Monday, August 13, 2007

And The Best Pizza In Peoria Is......

HA! I knew that would get a lot of attention with the Leonardo's fiasco going on. And there have been debates on other sites who is \was the best maker of pizza in Peoria. Leonardos, Agatuccis, Avantis, etc. I like Fedoras, but I most likely wouldn't sit there and eat it...no beer :) Everyone seems to have differing opinions on what great pizza should be.

So, what, in your opnion makes a good "pie". Don't type things like "Peoria needs a place like Zeppie's Pizza in Philadephia". Well, hell, only YOU would know what that tastes like....but WHAT makes it SO great.

Personally, I do not think there is a definitive answer. There are so many styles, flavor profiles, etc., that I doubt one place could be hailed "The Best Pizza Joint In Peoria".

I, myself, am not found of the wafer thin crusts like Penquin Tap serves. For a reference point (since you've all probably have had it), I like the thickness of Dominos original hand tossed (doesn't mean I'm thrilled with their pizza) crust. I like a sauce with a little natural sweetness to it (which means a little more expensive sauce as it probably isn't loaded with citric acid to bring out the flavor of an inferior product) but also has a good amount seasoning and definitely some "zip"..not spicy..."zip". I think ingredients should be bite sized...not whole pieces of bell peppers, but not found of the mini diced ingredients that you can not distinguish one flavor from another. Cheese: I'm sorry, but plain ol' mozzarella doesn't do it for me...just doesn't have much flavor. Give me a mozz\provolone\fontina\asiago blend or something. Soggy crusts sucks. If I wanted everything to slide off the piece of pizza onto my shirt, I'll just go to the kitchen and have them put the ingredients on my clothes and spare myself the agony of a burnt chin and scalded thighs. My roommate at the CIA mother was Italian. She said she always baked the crust a few minutes before putting on the ingredients. This logic was to prevent any excess liquid from the sauce or watery ingredients (like fresh mushrooms and onions) from soaking and sogging the crust...kind of the same theory when baking fruit pies.

Ok, you know what pizza would get me going back and back and back....what pizza style does it for you?

13 comments:

Jennifer said...

I like a crust that is crispy on the bottom, but with a bit of chew, and a good, slightly yeasty flavor.

I am fond of Nick and Willy's pizza. (Okay, it's a chain, but with a local franchise owner.) I like the personal ones that they cook in-store best. It seems the higher heat oven just makes it taste better than when I cook it at home.
My favorite is the pizza margherita made with pizza sauce (the olive oil glaze is good, too).

Jeep2000 said...

I like a good thin, crispy, cracker-type crust. And the cheese has to be salty and buttery and stringy, no bland cheese for me.
I like it cooked to where the cheese is just starting to brown. Mmm...

Julie0917 said...

I honestly think that Avanti's has the best pizza. I think that because of all the reasons that you listed Chef Kev. I Love Aggies, but I think that is a sentimental choice. I also love Davis Brothers, but I know that to many, that is an aquired taste!

My Flock Rocks! said...

This might sound weird, but we like Jack's frozen pizza...We have a Pizza Pizzaz which cooks the top and the bottom at the same time so you get nice crispy crust and bubbly cheese. I'll get a plain pizza, and add my own likings like fresh sausage (not mystery meat) deli pepperoni, fresh garlic, shrooms, onions, olives, and best of all extra cheese. Yum, it's delicious!



We don't go out for pizza that often, for reasons we haven't found a place we like, the beer is expensive and now there's no smoking sections. I really don't smoke, the cigarette does!

Avanti's is good, but I never been to Aggatuchi's which I have heard is excellent. So, after reading Chef Kev's blog I told my hubby yesterday we should go. We were in Peoria and just our luck, there was a sign in the window Closed, On Vacation until... I thought of Leonardo's...nah, couldn't be...

I am not a fan of chain pizza joints, and after my son who worked at one years ago told me the stories of what goes on in the kitchen, well, I lost my appetite for any pizza especially hand tossed pizza...

Anonymous said...

My order of preference...

1. Aggies
2. Hoops
3. Monical's
4. Rizzi's
5. Avanti's

Leonardo's will be missed. I haven't been to Peoria Pizza Works in a LONG time, but remember their deep dish being quite tasty. Probably forgetting some. I need to checkout Fedora's...

PeoriaScott

New Peoria Resident said...

Peoria Pizza Works has AWESOME deep dish pizza. Otherwise Aggatucci's has the BEST pizza in town. Fedora's spinach pizza is tasty, but can be very soggy! Besides, you can order Aggie's pizza half baked, and even get the tiger sauce to go so you can take it home and bake it in your own oven!

PeoriaIllinoisan said...

Let me first say that All Pizza Is Good Pizza.

My favorites:
Avantis
Firehouse
Unos

Kevin Lowe said...

I prefer crispy yet chewy crust, hand-tossed toward the thin side of things, but not cracker-like. Light on the sauce, which should have prominent overtones of garlic. Straight mozzarella, or mozz/provolone blend. Top with crushed red peppers and/or Red Hot.

Hoops is my favorite. I've never cared for Aggatucci's. IMHO it's cracker-like with all the taste of cheesy cardboard. For all its blandness, I don't understand why so many people dig it (*just my opinion, folks, please don't flame me*). Second place is Monical's followed by Avanti's. For deep dish, I've always liked Pizza Works.

I've heard good things about Firehouse and am anxious to check it out.

Of course, the absolute best is the fresh, homemade stuff. I encourage everyone to get a pizza stone and experiment!!

Grandma's Attic said...

Personally, I like my own ho-made 'za. I found a most excellent recipe that calls for bread flour and cake flour. Keeps it soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. I like a blend of cheeses, most often I just use mozz & prov. Toppings are anything we want. Otherwise, I like Hoops when it is hot out of their oven, Monicals for good thin crust, and Avanti's when I don't want to make my own but want it delivered. :)

Katie said...

It's been a while since I've had it, but you all should head over to Hammer's in Bartonville. Their crust is closer to hand tossed with a heavy amount of cheese and toppings. The leftovers work very well for breakfast in the morning. Mmmm...cold pizza first thing in the morning!

Gary said...

I saw some bit about best pizza in Peoria on another site a few months back and darn near vomitted at the list. I never went back to the site since nobody there had any sense of taste. Many of the above weren't mentioned.
I'd have to raise my glass for Fedora's. Every pizza I have had from there (too few in my opinion) has been outstanding. While other places may be tasty, I don't get that fullness of the package from them consistently.

Paul Wilkinson said...

Giordono's deep dish spinach pie is hard to beat, but then we're not talking Chicago.

Peoria, we go to Firehouse. Locally owned and operated by Shane and Kelly Couri is hard to beat. They also are supportive of local events. Their new place out in the 5th district requires two plane changes and a subway pass from Central Peoria, but worth the trip.

anon e. mouse said...

Tobin's in Bloomington

Frozen, I prefer Home Run Inn