Monday, June 4, 2007

Cycling + Pizza = Thumbs Up, Tulsa

Blogger: Natasha

Tulsa Tough

My husband, my sister and I made it down to the Brady district to Tulsa Tough this weekend.

Tulsa Tough cyclists zipping down Brady Saturday in a women's division race.

Tulsa Tough, the cycling event described by a billboard visible from Saturday’s goings-on as “That thing they do in France – only in Tulsa,” is a joint initiative of the Tulsa Sports Commission and the Tulsa Wheelmen. The event began Friday after work in the Blue Dome District, continued Saturday morning at Main and Brady, and coasted into Sunday at 13th and Riverside until sometime after 3 pm.

The cool thing about Tulsa Tough is that it wasn’t just a sporting event. There was plenty for kids to do, and concerts put on by local acts filled the gaps between races. Lots to eat and drinks were close by, as well.
From the Tulsa Tough Web site: Saturday’s races offer something for all skill levels and run through the heart of the historic Brady Arts district. Saturday is designed for the whole family with races, rides, kids events, activity zones and more.
While I can’t say cycling is exactly my thing, I will say that it’s a real rush when a pack of who are obviously top-notch athletes whizzes by.

More exciting to me than the racing was the activity along Brady. Lola’s was packed, as was Caz’s Chowhouse across the way – and not just with hot guys in Spandex. Spectators with dogs and kids in tow spent money on drinks/dinner at the Brady restaurants and event vendors, then lounged along the street.

Spectators get in on the action during Tulsa Tough Saturday at Main and Brady.

What a hip thing to bring to Tulsa, were we could use more health and exercise cheerleaders. Thanks to Tulsa Tough for making spectators ignorant about cycling feel welcome. It’d be great if we could bring gigs like this to downtown every weekend during the summer – ones that combine food, music, spectator events and a range of activities, all outdoors and amongst downtown buildings. I couldn’t think of a better first act for that series in the sky than Tulsa Tough.


After we busted out of the Brady district, several of us headed south to Bixby for some Chicago-style pizza at Savastano’s, just east of 111th and Memorial.

We walked in at around 7:15, and the place was packed. All of what was probably 25-30 tables were occupied. Though our party of five didn’t have to wait long for a table, we were still pretty impressed at the reputation of this place that to the unknowing passerby looked like any other hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

We started with cheese pizza bread, which was just okay. We decided on a large, deep-pan Sears Tower pizza for dinner.

My little sister Kacie is about to attack this Sears Tower pizza from Bixby's Savastano's.

The pie had a 2” crust stacked with cheese, sauce and pepperoni. Though our posse came complete with two hungry guys, two girls who know a thing or two about how to put away food, and a ravenous 7-year-old girl, we still had four slices to take home with us.

Our pizza was amazing. I don’t know how authentically “Chicago” it was, since I know nothing about Chicago or its pizza. What caught my attention was that the sauce tasted homemade, the pepperoni was really fresh, there wasn’t the ridiculous overload of cheese that happens at a lot of chain pizza places, and the crust was second to none.

Party Brenda: "Yummm!!!"

No one in our group had any complaints about the food. We weren’t crazy about the service, though. Savastano’s looked to be staffed exclusively with Bixby high school kids working through summer break, looking more to find a cure for the summertime blues than to timely refill my glass of Diet Pepsi. The kids who ordered water seemed to fare better on refills, for whatever reason. And, we had to ask thrice for silverware for the late-arriving Party Brenda and our friend DJ Ryan.

I think these oversights could have slid off our backs had the waitstaff been chipper and welcoming. Problem was, they weren’t. Before I could ask if anyone else felt as if the employees wanted us to hurry up and leave, Ryan piped up with, “These people don’t make me feel very welcome.”

We all agreed we will definitely give Savastano’s more of our business. The pizza is unlike any other we’ve had in Tulsa, and there are several other pies we’d like to try. But, we’ll probably carry out next time. I’ll miss looking at the cool Chicago stuff on the walls as I eat, but I suppose I could make a trip to the poster sale at Hobby Lobby, pick up a print of the Sears Tower, grab a 2-liter bottle of Diet Pepsi and call it a day.


Josh said...

Savastano’s is one of my personal favorite pizza places as well. I have noticed sub par service in the past, too. That flies out of my mind once that big honkin' bowl of cheese hits the table, though.

Paul said...

We gave Savastano's a whirl last night, and the pizza was GOOD! A small one was more than the two of us could eat. Actually, half of a small would have been about right.

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