Pizza panache 

In the recent past, my wife and I were callously poisoned by a local distribution center for a nationwide pizza chain. Surely, this was our comeuppance. We chose convenience over quality and paid a heavy, weekend-ruining toll.

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.

Specialty pies
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive
aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or
service when appropriate.

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