Pizza and pairings

Woodstock’s reopens downtown; Allstate owners give back; plus, it’s Butte County Restaurant Week

New digs I had the opportunity last Wednesday (Jan. 8) to check out Woodstock’s Pizza’s new space at Third and Main streets, and I must say I was impressed. Walking into the spacious corner spot when it was Crepeville was often a bummer—the cavernous dining room was generally three-quarters empty and the back room, which offered a cool history lesson on the way to the loo, was dark and underutilized.

Not so with Woodstock’s. The open kitchen remains, but the front counter area has been transformed into a nice U-shaped bar. The front dining room has bar tables, while the back room is filled with traditional seating. Plus, there are fire pits and games on the patio. Overall, the vibe is way cooler than it was on East Second Street. The flood in the previous locale, while tragic, definitely spurred some positive change.

While there, I got a chance to sample some food. The pizza was a known quantity—my favorite slice was the Grateful Veg. But I hadn’t ever eaten Woodstock’s Wildebread, with or without cheese, or the Man Cave Wings. I tried the bread with cheese and the dry-rubbed wings—delicious, easily something I’d go back for and wash down with a pint.

Speaking of pizza Kevin Jaradah over at The Lab Bar & Grill informs me that he’s ordered a pizza oven, expected to arrive in the next couple of weeks. Once here, he’ll be trying out recipes for crusts and toppings, so check in with the restaurant for a chance to be a guinea pig.

Do-gooders Last month, local Allstate insurance agency owners put together a clothing drive to benefit clients of Catalyst Domestic Violence Services. In addition, they were able to lobby the Allstate Foundation for a $20,000 grant for the nonprofit.

“Financial abuse is one of the top reasons domestic violence victims can’t leave abusive relationships, and it affects every community,” said Sonia Aery, an Allstate owner in Chico.

Eat up This Friday (Jan. 17) marks the beginning of Butte County Restaurant Week, organized by Explore Butte County, a regional tourism organization. Participants span the county for this second annual event, many more than last year.

I’m particularly pleased to see restaurants from Gridley getting involved—Casa Lupe, Gridley Grill & Crab Shack and Habanero Fish & Tacos are high on the list of go-to spots. Paradise is also on the map, with Nic’s; there’s Almendra Winery & Distillery in Durham; and The Exchange and Miner’s Alley Brewing Co. in Oroville. The theme is the same as last year, “Perfect Pairings,” and each spot on the map will be offering special drink and food pairings. Go to to find out more.