FALLING WATERS, W.Va. — I had seen the signs for King’s New York Pizza as I drove W.Va. 9 between Charles Town, W.Va., and Martinsburg, W.Va., and also at the intersection of Interstate 81 and U.S. 11 in Falling Waters, but had never stopped in before.
I was having a busy week and decided to call in an order at the Falling Waters location. I checked out the menu online anticipating a variety of pizzas, but found much more.
First, I discovered that not only is King’s at the two locations I knew about, it also has restaurants in Fountainhead Plaza in Hagerstown as well as West Virginia locations in Hedgesville, Inwood, Shepherdstown, and two in Martinsburg. There is even one in Capon Bridge.
Next, I discovered that the menu goes well beyond pizza. This was truly an Italian restaurant, although there were lots of choices for pizza, both Sicilian and New York style, and specialty pizzas ranging from Buffalo chicken to white pizza with garlic to a Hawaiian pie.
There were antipasti (appetizers) such as jalapeno poppers and chicken wings, but also fried calamari, rice balls and gnocchi romano.
Zuppa and insalate (soup and salad) included Italian staples such as minestrone and pasta fagioli soup and antipasto and mozzarella caprese salads.
Then, there were all of the entrees. They are sorted among classic recipes, house specialties and seafood. Classics included traditional dishes such as lasagna and spaghetti with a variety of sauces and fettuccine alfredo, plain or with broccoli or chicken, or both. There was also eggplant rollatini and King’s Special Pasta — rigatoni with chicken, broccoli and mushrooms in a fresh tomato sauce.
House specialties featured veal or chicken marsala, veal or chicken Parmesan and chicken franchese, a deep-fried chicken breast served with a white-wine lemon sauce.
The seafood offered included all sorts of shrimp dishes served over spaghetti.
And as if those were not enough, there was a whole page of panini — both hot and cold. These were ordinary subs such as steak and cheese or ham and cheese, and those with an Italian flair such as chicken Parmesan or capicolla and cheese.
By now, I was starving. I asked my friend Pap Rickato to order something, too, just so I could sample more from the menu. He wanted the eggplant Parmesan dinner. I ordered chicken spinach ravioli. And then for good measure, I got a Super Italian sub with everything on it.
When I went to pick up the food, I wished I had gone to the restaurant to eat. The Falling Waters shop is in the new shopping center near Food Lion on U.S. 11. It had a long partition down the middle with lots of tables and chairs and bright artwork on the left side. On the right was a counter where my food was waiting.
When I was looking online at the menu, I found coupons that could be used both for dining in or for carry out.
I was amazed when I got home and unpacked the food. Both Pap’s dinner and mine came with bread and salad. The bread was soft, yet dense. It was conveniently presliced. Each small loaf was enough for two people. It was really good.
The salad was very fresh and crisp and was packed with ingredients, including romaine lettuce, red onion, grape tomatoes, cucumber and both black and green olives. My house dressing was a red-wine vinaigrette. There was enough salad in each container to make a meal on its own.
But the entrees were enticing enough that we plunged in. Pap’s eggplant was thinly sliced, lightly breaded and smothered with melted cheese. It was accompanied by a healthy serving of spaghetti in tomato sauce. The eggplant was tender without being overdone.
Pap raved about the spaghetti. He loved the sauce as it was thick and nicely salty. I hate it when you get spaghetti that has not been drained well and the sauce gets watery and thin. This was perfectly done, especially considering it was takeout.
My ravioli was stellar. It was stuffed with finely ground chicken and spinach and topped with mushrooms and red pepper in a creamy pink sauce. It was delicious. There was so much food that we put at least half of it away for another meal.
And we hadn’t even touched our sub. That we ate the next day for lunch. The Super Italian has ham, salami and capiccola with cheese. I had asked for the works on it, so it was complete with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, fried onions, mushrooms and peppers. The bread held up overnight and was neither soggy nor tough. It was great.
I had low expectations for King’s Pizza, and I was pleasantly surprised. It has become a new favorite, especially with all of the convenient locations. I look forward to sampling many other dishes on the menu. I might even get around to trying the pizza.
Anne Chovey is a pseudonym for a Herald-Mail writer who reviews restaurants anonymously to avoid special treatment.