Help me find more information about Orange Bowl Pizza before things get scary...
January 19, 2012 12:36 AM   Subscribe

My mom hasen't been able to stop thinking about some place called Orange Bowl Pizza since she graduated high school in the 70's. Anyone have any information about them?

My mom has talked about Orange Bowl Pizza since I was a little kid. She tells me it was a chain that had a restaurant in the Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah, GA and had the best pizza she's ever had.

I'm borderline concerned that she'd be willing to kill people for their pizza recipes, so if any of you could help me to solve this in a more peaceful manner it would be much appreciated.

Google hasn't been a whole lot of help.

More pizza and less bloodbath y'all.
posted by thebrokenmuse to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Orange Bowl was indeed a chain of mall pizza shops in the 70s and early 80s. They may have gone back as far as the 60s, but I don't know. They were the ubiquitous mall food place before there were food courts and such. The pizza really wasn't anything to write home about, but I guess it stirs a certain passion about days gone by. I know I spent many a dollar there.

Surprisingly, I could find very little about them online other than the passing reference about dying malls. Kind of weird, because when you mentioned OB and pizza, I knew exactly what you were talking about and apparently so do a number of people. However, images and other info, as you have noted, is surprisingly bare.

I wonder if the Orange Bowl Football Game has made an effort to clear references to the chain?

posted by lampshade at 1:26 AM on January 19, 2012

Probably doesn't help much, but I remember Orange Bowl "restaurants" as being a very small in-mall food court kind of store (at least the one in Pensacola FL where I did that part of my growing up). I remember they had some sort of frozen orange treat that was the bomb to my 7-9 year old self.

My objective guess is that the pizza would have been something like the bastard child of a back-alley copulation between Chuck E. Cheese and Little Caesar. I mean, even through my rose-colored glasses (I have fond memories of their frozen orange thingamajig*), I remember them being this tiny little store that could not possibly have had a proper pizza oven, so the product almost certainly had to be somewhat pre-fab.

Depending on your sense of ethics, you could tell her that [insert regional brand of convenience store pizza in your area] bought the secret recipe when the chain went under, and take her there for mother's day. :-)

*which was, realistically and at best, a shaved ice kind of deal made with 10% orange juice
posted by randomkeystrike at 1:45 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: That is such a genius and shady solution to this problem, but hopefully I won't have to resort to those sorts of measures.

What's weird is that she actually has pretty good taste in food, and has won a few cooking contests. Confusing.

Although, honestly, if Chick-fil-A disappeared without a trace and without warning, 30 years later I'd probably remember it as the best chicken I'd ever eaten, hands down, ever, no matter what too.
posted by thebrokenmuse at 2:43 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

These three cancelled U.S. trademark registrations may give some further clues about the history of the company.

THE ORANGE BOWL (Reg. No. 1594659

THE ORANGE BOWL (& design) (Reg. No. 1645600)

THE ORANGE BOWL (& design) (Reg. No. 843007)
According to the representations made by the company, the THE ORANGE BOWL house mark was first put into use in August of 1965. My guess would be that they went out of business in the early to mid 1990s.

Usually, clicking on the "Trademark Document Retrieval" link at the top of each of these records would bring you to a list of pdfs with all of the documents filed in connection with these records, including responses to Office Actions, specimens of use, etc. Unfortunately, because of the age of these records, the USPTO has not yet scanned all of the filings. You could order the entire file wrapper from the USPTO or you could try to get mom hooked on a new pie.
posted by anathema at 3:58 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

//(I have fond memories of their frozen orange thingamajig*)//

Are you sure you aren't thinking of Orange Julius? They are still around.
posted by COD at 5:13 AM on January 19, 2012

From Florida's Sun Sentinel, "A Place For Everyman To Shop", July 27, 1986:
What can you say about Orange Bowl pizza, the unadorned fast food sold at Palm Beach Mall since 1967, the year it opened its doors and the Orange Bowl fired up its ovens?

Just say it's your basic pizza—nothing fancy, no frills—and that's good enough. Then wash it down with an O-Joy, an icy, orange slush lacking any nutritional merit, and you have a meal that's familiar, predictable.
From The Washington Post, "Urban Dilemma Over a Sack of Mail", April 29, 1992:
[Robert Walker] recently visited Orange Bowl Pizza and Hamburgers, a restaurant on Arlington Boulevard near his home. He picked up a carryout menu. It had been produced via the desktop route. The result proved yet again that no computer can avenge or prevent the spelling inadequacies of a human.

The Orange Bowl has a "new memu," said the flier that Robert picked up. They serve pizza with extra "chesse." They also serve it with "pepporini." For breakfast, they offer a "biscut" with one entree and a "biscutt" with another. To top things off, soft ice cream is served, either "vanila" or "stawberry."
posted by XMLicious at 5:22 AM on January 19, 2012 [2 favorites]

COD, Orange Bowl had their own orange frozen thing too. Orange Bowl was mostly just frozen orange thing, soda, and pizza. And I do recall the pizza being very good too, though I was pretty young.

Maybe I'm just crazy, but I kind of remember their pizza having oregano mixed with the cheese. Whenever I smell oregano it makes me think of Orange Bowl. Maybe that's a clue towards the taste/recipe?
posted by dayintoday at 5:23 AM on January 19, 2012

Someone here says that a particular Orange Bowl got turned into Pizza Xpress which used the same recipe as of 1996.

Also, in googling a bit I found something called The Orange Bowl Corporation. Someone liked their annual reports and posted scans of them here. The only recipe-related clue is one page that says they use 8 different Wisconsin cheeses made specially for the company.
posted by needs more cowbell at 11:35 AM on January 19, 2012

COD, you may well be right, or at least I probably bumped into one of those in my mis-spent youth. But that name O-joy really rings a bell too...

Keep in mind that my comments about the pizza are wholly facetious, and based on how things generally work. The funny thing about those by-gone days is that these store concepts used to be much more a locally owned restaurant with some common branding, and OP's mom may well have enjoyed some really good pizza if the local owners actually gave a damn.

I must be getting old, because while I don't want to give up my Kindle and my internets, there are things about the '70s that are starting to make me nostalgic. Like local ownership of anything.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:43 AM on January 19, 2012

Orange Bowl had their own orange frozen thing too.

The O-JOY! I used to love those when I'd visit my grandpa in Florida, then we got an Orange Julius here in town (still open, too). Close enough for government work a hungry kid.
posted by dhartung at 12:54 AM on January 20, 2012

Wow, blast from the past! Totally remember the Orange Bowl as a child growing up in Florida. Decidedly disliked their pizza though and remember it being not very good.
posted by vivzan at 9:37 AM on January 20, 2012

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