Friday, August 22, 2008

The Art Of Pizza

How I got my lunch picking privileges revoked.

I think I owe an apology to everyone that went to lunch with me at the Art of Pizza today.

Seemed like a good idea at the time. It’s a nice day out so we could walk over, have a slice or whatever, and get back to the office no problem. It’s not like the Art of Pizza is ever busy.

We sat down and ordered. I got a slice of pepperoni and a Pane Stuffata -- an Italian bread with baked-in herbs, and stuffed with salami, pepperoni, ham, fresh mozzarella and tomato. The menu advised that the Pane Stuffata takes about 15 minutes to make, but that didn’t strike me as a big deal since getting a couple of slices would probably take five to ten minutes anyway.

Moments after the waitress took my order, I heard “Heart of the Sunrise” by Yes come on. I was all, “Sweet!” Seeing as how that prog-rock epic clocks in at about 11 minutes, I figured it was a safe assumption that my lunch would arrive shortly thereafter.

So 40 minutes later, we got our food. Need I mention that the only people eating in consisted of our party of six? During that time, a few people stopped by to get slices to go, but it didn’t seem like they were getting their food particularly quick, either. Yes, more than one Pane Stuffata was ordered at our table -- if the 15 minute cooking time is cumulative, I would have appreciated a heads up.

Meanwhile, across the street Pizza Bella is doing gangbusters. Always packed. I do have some sympathy for the Art of Pizza -- it’s got to be a bummer to have Pizza Bella with it’s gourmet wood-fired pies and fancy decor open up about the same time you do. Having Pizza Bella right there probably even makes the Art of Pizza look more utilitarian than it truly is. That said, the Art of Pizza is still kind of dark and sketchy, and unfortunately not in that charming dive kind of way. For a restaurant that’s empty at lunch on a Friday, they sure didn’t seem all that excited to see six hungry guys walk through their door.

Bottom line, I think the food at the Art of Pizza is alright. It’s not a destination spot, but if you’re in the mood for a New York-style slice of pizza, taste-wise you could do worse. Was the Art of Pizza fast like an actual New York pizza joint, I’d probably add it to the list of Lunchtime Clutchtime options. It’s just not “Wait 40 Minutes” good.

While we were there, some lady came in and asked where Pizza Bella was. I bet they get that a lot.
_______________________________________Art of Pizza on Urbanspoon
1801 Baltimore Avenue | Kansas City, MO 64108


  1. They had some health code violation rumors swirling around them, so lots of people in the area avoid the AoP.

  2. The art's pizza is light years ahead of Bella if you want a kick ass piece on NY pie. Don't order a Pane Stuffata. Only an idiot would order that in this pizza joint. The plain pie comes out quickly and is awesome.

  3. Everything is made from scratch and I haven't had anything there that was anything but good!

    As far as the health code violation I would get the facts straight before commenting.

    Someone saw the owner walk his dog out the back door an assumed it was the restaurant, but it is his house, behind the restaurant. So it was all a misunderstanding that someone called in the first place.

  4. Thanks for sticking up for the guy! What that person said was the truth I would know I'm his daughter. While I understand where the original review guy was coming from I think he needs to give AoP another try. Sometimes the food does take a little longer to make because it's made from scratch! Most ofthe time he's the only one cooking anyway :) that's just the way he is, but I guarntee you that his pizza is waaaaay better than Bella and the prices are better too. Who cares what the place looks like it's not like you were on a date! The pizza us great the prices are perfect, trust me I would know :)

  5. I moved to KC about two years ago from Miami where there are thousands of NY transplants. My parents being some of them... and let me tell you.. This pizza is Amazing, Actually... all of the food is. There is no other place like it in KC! Vic the owner is hilarious, start up a conversation and experience the true NY style. The prices are so fair and he makes almost everything from Scratch. Honestly, I have never had anything there I haven't loved and have always left full. I work around the corner and have never felt like I was in-danger via health code reasons. Thats was just a nasty rumor probably started by the Pizza Bella people, who opened up their restaurant across the street 3 months After the Art of Pizza! It's your classic lifetime movie set-up. Rich developer restaurant man ( the guy also owns 1924 and Chef burger in P&L) opens up pizza place and starts bad mouthing the local guy across the street! Art of Pizza wins my vote every time. The food is seriously awesome! And a family of 4 could easily eat for under $75 with drinks apps and desert!

  6. I'm glad to have seen all the great redeeming comments after this review. One of my NYC friends who lives in KC said that he had just found this spot and was really happy to find authentic NYC style pizza in the downtown area. I look forward to checking it out. (He also mentioned that the fact that the owner lives there is part of the authenticity, and that the guy is clearly customer and quality oriented).

    There's been quite a bit of local press about the guy that owns Bella, and somehow it wouldn't surprise me that a rumor like that could have come from him. It's a shame. Compete on the strength of your product, and not silly BS.

    By the way, I loved the map/drawing on the cover of the carry out menu. ("St Louis style pizza: cheez whiz on a cracker". Hilarious!)

  7. Art of Pizza is a one man band and he got a lot of heart! Take 1 minute and talk to the owner and you'll understand that he has a lot of pride in his food. If it takes 40 mins for you to get your food its because he's making it fresh...and yes a party of 6 can be a handful depending on what you're ordering there.
    The pizza is the best NY style pizza in town hands down, and you should be a little more sensitive to the fact that your reviews could drive away business to this guy who competes with Pizzabella (he was there first btw), pizza that doesn't keep me coming back like Art of Pizza. The food is excellent at Art of Pizza people, take the atmosphere for what it is, authentic!

  8. First of all Pizza Bella is a terrible place to go for authentic pizza! Everyone I know that likes real pizza avoids places like that anyway. They're overpriced and serve tiny portions too. Art of Pizza is the best pizza place in KC. My food never takes long and the service is always great. The owner is a sweet guy and always comes out to ask us how the food was. To me, that's how a restaurant is supposed be! I'm from Philly and I'm Italian so I know what pizza is supposed to taste like and AoP has it down pat!

  9. The food here is good, but the decor is nothing special and it does take forever. And every time I've brought my daughter in, I've definitely felt the stink-eye from the owner and like she isn't welcome. I would definitely eat there more often if it were truly kid friendly. I just prefer to get my food to go! Pizza Bella is better atmosphere, cleaner, friendlier.. but comparing their pizza is like apples to oranges.

  10. I go there for the lunch special and never have long to wait. Great pizza and I should know being from New York. The salad that comes with the special is good size and is not just lettuce. All that's missing is the Italian ices.