Tahlequah Pizza provides uniquely styled pizza to area
Cherokee Nation citizen Niko Aselis, left, and his father Greg own Tahlequah Pizza, an eatery that specializes in Boston-style crust, specialty pizzas and a variety of appetizers. They have owned and operated the restaurant since 2016. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Greg Aselis shows what the Boston-style crust is made from, which is a hand-made dough that rises before being cooked. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Shown is the Mexican Fiesta pizza that contains pork chorizo and fresh hand-sliced jalapenos. The pizza is inspired from Niko and Greg’s previous residency in San Diego, California, near the Mexican border. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen Niko Aselis and his father Greg Aselis have owned and operated Tahlequah Pizza since 2016 and serve a variety of specialty pizzas on a Boston-style crust, which makes it unique to the Tahlequah area.
After making the move to Oklahoma from San Diego, California, in 2011, Greg and his wife, who is a Cherokee Nation citizen, began marinating on the idea to open a Greek restaurant, but it didn’t happen. When Niko moved to Oklahoma a few years later, Tahlequah Pizza came to fruition.
“Our family’s always been a cooking kind of family so we chose pizza and thought we could do really good pizza here,” Niko said.
Greg, of Greek descent, said he and his wife have experience in the food business from when they worked for different pizza chains in California and from operating a Greek restaurant for 10 years.
Niko said what makes their pizza different is the way it is prepared.
“I would say it’s different than the pizza around here. We make everything by hand. We make our dough by hand. We flatten it out. We make our sauce. We blend our own cheese,” he said.
He added that the crust is unique because Boston-style is not usually seen in the area and stems from when his parents lived in New Hampshire, where they originally met, and worked in pizza chains where they learned to make Boston-style crust.
Greg said the chemistry behind the dough is letting it rise and letting the yeast “disseminate” into the dough.
“That’s why ours is unique because it rises, it’s airy and it has a different taste because of the chemistry of the yeast and the stuff that we put into the dough to make the dough,” he said.
Specialty pizzas made by Niko and Greg include a chicken, bacon and ranch pizza made with real bacon, and a Mexican fiesta pizza made with chorizo and freshly cut jalapenos, inspired from living in San Diego near the Mexican border and a pizza they say is not found elsewhere in the Tahlequah area.
“The chicken bacon ranch I didn’t even know about until I moved to Oklahoma. I had one and I didn’t know ranch could be so good on pizza,” Niko said. “The Mexican Fiesta, it has pork chorizo, fresh hand-sliced jalapenos on it. It is so good. It’s spicy, but there’s no pizza like that around here.”
Other menu items offered are calzones also made from Boston-style crust with a variety of meats, sub sandwiches, boneless wings and salads.
For dessert, patrons can enjoy Baklava, a Greek pastry inspired by Greg’s Greek background. Baklava is a pastry full of thin layers filled with butter, walnuts and a honey-syrup mix.
Services provided by Tahlequah Pizza are made-to-order items, dine-in or carry out options, delivery and space for family gatherings or parties.
Niko said a lot people have come in and he added it’s nice for them to have a that place to makes made-to-order pizzas and pizzas that are more customizable unlike regular pizza chains.
“We’re pizza for people that really appreciate pizza and not just want a fast, streamlined piece from a gas station,” Niko said. “Everyone has an idea of good pizza, and we’re willing to work with people with whatever they need on it. They can just tell us.”
Tahlequah Pizza is a CN Tribal Employments Rights Office certified business and is open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and located at 106 Monroe Street in Tahlequah.
For more information, visit Tahlequah Pizza on Facebook or call 918-708-1630.