Food Around Kansas City


Written By: Mary Bloch - Dec• 28•17

I was sorry to be miss last week’s KCUR’s Food Critics show, but as much as I love talking about food, I love my family more…and with my son and daughter-in-law home for the holiday, it wasn’t a hard decision to opt out:) BUT, I still want to weigh in on the day’s topic, which was one of my favorites…pizza!

1. Pizza Bella, in the Crossroads. I love all the pizzas on the menu, but my favorites are the Potato with Gorgonzola, radicchio and balsamic, and the Biancoverde with fresh mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan and arugula.

2. Just down the street is Extra Virgin. Monday night is pizza night, and Michael Smith creates one pizza for the evening. Considering that Michael helped create the pizzas at Spin, you can be sure this is in his wheelhouse. Add half-price wine on Monday nights, and you’ve got an awesome date night.

3. Bella Napoli. It only gets better and better at this Brookside neighborhood gem. I’m a fan of the basic Margherita pizza wherever I go, on the theory that simple is best, and a surefire way to determine the quality of the ingredients and crust. The Margherita here is everything I want in a pizza, with its chewy crust and simple tomato sauce. I always add pepper flakes and am one happy camper.

4. Recently, Kansas City has seen several fast-causal pizza places open, starting with Pizzeria Locale, which originated in Boulder. You go through a line, (it’s reminiscent of Chipotle, a partner in the venture) choosing a signature pizza or designing your own, then you pay the cashier and wait for your pizza to come out of the very hot wood-burning oven. The pizza is great, but my favorite part is that they have bottles of hot Chile oil that you can take to your table, and I love dipping my slices of pizza in Chile oil even more than I like shaking pepper flakes on it! Yes, I like it hot.

5. 1889 Pizza Napoletana follows the same formula, but improves on it. After going through the line and paying, customers receive a number to place on your table, and a runner brings your order to you. Much better than milling around. Just this month, there was another entry, MidiCi, out of Columbia, MO. Similar pizza to the other fast-casual restaurants listed above, and they also have Chile oil on their condiment table, a real bonus in my book.

6. With the exception of Pizza Bella, you can tell from my list that I typically gravitate toward Neapolitan style pizza, but if you crave New York style, head to Johnny Jo’s in the West Plaza. You can buy a whole pie or by the slice, but know that there’s limited seating so you may want to carry out or go at off-peak hours.

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