One of the first things I learned when I moved to Oklahoma was that everyone is like family. Even when you’re an outsider, they quickly welcome you into the fold. So even though I’m living 1900 miles from my “true” home, I have also made a home here.
About 2 months ago Pitt, our football video coordinator was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Pitt has worked at OSU for over 30 years, so he knows everybody and everything. He can be one of the surliest guys you’ll ever meet, and if you don’t know him it can be off-putting. But that’s his personality, and that’s why we all love him.
Pancreatic is one of the worst types of cancer. It’s rarely caught early, and once it reaches stage 4 there’s not a whole lot you can do. Pitt isn’t going down without a fight though. He’s going through chemo, and we’re all praying for a miracle. I can’t even begin to imagine what he, his wife Bonnie, and their families are going through. What keeps my hopes high is that my friend Michele’s mom was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2001, and was given 3 months to live; she survived until January 2007. I know everyone and every cancer is different, but still.
Pie 5 Pizza Co. and Firehouse Subs are local restaurants in Stillwater. There’s actually a lot of Pie 5 locations around the country, but I had never heard of them until this one opened within the last year. Both restaurants are owned by former OSU football players; Billy Bajema owns Pie 5, and Josh Fields owns Firehouse Subs and is part owner of Pie 5. It’s so awesome that they have opened these restaurants in Stillwater. To help raise money for Pitt’s treatment, they both did fundraisers, and all the proceeds for that Saturday went directly to Pitt and his family.
My dad was in town, and my original plan had been to run errands in OKC that Saturday. But once I heard about the fundraisers, I knew we had to stay in town and support the cause. We went to the office that morning and I put him to work. About 1:30 we were both starving. I had already been to Firehouse Subs, so the food blog won out and we went to Pie 5.
I figured since we arrived so late it wouldn’t be that crowded. Boy, was I wrong. There was a line all the way to the front door, everyone OSU staff and/or friends, everyone there supporting Pitt. Goes back to that whole family thing.
Pie 5. is kind of a combination of the Chipotle and Quizno’s concepts. You walk through a production line and build your pizza.
They offer 10 pre-set pizzas, but you can also build your own from the crust up. The crusts are artisan thin, whole grain thin, or classic pan. I like that for the pre-set pizzas they include a crust recommendation on the menu. Once they build the pizza, they run it through a conveyer belt oven to cook it. I wondered how they made it so fast. I got the thin so I’m not sure if the classic pan pizza takes a little longer to make. I would think so, since it’s a thicker dough.
My dad got the Farmer’s Market pizza
I got the Tuscan Chicken, and added caramelized onions
I didn’t try any of my dad’s pizza, but he said it was good. Mine was delicious. All the ingredients worked really well together, and was bursting with flavor. The crust was a little thin for my taste, but it was good. When I first saw the size of the pizza I thought it looked kind of small, but it was just enough as a personal pizza. Anything bigger would have been too much.
Back to the whole family thing…our assistant equipment manager, as well as the video and equipment students, were all there as busboys. Billy was there, back behind the counter, helping the staff. And Pitt and Bonnie made an appearance. I was thankful I got to see him, even though it was just for a few minutes.
I’ll definitely be going back. There are other pizzas I want to try, and I passed when my friend Wade, who is the GM, tried to convince me to get the dessert. So of course I have to go back and get one.