Papa Keno’s

During these bitterly cold winter days nothing tastes better than a hot, cheesy, monster-sized slice of pizza. And no one serves it up better than Papa Keno’s. Papa Keno’s has been a go-to for the Mister and me since we moved to Lawrence 1.5 years ago, so I’m happy to share with you a little bit about this fine establishment.

Super chill pizza joint.

"The slice as big as your face"

I headed out for a late lunch today around 1pm, and Papa Keno’s was biz-ay! There’s seating available (booths and tables) for about 42 people, but I’d guess there were about 20 people enjoying some ‘za when I walked in the door. I was definitely late for the lunch party, and between the wafts of pizza in the air and my grumbling tummy, there was no need to search the impressive menu for ideas – it was pepperoni time. The counter is about five steps directly inside of the entrance (next to the beer fridge… just sayin’) and this is where the magic starts. No need for silly menus here, any pizza concoction you can imagine is staring down at you from the north wall. This menu is large and in charge. Want the Works? You got it. You a BBQ guy? Done. Or perhaps you’re all about the Melvin (canadian bacon, pineapple, blue cheese, spinach, jalapeno)? Wow. I kept it simple today – a slice of pepperoni, straight up. Add a fountain drink, and I was set. Total damage: $6.17.

Toppings: hot peppers, Parmesan, Tabasco, etc.

South wall, art by roscoepoet.

Once my order was in, I found myself a seat and filled up on Coke. Taking a look around, there’s a couple televisions mounted on the east and west walls, and some interesting artwork/photos hanging on the south brick wall. The art appears to be by roscoepoet, an interesting little blog following curious sights around Lawrence. As you can tell, the interior is easy going, the way a pizza shop should be!

Only a few minutes had passed when I heard, “[MRS. MASS]!” alerting me that my pizza was ready. The pick-up counter is near the back exit, and upon arrival I was promptly asked, “Cut into slices?” You see, since the pizza is, in fact, as big as your head, it’s really quite easier to eat if it’s sliced into “normal” sized pieces. As you might be able to guess, I took him up on the slices. Coming back to my seat, I prepared to doctor up this hot piece of heaven. After the addition of some extra hot peppers and Parmesan, I was ready to chow down.

The thing about Papa Keno’s is… the sauce to cheese to dough ratio is really quite perfect. This isn’t your Chicago style deep dish, or your New York style tapered crust; Papa Keno’s keeps it simple with crust that completes the package (instead of being the package). I had no trouble finishing every last bite. I disposed of my tray and cup, and headed out.

We’ve stopped into Papa Keno’s on many occasions, and have also ordered delivery. It’s no-fail pizza! But if pizza isn’t your thing (say whaaat), they also have salads and sandwiches on the board. No matter what, you’re in good hands.

And a menu as big as... well, really big.

Find Papa Keno’s at: 1035 Massachusetts St, Lawrence KS 66044. [785.841.7272]

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