POSTED ON SEPTEMBER 12, 2007:
The proliferation of restaurants in Tulsa has never been more dizzying! Either the census bureau has it wrong and the city is growing by leaps and bounds, or local eateries are just playing catch-up to the demand--we don't know.
So far, it seems more restaurants open than close and that's a good sign, so far. But if the best places begin attracting all the eaters, look out for the fallout.
With the binge of Mexican restaurants seeming to slow, pizza places appear to be the most popular, like hamburger joints must have been 50 years ago.
In spite of the huge presence of Pizza Hut, Mazzio's, Domino's and Papa John's, the mom and pop locations continue to thrive. Is it any wonder, really? The corporate pie is so dry, the only thing big chains have going for them is their preponderance of locations, delivery and name recognition. If it is flavor you want, try a place like Arri's Pizza.
Don't let the Greek trappings fool you. Both empires were great; close neighbors and both cultures are famous for great food.
Both cultures make a great pizza.
The Greek theme is evident upon entering the restaurant--walls are painted (fresco-like) with typical of Grecian scenes, grape vines abound, and other such touches add a pleasant feel to the place.
Greek pizza often refers to the typical Greek ingredients, such as feta cheese, gyros, spinach and Kalamata olives; also, according to our server, the spices used are different from typical Italian spices and the meats carry a different flavor from their Italian counterparts. And, an interesting note is that all the meats are made at the restaurant--they are not made, frozen, and sent to the restaurant. All of these qualities were very evident as we dined on this very good pizza.
The menu also offers a nice array of appetizers, such as Toasted Ravioli and Bruschetta (remember, the "ch" has a "k" sound), to Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) to Rotel Cheese Dip. All are priced under $10.99, which is the price of the "Mezze," a generous assortment of boneless Buffalo wings, Italian mozzarella sticks, cheese ravioli, onion straws, jalapeno poppers and toasted ravioli.
We ordered the Spanakopita ($5.99); this spinach pie of spinach and feta cheese was enclosed with light and flaky phyllo dough then baked. It was exceptional! We also sampled the Bruschetta ($7.99); EVOO and spices baked into sliced sourdough bread bowl and topped with roasted garlic, Roma tomatoes, chives and feta cheese. It was equally as flavorful with the bread and the varied ingredients.
Sandwiches and baked subs, priced around $5.99 and served with a choice of pasta salad, French fries or small garden salad, are also featured. A few are Cheesy Sub, Athens Sub, Meatball Sub and Philly Steak Sub. Salads and Soup are also available.
My friend and I ordered two small (10") pizzas for a sampling, a father-daughter combination: the Zeus, with artichoke hearts, Roma tomatoes, feta cheese and Greek sausage ($9.99) and Athena, which had feta cheese, pepperoni, black olives, mushrooms and green peppers ($9.99).
We thoroughly enjoyed the combination toppings of each. The crust was thin and noticeably different from other pizzas about town. The toppings were fresh, light and flavorful. These are good pies.
We also, just for fun, ordered the Gyros ("yee-rohs") sandwich, a Greek specialty. A proper Greek gyro is made with meat cut off a big cylinder of seasoned lamb or a combo of lamb and beef. This meat is on a slowly rotating vertical spit, the gyro (the root word being the circular, even-keeled spinning, say of a gyroscope).
Slices of this meat are cut off this spinning spit and placed on heated (grilled or griddled) pita bread and then topped with a yogurt sauce, often garnished with lettuce and tomato. This sandwich was very good!
We did not have room for dessert, but Arris' does have some good-sounding selections--Macedonian Baklava, Milky Way Mousse Cake, Caramel Fudge Toffee Cake and more.
The best route to Arris' Pizza from Tulsa is to take HW 169 north; exit 96th Street and stay to the right, driving along this outer road heading back south to the little strip mall housing this temple.
9455 N. Owasso Expressway, Ste. E
URL for this story: http://www.urbantulsa.comhttp://www.urbantulsa.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A17986