K! Pizzacone is getting the kind of opening day publicity that most restaurants would kill for. We almost ended up on Japanese television this morning just by stopping in for a Breakfast Pizza. Cone-steria indeed. In anticipation of getting a first taste this morning, we visited Rio Bonito last night to have their Pizza in the Cone fresh in our minds. Let the battle of the Pizza Cones commence!
We visited Rio Bonito (the fantastic Brazilian grocery in Astoria), with the same spirit of discovery that I Dream of Pizza visited with last August. We also wanted to love the Pizza Cone! And while the cheese wasn’t rancid, we did notice similar issues.
They say the wait is five minutes — it took twice that. The process? Nuke it, then toast it in the oven. The crust was slightly thinner than that of a conventional slice, but tasted like frozen dough. Sauce pooled, and there was a heaping tablespoon of raw chopped onions in the Pepperoni Cone (love onions, you gotta cook them).
“This is pure novelty…”
The Margherita made kids at the next table happy, but this is pure novelty — not something to get instead of pão de queijo or coxinha if you find yourself in Astoria near New York Pão de Queijo.
Breakfast dumplings, breakfast burritos, why not breakfast pizza? Funny that K! should do breakfast pizza just across the street from Empire, where you can also get one (whole pie only).
Unlike at Rio, K! did not nuke. The cone went in the oven and was ready about five minutes later. The crust was brown, thinner than Rio’s, with the crunch you get with a sandwich maker. There was more sauce— sweeter and saltier— and it worked with the scrambled eggs and bacon. While it the sauce pooled at the bottom here too, the cone’s contents were wet and appealing.
Will you want a pizza cone instead of your favorite slice? No. But K! has made the intriguing move of opening in a part of town that Adam Kuban noted recently, “is shit for pizza,” a fact that may help considerably. When eating pizza near the Empire State Building, if you want the best conventional slice go to Squisito (64 E 34th Street). But if you’re looking for something a little different, K! is worth a try.
325 Fifth Avenue,
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (646) 823-9318
This post was originally published March 22nd, 2010, on the now-defunct, James-Beard Award-nominated blog AlwaysHungryNY.com.