There was a time not too terribly long ago in Oklahoma City when there was a chain on every corner and the closest you could get to local was to make a trip to your farmers market and make the food yourself. We always celebrate all things local, and luckily, it’s getting easier for OKC restaurants to incorporate locally grown, all- natural ingredients into what they offer.
— By Devon Green
photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
Football season is finally here! We call it soccer, but that doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in two favorite European traditions: walking and pub crawling. Since the Energy FC games will be alcohol-free, we’ve created a list of pubs and taverns within walking distance from Clement E. Pribil Stadium at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.
— by Devon Green
photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
While the idea of fried dough may or may not be American in origin, the traditional ring-shaped confection that we know and love does originate here. According to The Smithsonian, doughnuts were created by an enterprising New England sailor’s mother who wanted a way to store and transport pastry. Regardless of its origin, the doughnut is a modern favorite.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
12101 N. MacArthur
What works: simple, delicious pizza for very reasonable rates
What needs work: Not all of its non-pizza offerings are so tasty.
Tip: Make sure you call the right shop, as there are two locations.
And we deserved this stern reprimand from the universe because it’s not like you can’t get good pizza in Oklahoma City. In fact, you can get good pizza for cheap, if you’re lucky enough to know about Pizzini’z Pizza.
First of all, Pizzini’z has two locations. The newer one is near N.W. 122nd and N. MacArthur. It is more of a destination for those who like to sit in a restaurant and enjoy its pie. The one at N.W. 50th and Rockwell is a bit older and has a lived-in quality that some might find slightly off-putting. (Personally, I like how it’s intimate and has pinball machines. Because I like to play pinball alone.)
Pizzini’z also has something going for it that I remember from my misbegotten youth as a Little Caesars employee: the two-for-one deal. It’s glorious. It applies to all of its specialty pies, too, so you can enjoy the taco pizza and the Greek pizza if you want to confuse your stomach by crossing the international dateline.
A plain, old cheese and pepperoni pizza (medium for $11.99, large for $12.99, extra large for $13.99) is plain old good. The pepperoni gets a little greasy, the cheese is hot and melted, and the crust has a little body to it. Nothing fancy, but who’s asking for fancy? It’s a pepperoni pizza. I want to eat it, not mount it, frame it, put it in a gallery, stand near it talking pretentiously, discuss it with a critic and sell it to a millionaire with no clue about art or pizza.
Growing up in Oklahoma, I never had occasion to eat anchovies on a pizza, which seemed to be a big joke on TV during that bygone era when radio was king and we were all dancing the Charleston.
Pizzini’z has anchovies. So, you know, you can get that if you want. It tastes like a salty, oily little fish, in case you’re wondering.
The specialty pizzas are some of my favorites, mostly because I think Pizzini’z has come up with some tasty combinations. Recently, I got the barbecue special pizza ($15.99, $17.49, $19.99), and I was pleasantly surprised.
Missing was the overly sweet, cloyingly simple sauce I thought I’d encounter. Instead, the chicken had a mild mesquite flavor, the onions were lightly charred and the pizza was, by and large, quite tasty.
Another favorite is the Mooney’s Alfredo ($16.99, $18.99, $20.99), which uses a base of Alfredo sauce, plus lots of crispy bacon, chopped chicken and tomatoes. This is one creamy, decadent pizza.
The Greek Pizza ($16.99, $18.99, $20.99) adds gyro meat — which is not the first thing I expect on a pizza — to onions and kalamata olives. The cheese is a mix of mozzarella and feta, so you’ve got all the tangy goodness of a gyro with the convenience of a pizza.
Generally, I stick with the pizzas at a pizza place, but I can say that the Philly cheesesteak ($5.99) on its menu is a nice change of pace if you’re looking for a sandwich.
Better are some of the appetizers. I think its garlic cheese bread ($2.99 for six pieces) is great, especially with a nice chunky marinara sauce for dipping: lots of good garlic flavor without any of that raw garlic bite.
So, stop playing with Domino’s and flush the Papa John’s. Instead, treat yourself to something good, local and inexpensive from Pizzini’z Pizza. Your community and your taste buds will thank you for it.
Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.