Slices at Pizza King

pizza king slice broccoli ricotta

A broccoli ricotta slice from Pizza King.

By Daniel B.

This is a town where pizza loyalties run deep.

For some, they've been going to The Fountain since they were a kid, and to these folks that is the very definition of pizza, no others need apply. Depending on the neighborhood you grew up in, The Fountain could be replaced by The Orchard, Smitty's, The Purple Pub, DeFazio's, Popes, Ralph's, etcetera.

Others have come here from downstate, and are continually frustrated that nothing they try even comes close to the pizza heaven they've left behind. Luckily, I don't think we host a major population of displaced Chicagoans or New Havenites. Nor do we have a lot of people hankering for the Old Forge pizza they remember growing up in Pennsylvania.

So with all of these considerations, how can I possibly put one slice above all the rest? Especially when it failed to win the Tournament of Pizza (in which it competed three times)? Well, there are several reasons. But there is one thing that clearly sets Pizza King apart from the rest of the pack, and that is focus.

pizza king exterior 2011

Here's a radical idea: Pizza King only makes pizza.

There are no wings, no subs, and no strombolis. There is no pasta, no eggplant parm, nor shrimp scampi. There are no burgers, no fries and no fried chicken. The Pizza King will not make you a salad.

That gives them focus. Nay, that gives them a laser sharp focus to make sure that it's their pizza that is as good as it can be. Because if their pizza isn't great, there is no other reason for people to come back. And the Pizza King makes it wonderfully. Since they don't have to think about fryers or griddles, there are no distractions. They get to spend all their time and energy on perfecting one thing.

And here it's all about the slice.

Let's be clear about this. Are there better places to get a whole pizza? Yes. A whole pizza is an entirely separate creature. One eats a whole pizza right out of the oven with your family and friends. Toppings play a much larger role. Slices are different. Slices you eat alone. The pizza is made and then it sits, until ultimately individual slices get reheated. To some, this is an insult to good pizza. To others, there is a remarkable alchemy that happens to the crust and the slice when it gets heated a second time.

The slices judged in the Tournament of Pizza do not go through this, otherwise surely the results would have been different.

In truth, you have a lot of options to choose from at Pizza King. Personally, I thought they were robbed in the sausage round last year, with their spicy sliced version falling prey to the robust ground sausage from Marino's. But if sausage isn't your thing, they have three different kinds of Buffalo chicken pizza, white pizzas, eggplant parm pizzas, and even a chicken marsala pizza that mysteriously has a cult following among its patrons.

pizza king slice marsala

But you don't need to stray too far from the simple cheese slice to see what makes Pizza King special. And that is their crust.

It's a good thing their crust is so delicious, because there is plenty of end crust on the slices. If you don't like crust, this is not the pizza for you. But I believe all great pizza starts with great dough.

Theirs is flavorful.

pizza king slice from above

When a slice has just come out from being reheated in the oven, the end crust is hot, with a crisp exterior and a satisfying moist chew. It's yeasty and comforting, and I would be perfectly happy just eating it on its own. As a result, I see their slices with a large swath of end crust to be two special treats sold as one unit.

pizza king slice underside

The bottom crust does exactly what you want a bottom crust to do. On its second heating it crisps up to easily support the weight of a slice, but it does not sacrifice thinness to do it. The underside of the pizza also picks up added flavor and char from the oven floor, since these pizza experts do not have to rely on the dreaded pizza screens.

This is incredibly thin crust pizza, but not so thin as to be a cracker. It is entirely in proportion to the rest of the slice, so that it adds its own flavor and texture but doesn't dominate the experience.

If I could change one thing about Pizza King's pies, it would be their sauce. I think they are just a wee bit too heavy handed, which prevents the cheese and sauce and crust from forming into one cohesive layer. But this is really nit picking, since I take almost any opportunity I can to come to this pizza outpost and get a great slice all the time.

After all, why else would anyone come here?

Daniel B. is the proprietor of the Fussy Little Blog.

Find It

Pizza King
122 Jay St
Schenectady, NY 12305

Comments

Now I'm hungry again.

They rank with DeFazio's as the top pie makers in the region. No one else touches them.

It looks pretty good. From the images, the crust looks slightly large and the slice seems smaller than a traditional NYC slice, but the bottom in that last picture looks perfect.

(Good thing I'm not eating pizza right now, otherwise I'd be in the car on the way to try it right now...but, hey AoA, I'm open to eating pizza in a couple of months *wink *wink)

Love the pizza! My only issue with the King is that I love to dunk my slice of pizza in blue cheese dressing and they do not make their own its the Ken's Dressing in a pouch (nasty). I just figure they won't make it due to not serving buffalo wings.

Totally agree. It's out favorite place to grab a slice. My girls favorite is the pizza with the pasta on top!! We have been going there for years!

Pizza King is one of the best parts about working in downtown Schenectady.

Also, from growing up in NEPA, I really enjoyed the Old Forge reference.

My favorite right now is I love Ny on Central across from the Rite Aid. His meatball, ricotta is suberb! Before that we loved Andriano's meatball ricotta in Delmar.

Tell the New Havenites to head over to Bacchus Wood-Fired in Troy for Neapolitan pizza à la Pepe's!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

AOA is bringing presidential historian Alexis Coe to town and you should come because, wow, there's a lot to talk about (and it'll be fun)

Maybe you're like us and you read the news every day involving the current presidential administration and it's all just... well... let's just call it... (more)

An end for plastic shopping bags in New York?

Paper or... reusable? On Monday the Cuomo admin floated a bill that would ban many kinds of plastic shopping bags starting at the beginning of... (more)

The Albany All Stars Roller Derby opens its home season this weekend

The Albany All Stars Roller Derby 2018 season opens this Saturday, April 28. The All Stars will be back at the Albany Capital Center to... (more)

An insurance broker for car insurance?

J asks: Can you recommend a good local insurance broker for auto insurance? To go along with J's question, we're curious about people's thoughts or... (more)

Janet Jackson at SPAC

The Janet Jackson is set to play a show at SPAC July 26. Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 27 -- they're $29.95 and... (more)

Recent Comments

... This will make Albany into a place that many of us don't want to live in and came here to get away from: Big buildings, heavy traffic, congestion, noise, and parking shortages are really not what we or what people seeking to raise families and considering moving to our area want. Building big and tall will change Albany from a family friendly city to a metropolitan city and only increase the gap between the have's and have not's. ...

AOA is bringing presidential historian Alexis Coe to town and you should come because, wow, there's a lot to talk about (and it'll be fun)

...has 1 comment, most recently from Rkn

An insurance broker for car insurance?

...has 4 comments, most recently from Jeannette Sheehy

Janet Jackson at SPAC

...has 1 comment, most recently from Tim

Morning Blend for Apr 23

...has 1 comment, most recently from Bob

Approval for another big apartment project, Warehouse District reuse, Pine Hills demos, and more exciting tales of the Albany planning board

...has 3 comments, most recently from -R.