NW Barry Road
                  Kansas City, MO 64155
                  NOTE: The name of this place DOES NOT make me want to eat there, but all over the web there are recent, raving reviews from people from NYC who swear this is the real deal. You tell me.

                  Avelluto's Italian Delight
                  (913) 262-7564
                  6522 Martway St
                  Shawnee Mission, KS 66202
                  NOTE: Owned by the same people that own Il Trullo on Metcalf, again nothing but raving fans for the NYC style pizza. Says they have won best Pizza in KC by Zagats for their New Style pizza.

                  Pizza 51
                  5060 Oak Street
                  NOTE: So, I am really not sure if this pizza would be considered authentic NYC style, but all reviews speak to homemade crust, light tomato sauce and 22 toppings with slices so huge you have to use two hands to get it to your mouth. The size of the slice makes me think this might be a nice fold-over pizza eating experience.

                  Stonewall Inn
                  10242 Pflumm Rd
                  Lenexa, KS
                  Phone: (913) 492-3066
                  NOTE: I drove buy this interesting piece of KC history not that long ago for the first time, and have since read, blog after KC blog entries about how great the pizza is and that it is NYC style. It is small, but apparently you can eat outside.

                  1. re: jvergara

                    I did not care for Avelluto's Italian Delight. I found the food to be bland and unremarkable. I went there once or twice in the last 5 years and it was a bad dining experience both times.

                    1. re: jm054

                      to each his own i guess. i love that place.

                    2. re: jvergara

                      I have *really* been wanting to try Stonewall Inn, but of course never think of it when we're trying to think of somewhere to eat! It is so charming from the outside... it just calls my name!

                      1. re: Katie Nell

                        Yeah I prob wouldn't call Avelluto's NY style... I dunno, for that matter I guess you could call any thin crust pizza NY style? It's not bad, but i'll take D'Bronx any day if I can't be in NYC myself. I do need to get down to Grinders.

                        1. re: clclark2000

                          I appreciate the honest feedback . . .Avelluto's surprises me only because the connection to Il Trullo which is also supposed to be just terrific. And I am with Katie Nell, Stonewall Inn Pizza, makes me want to go, just because of how groovy the place looks.

                          I do like d'Bronx and certainly as the name implies it is the closest NYC experience in KC, but as much as I like their pizza, I don't love it. And I love all pizza, no matter what style it is and I have had real NYC pizza many times, so I am familiar with the hallmarks. I don't believe all thin crust can be considered NYC style, for sure. It's not cracker thin crust, it has a little chew to it. :) What I do think is exceptional at d'Bronx are their authentic deli sandwiches, always a treat.

                          As for Grinders, well what can I say, I have been there with friends about 5 times now and I've tried pizza and I've tried grinders, and I was underwhemled by both. Pizza was one step up from frozen pizza to my tastebuds. I have tried several sandwiches and the only one that I thought was passable was the cheesesteak with cheese whiz. The best sandwich they do, I think.

                          Love Stretch as an artist, owner and personality, love the joint itself and the location, love the cocktails . . .not crazy about the food.

                        2. re: Katie Nell

                          agreed. i have lived in the lenexa/shawnee/op area for most of my 24 years. i have driven by stonewall a zillion times and have neglected to stop in. it's definitely on the list though.

                        3. re: jvergara

                          So here's a quick update on Pizza 51 . . .I did manage to get myself in there for some pie this week.

                          Located across the street from the UMKC campus in a converted old gas station sits Pizza 51. With a huge outdoor patio and a wonderful vibe inside where you can watch the guys toss your pie and make it right in front of you . . . this place has loads of charm.

                          Families, teens, medical students from across the street had all taken over the outdoor patio the Friday night I went. This place is a neighborhood joint, a relaxed and groovy one at that.

                          You can get pizza by the slice, or order a whole pie. They also have Calzones, Sandwiches and Wraps and Salads. We opted for a whole pie with roasted garlic, mushrooms and sausage.

                          I was also pleasantly suprised they offered beer and wine as well as the usual soft drinks to imbibe. I mean what is a pizza experience without a little beer or wine? Well, it would be every childhood birthday party I ever attended, that's what! Ha!

                          The pizza came out in about 15-20 minutes and it looked delicious and smelled even better. The pieces are cut large, so this is indeed a fold over pizza experience. The pizza was good, our toppings were the real deal . . .golden nuggest of soft roasted garlic, real sliced mushrooms not canned, and little balls of sausage that had a nice fennel seed taste. The crust was puffed and perfect around the edge of the pie with a thin crust undeneath.

                          In fact, if I had to say something unflattering about the pizza, it was that the middle of our large pie was too thin and undercooked to support the toppings. You could see a liquid "pooling" effect in the middle of the pie, which was caused by dough too thin in the middle and too much sauce.

                          We worked around it by cutting a small circle in the middle of the pie and leaving the soggy part on the serving plate. The pizza was very good other than that . . .comparable to D'Bronx for sure.

                          So, I wish the middle of the pizza would have held up a little better, but overall it was still a pretty good pie experience. Enjoy!

                          1. re: jvergara

                            I absolutely love Avelluto's. The food and the atmosphere are both incredible. It has that italian diner ambiance. I love going there when I'm in the Mission area. The pizza is similar to that of Original Pizza. Both of which are very NY'esque.

                            1. re: jvergara

                              Jenny... we finally made it to Stonewall Inn! I really, really enjoyed my pizza! In fact, I think it's my favorite just good ole pizza joint pizza- nothing fancy, just pizza! I think it would definitely qualify as NYC style from everyone's descriptions, but of course I have nothing to compare it too. I appreciated that they used romaine in my side salad, but could have done without the salad, considering the use of watered-down ranch dressing! I'll be back for the pizza for sure though. I'd also eat outside on the patio next time... eating inside was a little cramped and weird.

                        4. re: Katie Nell

                          I think that was my post, but I can't find it either. Still haven't found NY style pizza here in the KC yet but I haven't been to D'Bronx. Looking forward to that one.

                        5. D'Bronx is the closest you are going to get in KC to NY Style. This is good pizza, and the place is as close to a NYC style Pizzarria/Deli as you'll find in the area as well. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: clclark2000

                            Grinder's comes the closest to NY style pizza IMHO. They got the thin crust down (a joy to eat), but I think the sauce, while very good, I think is not quite the same. The artsy decor, while not typical of a NY pizzeria, reminds me of some of the edgy shops in lower Manhattan.
                            417 E 18 st
                            Kansas City, MO 64108
                            (816) 472-5454

                            1. re: vsoy

                              Another vote for Grinders. Don't expect great service, but it's a wonderfully fun and funky place. The pizza is usually very good, but it seems to depend on who's tossing the dough that day. Make sure to order a whole pie made fresh and not a rewarmed slice.

                              Other than Grinders, I'd say D'Bronx, or Original Pizza.

                          2. If you can wait long enough, Pizza Bella is opening up on 18th and Baltimore. It's a new concept from the people of 1924 Main and Souperman. It's thin Woodfired gourmet pizzas. Can't wait for them to open

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: chinkymonkey

                              They claim to be going for Neapolitan-style, though. Art of Pizza, at about the same intersection, which I mentioned above, is supposedly going to offer NY-style. SPIN! is reportedly opening a location down there too.

                              As for the NY-style question, I don't hear the water thing so much, but I'm not even sure it's just one style. There are the big, foldable, greasy slices, and there are also whole pie places that hew much closer to the Neapolitan style. The only NY place I've eaten is Totonno's, which definitely falls into the latter, and was terrifically good pizza. Haven't found anyplace like that here (or almost anywhere else).

                              I'll echo the pans of Avelluto's...that pizza was terrible...a cheese-laden gutbomb with virtually no worthwhile flavor in crust, sauce, or cheese.

                              1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                I just read a blurb in this month's Spaces magazine that is calling the 18th and Baltimore area KC's new Pizza District. (Makes me wonder where the old one has been hiding?)

                                The article goes on to say The Art of Pizza is owned by Brooklyn-born Victor Almo, who used to own Jenny's Place which is where the new restaurant Swizzle is located in Waldo. Says his style of pizza is definately NYC similiar to Ray's in the Big Apple. Victor says the reason he is opening The Art of Pizza which is to be the first join open down there is because he could not get a decent slice of NY style pizza in KC. Art of Pizza will be located on 1801 Baltimore Ave. No mention of opening date.

                                Also in the same article a mention that Chef Rob Dalzell from 1924 Main and Souperman (Katie Nell, get ready, your boy is about to do it again!) will be next in the Pizza District with Pizza Bella as chinkymonkey mentions above. He will not be going NYC style pizza, but more your traditional, purist-style Naples, Italy, wood-fired pies. Talks about el dorado the architect firm is designing his new pizza joint which says it will open early to mid September at 1810 Baltimore Ave.

                                So if, Pizza Bella is going to open in September, that means that Art of Pizza should be opening in August perhaps, as it is mentioned that Victor's place will be the first open of the two.

                                Two great new places to eat Pizza this fall . . .I can almost taste it now!

                                1. re: jvergara

                                  It opened a little over a month ago...I thought I posted somewhere here too, but I get confused sometimes:

                                  Here was an opening day report. I've been to d'Bronx since, and thought the pizza was fairly comparable. Okay, not great, not as good as Grinders. I think the "Pizza District" moniker is a bit of a stretch for two places across from each other. There was a third place rumored at that intersection (SPIN! was the rumor at one point, but I think that was quashed)


                                  We had cheese and pepperoni slices, both quite different. This is not an artisanal product (aside: anyone know anything about Pizza Specialties in Mission?), but the crusts are hand-tossed and it's certainly an improvement over Sbarro.

                                  The owner was teaching the help how to make the pies, and as you might expect there was a little variability. My pepperoni slice was too thick and chewy, and a little undercooked; but the cheese slice was crisper around the edges, had a few appealing black, burned spots, and was thinner in the middle as I prefer. The crust had more fat in it and was a little less bready than I would like, but I must be in the minority, as you almost never find a really bready crust.

                                  The spicing of the sauce was pretty good, though the toppings, cheese, and sauce were of average to slightly above average industrial quality. Mushrooms on the veggie slices appeared to be cannned. I thought it was also a bit overtopped and oversauced and the pepperoni was poor.

                                  I include all the above as a caveat to those seeking a NY-style grail, but the pizza added up to more than the sum of its parts--I still found it an enjoyable slice. Haven't tried d'Bronx yet, so I can't compare, but a cheese slice at $1.95 would certainly become a regular part of my rotation if I worked in the area.

                                  The owner said he has served the same pizza in two previous locations around town, most recently in the yellow building with Spanish-tile roof just around the corner (100 W. 19th?) and maybe 10 years ago at Jenny's Place in Waldo (where Swizzle now is, I think).

                                  1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                    Hey Aaron - Thanks for the update on The Art of Pizza! I had no idea it was already open . . .good to know! I know this is one you have been watching for awhile. Although, I HEART the name of this joint (sounds hand-crafted), and the idea of a place that serves true NY style pizza, your honest assesment of it DOES NOT make me want to run right out and eat there.

                                    I only say that because of the way you describe it and the fact that if Grinders pizza is a step up, I am already in trouble. As you know from my posts above, I am not a fan of their pizza, although many others are as noted. ;-)

                                    That being said I will go, just to put my mouth on it . . .sounds like if he was still training folks when you were there then perhaps he was working out operational kinks.

                                    The only other thing I would say is *GASP!* at the fact he closes at 7 pm . . .especially on Friday and Saturday? WOW! Someone below said it best, you will be hard pressed to anyone under the age of 60 ready to eat dinner at 6 pm!

                                    Well, it is 5:50 pm now, so I guess I better head out if I am to get me some Art of Pizza tonight! Many thanks!

                                    1. re: jvergara

                                      P.S. Pizza Specialities Inc. is a restaurant supply company that specializes in professional pizza equipment.

                                      1. re: jvergara

                                        Pizza 51 sounds great, been on my "to-try" list too, though we may just have different pizza tastes. I actually thought Art of Pizza compared favorably to d'Bronx, but my experience at both places in only one slice, so that opinion may be worth very little.

                                        I do like just about everything about Grinders, including the pizza, the cheesesteak, and the grinders.

                                        I'm curious to hear what you think about Art of Pizza. Hopefully, your expectations will be sufficiently low that you'll really like it!

                                        What I was wondering about Pizza Specialties is if it's just equipment, or ingredients? Are their customers all local? Is it the kind of deal where your average pizza joint around town are all sourcing from this one place. Dunno.

                                        Oh, also would say that Avelluto's Delight produced probably the worst pizza I've had in town, and that includes Godfather's and Pizza Shoppe. Utter cheese bomb with no redeeming qualities. Suffice to say, that only got one shot too.

                                        1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                          Hey Aaron, I can't wait to hear what you think of Pizza 51 when you go!

                                          I managed to get to The Art of Pizza for lunch today, didn't think my stomach could take a 6 pm dinner hour. Ouch! However, I want you to know we might not be that far off in our pizza tastes, my friend.

                                          I completely see why you said what you said, although I was less critical about the food than the place itself. The following is going to sound confused, but it really is not. Just keep saying to yourself when you read this Place BAD, Pizza GOOD!

                                          I think he must have rented this office space and evicted some really nice people from an old insurance company into the streets of KC, hung his kid's art on the wall and opened his doors. Do not go and eat inside you will have flashback to early childhood art projects gone terribly awry, seriously, take it to go. But the pizza . . . was really, really good and authentically NY style, I think.

                                          When I walked in at 1 pm, I was the only one there besides the owner and his cashier. There was this odd little sneeze guard around completely cold pizza slices, calzones and stuffed italian breads sitting out on the counter. Not hugely appetizing. I could not even smell pizza baking. So this is the art, part, I guess! Still-life no doubt! I was ready for the pizza part.

                                          I hesistantly asked about the Lunch special - $6.95 gets you a large slice of pizza (re-heated in my case) a small side salad and a large drink. To wisely took mine to-go before I began yearning for popcicle sticks and Elmer's glue. Walked down the block, parked myself on someone's front stoop and really enjoyed my piece of pepperoni pizza. (My choices were cheese or pepperoni by the slice!)

                                          What made the pizza so great . . .so NYC? Well, in the short time it sat in it's little cardboard to-go box, it covered the inside nicely with the familiar orange grease that only a really good piece of pepperoni NY pie can. The crust was thin (not cracker thin) but flat and thin with a little bit of chew and some really nice black charred markings on the bottom. Not burnt, just perfect. The pepperoni was standard issue which would be an authentic NYC hallmark, and the cheese was that really terrific combination of mozzarella and parmesan-romano. The key is to have both of them on your slice baked in . . .one for the string factor and the other for the tang and flavor. It also had a lovely sprinkling of dried Italian herbs all over the top, creating little flecks of green loveliness on my slice which packed a huge flavor punch in every bite. Finally, it was big enough and just floppy enough that you literally had to fold it over to get it in your mouth.

                                          As good as D'Bronx if not a little better, better than Grinders . . .better than Pizza 51. I think.

                                          The thing some of the other pizza places in town seem to suffer from when attempting to make NYC style pizza is "puffy bones" syndrome. The pizza is so large, and the crust so thin on the bottom and then they make the mistake of creating this gianormous puffy crust that is so thick you need butter and honey on it just to finish it. NY pizza does not have the "puffy bones" all around the edge of the pizza, it is the same thickness as the rest of the pie, thin and chewy.

                                          I have to say the calzone's, italian stuffed bread and sandwiches also looked great. Cold, but handmade for sure.

                                          He is a little kinky around the operational edges right now . . .perhaps with time the edges will smooth a bit. Enjoy!

                                    2. re: jvergara

                                      Do you think both new places will be open for dinner? Going to the KC Fringe Festival and First Fridays on occasion, I find it frustrating there are not many "quick bite" dinner options in the Crossroads district. Grinder's while only a few blocks away, is not exactly in the thick of things and if you only have 30 minutes to grab something quick, it is a deterrent. Maybe I'm just completely missing a couple of places to eat in the 18th st/Baltimore area? Seeing how quiet the area is at night, perhaps it's not economic for these types of places to stay open for the dinner crowd.

                                      Looking forward to trying out these new places. Art of Pizza did not look like it was open for dinner last night.

                                      1. re: vsoy

                                        Art of Pizza is open until 7 pm. I would be really surprised if Pizza Bella didn't have full dinner service when it opens.

                                        I have a hard time with "quick bite" dinner options in the metro overall, that aren't fast food.

                                        There's a Town Topic close by. What about YJ's Snack Bar? Have heard good things, but don't know anything about it. Name sounds like it might fit the bill.

                                        1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                          I was prowling around for food after 7:30pm, I missed both Art of Pizza and Town Topic while they were open. I think I saw YJ's but thought it was a coffeehouse/bar, I'll have to try it. Not everybody eats at 6pm!

                                          1. re: vsoy

                                            I didn't realize Town Topic closed early too. Maybe with a little more life in the neighborhood, places will start staying open later.

                                            1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                              There are 2 Town Topics in the Crossroads -- the "main" one at 2021 Broadway St is open 24 hours. The "backup" one at 1900 Baltimore must close earlier.

                                  2. re: chinkymonkey

                                    I'm so excited for Pizza Bella! I tried Art of Pizza yesterday and it was TERRIBLE. I ordered a calzone with canadian bacon and mushroom (as the employee told me I could customize). She proceeded to pull a cold cheese calzone (who knows how long it had been sitting there) from the display area and took it to the kitchen. A few minutes later, I got a calzone that had been sliced open and stuffed with canned mushrooms and deli ham. The ricotta had far too much sweetness to it (nutmeg overkill I'm assuming) which is good in some items, but not the calzone. I may go back for a slice sometime, but am now eagerly anticipating the arrival of Pizza Bella!

                                  3. I would recommend Jasper's. In the front of the house he has a deli/informal restaurant their pizza is excellent. D'bronx is also good and the focaccia pizza at Dean and Delucca is worth trying. I am a rocherster native who would love to have a Wegman's like grocery here

                                    1. When you posted this question, we were in KC visiting my son. We tried to go to D'Bronx - because of all we have read on Chowhound. They were closed temporarily because of a sewer problem. More devastating for them than for us on a Friday night.

                                      Later we ate at Avelluto's Italian Delight - which is my son's favorite place to eat. We have enjoyed our several meals there. Very different from Il Trullo, but enjoyable for what it is - fast service, modest prices, high volume - and all that predictably comes with that.

                                      1. It's a pizza chain that actually came out from New York during the mob years and has been here ever since, always moving around.

                                        Original Pizza & Pasta
                                        400 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64155

                                        19 Replies
                                        1. re: reubensandperrier

                                          What an interesting little tibit about Original Pizza . . .I asked about it above in an earlier post, but I had never been there or knew of anyone who has! Would you recommend it?

                                          1. re: jvergara

                                            They used to have a location at Metcalf South mall -- back when the mall was a going concern -- that was one of my favorite locations back when I was still wearing leg warmers.

                                            They still have a location in the food court at Oak Park Mall, always very busy. I think it's pretty good, and I used to swing by there for lunch when I worked out in Lenexa, but I usually get a stromboli or calzone when I'm there. The slices look to be foldable.

                                            1. re: heatherkay

                                              When I'm at Oak Park Mall around 6pm picking up my daughter from work, I see many people leaving with pizza boxes only. Maybe I'll give this a shot tonight.

                                            2. re: jvergara

                                              I'd absolutely recommend it! It's a total hole in the wall, take-out kind of joint, but still, the ovens are the best in town and make the tastiest pizza I have ever had. My mom and I have gone to the same one in Metro North Mall since I was a tot, and the 2 guys who work there know our names and orders right when we walk in. Always delicious.

                                              1. re: reubensandperrier

                                                Too funny! About the mall references with Original Pizza I had NO IDEA . . .I've been to Oak Park many times, I've seen the Original Pizza many times, do you think I remembered it was called that? Heck no! I also had another friend who turned their nose up when I mentioned it and said "it's mall pizza, even Sbarro is better!" Will I be able to overcome my many years of food snobbery to actually eat mall pizza again after all of these years? ****Pause for dramatic effect**** Uh, no probably not. My past betrays me and will not allow it. However, please someone take reubensandperrier advice and go . . .and report back to us. I want to know! I must know!

                                                1. re: jvergara

                                                  Come on! How can you call yourself a chowhound if you're not willing to slum it in order to pursue the best of the best?!

                                                  1. re: reubensandperrier

                                                    You are right . . .I have, can and do really enjoy slumming for great food, but "food court food" at the mall I drew the line in the sand on that many years ago. I am hopeful for the future of mall food however, and my hope seems to be resting between authentic NYC style pizza found at Original Pizza and the use of chopsticks given the new Thai and Japanese places that have gone into the food court recently at Oak Park Mall. It can only go up from here, right?

                                                    1. re: jvergara

                                                      Hey... what about Chick Fil' A?!? J- please tell me you are not that much of a food snob!! ;-)

                                                      1. re: Katie Nell

                                                        Oh no . . .I will eat me a chicken sandwich all day long, I haven't completely lost all my senses . . .yet! But I do prefer to visit the stand alone locations vs. the mall ones. :-)

                                                        1. re: jvergara

                                                          Try Chix. Little's Griddle at OP Mall. A piece of heaven on a bun. They chargrill their chix. right in front of you and they have fried zucchini sticks, poppers and a wide variety of limeades, and drinks.

                                                      2. re: jvergara

                                                        I'm by no means a pizza expert, but i know what i like. And for the record, i think the ORIGINAL Antonio's (in the Rivermarket), Funhouse and Grinder's all have really good pizza. Although my all time favorite is Shakespeare's Pizza in Columbia, MO.

                                                        Then again, a wise person once said that pizza is kind of like sex...even when it's bad, it's kind of good.

                                                        Just got back from my first visit to The Art of Pizza. All in all, I guess I was a little bit underwhelmed. While it's not bad pizza by any stretch of the imagination, I would only rate is as being average to slightly above average.

                                                        I just had a slice of pepperoni, so maybe I can be too judgemental. The slices are pretty good sized, but I just thought it was really, really greasy. The crust itself was a little thicker than I would like on a thin crust pizza and was a bit soggy. Most likely from all the grease. I'm not looking for a cracker crust on a NYC style pizza or anything, I like the ability to fold a slice in half, but a little more crispiness would be nice.

                                                        All that being said, it was cheap. $1.95 slices. And as I mentioned, they are big slices, so one would probably do it for MOST people at lunch.

                                                        I'll go back, mainly because it cheap, filling and close to work.

                                                        1. re: blake1771

                                                          Oh MAN! Shakespeare's represent! Give me a 16" Darwin and I'm happy. Those Mizzou students have it so good with pizza like that!

                                                          1. re: blake1771

                                                            Agreed. I have even enjoyed some terrific pepperoni pizza at Costco . . .like you said . . .even when it is bad, it's kinda good.

                                                          2. re: jvergara

                                                            Your loss :(

                                                            If it helps, the one in metro north isn't in a food court, it's its own little restaurant within the mall. You should still try it!

                                                            1. re: reubensandperrier

                                                              Ah ha! You said the magic words for me . . ."not in a food court!" I have been known to eat and enjoy certain restaurants that have been located in the mall, but not in the food court. What was the name of that one restuarant that used to be where Rainforest is I think now in Oak Park Mall. It served martini's and had some nicer food? Paradise Cafe? I'm not sure, I remember liking it a lot. I also love Nordy's Cafe also located in the mall. Do I still get my free pass into Chowhound heaven now?

                                                              1. re: jvergara

                                                                Was it Paradise Grill(e)? I can't remember the name, but yea, I remember that place.

                                                                I agree that most foodcourt food is just your normal McD's, Mrs Field's cookies, etc, but Original Pizza is one of those weird exceptions where it doesn't exist in KC outside of mall locales. I can't remember how it's set up in Union Station, but I know they had one there when I went last, which was around '99. They do have restaurants in NYC though, and the cup w/Original's logo & name was even on an ep of Sex and the City!

                                                                1. re: reubensandperrier

                                                                  It was Paradise Grill and it was fantastic. I believe that it was owned by PB&J. My husband and I used to eat there when we were dating, so I wax nostalgic.

                                                            2. re: jvergara

                                                              Teryiaki Express was awesome, but is no longer. I also liked the Greek Place they had back in the day, and they also had a Philly Depot that had the best fries and ham n cheese ever!

                                                  2. How about Old Shawnee Pizza or Maffia Mike's in Lenexa? Has anyone tried these places?

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: rdoherty

                                                      I did not find "Old Shawnee Pizza" to be very memorable. It is on par with the big chains IMHO. If you have not tried "Spin" I would recommend that you give it a shot.

                                                      1. re: jm054

                                                        I enjoy Old Shawnee quite a bit better than the chains, but would still classify it in that genre, rather than a place that really cares about its bread or sauce or ingredients or methodology. There just putting out pies. I like it better than the seemingly popular Waldo Pizza.

                                                        1. re: Aaron Deacon

                                                          Old Shawnee rocks . . .if you like the standard thin crust "American" style pizza. It is my new hang-out if in the mood for a traditional thin pie . . .however, hubby is from St. Louis and he swears by Waldo Pizza for having the best St. Louis style pizza in the city. St. Louis style is not my personal favorite as I cannot get on board with the taste of Provel cheese. But certainly to each his own.

                                                          1. re: jvergara

                                                            I'm with you on St. Louis and Provel...I've not tried that at Waldo. Don't remember what version it was...their regular thin crust, I think.

                                                            I remember ordering eggplant as a topping, and I couldn't believe they didn't tell us it was *fried* eggplant. It was okay, and very nice beer list, but not worth a second trip on the pizza's merits alone, in my opinion.

                                                      2. re: rdoherty

                                                        Old Shawnee I have tried. It used to be Pizza Shoppe for years, and has since changed hands, but the food is pretty much identical. Mafia Mike's has been on my list. Heard it's good stuff.

                                                        1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                          I drove by Pizza Bella over the weekend and it looks open . . . if not very, very close to opening. What is the word on the street? Is it open? Is it awesome? Should we go right now for lunch?

                                                            1. re: heatherkay

                                                              Agreed! I went to Pizza Bella on opening day a few weeks ago and was NOT disappointed. I had the pizza biancoverde...lots of ricotta, moz and pecorino, topped with arugala and truffle oil. To die for. www.pizzabellakc.com

                                                        2. Yup. I agree w/ some of the other blogger's on the note of Original Pizza. It's a good NY style pie. The best location is at College Blvd/ Antioch. It's the best. Sbarro's is good too, but I don't know of one in the area.

                                                          1. Sorry Artemis54 - we've been here 35 years and from NY and still looking. :(

                                                            1. OK - sorry - actually, Original Pizza is the best in KC an comes the closest.

                                                              1. TRY PIPPINO'S PIZZA (143rd/ Metcalf) Lion's Gate shopping center. This is hands down one of the best NY style pizza cafes in south OP. The slices are large and foldable. I get the lunch special everytime I go in. It includes an awesome salad, with fresh greens, tomatoes, and onions (equipped w/ an herbed breadstick:), a slice w/ topping of your choice (you can't beat the fennel packed spicy sausage and they PILE it on). You also get a drink of choice and a fresh baked chocolate chip cookie all for under $7. It's a must try if you're in the area and craving NY style pie. I would also like to give a shout out to the Pizza Man (located right next to Stonewall) approx. 103rd/ Pflumm Rd in Lenexa. They have Chicago style pie and authentic Chic. style dogs. They're the real deal. Try the "kitchen sink" specialty pie. Ohhhh, you won't be disappointed the slightest!

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: FergMePleez

                                                                  Does Pizza Man pizza have a really, really thin crust almost like a cracker? My sister and I think that we went there once with my aunt about 15 years ago & we loved it b/c it was so different from the Pizza Hut pizza we grew up with. We keep threatening to go back but haven't yet, perhaps this is the motivation we need.

                                                                  My husband and I went to Stonewall a couple of years ago. We didn't find anything remarkable about it and have not been back. It was just ok to us.

                                                                  1. re: amy_rc

                                                                    Yes Amy, the crust at Pizza man is very thin and cracker-like. I'd classify it as a St. Louis style crust, or a Chicago thin style. It is very, very good.

                                                                2. Just saw this link, and I must say I know the answer to this-easy-hands down. Born in B'klyn, raised in NYC suburb, I am a real pizza snob. The BEST NYC pizza is Original Pizza on College & Antioch. This IS the real deal. Owner came from Italy & made pizza in B'klyn and NJ. As far as the others go, IMHO, they are poor substitutes, although PapaKeno's is OK. Pippino's smells like the real thing, but their sauce is sweet. I had mushroom pizza from D'Bronx, and I think the mushrooms were sauteed in butter before they were put on top. ICK! I know that there are other places called Original Pizza, but I don't think they're affiliated. If you want the real deal, try Original Pizza on College and Antioch.

                                                                  1. I'm from NYC and the best pizza out here IMHO is Original Pizza on College & Antioch. This is the REAL DEAL! There are other Original Pizzas, but I don't think they are affiliated. This one is wonderful. Tried DaBronx-ICK! Tried Pippino's, but their sauce is too sweet. The owner of Original Pizza is from Italy, and has made pizza in New Jersey and Brooklyn. Try it and you'll be hooked!

                                                                    1. So, it looks like we have a new contender in Original Pizza for best NY style pizza in the city. I have looked at the one at College and Antioch as it is right next to one of my favorite Indian restaurants Ruchi's, but I have never tried it. Now, I know. It is on the list.

                                                                      As for Bella Pizza, it is simply one of the best pizza places in town. It is my very favorite at the moment. I love the traditional treatment of the toppings (get the prosciutto and arugula) to the crust (chewy and crunchy) from the great Italian pizza ovens (Chef Rob brought them over from Italy, they are the real deal) to the roasted veggie appetizers (thank those awesome ovens again) to the wine list that speaks mostly Italian . . .and finally to the groovy little vibe the place has in decor.

                                                                      Go, now! Chef Rob has created the perfect trifecta with this little place in his growing restaurant empire, and you must experience it.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: jvergara

                                                                        Damn, there are a lot of replies on this subject. KC is really becoming a food and bev town. It's exciting. What "Jvergara" said about Rob's places is right on. He's doing it up right and Pizzabella is suppose to be amazing. Love Pizza 51 also, great owners and a real KC atmosphere representing that part of town. I'll have to check out some of these others. Thanks.

                                                                        1. re: BurtonBailey

                                                                          If you are looking for true New York Pizza scratch out Bella Pizza. New York Pizza needs to be folded and the grease dripping from your forearm. Bella's is too fou fou, it's knife and fork type. Got to Original Pizza for the real deal.

                                                                          1. re: undercoverfoodie

                                                                            Sorry, I meant my comment on Pizza Bella to be a separate recommendation from the NY style pizza comment. Pizza Bella is Italian style pizza from Italy and Original Pizza is supposed to be great NY style. You are right, if you can't fold it and if it's not greasy . . .it's not the real NY deal.

                                                                            1. re: jvergara

                                                                              Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear ya'. I agree...I just wanted to talk pizza and not just NY style. Since I did, I'll also mention Spin, which I think is pretty good and nice interior eating experience.

                                                                              I lived in NYC before moving back to KC and honestly NY style is mostly hype. It's good, don't get me wrong, but there's better pizza. Just like the Gray's hot dogs. They're good and NY, but not the best.

                                                                              1. re: BurtonBailey

                                                                                Great point. I absolutely agree with you on some food legends being mostly hype, and I do think NY style pizza (and many other food traditions) probably belong in that category. I think there is so much lost in the translation of eating NY style pizza when NOT in NY. I always feel like something is missing in that experience. It is just not as satisfying. Is it just me?

                                                                                I also think the reason we have had so much healthy discussion about pizza in this KC thread, is because we do not have a style of pizza named after us, so we are free to recommend whatever we like or prefer. The pressure is off for us to have to represent the tome of tradition . . .unlike, say, KC BBQ.

                                                                                I heart all kinds of pizza, and luckily we have access to many different types in KC.

                                                                                1. re: BurtonBailey

                                                                                  I also tend to agree, having lived in NYC. The best thing about NY pizza and Gray's Papaya Hot dogs is their low price tag in an absurdly expensive town.

                                                                        2. Sorry to disappoint you all but I lived over 10 years in new york and every chance I got I go back just to taste the Italian food and pizza there....and D Bronx does not even hold a candle to good new york pizza. ...good new york pizza has a slightly sweet sauce...DBronx has a slightly salty and bitter sauce...so not in the same ball park. I hope we get a good pizza place someday....maybe the new one opening up (the art of Pizza) with do the trick....Avelluto's on metcalf has great wood fired pizza but it is a more gormet type pizza ( I was not wild about the Avelluto's in Shawnee...not nearly as good as the one on metcalf...but again you are comparing apples to donuts) and Cinzentis also has great pizza, again wood fired more upscale types....and Papa Keno's in downtown overland park has good pizza...I would consider it much more NY stype than DBronx and much better...I get it with extra sauce and tomottoes....but it is pricey...but you get what you pay for there. I had one bite of Papa Kenos one time and seemed good but would not recommend til I tried more....

                                                                          1. I have been living in KC for over 10 years now after having spent many years living in the N. E. part of the US, specifically around the NYC metro area. I fell in love with the NY style pizza that was large and floppy, that you would fold up to eat.

                                                                            In the entire time I have lived in KC, the only pizza shop I have found, that served NY style pizza that I really enjoyed was Original Pizza in the Metro North Mall on Barry Rd. While the mall is dieing, loosing shops and turning into a ghost town, Original Pizza still thrives. I just had it for lunch today, and will continue to eat there as long as they are there. D'Bronx is not NY style pizza. It's close, but doesn't taste anything like it. While Original Pizza is not exactly the same either, it is the closest I found.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: RjBass

                                                                              I'm right there with you RJ - Original Pizza was my fav the 20+ years I lived in KC. So glad to hear it's still alive!

                                                                            2. Please help a pregnant pizza craving NJ transplant out!

                                                                              I know this thread is very old. I've had nice "dough with sauce and cheese on top" at Cafe Europa and Pizzabella, but I need a real slice. Spin is ok because I can get a nice salad with it and then get ice cream at Glace, but it isnt pizza, you know. We tried Papa Kenos in OP the other day, and their ridiculous slicing method/over oregano-ing/ sub par crust made me shake my head in shame. Apparently, I need pizza every 3rd day, so I can try lots of suggestions.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: relizabeth

                                                                                Another place in the Crossroads district is Art of Pizza http://theartofpizzakc.com/. I found it ok. I lived in KC for five years, never found what I would call NY pizza, having grown up in NY.. but there are some acceptable places. I tried this place last summer and it was ok for lunch.

                                                                                1. re: cwdonald

                                                                                  Will try it, thank you. It is a few blocks from ours and we've discussed trying it, but always just end up at pizzabella.

                                                                                2. re: relizabeth

                                                                                  oh girl, i know how you feel. we can eat pizza every other day - used to live in NY. our favorite pizza here is Pizza 51. they have slices, enormous slices but i like to just order a whole pizza - cheese. it's pretty close. it's delish.