My, my, all this pizza pie
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The modern pizza industry may have been born on the East Coast, but it was in the Midwest where it really spread to the masses. St. Louis staked its claim on a part of the pizza world with super-thin-crust pizzas made from a yeast-less dough and cut into squares instead of wedges. Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of these pizzas, however, is the cheese. Provel, a factory cheese made from provolone, Swiss and white cheddar, was developed by Costa Grocery in the 1950s specifically for the St. Louis pizza market.
As Italian immigrants spread throughout the country, their pizza traditions went with them, creating dozens of regional specialties, each with its identifying characteristics. Pizza delivery giants Pizza Hut and Domino’s fall into this category, as do many Tulsa restaurateurs who just want to make and share great pizza.
For locations, visit www.hideawaypizza.com.
When Hideaway Pizza opened across from the Oklahoma State University campus in 1957, nobody knew it would become an incredibly popular restaurant chain with 13 locations going strong. Diners love the wacky names — Pizza of the Gods has always been one of the favorites (olive oil and garlic glaze-topped crust with mozzarella, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and mushrooms). But my personal preference is the Hideaway Special — piled high with a different topping on each slice, half veggie, half meat. And don’t forget an order of the famous fried mushrooms.
112 S. Elgin Ave., 918-794-6563,
Thanks to a bit of national TV recognition, Joe Momma’s, home of the Incinerator Pizza Challenge, is now on the radar of pizza lovers around the country. In addition to dozens of delicious and cleverly named pizzas — the Natalie Portman, loaded with veggies, is a popular choice — the restaurant hosts a book club on Saturdays for children in the area.
10032 S. Sheridan Road, 918-291-0101,
Twins Brett and Bart Hall spent years throwing dough at Hideaway before opening their own pizza parlor in 2005. Brothers Pizza features a wide variety of toppings for made-to-order hand-tossed or thin-crust pizzas, as well as a menu full of specialty selections, calzones, appetizers and a few salads and sandwiches.
Gaetano’s Pizzeria and Creamery
12141 S. Elm St., Jenks; 918-298-1122;
Gaetano Antonio Guadagnino, “Mr. G” to his friends, was the “Pop Pop” to the owner of Gaetano’s Pizzeria and Creamery, Doug Mitcho. The south Jenks pizza parlor is a tribute to him, and the food is inspired by his hometown of Pittsburgh. Appetizers include toasted ravioli and garlic knots, and there is a selection of pastas, calzones and toasted subs. Pizza is hand-tossed and offered with an assortment of toppings, as well as mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Save room for dessert, for Gaetano’s features gourmet ice cream shipped in from The Chocolate Shoppe in Madison, Wis.
6027 S. Sheridan Road, 918-491-6436
I’m never sure how to categorize La Roma. This pizza parlor also serves a delicious array of Lebanese food. The pizza has a nice thin crust (maybe inspired by a New York style, but no one is quite sure), and I’ve been told that the feta cheese pizza is one of the most popular options. If you go for pizza, however, you absolutely must try the cabbage rolls, tabouli and hummus.
For locations, visit www.mazzios.com
Mazzio’s founder Ken Selby opened his first restaurant, The Pizza Parlor, on Nov. 11, 1961, across from The University of Tulsa. He opened a second location four years later and changed the name of both to Ken’s Pizza, and it grew quickly across the region. In 1979, Selby started a second restaurant concept that became Mazzio’s Pizza. It has grown to 165 locations in nine states, all featuring Selby’s signature crust and sauce. Last year, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the company brought back the original Ken’s pizza to Mazzio’s locations.