We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton
There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
3921 N. College, Bethany
What works: great crust, fun atmosphere
What needs work: Pasta dishes may require added seasoning.
Tips: It delivers, but if you’re out of its area, call ahead for your takeout or risk a lengthy wait.
Isn’t it funny how some restaurants become “our” restaurants?
There are destination spots, places we go because we’re willing to travel for the food. And there are places that are convenient and close. And if you’re lucky, sometimes you will find both at once.
For the people of Bethany, there is Papa Angelo’s Pizzeria — a little mom-and-pop pizza joint tucked away off N.W. 39th Street.
At lunch, you can buy pizza by the slice, which is popular with the kids at Southern Nazarene University and all the little shops along the street.
At night, the dinner crowd comes in and you can enjoy the back-and-forth banter while the kitchen staff prepares an empire-size pizza for you to devour. I think they were talking about hockey the last time I was in there. Or maybe pollution in the wetlands or problems with the education system.
It’s hard to tell when I’m concentrating on pizza.
It’s kind of reassuring to see that even with all the cheap competitors nearby, so many people have made Papa Angelo’s their pizza place.
Even if it costs a little more, they know they’re getting quality food in a fun, classic atmosphere.
When I go — which is not nearly often enough — I always want to start with the garlic knots ($2.15 for six). The great thing about having an oven that’s always going is that you can bake fresh bread anytime you please.
These doughy rolls come out fresh and crisp and chewy before they’re brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic and cheese. They sit in a little pool of butter, too, soaking up all the flavor. They cannot possibly be healthy, but I could not possibly care less.
There are a few pasta dishes, as well, although I think they lean a bit too heavily on the ricotta cheese. The baked ziti ($7.50) is tasty, as the red sauce and the cheese melt together. The stuffed shells ($7.50) are similar, except they’re filled with ricotta and the marinara is poured over them. If you get them, add a little pepper and maybe some salt.
But the real draw is the pizza. Lots of places do a whole host of specialty pies, but Papa Angelo’s keeps it simple. You can make your own combination of toppings, have one with all the meats, order a supreme blend or you can go with my personal favorite: the white pie.
With garlic, ricotta, mozzarella and fresh tomatoes, the white pie is mild but absolutely one of my favorites. If anything, I might ask for extra garlic next time, but your mileage may vary.
The selection of toppings isn’t anything special — nothing you can’t find elsewhere — but the crust has a great texture. A little tender, a little chewy.
If you love the pizza at Papa Angelo’s, you can put that affection to the test and try its Empire Challenge. It’s Papa Angelo’s biggest pizza with three toppings of your choosing. And you have to eat all 6 pounds of it. Alone. In 45 minutes. So far, it’s had one winner and an entire Wall of Shame full of those who couldn’t take it all down.
A note about sizes. Papa Angelo’s has six of them. The Little Joe ($5.25) is a personal pizza. The small ($7.50) feeds a couple. The medium ($9.50) is probably big enough for a small group. The large ($11.50) is ... large. The New Yorker ($13.50) is larger still. The Empire (15.50) is a 20-inch pie.
Be aware of what you’re ordering; you, like me, could end up with too much pizza.
Ha! As if there’s such a thing as too much pizza.