Now that’s Italian!

Local legend Gashouse Pizza adds paninis to the menu

A NEW HOUSE<br>Since taking over a year and a half ago, Chaz Gower has given Gashouse Pizza a new look, and added paninis to the menu.

Since taking over a year and a half ago, Chaz Gower has given Gashouse Pizza a new look, and added paninis to the menu.

Photo By Ryan van Fleet

Gashouse Pizza
2359 The Esplanade
Phone: (530) 345-3621
Open every day., 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (9 p.m., Sun. & Mon.)

Editor’s note:This is the first review in the Chico News & Review by Enrico Fermat-Smith, who comes highly recommended by CN&R food critic Henri Bourride.

Gashouse Take n Bake Pizza

5905-B Clark Rd.
Paradise, CA 95969

(530) 877-2922

A car in New York City is as utilized as dental floss in England; however Clarabelle and I are kindred spirits. We love embarking on weekend adventures of antiquing, watching the fall colors turn, and taking in some rural town’s campy rendition of Rent. Since receiving Clarabelle as a graduation gift, our greatest adventure has been last year’s one-way trip to the West Coast. I decided to throw caution to the wind and help tame the Wild West. So Clarabelle and I followed the setting sun and shared four weeks and over 3,000 miles of zoom-zoom Miata excitement.

And here we are in Chico—home of my new career in law and my dedicated co-workers Rodger and Sophia.

Italian food is in my blood. Rodger explained to me that for decades Gashouse Pizza has been a staple in Chico. And Rodger also tells me that paninis were recently added to the traditional menu. For people who don’t know, paninis are basically sandwiches that are pressed, grilled and heated … and the only sandwiches an Italian food establishment should serve. I was intrigued, so Rodger, Sophia and I hopped into my Clarabelle and headed to 2359 The Esplanade.

Everyone who knows me immediately identifies that I have an eye for interior design. Rodger tells me that Chaz Gower has made some improvements to the restaurant since taking over about a year and a half ago. I must say Gashouse Pizza has really been jazzed up with new flooring, a flat-screen television, improved and expanded seating, soda fountains and a new paint job. The theme of the restaurant is very casual with license plates, gas pumps, oil cans and other garage décor tastefully accenting the establishment. Gashouse previously had two locations in Chico, but the restaurants were consolidated into one about five years ago.

We were greeted at the counter by a very sweet young lady who patiently and politely took our orders. I requested the Italian club panini, which came with layered salami, ham, pepperoni and bacon topped with provolone cheese and garlic basil aioli. Rodger went with the smoked chicken panini (sliced smoked chicken breast topped with flame-roasted bell peppers and onions, with Jack cheese and garlic basil aioli), and ordered the Portobello mushroom and the spinach panini for Sophia (largely sliced Portobello mushrooms topped with Asiago cheese, fresh basil, spinach and pesto sauce).

Each panini was reasonably priced at $6.95; Gashouse also offers many combinations of pizzas ($13-$20, with one-topping slices at $1.95) and regular sandwiches ($4.95-$5.95).

The same young lady who took our order also delivered the food to our table with a nice smile. I enjoyed and recommend the Italian club with its generous amounts of meats accented masterfully by the melted provolone and warmed garlic basil aioli. Rodger said his panini was excellent, and Sophia ate most of hers.

I am not a Chicoan, and Rodger tells me that I will never have the title Chicoan bestowed upon me. However, I am an American who loves good Italian food at a reasonable price. Coming from the city that never sleeps, I instinctively know where to find good gravy, pasta and slices when I get the urge.

Gashouse Pizza reminds me of being in the Village, enjoying the food and relaxed conversation. Gower has created a great combination of tasty, quality Italian food with a casual environment.