It’s Friday night and Dad just got paid in 1980-something. I’m in Russellville with Mom, Sister (who was a Christian, as we all were), and a few cousins. Just kids in a small town out for pizza.
After we order the pizza I try to cure my Pacman fever, but there’s still too much time on my hands and the pizza seems to take all night long. But I have faith and don’t stop believin’. Soon that glorious circle with meat, tomato sauce, spices, and cheese going round and round was on the table.
My hunger says let’s go crazy, but the pizza was hotter than St. Elmo’s fire. So I used a slow hand to sprinkle parmesan cheese. Hungry as the wolf, though, I can’t hold back. I need to eat it… just eat it, and that first slice — cheese dripping and still piping hot — singes the roof of my mouth. I’d lost control in the heat of the moment. But straight up, it hurt so good.
I want to relive that pizza experience today and find what I’m looking for at Brick Oven Pizza Company in Russellville. At Brick Oven, I watch the pizza go into the oven’s burning heart where cold ingredients transform into something, well… oh oh… It’s magic.
Golden crust — not cracker thin, not doughy thick, but right into the groove— tangy tomato sauce, piles of pepperoni and magnificent mozzarella stringing from the first slice lifted. It deserves a photograph or two. And like time after time, I hold on loosely to self control as the roof of my mouth is in the danger zone while my tastebuds arrive in Paradise City.
It could be 1980-something.