Good night, sweet pizza prince.
Good night, sweet pizza prince.

Kings County, Miami's Best New York-Style Pizza Spot, Has Closed

North Miami Beach's Kings County Pizza & Heroes has closed. And now its website redirects to one where, for a small fee, you can see CassandraCalogeraXXX and Lindsey_Luxury diddle themselves in real time. Calls to the restaurant Tuesday morning were immediately disconnected, and the seemingly hacked site is now filled with amateur porn.

The diminutive Dixie Highway pizzeria was a respite for homesick Tri-Staters. It was almost the only spot where you could find a proper grease-slicked utility slice. Most weekdays, $5 would get you two and soda. The perfect lunch.

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Kings County opened in early 2011. The owner and head pizza-maker had formerly worked at Umberto's, a legendary Long Island Italian place that in recent years expanded to Fort Lauderdale. In the years that followed, the place earned a cult following but never enjoyed the sort of the glitz that other pizza places like Miami Beach's Lucali or Visa-O1 enjoy.

That's because Kings wasn't looking for it. It was hardly welcoming. The staff wasn't always friendly. And besides a few small tables inside and a pair on the sidewalk, it wasn't a place to sit. Kings County was a place to grab a couple of slices by yourself in the middle of the day. It was a place to pick up a pie on the way home from work. It was a fast, almost-intimidating operation. As you stepped through the door, someone behind the chest-high counter would bark, "Whaddya want?" Pity the poor soul who didn't have an immediate answer, shrinking under irate glares. 

Besides excelling at the traditional pies and the addictively spongey Sicilian version, Kings also shined at sandwiches such as meatball parm wrapped in a crunchy sub roll, and every manner of Italian-American classic. There was lasagna, baked ziti, and a seemingly endless rainbow of stomach-distending delights. 

Miami needs another Kings County. Sure, there are utility-slice spots across town with borderline-rude employees, but their pizza is the overly doughy kind that almost tastes good when you're drunk. It doesn't even approach the crunchy, cheesy manna Kings County sold. Maybe Paulie Gee's, slated to open sometime this year in MiMo, will fill void. If not, someone else should, and fast.

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