Kansas City is filled with all kinds of pizza joints. Many are owned and operated by pizza aficionados who studied in Italy or New York or maybe even Chicago. They bring their special perspective to the food they love creating and give us all a nice variety of pizzerias to select from. Once in a while, we run across a pizza shop that blows the doors off of tradition. This is certainly the case with Artego Pizza at 900 West 39th Street. Being so close to the state line means they have a broad base of fans from KCMO and KCK.
We want to thank Artego Pizza for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are our own.
Many of our readers suggested this place for a visit. You don’t have to twist our arm to get us to eat pizza. We picked a Third Friday for our visit, which is the monthly special event. It seems like more and more areas in KC are claiming a repeating evening each month to hold special events. We find these to be a great way to explore new areas, since they will usually have stores open longer than normal. After checking out a handful of local boutiques, we were ready to quench our hungers. The West 39th Street corridor is easily walkable, so find a good parking spot and check it out on foot.
As soon as we entered Artego Pizza, we were impressed with the oversized art canvases that cover a large portion of the walls. We had the opportunity to speak with owner, Joe Perez. You might remember his name as a former Kansas City Chief player. Before opening at the end of 2014, he spent months refurbishing the space. Over 1000 wooden planks were installed piece-by-piece on the walls. The steel bar was salvaged from a scrap yard and meticulously restored.
Crystal noted that the canvases decorating the walls looked unusual. Joe pointed out that during the renovation he had local artist Alexander Austin helping out. This artist is responsible for these over-sized masterpieces. Most of them are painted on old drop cloths, which can be seen along the edges of the taut frames. Be sure to check them out!
Getting Our Eat On
After reviewing the menu, we placed our order and then checked out more of the artwork. We were surprised when our server delivered an order of the Caprese Salad to our table. Joe wanted us to experience this delicious starter that features fresh sliced Mozzarella and tomatoes. These are topped with fresh basil, olive oil, and a delightful balsamic reduction. We joyfully snacked on this appetizer, while we awaited our main course.
We have learned that when we are doing research we will not have the ability to take home leftovers. This has made us rethink our ordering pattern, and eventually helped us keep our weight in control. Often we will be asked how we stay our sizes with all of these tasty places that we visit. (Of course, Crystal is much better at this than I am.) Part of the secret is ordering smaller portions. We usually find that about 20 or 30 minutes after we eat the fullness hits us. At Artego Pizza, we chose to select a small version of the 39th Street, minus the green peppers. Their original crust is a special recipe that Joe and his chefs worked on to get just right. This puffed up base offers plenty of support to the fresh toppings. Whatever their secret is, this crust is amazing. They aren’t exaggerating when they say their pies look great in photos.
Did You Say Dessert?
Most restaurant visits are limited to just enjoying a single meal with the possible addition of an appetizer. When it comes to dessert time, our approach is usually to find a specialty shop for this extra touch. When we were reviewing the menu something special popped out at me. I know how Crystal feels about chocolate, and Artego Pizza offers a Molten Chocolate Lava Cake that was sure to be acceptable to her. When it arrived, it had the same artistic styling that we found with our appetizer. This sweet ending was the perfect way to wrap up an evening of delicious eats, great conversation, and new friendships. Now it’s time to get back to our walk and start burning off these calories. What are your tricks to staying fit while traveling? We’d all love to hear them, so drop us a line in the comments section below. Thanks!