Rural Missouri - March 2018 - 15

by Paul Newton | pnewton@ruralmissouri.coop

T

ossing homemade dough over his head,
Luke White jokes with the customer
who will ultimately get the pie while his
wife, Amanda, delivers drinks to the
table. The atmosphere is light and fun inside
their small restaurant where no walls separate
the kitchen crafting the top-notch pizzas and
the dining room patrons who enjoy them.
Yogi's Pizza has been feeding the residents of
Laclede County and visitors from nearby Route 66
since opening its doors in 2013. The Whites bought
the business this past year and have built on the
reputation of tasty, filling pies along with a relaxed,
open and inviting atmosphere for guests inside Yogi's
Pizza Too, located in downtown Conway.
Amanda grew up in Conway and the couple's three
children are eighth-generation Laclede County residents.
Amanda remembers visiting the building as a child when it
was a laundromat. It also has served as a hardware store and
pool hall.
The business lets Amanda connect names her mother used to
mention with people in the community. "We live just across the street
in the house my grandpa built in 1973. My kids go to school with people
who have the same last names as my mom did. It's a special place."
While there are a variety of options on Yogi's menu, the pizza is what most
customers indulge in when enjoying Yogi's in the dining room or at home. The
homemade dough and pizza sauce are the staples of most of the mouthwatering pies.
"We make our dough in house daily, sometimes more," Luke says of the
dough that's chewy on the inside but crisp on the outside. "And the flavor really
shows up in our sauce. People specifically comment on how much they like it. or two per week," Luke
adds. "But people have
It has a good flavor and isn't overpowering and not too tomatoey."
One of the most popular pizzas at Yogi's is the Carnivore featuring five dif- been trying it more. Lately we've
ferent types of meats. The fresh dough is hand tossed and the sauce is spread. been selling at least one per day. It's a big pizza and people enjoy it."
The Whites - Laclede Electric Cooperative members both at home and the
Luke first adds pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon and ground beef to the
pizza before adding his favorite ingredient last: bacon. "I prefer doing that at the restaurant - aren't the only ones creating menu items at Yogi's. "We had a
customer who kept asking for the Carnivore on top of pasta with the red sauce,"
end because it makes the bacon flavor more pronounced," he says.
It is topped with cheese and takes a ride through the pizza oven. "It's a Amanda says.
Adds Luke: "He asked. I said, 'sure, why not?' So we did it and he liked it.
hearty, meat pizza," Luke says. "All the meats blend well together and the
Then he brought his friends and they liked it." The Carni Bowl was born.
ground beef is seasoned well and doesn't overpower the other meats."
Pizza and chicken wings go hand in hand
Luke's favorite pizza on the menu is the
and Yogi's has you covered. With no fryer in
Saucy Hawaiian - a classic Hawaiian pizza
the small, open kitchen, the couple - who
with an unexpected, but tasty, twist. It's got
were customers before they were owners of
the toppings you'd expect like bacon, Canathe restaurant - use a unique cooking prodian bacon, onion and pineapple. The twist
cess to serve both the boneless and bonecomes before that though when the house
in versions of the popular starter. They're
marinara sauce is replaced with a sweet barinitially prepared in a pressure cooker and
becue sauce.
when a batch is ordered the tasty treats are
"We have several customers that's all they
finished in the pizza oven. After cooking
will ever get," says Luke. "What draws people
they get a bath in your choice of buffalo,
to it is the mixture of the barbecue sauce,
barbecue, habanero barbecue, sweet chile
pineapple and bacon. It really pops. It's got a
or teriyaki sauce.
good tarty but sweet flavor."
"They're juicy and the skin gets a little
Yogi's small pizza measures in at 10 inches
crispy coming through the oven," Luke says
and the massive 16-inch large pizza is sure to
of the wings.
feed a crowd. If you've brought a big appetite,
Serving delicious food in a comfortable
you'll want to try the Works.
atmosphere to the community she grew up
The towering pie features every topping on
in and moved back to later in life is someYogi's menu with the exception of chicken. All
thing Amanda enjoys most about Yogi's.
the toppings from the Carnivore are joined by
"People come in and you get to visit with
mushrooms, tomatoes, green and banana peppers, jalapenos, black olives, onions and pineAbove: The meatball sub at Yogi's has six meatballs placed in a 12-inch bun them, get to really know them," she says.
apples with the house marinara sauce.
and topped with the house marinara and mozzarella cheese. Top: The Saucy "We have a lot of customers that we call
"When we started, we might only sell one Hawaiian pizza is a traditional Hawaiian but uses BBQ sauce instead of marinara. friends now because of the open kitchen."

Yogi's Pizza Too
Specialties: Hand-tossed pizzas with homemade marinara sauce. Pizzas include the Carnivore, Saucy Hawaiian,
Chicken Bacon Ranch and Works. Sandwiches include BLT and meatball. Pastas include chicken alfredo and Carni Bowl.
Price: Starters from $3 to $10. Sandwiches are $6.95. Pasta bowls are $6.50 or $6.75. Pizzas from $6.75 to $21.

Conway

Details: Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Monday. Cash, local
checks and major credit cards accepted. Delivery available. Free Wi-Fi.
Directions: 311 W. Jefferson Ave. in Conway.
Contact: 417-589-6447 or www.yogispizzausa.com.

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