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Readers, Digest: Grana offers simple yet delicious pizza

Christina Saschin

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Grana, a locally-owned restaurant, offers flavorful, wood-fired foods and reasonably-priced pizza and fresh ingredients. Though it is open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant’s atmosphere has more of a late night vibe, with its impressive wine menu and dim lighting.

The first time I tried Grana was Tuesday evening. I made the short walk from Meriam Library to the restaurant located on East Second Street in the building next to North Rim Adventure Sports.

At 5 p.m., there were only four couples sitting at tables and a large family celebrating a birthday. The restaurant is small, with the same amount of seating outside as inside.

The outdoor seating seems preferable for warm evenings, but there are heating lamps for cooler nights.

Inside, the tall ceilings are decorated with what looked like chandeliers of fairy light. One of the restaurant’s red walls pays respect to previous building owners, Grand Auto, by leaving the letters “GRAND” painted in large white letters.

The bar and kitchen take up one side of the restaurant but are visible. Diners can see pizzas being made and placed into the wood oven, with its orange flames dancing around inside.

After glancing at the food menu, filled with options like pizza, a quinoa dish and farmers market roasted vegetable hummus, I ordered the Red pizza. It has tomato sauce, mozzarella fresca, basil, olive oil, oregano and pecorino, an Italian cheese made from ewe’s milk.

I opened my cloth napkin and arranged my utensils on the wooden table. I was impressed with how quickly my pizza is brought over, fresh from the oven.

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A Red pizza from Grana, a wood-fired foods restaurant downtown. Photo credit: Christina Saschin

There was one basil leaf on each pizza slice. The pizza looked simple, with not a lot of toppings.

As I took my first slice, I noticed the pizza had quite a thin bottom crust, with a large crust at the top, or outer edge. The two types of cheese are melted to perfection and have a strong, flavorful taste, unlike the stringy cheese found at Round Table Pizza.

The touch of oregano was perfect, and the pizza was light and not too doughy. My fingers also didn’t get too greasy while I ate.

The end crust alone wasn’t very memorable or appetizing compared to other pizza crusts, like at Woodstock’s Pizza. Parts were blackened and burnt at the top, but luckily this didn’t affect the overall taste of the pizza.

Pricewise, $14 for a 12-inch pizza is reasonable, especially when comparing it to an $18 pizza of the same size from Woodstock’s.

Music played inside, but the clanging of plates and dishes in the prep area and people talking overwhelmed it. It was quiet enough, however, that diners could easily talk to people at their tables and be heard.

The longest part of my dining experience was waiting for the check to arrive. This is standard at most places, but instead of feeling like it was a long wait, it gave me time to digest my food and carry on with the rest of my evening without feeling stuffed.

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Restaurant Details

  • Location: 198 E. 2nd St., Chico, CA 95928
  • Hours: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday, Noon – 8 p.m. Sunday, Closed Mondays.
  • Vegetarian friendly: Yes
  • Take-out: Yes
  • Delivery: No
  • Accepts credit cards: Yes
  • Reservations: Yes
  • Outdoor Seating: Yes

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Christina Saschin can be reached at [email protected] or @Stina127 on Twitter.

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Readers, Digest: Grana offers simple yet delicious pizza