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Fire Artisan Pizza opened on Columbia Center Boulevard this month and the much-anticipated Rock Wood-Fired Pizza & Spirits restaurant being built on 395 is supposed to open in January. It's a good time to be a pizza lover in Tri-Cities.

I asked Rock Nation members to participate in a survey about pizza. Almost 40 percent said they were willing to pay at least $15 for a good pie, 15 percent said they'd pay up to $20, another 15 said they'd pay up to $25. More than 23 percent said they'd pay up to $30 for a really good pie.

With Mid-Columbia residents willing to drop good money on good pizza, it means restaurateurs will be comfortable coming here. And we're seeing that already with Fire Artisan Pizza and Rock Wood-Fired Pizza.

As people get more excited about wood-fired pizza, Ernesto's (the guy you've seen at the Pasco Farmer's Market and other places around town) is going to get more business. As people get used to paying more for pizza, older joints like Hubby's and Round Table Pizza will see more business, as well, when folks quit being tightwads.

And as pop culture debates Chicago vs. New York-style pizza, let me give a shout out to New York Richie's in Kennewick. It's pretty damn good. I've been to Manhattan, I had pizza three different times at three different places because I wanted to try them. New York Richie's is really authentic.

The fact that so few pizzerias try to emulate Chicago-style (other than Pizza Hut *snicker, snicker*) is evidence it's not as good. Then again, think of it from a business perspective. NY pizza costs you about $5 to make, and Chicago probably costs you $10. If you sell it for $20, which are you going to make?

That said, I've never had real, REAL Chicago pizza like I've seen on TV.

I just like NY style. I want pizza flat, not too much cheese, the right sauce, the right dough.