The Art of Pizza
The saying goes “sometimes you just have to follow your heart”. But if you follow your stomach, you might end up at the same place. That’s what happened to me earlier this week when a time crunch and hunger pangs landed me inside what has to be one of Kansas City’s best pizza joints.
After a morning meeting and some must-run errands, I circled the few blocks around the 18th and Baltimore area in search of parking for my next appointment. That’s when I realized the few bites I had of a hurried breakfast had long worn off. I needed some lunch, and waiting till the next appointment was over would not be pretty.
Like an Oasis in the desert, I see the primitively painted lean-to sidewalk sign for The Art of Pizza. I thought I had read in the recent Pitch feature covering KC pizza far and wide that they sold by the slice here. The little sign confirmed it, so with 8 minutes to spare I raced across the street to see what I could get.
The small, sunlit space was more than half full in the middle of a weekday lunch. A glass case near the bar displayed a nice selection of beers and one customer waited by the register for his recently ordered slice. The aroma of fresh-baked pizza dough was welcoming and warm.
I was met at the register by a beautiful young lady whose name I later learned was Sarah. She’s the manager here. She told me the pepperoni pie was still baking so I went with a slice of cheese.
Nicely displayed on a cake stand at the register, was a lovely and tempting round chocolate cake. Of course I inquired and learned it was a Mounds cake layered with coconut and cream cheese. Yes, please!
In the few seconds that I waited for my slice, I could see into the kitchen where the monstrous oven was opened and that baking pepperoni pie was being turned. It was a beauty.
Soon arrived my simple slice of cheese pizza in a styrofoam container. As I stood at the register to pay, I grabbed the big slice and took my first bite. Oh My Heavens! Now THIS was a slice of pizza!
Thin but still substantial, the crust was just lightly crisped on the bottom and a touch chewy in my mouth. And the sauce!! A healthy layer of bright red marinara rested under the melty cheese. It was fresh and bold with a lingering hint of garlic.
I’m no expert in New York style pizza, but I’ve done my fair share of sampling and this was close to pizza perfection!!
In a matter of minutes, I was out the door and down the street to my meeting, eating along the way. I almost went back to the Art of Pizza afterwards to have some more. But the clock was not my friend.
A trusted source tells me The Art of Pizza has a phenomenal Caesar salad, so it’s on my list for next time. Soon the small pizzeria will open it’s back patio to dining – a new addition. I know where I’m going on the next beautiful spring day I have a craving for awesome pizza.