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Warm, spicy pizza. UNO cards flying across a brightly lit living room. Jokes, laughter, smiles being exchanged, joy enveloping an urban, two story house. Friends, family, siblings unwinding from the stress of the previous week.

Central to this get together is the familiar taste of Achari Gobi pizza from Fremont’s Curry Pizza House, but this experience has changed because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Prior to the lockdowns, almost every Saturday evening, my family and I would visit our closest friends, people who we considered to be family. Being the oldest of the children present, I did not really fit in anywhere, so my interactions were fleeting and dispersed.

Uncle and Aunty, what I called the two adults of this family, would ask me how I was doing, what I was up to, and how school was going.

Their youngest daughter would tell me hilarious stories, gossiping about this friend or that friend, recollecting all of the exciting, crazy things that had happened in the past week.

Their older son would ramble on and on about random conspiracy theories in his pessimistic manner, one of his defining personality traits.

We would all laugh, talk, and play UNO.

The final touch was the Curry Pizza House pizza, two enormous boxes, coated in red and white color, seated in contrast to a dark brown dining table.

Food holds the power of comfort, and in this case, memories.

Around six months into the COVID-19 lockdown, my family decided to order an Achari Gobi pizza from Curry Pizza House. When we sat down to eat, I felt memories of our get-togethers surfacing, cards flying everywhere, warmth, bright lights, chatter, and lots of laughter.

We typically order two pizzas: Achari Gobi and Shahi Paneer.

The Achari Gobi is my personal favorite, a pizza base topped with white garlic sauce, cheese, red onions, cilantro, and the star, achari gobhi which is spicy cauliflower. In all honesty, this pizza can be difficult to adjust to simply because the flavor profile is so unique. The perfect blend of spice, a subtle yet powerful sauce coupled with the taste of baked cauliflower, this pizza always finds new ways to surprise me while bringing back elements of familiarity.

The Shahi Paneer is a close second to the Achari Gobi, a pizza base doused in creamy shahi sauce, cheese, bell peppers, red onions, green onions, diced tomatoes, black olives, cilantro, and marinated paneer which is cottage cheese. Once my favorite, now behind, this pizza is perfect for those who enjoy the rich flavors of cheese, prefer medium spice, and for those who want to explore new flavors but don’t quite know how far they are ready to go.

All in all, Curry Pizza House is a must try for all, not only because of the high quality pizza and the unique flavors the restaurant offers, but also because, for me, of the memories of family associated with the Curry Pizza House experience.

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