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Field of kitchens

Sports-inspired food is the perfect way to get full and support your favorite team.

Greg Elwell November 28th, 2012

It’s game day and you are hungry.

You’re hungry for a win, sure, but you’re even hungrier for some food.

Luckily, Oklahomans have plenty of passion for their teams and restaurant owners are no exception. That’s why you can sate your ravenous hunger and support your college team of choice at places like Hideaway Pizza (several metro locations).

Founded in 1957, Hideaway quickly became a Stillwater staple, beloved by the Cowboys. The pizza joint began creeping out across the state, converting fans of every team to their blend of top-quality ingredients and friendly service.

Most of the college-themed pies on Hideaway’s metro menu are shout-outs to Norman, including The Sooner Schooner ($11.95-$20.65). If I’m eating an OU pizza, it’s going to be The Boz ($11.95-$20.65), with pepperoni, bacon, sausage, jalapeños and bell peppers, all under a blanket of melted mozzarella and cheddar.

Why immortalize OU and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth with a pizza? It could be that this pie, like the action star it’s named for, is good when it’s hot and just as tasty when it’s “Stone Cold” out of the fridge.

For OSU fans, there’s the Big Country ($11.95-$20.65), named for former basketballer Bryant Reeves. It’s a lot of meat: pepperoni, Canadian bacon, Polish sausage and hamburger. Oh, and cheddar on top. Might be a good idea to bring your cardiologist along.

The rarest bird of all is the Tulsa Hurricane ($11.95-$20.65). That’s right! TU has a pizza and it’s even good! Canadian bacon, bacon, pineapple, jalapeños and green bell peppers — kind of like a Hawaiian pizza, but more northeast of Oklahoma City.

Hideaway Pizza marketing director Janie Harris said that while the business started in Cowboy country, it’s been embraced by college and pizza fans across the state.

“The college-related pizzas are some of our biggest sellers,” she said. “The Boz, Big Country and Schooner are all meat-lover pizzas that go great with tailgating, for those sick of grilling brats.”

That said, the rivalry is real. Despite toppings that would please anyone, Harris said some customers refuse to cross the line and buy a pizza that “supports” their intrastate rivals.

Sooner eats
Flavor trumps name every time, said Nancy Smith, manager at The Mont, 1300 Classen Blvd. in Norman, and it’s the taste of the Sooner Swirl ($5.51) that sells.

“I wish I could tell you how many we sold on game day, but it’s a lot,” she said. A mix of frozen margarita and frozen sangria, it’s the perfect cocktail for college students and alums.

“The ingredients are secret, but I will tell you one key: It’s made in-house,” she said. Not-so-secret is that the icy Sooner Swirl pairs well with a hot bowl of chili con queso ($6.99).

For another spicy kick, try the Cowboy Beans ($2.09) at Bedlam Bar- B-Q, 610 N.E. 50th, which manager Brian Miller said is one his personal favorites.

“It’s a little spicy. Some think they’re hot, but not me,” he said. “A helping of those, some of our homemade mac and cheese and a serving of the green-broccoli-cheese-rice casserole, and you’ve got a meal.”

Looking for a more one-sided barbecue joint? Sooner fans can always find solace at one of the metro locations of Billy Sims BBQ.

If barbecue sounds too heavy, maybe you need to get into the college spirit at Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western.

Here you’ll find the Cowboy Roll ($9.90), with a delicious combo of eel and cucumber inside, complete with slices of salmon, spicy mayo and sweet eel sauce on top. I have no idea how this relates to OSU, except that I like both the school and the roll.

Or there’s the Sooner Roll ($11.20), which is no slouch. With tempura shrimp, cucumber and roe wrapped in rice, it’s topped with tuna, yellowtail, spicy mayo and slices of lemon. No matter who you root for, that’s a combo too tasty to turn down.

Thunder treats
And Thunder fans can find Thunder

rolls or burgers at almost any place in OKC. We like our team and it shows. In fact, we like it so much, in about a year, we’ll have a Kevin Durant-owned restaurant in Bricktown. There’s a fairly good chance it will feature a few Thunder-themed dishes, as well.

Honestly, it doesn’t matter if you’re Sooner-born or a Cowboy at heart or you’ve got Broncho blood in your veins. These college-themed dishes might help the faithful get into the game-day spirit, and they taste just as good, regardless of your alma mater.

Food patriot
It appears New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker will be the next Oklahoman to throw his helmet into the restaurant business. He will lend his name to a restaurant and bar slated to open on W. Memorial, near Twin Peaks and Mahogany. The eatery will be operated by the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, which is also opening Kevin Durant’s restaurant. —Gazette staff

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