POSTED ON DECEMBER 31, 2008:
Yo Momma's so Phat
Downtown livens up with late-night eats and local pies
Pizza Heaven. We enjoyed the décor, especially the exposed brick wall. The dining room is long, narrow and full of brightly colored lights and eye-catching designs.
Joe Momma's knows a good location when it sees one. The new restaurant on Elgin Avenue, just south of 1st Street, is positioned perfectly for reaping the benefits of the downtown bar crowd, the BOK Center and the soon-to-be-built Tulsa Drillers stadium in the Greenwood District.
Already successful at the original location, HWY 169 and 61st Street, Joe Momma's hopes for the same popularity here. We think they'll get it.
A friend and I dined here just three days after its official opening-- something I rarely do. At UTW, we prefer to let the restaurant settle, work out the kinks if you will. But we were excited to try the new hotspot.
The façade of Joe Momma's is highly attention-getting: a wide sign expands across the width of the building, with a theater-like marquee advertising upcoming events and football game times. Full-glass windows allow passersby to view the main attractions inside, where you find a large projection screen for sports viewing, a brick pizza oven with a blazing fire, and pizza makers tossing the crust.
Once inside, my friend and I were lucky to be seated immediately on this particular Saturday night. An enthusiastic crowd had gathered for an OU game. We enjoyed the décor, especially the exposed brick wall. The dining room is long, narrow and full of brightly colored lights and eye-catching designs. We were seated at one of the tables placed in the center of the room. This allowed a short distance between us and other diners and far enough away from the oversized projection of the OU game, which we could have cared less about.
Our server soon greeted us and took our drink order. At this time, Joe Momma's only served beer, including the new Marshall Brewing products. We reviewed the menu, finding a variety of items typical of a sports bars/pizza parlor. Appetizers of interest are fried mushrooms, fried mozzarella, Momma's chicken tenders, Baja chicken nachos, Momma's wings; also on the menu are Momma Bread and bruschetta.
My friend and I began with the Baja Chicken Nachos ($7.95). Large halved tostadas are individually covered with ranch dressing, whole black beans, shredded chicken, diced tomatoes, chopped chives and a generous portion of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. These are served with salsa, jalapenos and sour cream. Bountiful with each ingredient, they were enjoyable.
Salads are also an option: side salad, house salad, club salad, spinach salad and Caesar salad. But the main attraction here is pizza, obviously. Options on the pizza menu are "Build Your Own" with a combination of eight different cheeses (including goat and bleu cheese, yum!), peppers, herbs, fruits and nuts, veggies and meats (15 varieties). "Premium" meat toppings include meatballs, Mojo pork, and oven roasted turkey. Available sizes include 10 inch, 12 inch and 14 inch. Pizza crust options are thin and regular.
The specialty pizzas drew our attention. Seventeen options are listed: Some include T-Rex (eight types of meat!); Cuban Revolution (like a Cuban sandwich); California Love (a pesto-base pizza with veggies and chicken); VooDoo Pie (spicy arrabiata Cajun-style pizza); and Chicken Bacon Ranch. Prices vary slightly among these pizzas; a small is around $12.95; medium is $15.95; and large is $17.95.
My friend and I went with a medium half The Golden Driller and half Judgment Day. The Golden Driller begins with a layer of garlic Alfredo on the crust, then topped with diced Roma tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, roasted chicken, pine nuts and roasted garlic. Mozzarella cheese is then layered with a little cheddar cheese for the "golden" look. I must say the cheeses at Joe Momma's have an extra chewy and gooey texture, which are quite tasty. The Judgment Day is an attention grabber for taste. Spicy arrabiata sauce is the base and then topped with sliced hot link, red hot buffalo chicken, pepperoni, red bell peppers, habanero and jalapeno peppers.
This was a great combo pizza, aligning spicy with creamy, both northern and southern Italian cuisine. We thoroughly enjoyed the pie. The toppings were very good together. The Alfredo-based pizza was rich with the combination of toppings; the pine nuts and roasted garlic were particularly memorable. The hot and spicy pizza was very hot; the habanero peppers take this pizza into hotness beyond this world. Each bite was a gamble of how hot it actually would be depending on the ingredient placement. Pasta was not yet available when we dined here. Other menu items include sandwiches (such as Momma's club, Guido's Italian club, The Buffalo Joe, Tampa Bay Cuban Sandwich); lunch specials (soup and salad, pizza and a sub, two slice combo) and desserts (Amy's dirt cup, brick oven apple crisp, Momma's bread pudding, The Stupid Cookie a la mode, classic root beer float).
My only warning to future Joe Momma's diners would be if you want to have a conversation while dining, don't come on a big game night.
114 S. Elgin Ave.
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