Unless you live in the American midwest, a Kum & Go is not within reach. In short, it’s an upscale C-store/gas station where smiling employees in pressed white shirts and khakis greet you from their dais. They started opening a number of these in the Springs just recently and they came to my attention primarily because of Kelly’s unbridled love of breakfast-themed foods, including the legendary Breakfast Pizza. (We even made a quick stop last year on our way to LA for E3.) One whole wall in each Kum & Go is a dedicated kitchen where you can have said pizzas and other foods made, including the number you see above: a gorgeous pickle-tinged Bacon Cheeseburger pizza. My heart was simply incomplete until I had one.
2PM is probably the best time to go anywhere in broad daylight. Seriously. It’s post-lunch and pre-rush hour and services like the Kum & Go’s aren’t all clogged up with other, y’know, people. I pulled up and after the friendly guy in the kitchen wondered if I needed help (after confirming said pizza was available), he noted my order and size. I don’t know if they actually have other sizes, but he shot me a glance and made the ‘large size’ gesture.
He said it’d take about ten minutes, so I was happy to peruse the rest of the store’s goodies. I had no idea, but they have a corner of the store dedicated to their various coffees and pastries. There were still a number of donuts left and, me having the large heart that I do, considered purchasing them all, as if I had found a box full of puppies. Then, I remembered how terrible of an idea it would be to have two full boxes of donuts sitting in my kitchen. Since I don’t let food go to waste, I would lord over their consumption to the very end. I would probably want to die. The rest of the store isn’t quite as imaginative. An aisle for “dry” treats like jerky. An aisle for candy: chocolate, sour, and minty. Then there’s the front-facing lane that has all the motor oil and anti-freeze for motorists in trouble. Condoms. Just in case. Did I tell you that you get a free 2-liter Pepsi soda with purchase of a large pizza? You sure do. I picked out a Sierra Mist Natural because, honestly, it looked the least sugar-y. I am no judge in nutrition amongst beverages that are obviously the least nutritious.
Ten minutes passed and the pizza was ready. My Bacon Cheeseburger pizza.
I am not verbally equipped to be a food critic. This pizza is yummy. I would have finished it by now, hours later, but that Sierra Mist Natural has surely defeated my drive. It tastes like a cheeseburger, sans the greasy terrible feeling that usually comes with a pie of this flavor. The crust is softer than I expected and the bacon texture counters with a jab, like Grape Nuts sandwiched in soft white bread. I can’t say I’ve ever done that, but I imagine it’s a subtle version of that. The pickles, the highlight of the whole venture, actually produce a kind of sweetness to the whole thing. You can get cheeseburger/meat-themed pizzas anywhere, but with pickles? The last time I ever had one was at Valentino’s, a pizza buffet we went to often when we lived in Nebraska. Why don’t more chefs take advantage of pickles? I guess it doesn’t freeze all that well. Maybe it doesn’t cook all that well, either. The net effect, and this may be a weird example beyond your brain, is a bit like sprinkling mustard on your pizza, which I do often on Totino’s Party Pizzas straight out of the grocer’s freezer. It’s fantastic, you should try it! (Bonus tip: sprinkle parmesan on top of that!)
Now, I’ve had several of Kum & Go’s Breakfast Pizzas and I can tell you that within a short period, my throat becomes a vessel of vicious acidic magma without the help of half a bottle of Tums. The Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza? No such drama, but I’ll keep you posted.
All in all, it’s difficult to imagine such incredible pizza flavors coming a gas station based out of Iowa of all places, but the Kum & Go Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza has conquered my expectations.