Dining at Grateful Head Pizza: Memorable for all the wrong reasons

My family and I spent a few days at Beaver’s Bend State Park just north of Broken Bow, Oklahoma last week. The kids wanted pizza Saturday night, so we took them to Grateful Head Pizza in Hochatown. It was so crowded that we had to park in the overflow parking’s overflow section. This was going to be great, we thought.

There was a 45-minute wait to be seated at the grooviest place in town, so my wife and I ordered a couple of craft beers and a round of power aid for the kids. Twenty-six dollars down, and the beer was almost cold.

We got seated by a big window near the bar just under the estimated 45 minutes. Since we’d already busted our drink budget, we ordered five waters with lemon. We were still thirsty from hiking and getting thirstier because it was boiling hot in the restaurant.

After a couple of gulps, my throat felt tingly. Does anyone else’s water taste like…

Chlorine! My little boy answered. Oh, said my wife. This tastes like a swimming pool. And it did. Luckily, the kids still had their power aid. My wife and I agreed that we’d just drink water when we got back to the cabin. My teenage daughter, who is often in her own world, announced that her water tasted like chlorine about ten minutes later.

Meanwhile, we ordered our pizza and waited. We were close enough to the outside door to hear the live music. We were inside enough to hear the inside music. Both were loud and did not mix well together, especially with the TV and the loud dudes at the bar.

My little boy was concerned about the honey bees buzzing around the window behind us. As I swatted one that landed on my chest I assured everyone that honey bees did not want to sting us as long as we didn’t bother them.

The wait for the pizza was much longer than the wait to be seated. I was ready to leave long before it got to our table, but it finally arrived and was very good.

We just began enjoying our pizza when my little boy’s fears were justified. A honey bee stung him on the rump, and another landed on my daughter’s foot, which to her was as bad as getting stung. My wife gave me an angry look as she gathered the kids and headed out the door.

I requested the bill and a large to-go box since we hadn’t really started eating. The server asked if anything was wrong. I told him my little boy got stung by a bee and pointed out the bees buzzing behind me. He assured me that they would capture the bee, and then he brought me a large pizza box and larger bill.

We did not complain or ask to speak to a manager, as all the workers were preoccupied with the dozens of people still waiting to be seated, and because chlorinated water and honey bees seemed a normal part of their business.

I don’t wish we’d gone somewhere else. We’ll probably always remember this dining experience, whereas we’d forget most others. But memories or not, we won’t go back.

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.


25 thoughts on “Dining at Grateful Head Pizza: Memorable for all the wrong reasons

  1. Ouch! The bill and the bees! Love the way you told the story , though. I could picture it all.
    We ate at a restaurant while on vacation with the kids that was very hip and had good reviews on Google. They forgot part of our order, gave small servings, and the prices were pretty outrageous. Also, slow service and the seating was uncomfortable. It seemed like they wanted us to hurry and leave so they could close. For people who rarely spend money on hip restaurants, it was pretty disappointing, and everyone blamed me because I picked the place, but we still laugh about it. πŸ˜€ We refer to it as that terrible place where we wasted our money in Fredericksburg.

    Posted by pkadams | July 22, 2019, 6:00 pm
    • Ugh. Hip places are over rated. On another note, you have to go hiking at Beaver’s Bend State Park. They have some beautiful trails that are very challenging. It was only five hours from us, so I think it would be even closer for you. It’s in the very southeast corner of Oklahoma. You’d love it.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | July 22, 2019, 7:13 pm
      • The pictures look great! But I live near Houston so that’s a pretty long way . I’d like to go up in cool weather. Arkansas , too.

        Posted by pkadams | July 22, 2019, 9:50 pm
  2. A 45 minute just to wait to be seated? yikes. If it were me I would’ve gone somewhere else at that point. At least you liked the pizza and had a good story to tell though.

    Posted by TheCovertAtheist | July 22, 2019, 7:50 pm
  3. I like your polite way of writing a bad review. If I ever get around Broken Bow, OK, I’ll try to remember to avoid pizza. I’ll also remember to avoid any restaurants with bees.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | July 22, 2019, 8:05 pm
  4. My mother’s water had a lot of chlorine in it lately as well. Must be the CIA protecting us from some super plague that our enemies cooked up.

    Posted by Jason Frels | July 22, 2019, 8:06 pm
  5. If it makes you feel better, I walked out of a Denny’s Saturday night after waiting about 25 minutes for an omelette or even my waitress to show up with a coffee pot. But she ignored me profusely, so getting the hint I got up and left and we went to a Whataburger. Those are mostly the after midnight dining options.

    Posted by Jason Frels | July 22, 2019, 8:08 pm
  6. As you said, memorable for all the wrong reasons.

    Posted by Sheree | July 23, 2019, 12:18 am
  7. My husband is a water aficionado and judges restaurants by their quality, sounds like this one was an epic fail. Love the name of the place, but free bees you could do without… yikes!

    Posted by Rivergirl | July 23, 2019, 5:21 am
  8. Chlorine, bees, loud garbled music, sounds like y’all had a great time, lol. Being stung is horrible especially when your trying to have a nice meal out, your poor son.

    Posted by thehuntress915 | July 23, 2019, 9:52 am
  9. Maybe that place is best during off hours with no band or crowd. That was a bad dining experience even though the food was good. I think I’d call the restaurant and ask for the manager, not to complain, but to inform him or her of the issues so they don’t lose other customers.

    Posted by Darnell Cureton | July 23, 2019, 9:57 am
    • You are right about calling the manager. I should do that. I was frustrated, though, because I told two employees about the bees, and neither seemed very concerned. I think you are probably right–a less crowded off time would be good.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | July 23, 2019, 10:56 am
  10. Great post! My family never would have waited for a table, too impatient at our age I guess, which is why we are frequent take out diners. I love how your daughter has a delayed response about the water tasting like chlorine and the bee just touching her being traumatic! πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Posted by Middle Aged Momma | July 24, 2019, 5:25 am
  11. Greatful Head pizza, as in “Greatful Dead”… clearly, they were all stoned. Plus, a restaurant in a town called Hochatown, near Beaver Bend… you can’t make that shit up.

    Posted by Clever Girl | July 28, 2019, 2:45 pm
  12. Eeek, that doesn’t sound good. Glad at least the pizza was good. x.x
    I’m curious about the chlorine-tasting water. I’d have asked if they had taken it from the swimming pool, but I have no filter, sooo…
    Here’s hoping for better experiences next time!

    Posted by Jay | August 1, 2019, 10:17 am


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