Tag Archives: Crossroads

Mini-Review: PizzaBella

In a town not necessarily known for great pizza, the Crossroads’ PizzaBella manages to deliver a mighty fine product in a style that isn’t necessarily well-represented locally. Initially opened by chef Rob Dalzell, PizzaBella closed briefly last year after the financial shakeup that drove most of Dalzell’s businesses under. It quickly re-opened under new ownership essentially unchanged.

Pizza Bella

A recent visit found it largely empty on a weekday evening. The attractive, modern dining room features a lot of wood accents which serves to warm the space up quite a bit. Two wood-fired pizza ovens anchor one corner of the room, where a couple of cooks prepare the thirteen varieties of pizza offered on the menu.

Interior

Choice is limited here but it’s easy to see that topping combinations have been chosen with care. In addition to pizza, the menu has a handful of delicious-looking appetizers and only a couple of desserts. I for one, like the simplicity of the menu although others might crave the endless do-it-yourself topping deliberations that are the hallmark of most traditional pizza joints.

The brussel sprout appetizer was prepared in the hot pizza oven and came dressed with a pancetta ham vinaigrette, dried cranberries and almonds. It proved to be slightly too big for two people as a starter, but tasted wonderful.

Brussel Sprouts

For dinner proper, I opted for the classic pizza margherita which featured fresh basil, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and roasted garlic, the latter of which is an unusual but welcome addition.

Margherita

The Prosciutto pizza, while bordering on too salty, nonetheless was a favorite of mine. The storied Italian ham was barely warmed, most likely added just after removal from the oven. A pile of spicy baby arugula provides a delightful fresh contrast to the buttery richness of the meat and parmesan.

Prosciutto Pizza

PizzaBella’s crust is a force to be reckoned with, as it stays defiantly crispy–despite its thinness–long after it leaves the oven. The pie itself is rustic and uneven in appearance but matches the simplicity and quality of the toppings.

Rather than dump a ton of highly flavorful and expensive ingredients together on its pies, this places focuses on quality toppings used in a judicious manner. No, it’s not the traditional pizza experience, but PizzaBella delivers mightily.

A Taste of the Crossroads is Coming, Sept. 19

The beloved Crossroads district offers more than First Fridays and art galleries. It is home to a number of very fine eateries dishing up culinary masterpieces on a daily basis. And this event looks kind of fun.

Taste of the Crossroads takes place in the parking lot behind the Freight House, the building which houses restaurant powerhouses Jack Stack, Lidia’s and Grunauer, all of whom will be offering food at the event. Other participants include The Cashew, Los Tules, Webster House, Otto’s Burger & Malt Shop and more.

A Taste of the Crossroads - Kansas City (15)

Last year's event, captured by Ramsey Mohsen

The event happens under big tents so it’s a rain or shine kind of affair. $25 gets you in the door, or $40 for two people. Kids under ten get in free. You can purchase tickets online or at the gates. Drinks are extra once you get inside.

A couple of fine local bands, The Rumble Jets and the Pedal Jets will provide the live entertainment. Sounds like a fun way to spend a Sunday. The action runs from 4 to 8 p.m.

Is Lulu’s Making a Good Move?

An interesting move (literally) is being reported by the Kansas City Star today. Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop & Satay Bar will vacate its space near the corner of Southwest Boulevard and Broadway and relocate to a spot at 2030 Central street, just around the corner.

lulu's

Anyone who has been to Lulu’s during First Friday shenanigans or even at the height of lunch hour during the week knows that waiting for a table is pretty standard. I like Lulu’s well enough but I never understood the intense loyalty and mania it engenders. Nonetheless, the new space is larger and should accommodate the throngs that will certainly be forthcoming.

Every restaurant takes a risk in moving, however. When you change locations you open yourself up to the criticism of “not being as good as the old place.” Stroud’s comes to mind, as does Accurso’s. Succotash seems to have weathered its transition very nicely, mostly due to keeping the vibe of its dining room pretty laid back. Still, I’ll bet folks in the City Market were really sorry to see them go.

Lulu’s current location is one of the highest-profile commercial storefronts in the city. people unfamiliar with the Crossroads know where it is because they have driven by it so many times. Central street isn’t exactly that hopping so I hope they have a good visibility strategy in the works.