Cheap pizza is good pizza
Fatte’s Pizza: take-out and delivery on the cheap
Chico, CA 95926
Henri has long been intrigued with trophic staples that transcend cultures and continents. Alcohol, of course, which nearly every civilization has independently discovered and enjoyed—whether brewed, fermented or distilled.
Of course, the most ubiquitously consumed human food is bread, leavened or unleavened, from whole grain and sourdough to bagels, scones and croissants. Flatbreads, too: tortillas, crepes, lefse, pita, chapatti, focaccia, wontons and naan.
And then there is pizza, invented in Naples, Italy, where sauce made from tomatoes—introduced to Europe from the New World in the 16th century—was first spread on flatbread. Pizza arrived on the American shores in the late 19th century with Italian immigrants, and in the mid-to-late 20th century it began moving out of the cities’ Italian neighborhoods and into the suburbs, where pizza-parlor chains became popular as family and teen gathering places. Among them was Shakey’s Pizza, founded in Sacramento in 1954 and today with restaurants in Hong Kong and throughout the Philippines.
The trend in American pizza these days, though, is home delivery, as well as “take and bake” pizza. Traditional pizza parlors are becoming things of the past.
So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised the other day when Colette and I walked into Fatte’s Pizza planning to order a pizza and sit down—perhaps at a picnic bench—and enjoy our pie on site. Instead, we found a simple counter, a menu board and a single plastic chair. Obviously, take-out and delivery only.
(A brief digression: Henri had to overcome major self-confidence issues before even venturing into Fatte’s, particularly after conceding there was not even a remote possibility that it was pronounced “fah-TAYS.” And, Dr. Epinards, you have been no help at all! I do not need to be reminded!)
Fatte’s, which opened in Chico last July, is part of a five-store franchise based in San Luis Obispo; a sixth store is set to open in San Diego. Although not the best pizza in Chico—Henri prefers Celestino’s and Gashouse—Fatte’s offers good pizza at excellent prices, probably the best bang pour le franc in town. In fact, all pizzas (small, $9.50-$18; medium, $11.50-$21.50; large, $14-$22) are two for the price of one every day.
Fatte’s also has specials that are ideal for office, birthday and other parties, including the “Party Pack": four large pizzas and a 12-pack of soft drinks for $35. During the school year Fatte’s serves pizza by the slice—a lot of it—to Pleasant Valley High School students who walk over on their lunch hour. Fatte’s also serves sub sandwiches (roast beef, ham and cheese, meatball) for $6.50-$7.50.
The two-for-one idea was perfect, as Colette and I couldn’t agree. She didn’t want mushrooms or pineapple or linguiça; I didn’t want black olives. We ended up ordering one chicken and garlic with white sauce and one Fatte’s special (pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, linguiça, mushrooms, garlic, pineapple and bell pepper—I had them hold the olives). We also got a medium antipasto salad ($5).
We took them home, unboxed them, and dug in—both were steaming hot and smelled delicious. The chicken pizza was very good, the generous amount of garlic providing pleasant kick. I had a couple of pieces before trying the special, which was also respectable. Both were on a medium-thick crust. All in all, decent pizza—certainly good for the price.
The salad, on the other hand, was a disappointment. It came in a Styrofoam box with an envelope of ranch dressing shrink-wrapped on top and was hardly enough for two, as described on the menu. In fact, Colette thought at first we’d inadvertently been served a small tossed salad ($2.99) instead, but a bit of probing in the lettuce finally revealed some tiny pieces of ham and pepperoni.
Suggestion: If you want salad with your Fatte’s pizza, stop in at Safeway next door and pick up the ingredients to make your own, or combine your pizza with a Pluto’s salad—way better and way bigger for less money.