The Pizza Man in Lenexa, Kansas is a surprisingly little known restaurant. It is rather small and doesn't have a terribly large menu, but the Pizza Man does a very good job with several products. Various people think the Pizza Man serves the best pizza, or the best Chicago style hot dog, or the best Italian sandwich in Kansas City.
The food is good enough that I visited the restaurant 3 times in the span of 5 days, prior to writing this review for the first time.
I was first taken to The Pizza man by a friend and local restaurateur who wanted to treat me to the best Chicago style dog in town. I tried both a Chicago style dog and a chilly dog (Coney Island). Both were made using real Vienna beef hot dogs. The Chicago style dog was my favorite by a small margin, but both were very good.
My first pizza was a deluxe personal 9" pizza for $6.75 The price now (about 8 years later) is still only $7.50. It had extremely thin crust and has plenty of toppings: pepperoni, sausage, onion, mushroom and green pepper. I thought it odd that a restaurant that is so Chicago oriented doesn't have Chicago style pizza, but I've been told that the thin crust pizza is also Chicago authentic. It is just that the thick crust is better known.
The Pizza Man originally opened in 1988, in part of the space next door which now has Grinders Stonewall. The shop moved to this location about 10 years later. The Pizza Man's founder, Bob Kranz, was nicknamed "Pizza Man." A regular customer (and another former Chicagoan), Mike Klaersch, purchased the restaurant from Kranz in 2005.
The Italian beef sandwich (thin slices of Italian roast beef with melted cheese on a good hoagie bun) comes with jus and giardiniera (Chicago condiment with pickled sport peppers, jalapeno, celery and possibly other vegetables) on the side. I like the Italian sandwich a lot.
The salads look good, but I don't care as much for them as most pizza shop salads and I wish the Pizza Man offered something besides potato chips and salads for side dishes.
L-5/09. copyright 2009-2017 by Keith Stokes