BETHANY, Okla. – The long lunch rush at Papa Angelo’s in Bethany stretches out like a long piece of stringy mozzarella.
“My son works with me,” said owner Joe DiGiantomasso. “This is my nephew.”
DiGiantomasso grew up in New York and has been making New York-style pies here for a quarter-century.
“I could do this cheaper, but I’m not going to,” he said. “I could buy cheaper cheese, but I’m not doing it.”
One of DiGiantomasso’s customers on this day is a combo food blogger and public relations man named Rob Crissinger, who brought along another pizza fan to sample what he thinks is the best New York-style pepperoni around here.
“It’s the world’s perfect food,” he said.
Crissinger comes from a pizza-making family, and it’s still a staple.
“Pepperoni is my happy place,” he said. “That’s what makes the nostalgia for me, for the pizza anyway.”
Earlier this year, he got to talking with a local food blogger about the subject.
‘I Ate Oklahoma’ took him up on the idea of reviewing 100 different pepperoni pizzas at 100 different Oklahoma restaurants within a year.
“So, that’s what I’m doing,” he said. “I’m loving it.”
So, we eat two slices each at Papa Angelo’s, then head to Bricktown where Gannon Mendez and family have their Saucee Sicilian food truck parked for the afternoon.
“We get our tomatoes from Italy,” he said.
Mendez grew up making Neapolitan-style pizza in a wood-fired oven.
Again, we’re eating and discussing methods.
Gannon said “We have a regular pepperoni. Then, we have a spicy pepperoni where my family and I mix some extra ingredients and let it all sit for a few days.”
But, we weren’t finished yet.
Supper time took us to Edmond to a place called ‘The Heat’.
Proprietors there specialize in Chicago style deep dish pizza.
We order pepperoni, of course, but Rob said that’s only the beginning.
“Pizza is very simple at its heart. But, there are endless possibilities of how it can be put together.”
Rob continues his quest without us going deeper than any deep dish and wider than Angelo’s Empire 20-inch.
He said, “Really, I’m just at the starting phase.”
You can find Crissinger’s pepperoni reviews at his site under Robbie C’s Pepperoni Situation.
You can also find the I Ate Oklahoma brand on Twitter and Facebook.
‘Is This a Great State or What?’ is sponsored by WEOKIE.