Jo’s Famous Pizza: from small town to the big city
Jo's Famous Pizza
Usually small towns have to wait to get the attractions that large towns offer but in this case, it’s the other way around. Anyone from the Purcell area knows about Jo’s Famous Pizza, but those of us in Oklahoma City have only recently been able to experience it. They opened a location in Edmond a while back, but it wasn’t until their newest location opened near Hefner and Rockwell in northwest Oklahoma City that I discovered Jo’s. The northwest location is a bit hidden and you can’t see it clearly from the street, but now that you know it’s there, seek it out. I highly recommend that you try it.
The “Jo” of Jo’s Famous Pizza managed the Purcell location until the end of 2011. Now that location is run by Jo’s sister and her nephew, Justin Price, runs the OKC location (Justin’s father runs the Edmond store, which I haven’t ever personally visited). Justin has done a great job in training his employees to be very friendly and most helpful. Our waitress was able to meet all of our requests with a “can do” attitude that made us feel like nothing was a problem. For instance, my husband likes BBQ chicken pizza and I don’t. A lot of places won’t make a half and half pizza of this combination because of the different sauces. No problem here, though. In fact, they will even make thirds and fourths if that’s what you want. Wow! Here’s a place where a family or group of four people can each get exactly what they want on their portion of the pie.
There’s quite a large selection of interesting pizza combinations on Jo’s menu including The Sooner (bacon, chicken, sausage, hamburger, pepperoni, hot links – see a pic), The Cowboy (BBQ sauce, cheddar, hamburger, onions, bacon) and The Thunder (buffalo chicken and bleu cheese). You can also choose your own toppings from any of the twenty-seven salad and pizza toppings on the menu.
Jo’s offers four sizes of pizzas. The cheapest is the 10 inch cheese at $8.99 and then sizes and toppings go up all the way to the 16 inch “Famous Specials” at $27.99. If the prices seem a little high, you must take into consideration the extreme amount of toppings Jo’s applies to each pie. I’ve never seen toppings piled on this thick. Even if you just get a single topping, the pie will be completely covered. I can’t stress enough how filling these pizzas are, so keep that in mind when choosing your size.
On our first visit, my husband and I shared a medium and we were full after two pieces. He had the BBQ chicken, and I had the BLT (see a pic). The BLT comes with thickly-sliced tomatoes. Next time I may order the chopped tomatoes to make it a little easier to eat.
We also ordered the Rollers appetizer ($5 – see a pic) which includes their fresh dough filled with cheese and chopped Canadian bacon. Then they roll it up, brush on garlic sauce and bake it. It was delicious, and we could have made a meal just out of this.
The salads at Jo’s are impressive as well. This is far from your standard iceberg mix. All of Jo’s salads contain the same ingredients (except for the Wedge) so you just choose a size based on how many people want to share it. The salads consist of mixed greens, fresh mozzarella, chopped Canadian bacon, diced tomatoes, black olives and cheese toast. They have a great selection of housemade dressings. I chose Holli’s House, which had an oil and vinegar base, and it was a little on the sweet side. Tim has said that the Pa’s Garlic dressing is excellent.
Homemade quality is the name of the game at Jo’s. They obviously spend a good deal of time on their fresh ingredients. The meats they use are all a cut above. The pizza sauce and garlic sauce are house made and I was glad to see they use Head Country BBQ sauce, which is made in Ponca City.
Their homemade crust might just be the star of the show, though. It’s light and flaky while still substantial enough to hold up to the loads of toppings they are piling on. There are three crust options. We had the medium crust which is standard unless otherwise requested. I think next time we may try the ultra-thin as we are avid thin-crust fans. Tim says he’s sticking with the standard as he thinks it’s just about perfect for the way they construct their pizzas.
At lunch, Jo’s offers a great value in their lunch special, which gets you a six inch pizza (any combination or number of toppings – see pics) or sandwich with a small salad and drink for $9.99. They also offer a kid’s menu option any time of day which includes a cheese ($4) or pepperoni ($5) mini-pizza and a drink. And if you grab a take-out menu on your way out, there are some special coupons inside to help you save in other ways.
Speaking of kids — Tim, who has three young boys, says he considers this one of the most family-friendly restaurants around. According to him, the staff is always extremely accommodating to children. They will even bring the kids little balls of dough to play with while they wait.
Overall, I think Jo’s pizza delivers a great experience. The pricing per pizza is on the higher-end, but once you figure out just how filling these pies are, you’ll discover you can order small and eat here for a reasonable cost. Or, order big and take it home to make two or three meals out of it. I’m so glad to see a “famous” small-town, mom and pop pizza place move into the city. The fact that the Northwest OKC location is so close to my house is a nice bonus for me.
Have you tried Jo’s Famous Pizza? Let us know what you think in the comments below.