I’d like to preface this by saying that even the smallest slice of Minsky’s x Joe’s KC barbecue pizza made my body feel like it was just sold a one-way ticket to heart disease. It’s a fat-dripping, cheese-pulling, mouth-watering potential health risk.
But it was worth every calorie.
Combining two of the most artery-clogging Kansas City staples into one? I’ll give it to you, Minsky’s and Joe’s, there’s nothing more American than that. But Minsky’s claims that’s what the people want, so I decided to give it a go.
Sales for the collaboration began on March 25, but the Joe’s barbecue pizza is available for an unknown and unspecified length of time — making the temptation to order it while you can even greater. The pizza itself is fairly straightforward: classic Minsky’s crust, Joe’s barbecue sauce and cheese topped with a massive pile of barbecued meat — both brisket and pulled pork. Oh, and the heavenly seasoning salt that Joe’s puts on their fries? Minsky’s sprinkles it over the top of the pizza.
The real Meryl Streep of the pizza was, of course, the brisket and pulled pork. Sticky, sweet and savory, I was downright tempted to forgo the rest of the pizza and just eat the meat. The hickory flavor of the meat melts perfectly into the layer of mozzarella cheese beneath it, without losing the iconic smokiness of Joe’s barbecue sauce.
Despite the complexity, each separate ingredient’s presence is heavy in every slice, with the perfect ratio of meat to cheese to sauce to crust. The original Minsky’s crust provides a satisfyingly crunchy contrast to the heft of the sauce and cheese, and the blackened-burnt edges of the meat add texture to each bite.
My biggest fear entering this was that there was no way that this pizza could be better than either of the restaurants’ separate specialties. Boy, was I wrong. The combination of these two Kansas City icons brought out the best in each of their signature dishes. The intense flavors of Joe’s and Minsky’s battled for dominance — and they both won.
Still, the entire experience was more than a bit overwhelming to the palate. With every bite, there was a tinge of guilt that ran through me — even after a single slice, I was convinced I should start a solely quinoa and cold-pressed juice based diet for the next few months.
I’ll warn you: this pizza is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, a delicious mashup of two Kansas City classics — and it won’t be here forever.