Ridge pizza, fire and art

Sliced Wood Fire Pizza comes to Paradise; Magalia’s Depot closed after fire; and art on display at Arabica Cafe

I’ve noticed recently that I spend an awful lot of time in Chico. And that time is generally spent in a small radius around where I work, sleep and play, though I do try to expand my view. I also try to make it down to Oroville as much as possible. Or, to be more precise, I try to get out more in Oroville when I’m down there. I lived in Paradise for a time and the commute, while pretty going up and down the Skyway, was just not worth it. For me, anyway. Now I’m feeling hard-pressed to remember the last time I was on the Ridge. I’ve got to get up there more!

Facebook makes it easy to keep up, though. That’s how I found out about Sliced Fire Baked Pizza, a new mobile food establishment that hit the streets this week.

Zack Thomas, who partnered in this venture with Josh Tatum, has been making pizzas since he was 17 years old. He’s now 29. And boy, do his pies look delicious. According to Thomas, the two built the trailer themselves, complete with a wood-firing pizza oven. A former resident of Virginia, Thomas told me he “moved to Paradise in November and saw the opportunity this small town offered, being there is no wood-fired pizza and a small amount of culinary choice (limited to diners, Mexican and Chinese), with only a few other standouts.”

The goal is to create pizza that’s unique in Paradise (which already boasts a Celestino’s, Mountain Mike’s and Round Table—not to mention a Domino’s, Little Caesars and Papa Murphy’s). “With Sliced, we wanted to take all the things that make different varieties of pizza great and build on that,” Thomas said. He’s dedicated to eating healthily and locally, so Sliced uses local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible. I saw a picture of tomatoes going into the oven to be used for a homemade pizza sauce. Mmm.

The mobile cart will be parked at Ron’s Wheel & Brake (5836 Clark Road) seven days a week, from 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Online ordering available (www.slicedmobile.com).

Burned out I’m bummed to hear about the fire at The Depot Restaurant & Cafe in a historic building in Magalia earlier this month, which has shut down the popular eatery for the foreseeable future. I know Ridge residents love the place—it tied for second place for Best Restaurant on the Ridge in the CN&R’s Best of Chico readers’ poll in 2016. Plus, I’d prefer to see prosperity over despair any day. I wish you well, Depot.

Healing art I wrote a few weeks ago about Arabica Cafe finally opening on Broadway downtown. Earlier this week, the director of Arabica’s art space, Linda Rogers, reached out to me about an upcoming exhibit, which opens today (June 22). Artist Tatiana Allen’s statement is powerful. She says she turned to art in a dark hour following a sexual assault that left her agoraphobic. Her art, in contrast, is bright and whimsical. Go see for yourself. The reception for “Metaphor Circus” is tonight, 7-9 p.m., at Arabica Cafe (142 Broadway).