Restaurant: Pizzeria Gusto
You never can have too much pizza, right? OKC definitely has its fair share of pie slingers, whether it’s New York-style at Empire Slice House, the classic wood fired variety at Upper Crust or Neapolitan deliciousness at Pizzeria Gusto.
Gusto has been a favorite of mine since they opened in 2015. It’s the brainchild of Chef Kathryn Mathis, the same lovely lady behind area favorite Big Truck Tacos, so you knew before Gusto even opened it that it was bound to be delicious.
Luckily, it lived up to the hype. Gusto has incredible lunch specials, fantastic starters and a brunch menu that seriously holds its own. Plus, they have one of the best bars in town, and the main attraction, the pizza, is top-notch.
Let’s talk first about their lunch special—any pizza (a smaller size, of course) + any salad for $10. People, for the amount of food you get here, this is a crazy good deal! My go-to is their Magherita the Queen pizza (tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, basil, EVOO) and Spinach-Arugula Salad with fennel, ricotta, pumpkin seeds and a sherry vinaigrette. I usually add chickpeas or cannellini beans to the salad too for an extra dose of protein.
I love the Margherita the Queen pizza because it’s perfect in its simplicity. There’s a hefty amount of sauce on it, and the buffalo mozzarella makes it super creamy. Sometimes I might add red onions or roasted garlic to it if I’m feeling a little something extra.
If I don’t order the Margherita the Queen, then you can guarantee I go with the Mushroom-Roasted Garlic pizza. It’s loaded with an assortment of mushrooms plus, spinach, fontina, provolone, roasted garlic and truffle oil. This one’s a lot more filling since it’s pretty cheesy, so if I order a whole one I’ll likely only eat half.
Whenever you eat here, you’ve gotta (1) be sure to ask for the chili oil and (2) ask for a side of their gorgonzola sauce. The chili oil is an infused olive oil that has a hefty kick to it, but it just makes everything that much better. I’ll drizzle it on literally anything they put in front of me…pizza, salad, hummus, you name it. And Gusto doesn’t have ranch, so the gorgonzola sauce is something they often suggest in its place. It’s not for everyone—like people who don’t like bleu cheese—but it’s definitely worth a try! It’s chunky and tangy and oh-so-tasty.
Now let’s move on to starters, because Gusto has some good starters. Sometimes Ed and I will just hang at the bar, share a plate of hummus or arancini and sip on Monkey 47 + Tonics and be 100% satisfied. Their bartenders are always attentive and their pours are pretty generous. Highly recommend.
First things first: the hummus. Gusto’s is the Roasted Red Pepper variety and is topped with roasted garlic and served with herb flatbread. I love the smoky flavor here, and flatbread beats pita bread every damn day of the week. One time I got super lucky and the pizza of the day was a Hummus Pizza (see photo above, next to the Margherita the Queen). So good.
Then there’s the Arancini. It is nearly impossible to visit Pizzeria Gusto without ordering these saucy, cheesy balls. For the uninitiated, this dish consists of fried risotto balls with provolone and roasted red pepper sofrito. Never eaten a whole plate of this by myself, but boy would I like to. Honestly I could just order the Arancini and the Spinach-Arugula Salad and be 100% good to go.
Finally, the most important meal of the day: brunch, and more importantly, Avocado Toast. It is truly unique—served on Tuscan bread, it’s topped with avocado mash, roasted tomato, red onion, poached eggs, hollandaise and calabrese peppers. I love all the flavors going on here and appreciate the creative spin on such a ubiquitous brunch dish.
Next time we go for brunch, I’m for sure going to try their Gusto Benedict. Poached eggs on focaccia with spinach, and hollandaise, served with rosemary potatoes and choice of smoked salmon, crispy pork belly, fried chicken or roasted mushrooms—how good does that sound?