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Have a Pizza This

Tucked into the back of the spacious Osage Casino, Roni Peppo’s offers an intoxicating jumble of crust, sauce and cheese that is nothing short of sublime.

Article
Donna Leahey
Photos
Marc Rains
Posted
December 28, 2018

When you set out to explore Osage Casino, you can sure work up an appetite. Surrounded by bells and whistles and lights, not to mention an array of great dining options, it’s hard to make a choice. If you want to get your piece of pie, look for Roni Peppo’s Pizza Kitchen, a delightful way to make sure you don’t just get a piece of that good pie; you get the whole hot, bubbly, cheesy thing.

Tucked into the back of the spacious Osage Casino floor right next to the Thunder Bar & Grill, Roni Peppo’s sets the pizzeria atmosphere with industrial style barn lights illuminating a deep red awning. A congenial sign sporting a traditional full, black, handlebar mustache lets you know you’re headed for some extra tasty pie. Inside the cozy circular space, the decor feels like an old-world pizza parlor fused with the casual atmosphere of a modern, quick
service counter.

Roni Peppo’s is all about delicious pizza and more. You choose the toppings, from traditional to exotic, and your pizza is made right in front of you.

“They build their own pizza and watch it being made,” says chef Drew Flatt. “It’s quick-serve and custom made.” Your pizza begins its journey through the oven, and you get a pager so if you want to head back out to the gaming floor, you don’t have to worry that you’ll miss your fresh pie while
it’s still hot. “Most of the time, it’s six to eight minutes,” says Flatt. “If we’re very busy, it may take a little longer.”

The ingredients on display are fresh and tasty. Brian Bodenstab, who is the food and beverage manager for Osage Casino and Hotel, says, “Everything is fresh. The sauce and the dough is made just for us. It’s a nice, thin crust.”

You start by picking up an order slip. Your custom pie will cost a mere $9, and comes with your choice of crust, sauce, meats, veggies, and cheeses. You can choose a regular crust or gluten-free crust.

The traditional marinara is loaded with great tomato taste and seasoned to perfection. Or you can choose creamy Alfredo for a rich and creamy base. Can’t choose? Try the pink marina for a little creaminess with your tomato. For something different, you can put your check mark by barbecue or ranch dressing for your sauce. Or go with a nice, flavorful pesto.

You can choose up to three meats for your pizza. Options include traditional favorites like pepperoni, Italian sausage, and Canadian bacon. There’s a feisty, spicy pepperoni if you want a little extra sizzle on your pie. Beef, bacon, and spicy capicola are also on the menu. Or you can get your pizza topped with grilled chicken breast, if that’s your thing.

Pick up to three veggies to complement your pie. All your favorites are on the list, like mushrooms, black olives, and onions. You can add some unexpected flavors with options like artichokes, banana peppers, or giardiniera relish. Add some green with spinach, basil, and scallions. You can spice it up with jalapenos if you want a little extra flair. And in the ongoing “Is pineapple a pizza topping” debate, Roni Peppo’s comes down on the “yes” side. You can get pineapple on your pizza.

Finish off your custom creation with your choice of cheeses. You can top it off with mozzarella, Parmesan, creamy fresh mozzarella, colby jack, or tangy feta.

If you want one of Roni Peppo’s specialty pizzas, turn the ticket over and tick off an option like the Margherita or an On the Ranch pizza. Flatt loves the
Hawaiian pizza. “I love the combination of sweet and salty,” he says. For Bodenstab, it’s the Margherita. “I like those flavors of tomato, basil, and olive oil.”

Once you’ve picked out your toppings, you take your ticket to the counter and hand it in. While you’re there, check out the dessert options on display. “We’ve got
muffins and handmade cookies,” says Bodenstab. “Large, good-sized cookies.” Those cookies are big, but take your time looking over the selections. There are cakes, pies, and cheesecakes available in a dizzying variety. Dessert is an important decision. You want to make sure you make the best choice.

Next, you get to watch your pizza as it’s built right in front of you: the dough stretched out atop the rack, your sauce, cheese, and toppings as the staff takes fresh ingredients and makes them into your custom pie. The pizza oven is right there, and your pizza rides the belt to make the transformation from ingredients to hot and bubbly pizza.

You have a choice of bottled beverages, ranging from Pepsi and Mountain Dew, to Starbucks, to energy drinks. There’s even orange juice, so complement your meal with whatever you like best.

Pick up your pizza when it’s ready and dig in. It’s a generous portion for one, but plenty big enough to share with a friend, especially if you’ve got one of those big cookies waiting for dessert. The freshness shows in every bite. The crust is brown and crisp and so tasty, you aren’t likely to leave any pizza bones behind.

If pizza’s not your jam, Roni Peppo’s has calzones, sandwiches and salads on order as well. The sandwiches are served hot, after a trip through the pizza oven. You’ve got sandwich options like a French dip or a Greek chicken. “The reuben is excellent,” says Flatt. The cranberry chicken and almond is a popular choice, with tangy cranberries and fresh made chicken salad.

LOCATOR
Roni Peppo's
Osage Casino | Tulsa
951 W. 36th St. N.
877-246-8777
osagecasino.com
Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-3 a.m.

May 2019 Cover