Man-Eating Meatballs, Cheese for Days at Empire Slice House

Oklahoma City might just be as weird as Austin, TX, if this brand-spankin’-new coin laundry-turned-pizza joint has anything to say about it.

So – pies. Empire Slice House is a relative newcomer to the Plaza District – in fact, it just opened the first week of September. The place had been giving out slices at events like Live on the Plaza, and the chosen pie-faces who had first sampled the fare gave glowing reviews. So, yeah, I wanted to visit.

Empire’s sign was designed by local Oddfab Design Lab.

In a place where gourmet grilled cheese, dressed-up pub food, and racks of lamb have come to roost – sometimes you just need a decent, non-conceptual slice.

I first saw Empire’s flat store front and sign after a weekend trip to Austin – and the pizza joint looked like it would be right at home on South Congress (SoCo if you’re into it).

An in-progress Woody Guthrie on the patio wall.

And then I finally got to eat there. And it was great. Namely because:

a)      there’s a 1-lb. lamb-and-pork meatball on the apps menu, and I am waiting to share it with somebody special;

b)      they make their own sausage; and

c)      they have the largest selection of canned beer in the state.

I’m also a sucker for some interesting copy. The menu looks like a collab with Thug Kitchen. All slices come with “dat pink sauce.” There’s a H.O.V.A. reference that any Top-40 listener could pick out. The mushroom iteration is called “The Fungus Among Us.” Are you sold? I’m sold.

The Captain Planet.

Our group (two dudes, yours truly) went on a surprisingly happenin’ Sunday night. We couldn’t get a spot on the (excellent) patio, so we waited 5 minutes for a table inside. We ordered 3 of the least exciting beers on the extensive menu and split the Lady Liberty pizza – chicken, red pepper, kalamatas, artichoke hearts, mozzarella, feta, and a balsamic reduction.

This pizza = sooooo good! And it was even better when I had the leftovers….straight from the fridge…of one of the above mentioned dudes….and told him I’d thrown it out because it had gone bad. (It hadn’t.)

Three old faithfuls.

Keep in mind that, when you eat here, you’ll emerge with only the cleverest of tweets, the cheesiest of Instagram pics, and the booziest of beer breath. #nofilter  For creative inspiration, just check out their social media accounts. See: using Paint like pros. See: cartoons from the 80s.

Thanks to Tyler Roberts for photos and invaluable insight…and the stolen pizza. I’m not sorry.

In the run up to #confluencecon on Saturday, Oct. 26th, I’ll be profiling all of the potential Plaza District eateries where we might go after the conference. You can find my poll and a list of all of the restaurants/bars I’ve profiled so far here.

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