Joey’s Pizzeria: a solid favorite in shiny new digs
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It is rare to walk into a restaurant and feel like the place represents everything you love about the town around it. But for me, Joey’s Pizzeria is the embodiment of Oklahoma City and the development occurring all over town right now.
This isn’t some flashy, fly-by-night place that just popped up to be trendy. Irena (“Joey”) and her crew had been comfortably slinging pies and pasta near 18th and Classen for a few years and their relocation to Film Row on Sheridan Avenue gives the restaurant a much-needed overhaul and expansion, not to mention cool new digs (see a pic).
Joey’s strikes a great balance with a quality menu, historic charm, great drink selection, friendly staff (Joey is frequently walking around) and trendy touches. It brings new life to a rehabbed old building in an up-and-coming district downtown. Put it all together and you’ve got a new must-try spot for lunch or dinner.
The vegetarian lasagna ($12.99 for dinner – see a pic) is one of my new favorite meals in town. Heavy on Joey’s red sauce and packed with fresh veggies, this lasagna fills me up without packing in a ton of cheese to go straight to my thighs. This particular lasagna actually feels somewhat healthy (at least that is what I tell myself). I also really appreciate that all of their pastas are available in lunch portions, which are still decently-sized and cheaper than their larger dinner counterparts.
I have tried the baked spaghetti and meatballs ($11.99 for dinner) and the chicken parmesan ($12.99 for dinner). It isn’t that those dishes aren’t good, it’s just that I have officially sworn off eating anything there except the veggie lasagna, so I am no longer an impartial judge. The toasted ravioli appetizer ($6.99 – see a pic) is also a must-try. These ravioli are crispy on the outside with smooth and creamy cheese on the inside. They’re served with a side of red sauce (pretty much anything dipped in Joey’s red sauce is good with me).
Each meal comes with a soup or salad. The salad is kind of boring to me, so I always go with the variety of soups they have on a rotating basis. I have had the Italian bean and the chicken noodle, both of which are delicious. They also have a rotating pasta lunch special with garlic bread for $7.99 and a sandwich special for $6.99 that they post (i.e. tempt me with) every day on Twitter and Facebook.
I would be remiss to not talk about the pizza. Joey’s is, afterall, a pizza place at heart and the selection is robust. From the Herbivorus Maximus to the Colossal Meat (both $10.99 for a 10’ small) to the Surfer Dude ($9.99 for the small) and much more, Joey’s has a pizza for everyone. They also encourage half-and-halfs for sharing, which is a great way to have more than one option at the table.
The star of the pizza show in my opinion is the Bianca Neve ($10.99 for a small – see a pic) with chopped baby spinach, fresh garlic, smoked bacon, feta cheese and mozzarella cheese on Joey’s signature alfredo sauce. I heard a rumor that this pizza is a favorite of Joey herself, and used to be available by code word only at the previous location. A friend of mine always gets the personal calzone ($8.99 – see a pic) and swears it is the best in town. All I know is it is huge and comes with that aforementioned red sauce for dipping (win!).
When I first started visiting Joey’s at lunch the place was pretty dead. The crowds have picked up though and the last time I went, I had to wait for a table. I will note that I did have one experience where our group’s food took way too long for lunch, but the waitress comped our meal and the chef came out to apologize. I only mention it to praise Joey’s for appreciating its customers and understanding that every experience matters. I understand that all restaurants will have bad days so it is the way they handle those situations that matters most to me.
So, for all the positive experiences Joey’s has given me, and of course for the fantastic food, I can confidently say that Joey’s will continue to be a favorite of mine for a long time. I can’t wait to see what other exciting places move into the area.
Have you been to Joey’s Pizzeria in either their old location or their new one? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Get more information and see more photos courtesy of Nicole McDaniel Photography on EatAroundOKC’s restaurant listing for Joey’s Pizzeria.
More Photos from Joey’s Pizzeria
Photos by Nicole McDaniel Photography