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Locals get fired up for this pizza

Best of the Best
By: Eric Laughlin Telegraph correspondent
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It hasn’t even been around for a decade, but Chicago Fire has evolved into a dining landmark in the heart of Historic Folsom. It also has the best pizza in town, according to our readers. Its top spot on the list probably has something to do with the owner’s passion for pizza. In fact, Eric Schnetz will tell you himself that he maintains an obsession with researching Chicago pizza and what makes it special. He’s been making pizza ever since he and his wife Tami left Chicago for the Golden State in 1986. Years later of course, the couple would go on to open Chicago Fire on Sutter Street in 2003, and its subsequent success led to the opening of similar restaurants in Midtown Sacramento and Roseville. There’s even one coming soon to the Palladio Lifestyle Center in Folsom. According to General Manager Pete Kertesz, the restaurant’s success comes as result of Schnetz’ passion for quality and authenticity. “It’s because we don’t cut corners,” he said. “(Schnetz) is very adamant on using fresh, high quality ingredients. He also conducts lots of research to create the perfect product before opening doors to the public. “I’m from Chicago myself and very familiar with the pizza and this is a very authentic tribute,” he added. When it comes to variety, Chicago Fire serves a traditional, wafer-thin crust pie that’s cut into squares, a gourmet stuffed one and a flaky deep dish. Kertesz said the thin crust is the most popular choice among Chicagoans. The restaurant also serves gourmet salads and chicken wings that are cooked to order. “That’s another way we’re different,” he said. “A lot of restaurants flash fry their wings and then heat them up later. Ours are flowered and made fresh to order.” And yet another of the restaurant’s distinguishing features is its rich, dark-colored, Chicago-like setting. All three locations have their own mural; Roseville has a full wall rendition of Wrigley Field. Pizza lover Jeffrey Hagar said he enjoys both the food and the venue. “It’s a great place to go out to on a Friday night,” he said. “You’re right on the corner of the most happening spot and the pizza is really good.” With the recent growth, Kertesz said the restaurant has considered expanding even more, but only at a pace that maintains its high quality experience. Chicago Fire is located at 614 Sutter Street in Historic Folsom. For more information and to check out the menu, visit them online at chicagofire.com. * * * BEST PIZZA Winner: Chicago Fire Where: 614 Sutter St., Folsom Phone: (916) 353-0140 Online: chicagofire.com