Previously on The K.C.: When last I left you, I was clutching my stomach, agonizing over the dearth of good pizza in Kansas City, a.k.a. "The K.C." I had visited three pizzerias in the course of two days and had promised to report on them. Here is the first of those reports.
Some dude once wrote that you can't go home again. But that's exactly where I found myself last week, sort of, after touching down in Kansas City and meeting Ma and Pa Slice at the baggage claim carousel.
The last time a Slice staffer visited The K.C. was in September, when E-Rock reviewed D'Bronx, a perennial Kansas City favorite. It's easy to see why people love this place. It's a friendly joint with an easygoing neighborhood feel to it, high pressed-tin ceilings, large windows, big booths, and plenty of tables. The prep-station counter front facing the dining area is plastered with band and event flyers, making it a sort of pizzeria-cum-community-bulletin-board. And the deli-style sandwiches are excellent.
Having not had D'Bronx since high school days, E-Rock's write-up wasn't enough for me and I wanted to see if the place lived up to my fond memories of it, when friends and I would stop by for a slice after browsing the record stores in the area—Recycled Sounds and Music Exchange and the now-defunct shops Penny Lane and Spiny Norman's.
Unfortunately, the pizza pie that this reporter had there on the way home from the ever-so-far-flung Kansas City International Airport was not quite as good as E-Rock's report or as good as the sandwiches there. While the crust was crisp and flexible, our sausage-and-onion pie was so laden with cheese that the top strata of its bready foundation was close to raw in places. And the cheese blanket was so heavy that Ma and Pa Slice and I were feeling full after only one piece. Ma Slice bowed out at two, leaving Pa and I to force down three slices each, as we were in a curious predicament—we didn't want to take any of this pie home as leftover but didn't want to waste food.
Later that night, I visited KC rocker Andy Graham, the impetus of my KC-Austin trip, and he asked, "Why'd you go there? E-Rock already reviewed that place!"
"Andy," I said, "I wanted to see if I could prove Mr. Wolfe wrong."
Unfortunately, this learned man was quite correct: You can't go home again.
Next time, on The K.C.: Slice visits Pizza 51, a gas-station-turned-pizzeria at 51st and Oak in Kansas City, Missouri.