I want some Mr. Gatti’s pizza. Which is odd because I haven’t even thought about Mr. Gatti’s pizza for 10 years and their regular pizza is fairly mediocre. The best reason to go to Mr. Gatti’s was their dessert pizzas – Dutch Apple Treat, Very Cherry Dessert, and Chocolate Crème – mmmm. I can’t recall ever having the Coconut Crème pizza, but after looking at the photo on their website I’d like to rectify that oversight. I could go for some cinnamon sticks too.
Mr. Gatti’s is a southeastern chain of pizza restaurants, so those of you who don’t have a drawl probably haven’t eaten there or even heard of the place. I lived in Louisville, Kentucky during my middle school and high school years. During field trips our school bus would pull up into their parking lot and dump a hundred hungry teenagers into their dining room with the large projection TV screen. We’d line up at the front register and pay our $6.00 for the buffet and then walk past the sneeze guard grabbing slices of whatever we wanted. This was easier than stopping at McDonalds because we could just grab food and go sit down instead of waiting at a register for personalized orders to be served on plastic trays.
When I think of Mr. Gatti’s, I don’t think so much about their pizza or all the times I went back for way too many helpings of cinnamon sticks. I think about that time in my life. I remember celebrating an academic tournament win in their dark dining room. I remember escaping molded plastic chairs in classrooms if only for a day. I remember being a kid. It reminds me of Louisville. It doesn’t matter that the pepperoni pizza was forgettable. I have other memories tossed into their pizza dough. I want to go back there so I can eat the memories.
As an insightful little copy editor says on their website, “When pizza is made right, it is joy in the round. It is a social experience just waiting to happen.” I never went to Mr. Gatti’s except on special occasions, which is why it has a special little spot in my head. It’s odd that the thought of a simple little restaurant chain can do all that.
Anybody else have food like this?