In her continued effort to clear voters' minds and palates of the Great Swadley’s Foggy Bottom Swindle, new Oklahoma Tourism Director Shelley Zumwalt stepped up to the podium today to announce that a new vendor has finally been selected to take over operations at our six-state park restaurants.
The Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department (OTRD) announced the new restaurant operator for six of Oklahoma's State Parks on Wednesday.
La Ratatouille, an Oklahoma-based company, will oversee the operations of all six Oklahoma State Park restaurants.
La Rata-Who? Are the marketing geniuses at the tourism department really bringing cajun food to Oklahoma State Parks?
Well, before you pack your bags and fais-do-do down to the State Park for a gumbo ya ya, I have some news for you.
La Ratatouille is actually a holding company that owns and operates Falcone’s Pizzeria, food trucks, and catering business. Based on what I’m seeing on Falcone’s website, it looks like the State Parks restaurants are all going to be Falcone’s.
Before I write anything else, I should clarify that only live a few miles from the Falcone’s on N. May and have eaten there numerous times. It’s pretty good. Louis was also a fan. Their pepperoni & sausage pizza and ricotta-cheese calzones are solid. I also enjoy their chicken parm sandwich and baked ziti. They’re way way way better at doing pizza and Italian-American style cuisine than Swadley’s is at doing BBQ.
(On that note, I wonder if Falcone’s decision has anything to do with Swadley getting involved with Mr. Gatti’s? Spite can be a great motivator! Perhaps that’s another post for another day.)
Although I like Falcone’s, it doesn't really feel like the type of restaurant you’d find in a state park. It makes you wonder how all this came about.
Did the state not get a lot of bids to take over operations at the State Parks?
That could be a possibility. The Tourism Department claims they’re not subsidizing any operations or building costs, and is getting a 13% cut of profits, so it doesn’t sound like a very sweet deal for operators.
Of course, there are other possibilities.
Did the Falcone’s crew act like a Mafia Don – or even a Christian BBQ grifter – and make Stitt and his grifters an offer they couldn’t refuse? If we see a special item on the menu called the Zumwalt Double Cheeseburger Pizza, I think we’ll know our answer.
Then again, maybe the Tourism Department was star-struck by the friendly face and CEO behind Falcone’s and La Ratatouille organization – JP Wilson (on the right).
The son of some wealthy event supply operators, JP is a local magician who worked closely with Joe Exotic, was featured in Tiger King (which I guess explains why Falcone’s had the “Honk If You Think Carol Killed Her Husband” sign on their marquee) and has performed magic at numerous Thunder games.
That being said, do we really want one of Joe Exotic’s pals selling pizza at an Oklahoma State Park!? Have these people not watched Tiger King???
When you place your order at the Robber’s Cave Falcone’s, ask the waitress to make sure they’re not using expired Walmart meat. If you see the waitress then jump into a top hat and disappear, it’s probably time to leave.
Unless you believe that “Any publicity is good publicity,” you’d think JP’s association with Joe would be a dealbreaker for tourism folks who would likely want to distance any association our state has with the method-out tiger zoo owner that millions of people from across the globe will always associate with Oklahoma.
Fortunately for JP, he was also able to play a literal Trump card to overcome all that:
Holy Hillary’s Emails!
Yep, in addition to being a magician who rolled around with Joe Exotic for years, JP is a Trumpmaniac fanboy who pays money to attend political rallies organized by traitors, insurrectionists, conspiracy theorists, and other right-wing anti-Democracy theocrats.
I bet once Stitt saw that he said “Sign them up and put a bada-bing on it!”
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how these new Falcone’s work out at State Parks, and if taxpayers end up picking up the bill for $120,000 pizza ovens.
I guess we’ll follow all that and let you know.
In the meantime, stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.