I suppose it wasn’t very sporting of me to visit a pizzeria that claims to serve New York style pizzas on the day I was scheduled to fly to New York.
Actually, it was my second visit to Kings Pizza on Curry Ford Road, a second location for the business, which also operates a restaurant on International Drive. The first time I visited the Curry Ford location was back in June and I remembered thinking they didn’t really seem completely set up yet.
It was quiet, no noise from the two people in the open kitchen area and certainly none from diners, because there were none. The black wall across from the cooking and ordering station was painted black and had graffiti-like scrawls in chalk that looked temporary. And there was a refrigerated counter, the type you might expect to have grab-and-go selections that need to be cooled but also want to be nicely displayed, that was empty and unplugged.
The pizza on that visit was just OK. The pepperoni slice had good coverage but the Meat Lovers was pathetically topped with scrawny bits of tiny ham cubes and half moons of thinly sliced sausage as well as a few of the same pepperoni. Not really a meat lovers pizza, more of a platonic pie.
The sauce and cheese were good, not overwhelming. The crust was a tad dry.
I decided to give them some time to settle in.
And when I returned, seven weeks later...nothing much had changed.
Including the quietude, the emptiness. Even the refrigerated counter was still empty and unplugged. And the sign over the front door of the strip mall location is still temporary. It’s as if they’re not really sure they plan to stay.
I got the pepperoni, which had the same six slices of sausage. But this time I got the NY Kings, too, which had lots of toppings — bacon, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni (the all-purpose pizza topping), black olive slices and dollops of ricotta cheese — most of which were still raw (not the bacon, thankfully). The uncookedness of the toppings belied the length of time it took to come out, especially considering the place was empty.
The crust still cracked when folded but not as much. Kings has the potential to make a good New York style pizza, but it’s just not there yet.
Kings Pizza is at 2840 Curry Ford Road, Orlando. See link for other address information. It is open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday. The phone number is 407-730-7522.