Small Bite: Chicago Fire

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Chicago Fire Pizza&emdash;

If there’s anything I’ve learned from my visits to Chicago Fire, it’s that Sacramentans love their melted cheese. Oodles and oodles of it blanket the handsome pizzas that fly out of the kitchen of this busy restaurant, an outpost of the popular Folsom pizzeria that opened in midtown late last year.

Chicago Fire serves thin-crust, deep-dish and stuffed pizzas. If you’re as interested in your toppings as your cheese, order the thin crust, which offers a fairly equal proportion of the two. Interestingly, the toppings are placed underneath the cheese instead of on top. I enjoyed the crispy, light crust and the noticeable freshness of the pizza’s spinach and tomato slices. The deep-dish pizza, made with Italian sausage, pepperoni, salami and Canadian bacon, was a carnivore’s dream: salty, dense and satisfying. On a subsequent visit, a vegetarian stuffed pizza took approximately 45 minutes to arrive at the table and was so loaded with cheese that I was able to eat only a small amount.

The restaurant’s interior is beautiful, with old, rough, red brick walls and a Chicago city nightscape mural. If you don’t want to wait for a table, you can eat at the generously sized bar. Chicago Fire takes reservations, and it’s a good idea to make them&emdash;otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll have to stand around watching other people eat their pizzas before you’re able to order your own.

2416 J St., Sacramento; (916) 443-0440; chicagofirerestaurant.com

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