Thursday, May 19, 2005

Restaurant 22: D'Bronx Pizzeria (Kansas City, Missouri)

RESTAURANT: D’Bronx Pizzeria
LOCATION: 3904 Bell St. Kansas City, Missouri
DATE: May 14, 2005
FOOD: Two slices of D’Bronx Special Pizza (Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Onions, Peppers, Italian Sausage)
BEVERAGE: Large diet Coke
PRICE: $6.50 (thanks to Steph’s parents)

Where was I?

I had believed Kansas City, but this tasted like New York…

View this as a slice of good things to come. This Sunday, Danny and I, along with a few other friends, will engage on Pizza World Tour 2005, hitting a notable pizza place in each of the five boroughs. But last Saturday I got a preview tasting – well sort of…

Because while the pizza I enjoyed on Saturday tasted like New York pizza, looked like New York pizza, and was even made in a restaurant with the name of a famed New York pizza borough, I was decidedly not in New York. And though my bites of D’Bronx’s Special pie made me more ready for Pizza World Tour than ever before, I was still in Kansas City, the barbeque and NOT pizza capital of the world.

But like the expertly faked Monets in the Pierce Brosnan version of "The Thomas Crown Affair" which are indistinguishable from the originals, D’Bronx’s pizza is a study in perfected forgery. This pizza would survive remarkably well in the New York pizza scene. While the ingredients were not as excellent as those used by Di Fara’s, nor the mozzarella as fresh and authentically Italian as that used by Grimaldi’s, Patsy’s and Di Fara’s, D’Bronx makes a very mean slice. What it does better than either Grimaldi’s or Patsy’s is the crust. The edges pack warm bubbles that taste like a baked baguette taken right from the oven. Though a thin crust, there’s enough density to D’Bronx’s dough to avoid sogginess, even in the center of the pizza, even under the weight of a supreme load of toppings and sauce. The crust was so good in fact I would order it alone (perhaps in the form of breadsticks). If most Italian restaurants served bread half as good as D’Bronx’s crust, red sauce Italian would have a better name in culinary circles.

The vegetable toppings came directly from a garden and not a can (yes this is a dig at Grimaldi’s canned mushrooms) and tasted the better for it. However, the cheese was a bit stringy and came off in clumps. Fortunately, the sauce had been ladled on thick, so even without cheese, the slice wasn’t ruined. The pepperoni was spicy and assisted by the red pepper flakes I sprinkled over my slices, gave my pieces the ideal level of heat. The Italian sausage came in tiny crumbles, instead of the thick slices I prefer, and were often lost in the jumble of other toppings. But all in all, I was immensely impressed by D’Bronx’s pizza. If all the pizzerias we visit this weekend put out a comparable product, Pizza World Tour will be a total success. Until Sunday, I have to live vicariously through my memories of the best New York pizza anywhere outside the tri-state area.

RATING: 7.3/10

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