I now travel a lot for work, and I have always been really comfortable eating alone. However, on this particular pizza journey, I had an unexpected co-pilot. I was working with a fabulous television station in Tulsa for the week, and when we were wrapping up the day, we were at that awkward part of the evening, where the television folks have to figure out what to do with me. I explained that I instead of being dropped at my hotel, if I could be dropped at Hideaway Pizza, that would be perfect, and I would take a cab back to the hotel. Gay, an account executive for the television station, offered not only to drop me off, but to have dinner with me as well. After an awkward round of, “only if you want to”s and “I don’t want you to eat alone”s… It was decided that Gay would accompany me.
Gay is much older than me, and I wasn’t sure that we were going to have a lot to talk about… In fact, I worried it would be excruciating. As I was hopping out of Gay’s car, I spotted a book on tape in the side pocket of her car… It was, “The Secret”. The same book had been given to me during a time when my best friend was dying of cancer. When we were inside and seated, I asked Gay about the book in her car. We spent the rest of the evening with tons to talk about, and I am so thankful to walk away with Gay as a friend now.
If you haven’t read “The Secret”, do so. It’s a wonderful book all about the power of positive thinking, and Gay told me all about how it changed her life. I remembered reading the book and the positive effects it had on me as well, and I was able to walk away with not only another pizza down, but a renewed outlook on life.
Now on the to pizza!
There are multiple Hideaway Pizzas in Oklahoma, and I was fortunate enough that there was one in Tulsa, where I was spending the week. Hideaway Pizza reminded me a lot of Beau Jo’s in Colorado. We were there early (before 6pm), so there wasn’t a lot happening. Older couples and younger families were scattered at tables around us.
I’ll let the cover of the menu speak for itself:
If you’re a Spongebob Squarepants fan, I think this guy would fit into the intro to the show very well.
The menu was packed with subs and pizzas, salads and cheesesticks, all the makings for the perfect pizza place… and I spotted it. My pizza. The one I was here for…
As usual, let’s see what Zagat had to say about it:
“Oklahomans have been swearing by these Hawaiian-themed joints since the 1950s, and no pie is more emblematic of the Kahuna (the pizzeria’s mascot) than the Paradise Pie, topped with alfredo sauce, mozzarella and smoked provolone cheese, garlic chicken, smoked bacon, fresh sliced mushrooms, fresh spinach and diced Roma tomatoes.”
Now, let me be the first to tell you that Oklahomans repeatedly told me that I was going to the wrong place if I wanted the best pizza in Oklahoma. In fact, they all told me that the best pizza was at Joe Mamma’s, so don’t take Zagat’s word on this one… Here’s Zagat’s photo of what they claim to be the best ZA in OK.
And here’s mine:
Let me start by telling you that I am biased against the sauce… Alfredo does not belong on a pizza. It belongs in pasta. This pizza was a 3.5 on a scale of 10. The cheese was store-bought and stringy. The chicken tasted like it was heated from a frozen bag, and the crust bubbled in all of the wrong places. My best guess is that it came from a gas oven and was thrown together. The bite was gummy, telling me that the dough was not made in-house, was too new, or was too old. I ate the pizza. Don’t get me wrong, I ate all but two slices of it (Gay had one and took the other home). The bacon was clumped and not evenly distributed (the same may be said of all of the other toppings as well). As I already mentioned, I’m not a huge fan of an Alfredo fan to begin with, on a pizza that is. This took the cake of bad Alfredo sauces. Everything about this pizza tasted like it came from a jar or a frozen bag.
In short, the only thing I enjoyed about this pizza was the company of my new friend, Gay. If you’re visiting Oklahoma, take the advice of the locals, and seek out Joe Mamma’s, because Hideaway Pizza needs to stay hidden.