Editor's note: This is the first of two reports today about pizza in a cone. Check out the second report here: Pizza in a Cone: Crispycones
It’s not often that Kansas City gets to be at the forefront of international cuisine. But even a Midwesterners are sometimes lucky enough to find a new, innovative pizza concept in their local mall food court once in a while.
Kornet Pizza, the international sellers of the pizza cone, opened its first U.S. location at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kansas, four weeks ago. My wife accompanied me recently to the food court and served as the control group to balance out my enthusiasm. I haven’t been this excited since discovering the dessert pizza bar at Pizza Hut.
After brief consideration, we ordered the Thank You Napoli cone (freshly chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, oregano, and basil) and the barbecue chicken pizza cone. The cones are pulled from a warming box, where they sit in neat rows.
The first thing I notice about the pizza is not the food itself but the packaging. The pizza cone is perched inside a cardboard box with a small circular hole at the top. A bunched-up napkin underneath the cone completes the tissue-box effect. I just wish someone had told me not to remove the napkin before I was done eating. The hole is slightly too large for the width of the cone and the napkin acts as a basket. Edibles that have come into direct contact with a food court table are always a little scary.
The Thank You Napoli is more visually appealing, overflowing with smooth mozzarella, while the concave surface of the barbecue chicken appears slightly darkened. But looks are deceiving with the pizza cone. It turns out less cheese is actually more.
With the Thank You Napoli, my wife and I were left with several bites of chewy mozzarella that hinted at the basil and tomatoes underneath. We ended up pulling out the extra cheese, a move ordinarily sacrilegious in the consumption of pizza. The crust, baked on site, evoked memories of a hot pocket for my wife. I immediately thought of the soft dough of a slightly undercooked calzoneslightly sweet with the pleasant texture and color of take-and-bake bread.
The sunken chicken barbecue cone had a better ratio of filling to cone; each bite was fairly consistent. The sauce had a sweet tang and mild kicktraditional smoked-meat enthusiasts in Kansas City would enjoy.
The pizza cone might be a tough sell. Mall food court occupants tend to avoid culinary adventure. It’s the old axiom of never eating chili in an airport. But ultimately it’s worth picking up and taking for a walk.
Location: In the food court of Oak Park Mall, 11519 West 95th Street, Overland Park KS 66214