The Revival of Midwest Pizza: Pizza Tascio’s Westport location hits 6 months


Luke Frenzel

Future Stag and Class of 2027 graduate, Isaac Frenzel, enjoys a slice of Pizza Tascio’s “Cheese Pizza” with the Saturday evening rush of 39th Street to his back.

Luke Frenzel, Staff Writer

To the disillusioned coastal-born, midwest pizza is a lost art. Residing the furthest from the tomato powerhouse of California and the internationally appreciated dairy farms of New York, on paper the Kansas City area should supply the region with corn, soybeans and their token barbeque, but on the edge of Missouri lies the anomaly to these pizza-barren plains. 

Opened six months ago, Pizza Tascio is a breath of life in the western block of 39th Street, filling the void left by the closure of the d’Bronx Pizza location that once resided across the street. In the same tune as their five other locations ranging from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Lawrence, Kansas, Tascio prides itself on its freshly prepared pizza, breadsticks and calzones.

Following the parallel park on one of the adjacent streets, the downhill walk past Prospero’s bookstore allows the gradual stimulation of the senses in anticipation of the aromatic greeting that lies within the front door of the restaurant. The arched wall outlets and stretchers of brick pave a direct track to the ordering station, where a greeting from the typically singular employee enforces the homey nature of the location. 

With topics of discussion ranging from Hacky Sacks to the Deftones, the cheery chefs suggest a slice of previously prepared and displayed pies to which I eagerly request a slice of their “Spicy Pepperoni Pizza,” topped with red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, jalapenos and Mike’s Hot Honey.

The blushed walls that embrace the swiveled window booth beckon rest from the legs of the hungry. This is where I sit, awaiting the fresh pie being prepared by the singular chef, cashier and waiter who has established themselves as a peer prior to my order. 

Upon my wait, I glance out into the bustling activity of Westport’s treasured 39th Street. Among the jovial patrons of the local Goat & Rabbit bar are readers, exploring the outdoor catalog of books presented by Tom and Will of Prospero’s Books and bubbling drinkers of Dragonfly’s popping teas. This location of Pizza Tascio radiates authenticity, allowing this link in the chain of restaurants to emulate the ambiance of a mom-and-pop eatery.

The local ambiance and congenial employees aside, what matters when assessing a restaurant is the quality of the food, and this is where Pizza Tascio delivers its finalizing blow, cementing itself as a hallmark of Midwest pizza. Simply put: the pizza is fantastic. 

Variety in toppings, crust and presentation allows for a diversity of attainable meals, keeping the experience fresh whilst maintaining a dependably high-quality taste. With six months in their repertoire, I eagerly look forward to the future of Pizza Tascio on 39th Street.