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Zia: The Born-Again Pizza Experience

Case in point: Zia Gourmet Pizza. This place has ruined pizza for me. Sure, I can still enjoy a pepperoni pizza, but it has lost the magic that it possessed before I discovered pizza covered in rosemary potatoes and cream cheese, spinach and yogurt. Now, before you decry this shocking transmogrification of pizza as blasphemy (and by the way, Zia is worlds away from CPK – the whole wheat crust is sheer genius), I ask you to simply walk through the doors of this humble Normal Heights (3311 Adams Ave.) establishment and lay down a few bucks for a slice.

My favorite part: if you order a whole pizza (a mere twenty bucks for most of them), they will call your name to the counter when its ready and then delicately open the box, granting you a brief moment to gaze upon your prize like the golden contents of the Pulp Fiction briefcase. To top it all off, the owner Khaled, who escaped the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan before coming to our neighborhood, is one of the nicest people in town.

Two important notes:

1) If you plan on ordering a whole pizza, don't wait until you're starving to go. They take about 30 minutes to make a pizza.

2) This is a dinner place, so show up when it’s open - 5pm to 10pm every day.

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