Most people love pizza, but I’ve always been a touch contrarian. I’ve always bristled at the notion that pizza was worth any kind of long-term devotion. Growing up, I would eat a burrito filled with vegetable protein and processed green chili from U-Totem before setting foot in Godfather’s, Conans Pizza or Mr. Gatti’s Pizza.
People told me it’s just because I never had any good pizza. Perhaps. I’ve eaten at Chicago’s Pizzeria Uno. I enjoyed it but didn’t understand why folks were waiting up to two hours to get it. I would eat it again, gladly, but the allegiance I still don’t get. It was like a taco salad filled with rich tomato sauce, cheese and sausage — and that’s not a criticism. I’ve never been to New York, but I’ve had my share of New York-style pizza. When I moved to Oklahoma, the pizza landscape was about as sparse as the places I’d lived before, dominated by chains. That was in 1988. That landscape has changed in two decades, but my apathy toward pizza remains. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. In fact, some of it I like very much. But I’m settling into middle age and fear that my contrarianism could develop into full-fledged crankiness if I’m not careful. It’s time to embrace pizza, so help me out. I’m aware of The Hideaway, Falcone’s, Perri’s, Sophabella’s, Joey’s Pizzeria, Pepperoni Grill, Italiano’s, The Wedge, Sauced, Saturn Grill, Papa Angelo’s in Bethany, Italian Jim’s and Luigiano’s in Yukon, and Jo’s and Rodney’s of Purcell. Point me to the best spots; I’ll check them out and share the results.