ON THE MENU — Visit Pizza Artista this week for Santa, stay for great tastes

Published 12:40 am Sunday, December 11, 2022

GROVES — George Geisel is passionate about many things, and two of his favorites are pizza and the community.

“I want to help the community out,” he said. “It’s my town, so I want to support the city as much as I can.”

The restaurateur opened Pizza Artista in Groves last year and is planning a special holiday event this week.

Pictured, from left, are Cody Tedder, Makayla Dupuis, Kate LeFort, Colby Batson, Kenley Migues, Noah Calhoun, George Geisel, Logan Tedder, Payton Bryan and Caden Hall. The students are members of the Port Neches-Groves High School band. (Courtesy photo)

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From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 17, customers who come by 3814 Main Avenue will enjoy a fire truck, face painting and visits with Santa. There is no charge for pictures with Santa.

“We’re going to have a lot of fun,” Geisel said.

Those are more than just words for the local businessman, who has more than five years experience donning the Santa suit, himself, and serving at various community and school events.

He remembers a special moment a few years back when he was running the local Domino’s.

“I went down to Van Buren Elementary and had 300 kids sit on my lap,” Geisel recalls. “Later, I got a Facebook message from one dad, saying ‘I don’t know who you are, but I’m telling you right now, you just made a good friend. My daughter came home and was so excited about you being there as Santa that she took all the stuff you gave her in the gift bag and made a little Domino’s outfit.’

“I still have the message.”

Geisel says seeing the kids’ faces so excited is the best part.

“They want to tell me everything they want,” he said. “It makes me happy to see them excited.”

Face painting for the children has been a popular event during previous fun days hosted at Pizza Artista in Groves. The free perk comes back for the Christmas celebration Dec. 17. (Courtesy photo)

The pizza

Geisel opened Pizza Artista to provide gourmet pizza and hospitality. The location specializes in Cajun-inspired pizzas while providing all the standards food lovers enjoy.

One popular local favorite is The ARTISTA with red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage, crumbled beef, ham, yellow onions, mushrooms, green bell pepper and black olives.

The deluxe calzone has also been popular for its flavor and heartiness.

Catching many people’s attention these days is the Boucherie pizza with its Cajun spice.

“The Boucherie pizza is a Boudin pizza,” Geisel said. “It’s a little spicy. People love it. We have ghost pepper cheese that goes on it.”

It can be customized to meet individual tastes but also traditionally includes cracklin dust and Steen’s Syrup to create mouth-watering flavor and a slight sweetness that brings the bold and savory together.

Ultimately, Geisel feels, it’s the flavors across the board that make Pizza Artista special.

“It’s the way we make the pizza,” he said. “It doesn’t taste like Domino’s, Little Caesars, nothing like that. It comes out that oven, and the taste is amazing.”

To learn more about the holiday event, special kids-eat-free days and delivery options, stop by the restaurant or call 409-217-5600.

Joining Santa Claus at Pizza Artista next week will be local fire trucks, ready for children and families to explore and play around. (Courtesy photo)