Portsmouth: Ken’s West End Pizza

Ken's West End Pizza Portsmouth NH sausage pizzaThe skinny: It’s obvious that there are a lot of pizza fans on the Seacoast, and we’re always happy to get recommendations from residents that way on where we should go on our next visit. We took up the suggestion of a few fans during our recent trip to Ken’s West End Pizza in Portsmouth.

Pizzas at Ken’s come in a 12-inch small ($7.99) and 18-inch large ($13.99). Toppings are $1 on a small, $2 on a large and include standards such as bacon, spinach and mushrooms.

The menu at Ken’s lists 17 classic and specialty pies to choose from. A few of them include the All Meat ($9.99/$18.99), which is covered in meatball, pepperoni, sweet Italian sausage, bacon, ham and hamburger; the Southwestern ($9.99/$18.99), with a choice of chicken or beef, and peppers, onions, Jack cheese and southwestern salsa; and the Port City ($9.99/$18.99), with prosciutto, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, black olives, basil and garlic.

Thanks to @tarakaiken and @selachance for the recommendation!

Review: On our recent visit, we ordered a large Sweet Fennel Italian Sausage pizza ($16.99).

The pizza was said to be 18 inches, but it truly looked much larger. That may have had to have something to do with how thin the pizza was. This “New York style” pizza had both thin bottom and end crusts. Deidre found the bottom crust was very easy to get through — as was the end crust. She did think, however, that the crust could have benefited from another minute or so in the oven. Andrew’s biggest qualm was that the crust was too thin to hold itself up, requiring use of a fork and knife — two things Andrew feels should never come between him and his pizza.

While Deidre prefers a spicier sausage (go ahead, start inserting jokes here), she’s not opposed to the sweet variety. In fact, this pizza was loaded with sausage — and that was a good thing. You really couldn’t take a bite without getting multiple pieces in each one. Andrew thought the sausage was sweet and delicious.

Deidre’s main disappointment was with the cheese — there was just too much of it, throwing off the cheese-to-sauce ratio. It was actually heavy enough on the cheese that it was kind of a challenge to lift a slice on to your plate. The top of the pizza was greasy, but we’re pretty sure that had more to do with the abundance of sausage.

Because the cheese was heavy, it meant that the sauce was too light. While Deidre found it hard to detect under all that cheese, Andrew noted a bit of sweetness in the light layer of sauce.

Andrew liked the cold pizza, especially the sausage, but found the pizza even more lacking in sauce flavor.

Rating: Deidre: 3.5 / Andrew: 4 = 7.5 /10 slices

Ken’s West End Pizza
801 Islington St., Portsmouth
431-7500, westendpizza.com

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