1446 Sainte-Catherine O.
Bus: STM 15, 24, 57, 66, 150, 165, 166, 420, 427, 435
Visit: August 18, 2011
If you were at Osheaga recently, you probably saw a stand with a huge crowd around it. Well, that crowd were all patiently waiting for something called Kono Pizza. Now, I’m not an Osheaga person myself, so I only got word of the buzz days later through Twitter and the community of food writers I follow.
My curiosity was peaked from all that chatter. Even one of my walks on Sainte-Catherine street recently allowed me to get the above picture. As I was standing there looking at the new, soon-to-be opened business, I watched as people were busy, coming in and out, doing their best to get the place ready for business. Now, you can’t deny that this isn’t one of the best places to open up shop. You have a major Concordia building right across the street. You have a Metro station within mere walking distance. There is no reason why something like this can’t take off.
Now, we must clear one misconception because we are in Montreal. As you can see from the photo above, Montreal is the city of cones. So, before you take your cone trauma into this place, you must realize that there are positive cones out there. Now, for me, I managed to take this picture on my way to Kono, while sitting on the Champlain Bridge, not moving, risking my life to bring everyone much-valued opinions. Cones, or Konos, can be good.
Now, I must tell you all upfront that this was not a normal restaurant visit. A number of Montreal food blog writers and members of the press were invited to come sample a number of Kono selections. I was a little hesitant at first because it’s not something that I’ve done before. I would’ve probably preferred to have come in as a regular customer, paying good money to try something. But, getting this opportunity to be included in a food blogger’s community, getting a chance to meet people more influential than myself, is one that I could never miss. So, for the amount of food I put down, not a dime was spent. Regardless of that, I feel that I should still as honest as humanly possible.
I would like to remind everyone that I am not a pizza expert in the least. Other than take-out pizza, I’ve only had two other pizzas in Montreal during the last 6 months. However, I do eat a lot and I hope that I can at least convey that. When Kono has a burger pizza, I’ll be there, don’t you worry about that.
Gearing-Up for Kono
On this evening, we were to be presented with 4 different varieties of Kono and a dessert Kono. The cone itself is made from pizza dough directly from the home offices in Italy. They are flash frozen and shipped to various locations around the world. The fillings are made in house. Now, this is the first Kono location in all of Canada, though there have been similar places in the past serving this similar item.
For the occasion, the cones were made smaller, due to the fact that some of us would be ingesting a tremendous amount of food. Apparently, I was not the only person there who did not eat during the day, in preparation for Kono. However, during the tasting process, the smaller cones ran out and the normal sized ones came out to make the save.
One must be very careful when eating Kono. If you eat this like a pizza, folding or bending it, you probably will end up a mess. The way I approached it, like my compatriots, was to eat it like an ice cream cone. My first bites were pretty tentative, as I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ll mention more about the cone a little later on.
This pizza cone contains Italian sausage, cheese, tomato sauce, and bacon.
This was my first Kono ever. Since it had the privilege of being first, it was only fitting that it contained bacon. The consistency of the filling was much like that of a pizza pocket. The only difference is that the cone didn’t make it so soggy or messy. The ingredients all tasted really nice, though I could’ve done without the sausage, since I can’t really stand it. Despite that, the sausage in this cone didn’t bother me so much. The four ingredients together meshed really well. Of all the regular cones I tried over the course of the evening, this was my favorite.
This pizza cone contains Boccocini cheese, cherry tomatoes, and pesto sauce.
Coming off a pretty good start, we were presented with a Pesto Kono. The big appeal for me in this cone was the full inclusion of cherry tomatoes as a whole, without any cutting of any kind. That was pretty interesting to me. The taste really didn’t do it for me since there wasn’t any meat in this one. My one issue with this particular cone was the fact that it was leaking. I had to triple up on napkins to make sure the oil wasn’t all over the place. This cone was fine, but probably a better option for vegetarians, that which I am not.
This pizza cone contains prosciutto, provolone, arugula, and honey mustard sauce.
This cone was probably a victim of the smaller cone. Since this was made, for the first time, with a smaller cone, I was unlucky to get a strange effect. I took one bite of the filling. Normally, things are supposed to come apart quickly, but this didn’t. I would’ve been a little more aggressive with it, but I was in a social eating situation and didn’t want to make a scene. So, what ended up happening was that the entire filling, minus one piece of arugula, made it in my mouth. My mouth was full as I was trying to figure out how I was going to down everything. Luckily, some of my other peers had better luck with their deli cones. As for the taste, it was fine, but there was just too much. The honey mustard sauce, however, was the real highlight of this cone.
My encounter with the deli cone gave me the chance to take this picture of its emptiness. This will give me the opportunity to give my take on the cone itself. When you think of cone, you think ice cream. Since this was made with pizza dough, it’s nowhere near ice cream. The top portion of the cone is somewhat softer, which eases each bite. The bottom was quite solid, ensuring everything kept together.
This pizza cone contains roasted chicken, cheese, and tomato sauce, finished truffle oil or sundried tomato pesto.
This was the only normal cone I didn’t get to try, which wasn’t a big deal since I’m not a big chicken parmesan person. However, it should be noted that this was a special of the week that no normal customer knows about yet. This will be available the week of August 22, 2011. Having special toppings will keep things fresh for people, like me, who get bored of the same menu over and over again.
This dessert pizza cone contains Nutella and strawberries.
Now, seeing as there was something special in store for yours truly, I decided to forgo this particular dessert cone. There were two versions of this one floating around. One version had the strawberries out of sight, while the other had them in plain view on top of the cone. I’m going to save my views on Nutella for a little later on. I would also like to thank the unfortunate employee who brought them up, only to get victimized by the onslaught of food photographers.
This dessert pizza cone contains Nutella and bacon.
You read that correctly, bacon. I’ve been in contact with one of the owners on Twitter, and I’ve made my affinity for bacon very clear. If I was unsure about going to this event, the promise of bacon and chocolate in a cone cemented my yearning to cross the most dangerous bridge on the planet to get my fill.
This cone was filled to the top with Nutella. I, unlike the owner of the location, do not have an affinity for Nutella. I could go without it and not even care. As a matter of fact, before 2011, it was a very long time since I’ve ingested any Nutella whatsoever. But, since bacon was to be involved, I had to partake. In this case, the Nutella was too powerful for the saltiness of the bacon. I had a hard time getting the sense that bacon was there, even though I could see it. It’s still a cone that I enjoyed very much, but the stickiness of the Nutella, in a way, drowned this idea.
Bacon Nutella 2: The Revenge
Yes, you’re reading it right, a second bacon Nutella was made. Initially, the bacon Nutella was only supposed to be guinea pigged on me, but others expressed interest and a second batch was made. I made sure to allow everyone the chance to try the concoction, and one remained. Personally, I don’t like to waste food and I could not ever pass up a shot at bacon.
This cone was different from the first. There was a whole lot more bacon included. Even though the Nutella was still overpowering, you could really taste the bacon. It may sound like a dumb idea to put these two things together, but I don’t regret having it whatsoever. I should really thank the people at Kono Pizza for taking their time, ingredients, and money to make this just for my bacon loving palette. Just for that, I will always have a special place in my heart for my visit here, along with the bacon brownie I had last year, of course.
I’d just like to take this moment to thank Le Méchant Mangeur for organizing this event and getting us all together. Also, in that same vain, this little text couldn’t of been written without the cooperation of Kono Pizza owner David Elfassy, who sent me the vital information needed to bring you the most complete list of ingredients possible.
Finally, I’d like to give shout-outs to the people I’ve met for the first time a this event: The Sassy Foodophile, Shut Up and Eat, Kristel’s Kitchen, Zina Prince, and FoodGuyMTL. Another special shout-out to Foodie Date Night, since this is the second time I’ve been in their very knowledgeable presence. Lastly, to Aalia Adam, Global reporter, who tweeted my bacon Nutella experience while mentioning Epic Meal Time at the same time.
I’d like to apologize if this post has gotten off-track of the GBS mission and general food blogging ethics, but I promise to return to your regularly scheduled programming really soon.