Our newest installment of Pizza Wars pits Kansas City’s two Chipotle concept pizza places against each other: Topp’d vs Pie Five. So let’s head to the mattresses and find out who wins this matchup.
We’ve previously reviewed Pie Five a while ago and I’m pretty much of a regular at their 135th & Metcalf location due to my soon to be middle son’s constant request to go. He loves Pie Five and therefore we are Circle of Crust members as we eat there more than I’d care to admit. We’ve stopped asking my #2 food monster where he’d like to eat because we already know the answer “Pie Five! Pie Five!”. So when I found out there was some competition in the hot, quick, fresh pizza approach I knew a new edition of Pizza Wars between the two was inevitable. So without further ado here it is.
Let’s start with Pie Five. They have a menu of 10 made to order pizzas with and extra specialty pizza in KC called the Jack Stack BBQ. Usually at a restaurant I’ll find my favorite menu item and just stick with that 90% of the time but at Pie Five I’ve tried most of the menu and is really only one of the places where I’m a regular that when I visit that I’m not sure what I’m going to order when I walk in. My favorites include the Chicken Carbonara, High Five, Tuscan Chicken, Pesto Chicken Alfredo and the Jack Stack. The other cool thing about ordering at Pie Five is if you want to add ingredient or two or remove an some they don’t hassle you, they just do it. If only Chipolte could do this, but I digress. They make your pizza right their in front of you so your able to ensure your pizza is made just right. The ingredients are good and there plenty of options to choose from; 4 crusts (including gluten free), 7 sauces, 5 cheeses (including vegan cheese, I’m not sure what that would be), 8 meats, and 17 veggie options. To finish they have a number of options and you’ll always be asked if you want magic dust, I’d suggest you try it at least once. Another thing I like about Pie Five is they have beer available which obviously is great with pizza. When it comes to salad they have 4 options and they also have desserts which is a requirement for my food monsters. The ultimate brownie is our favorite.
For my meal I choose the High Five on the classic pan crust. The High Five is the all meat pizza. It had good taste and the pan crust helped give it a little more girth but its still a pretty much a thin crust pizza. There’s really nothing memorable about the pizza itself but they are hot, quick, and fresh. The High Five has pepperoni, italian sausage, bacon, canadian bacon, and beef. Pie Five is always quick and I have yet to have a bad pizza from them. Pie Five is a great lunch option for those in a hurry.
Topp’d has been open for a while now and is independently owned and operated by Chad Talbott. Currently there’s only one Topp’d location in town but my guess is there will be more in time. Topp’d is located right next to KU Med at 3934 Rainbow with free parking available in back. I visited over lunch so I didn’t have my food monsters with me in order which limited my ability to sample more of the menu. Having kids with you at a pizza place can have its benefits. There are 8 pizza options and 6 salads. I didn’t have a salad but the ones I saw looked good and were definitely bigger than Pie Five’s. There are 4 crusts to choose from (include a gluten free) and I went with the honey wheat. If you want to build your own pizza you can and there are a number of sauces and cheeses to choose from. Topp’d has the standard pizza meats with some extra options when it comes to the veggies. Topp’d uses nitrate free pepperoni and cage-free chicken available in multiple marinades. I assume cage-free means your chicken was running free before he ended up on your pizza. Everything is cooked fresh daily and without the use of microwaves. Topp’d also has a number of finishes including sriracha sauce.
At Topp’d I selected the Monster Meat, which I think should be called the Meat Monster but hey its not my place. The Monster Meat comes with pepperoni, italian sausage, canadian bacon, chopped meatballs, and bacon. I’m not a big fan of canadian bacon so next time I might try to switch it out with one of those cage-free chickens. What I noticed right away about the my pizza was the sausage chunks. They were hefty in size which I don’t think would ever happen in a national chain due to profit motives that would certainly put the kibosh on a sausage chunk that think. Most people would be just fine with something half the size of the chunks that I got but hopefully that is standard size for Topp’d. My pizza looked amazing and was stacked with meat. The pizza tasted great from the first to the last bite. I’ll definitely be back, but I was a little sad leaving knowing there’s only one location.
Winner Winner Pizza Dinner
While my 5 year old loves Pie Five his daddy loves Topp’d more. Topp’d’s (I think that’s grammatically correct) pizza tasted more fresh and was certainly more filling even with a thinner crust. I only wish they had more locations. South Johnson County please before the market becomes too saturated with this hot, quick, fresh pizza dining. We need more local options like Topp’d as the national chains are too numerous in JoCo. Give Topp’d a try the next time your in the KU Med area, we think you’ll be glad you did.