The Orion

Love at first bite: A pizza affair

Madeline Merlic

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Illustration by Kayce Tynan Photo credit: Kayce Tynan

Need food. Now.

These were my thoughts as I ended another long day on campus. Having just passed Laxson Auditorium, Celestino’s bright lights from across the street were attracting me like a moth to a flame.

Not only do I love pizza, but Celestino’s had just been awarded best pizza from the Best of Chico contest, so I knew this had to be my destination.

I walked through the door and was greeted by a display of the different types of New York-style, thin crust pizza, along with a menu of Italian options such as: pastas, salads, calzones and cannolis. The server’s friendly smile from behind the glass case pulled me out of my daydream of dancing pizzas and back into reality.

I decided to go with a slice of pepperoni after reading the sign above the register that advertised a student special for $4.50, which included a slice of either cheese or pepperoni pizza and a 16 oz. soda (with free refills).

Having paid, I grabbed my cup and surveyed the large dining room. Its luminous atmosphere, created by its large windows, was very appealing.

After a minute or two, my slice was pulled out of the heating oven and served to me on a paper plate. No stranger to parmesan cheese, I piled it on top of my hot pizza.

Power walking to a bench seat below the back window, I could smell a sweet mix of cheese and tomato sauce. That first bite was everything I imagined it would be: a delicious combination of pepperoni, cheese and thin crust.

I could see the same level of satisfaction I felt from my pizza on the faces of fellow patrons— all of us enjoying our slices and letting the worries of the day slip away with each passing bite.

Celestino’s reflects the same friendly and carefree attitude as Chico. Its dining room was filled with the unique blend of people that make up this town: from college students to hard-working parents with young kids. All of us seemed to come together with our slices.

My slice of pepperoni showed me that Celestino’s has classically good pizza without trying to go over-the-top. The making of their pizza is as it should be: with good, honest ingredients that a customer can taste.

Madeline Merlic can be reached at [email protected] or @MMerlic on Twitter.

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Love at first bite: A pizza affair