Spicy Chicken at Christian's PizzaSpicy Chicken at Vita NovaFor years, Christian’s has been the undisputed champ of the by-the-slice division. With four stores in the Charlottesville area and a following so rabid that there is at least one vanity license plate around town that features the name of a signature slice,* Christian’s is Charlottesville’s own Italian Stallion.

In the last few years, however, a new contender entered the ring, threatening to topple the aging giant. Its name was Vita Nova – “New Life” – and with its youthful energy and ravenous appetite, not to mention a manager who had previously helped train Christian’s, it was poised to upset the town favorite and win the belt (and require that a few notches be added to it to make it suitable for a 38-inch waist, maybe even a 40). First reports must have had Christian’s shaking in its red leather boots.

I can’t speak to the outcome of such early match-ups, but in this most recent bout, Christian’s knocked out Vita Nova in the first 30 seconds. It was almost sad. I wanted a good fight. One of Vita Nova’s main problems, aside from the fact that it came out looking haggard and greasy, like it hadn’t slept or taken a shower since clubbing last night, was that it had no backbone. Compared to Christian’s crisp posture, Vita Nova was a pile of blubbery goo. I can get into cheesy pizza with a softer crust, but not when the grease is pooling and the ingredients are past their prime. Christian’s “Spicy Chicken” also packs the kind of punch you might expect from the name, while Vita Nova’s limp-wristed chicken-wing punches barely register.

Looking back on this match-up, it strikes me as unfair to use Rocky analogies. Most of the fights depicted in those films were close. This is more like a pre-facial-tattoo, pre-ear-biting, pre-Hangover-cameoing Mike Tyson taking down Marvis Frazier in less than 30 seconds back in 1986. Unbelievable. Your 30 seconds are nearly up, Vita Nova!

* I believe the plate says “Spcy Chx.”