My Brutally Honest Review of the “New” Kay’s Pizza

I say brutally honest because it ain’t pretty. Yesterday was the grand opening of Kay’s Pizza under new ownership so I had to go check it out. I was already wary to the fact that it opened on a Sunday this year but we had to give a chance, right?

Let’s get the pizza out of the way because that’s the important stuff. Toppings are dead on. In fact, the jalapenos might even be a bit hotter than they used to be which is A-OK with me. Even Elise’s meatball and ‘shrooms pizza was exactly the same. The problem lies in the dough.

It’s lighter. Fluffier. Airier. And worst of all: it’s less greasy. For those of you that have never been to Kay’s Pizza, it has this layer of grease on the bottom of it that’s much like the deep-dish style of greasy pizza that Pizza Hut does, but with a decent crunch and well infinitely better. What I had last night was unfortunately slightly dry and bread-like. Great characteristics for bread. Not so much for pizza crust. One of the pizzas wasn’t even round, more like a polygon. Clearly an issue with the dough. Totally no good. 

OK, enough about the pizza, how about the rest? As you can see from the pic there was a line reaching outside the front door. There was about an half hour wait for us to get a table for 8, and if we were a group of 2 or 4 we would have been seated even quicker. However, there was about an hour wait after we ordered before we saw any food. I would usually complain about this but it was opening night and I’m sure they were swamped with take out orders since the parking lot was full and they rest of us were parked on the road all the way to the other side of the lake. After we got our food we were out of there in a half hour.

The tap list hasn’t changed but Kay’s doesn’t really need to be a craft beer bar or anything. The one thing that did change is that all of the staff wear uniforms now, and this is an awful, terrible thing. Why? Because this is one of those little, innocent things that the new owners think is an “improvement”, making the Kay’s waitstaff look more “professional”. Except this is the antithesis of Kay’s Pizza and that means the new owners just don’t get it. This isn’t a TGI Friday’s. Kay’s isn’t “professional”. It’s a po-dunk pizza shop in the middle of Burden Lake that hasn’t changed in 60 some odd years. And in all of those years it did just fine. Why change it now?

I’d love to say that the uniforms and the dough are the only changes that will occur and Kay’s will be just fine. But if history serves us correctly, new owners of restaurants just can’t stop getting their hands in there to change things, “improve” things, and to make the place “their own”. I’m sure they’ll update the website to look like something that wasn’t created with Geocities. And then they’ll, god-forbid, level the floors. Unfortunately, these aren’t things that will work for Kay’s, and will work even less for it’s customers.

New owners: please don’t fuck this up. Thank you.

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