The TRAVELING TOMATO Review of the Famous King of Pizza.

Every now and then during our travels we come upon an eatery that makes the whole trip worth while and worthy of revisits.

Hidden in the Philadelphia Airport is one of those not so ordinary dining experiences and is the starting point for our tomato travel log, the Traveling Tomato. What better place to start than an airport.

Walking through the Philadelphia Airport over a decade ago I discovered the Famous King of Pizza and was torn between the outrageous claim of the name on the sign and the unbelievable smell that was luring me in. The smell and the visual of the multifaceted display won me over to try a slice.

10 years later the Famous Pizza at Terminal "D" is a must stop when flying into the Philadelphia Airport. Flying in or out of Philadelphia Airport is the only way to access this culinary delight for those on the move.

The dream of making the mandatory pit stop was taken away last summer and into the fall. Boarded up!, with a sign that's the kiss of death for many restaurants, CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS. When upgrading a successful restaurant, almost inevitably, someone gets the bad idea to change things. In early November the King of Pizza re-opened. Would it be the same? Thankfully it was the same consistent quality. Better wasn't necessary, the same was perfect. Another reason why they are the King of pizza.

What makes this pizza so good? There have been many conversations in the smallish dining area (shared with a Burger King) regarding this question.

Home chefs on a quest to make the perfect pizza realize that finding and combining quality ingredients while cooking them to perfection is equivalent to finding the Holy Grail. Simplicity is the key. The King's pizza is the perfect example.

Start by examining a single slice of the King's cheese and tomato sauce pizza. The balance between the crust, cheese and tomato sauce is simple and understated.

The pizza dough is crusty enough to hold up to a load of toppings, while being soft and chewy inside. The taste? Forget about it! The tomato sauce is delicate, not too sweet and not too over seasoned. The Cheese is taste and texture at it's best. Nice buttery taste with little or no rubber band whiplash.

Pizzas with toppings are available as well. Long time favorites like peperoni pizza, mushroom pizza, sausage pizza, deep dish pizzas, calzones, breakfast Pizza (in case you're flying early in the morning), white pizza, garlic and broccoli (one of my favorites) and more are available. It's hard to believe this level of quality can be served on the fly (no pun intended) at a fast food pace.

Surprisingly, visitors will wander in from two terminals away to get their Airport Pizza fix. I talked to a couple from Virginia that do the two terminal walk, plus, anytime they travel they pick flights with the "One Stop" in Philadelphia Airport. Sounds crazy but in the twisted world of flying the King of Pizza is an oasis for the mind, senses and belly.

The prices are right in line with Airport fast food. The crew at the King of Pizza are great and they keep things moving at a fast pace for those in a hurry.

The size of the slices are very large and one is plenty. Yeah, right! They should just make it a two slice minimum. In spite of all the great toppings my favorite is the regular slice of cheese pizza. Second best for me is the broccoli and garlic as stated earlier. One reason is the incredible taste, the other is the ability to, while in flight, stop the person next to you from babbling the whole flight with one simple face to face reply of "What?" Ah, the power of garlic.

The Airport isn't the only location for the King of Pizza. The original is in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and another is in Berlin, New Jersey. Both locations offer an expanded menu with more variety than the Airport version. The Famous King of Pizza web site

Be your own King of Pizza and learn how to make thin crust homemade Pizza Pie.

If your at the other end of the Eastern United States one of the best Pizza Pies anywhere is at Tucci's Pizza.

Looking for other great tomato Recipes? Check the Everything Tomatoes Recipe List


Revisited the King after the remodel. Got some photos, slices and the best time to visit.

According to a reputable source the least crowded days of the week at the King are Tuesday and Saturday. So if you're going to Philly or stopping over on a transfer these are the days to go enjoy your favorite slices stress free.

Here's some more photos of the remodeled King.