Author Topic: Garcia's Pizza  (Read 93552 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

Pappy Gonzalez

  • Guest
Garcia's Pizza
« on: April 03, 2003, 05:56:46 PM »
Going to college at the University of Illinois, I fell in love with the pizza at Garcia's Pizza.  I have yet to find anything like it here in California.  Its a thick crust pizza that is baked in rectangular pans and served by the slice in 6" x 8" slices. The sauce is unique in its sweetness and its also kinda chunky. Im getting hungry just typing this. That Papa Dels was down the street from Garcias in Champaign -Urbana and there is definetly a distinct difference between the two pizzas.
 Anyway, can anyone help me with the recipie so I can make this for football days with my friends here in California?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1050044400 »


Offline Steve

  • Steve Zinski
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1900
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Richmond, VA
    • pizzamaking.com
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2003, 08:08:49 PM »
Ah yes, Garcia's pizza.

The only help I can give you is that their crust recipe tastes like it might have cardamom in it. My wife has a recipe for Cardamom Bread which tastes very similar to Garcia's pizza dough. I never got around to making a pizza using the bread recipe, but I'd bet money that it'd make an pretty good clone. If you want, I can post the bread recipe and you can experiment with it.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1050044400 »
Pizzamaking.com is a member-supported public resource. Click HERE to become a Supporting Member.

Tony Jimenez

  • Guest
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2003, 01:10:36 PM »
I know of two particular places that sound like what you are looking for. First is LaMonicas pizza.  They have two locations (Pasadena, CA and Westwood, CA).  Lamonicas features a thin crust and a Sicilian (what you are looking for).  Also, Gina's Pizza in Montebello, CA offers a great thick-style pizza (not square) but a great pizza though.

Hope this helps...Tony Jimenez - Los Angeles, CA

Offline DKM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Texas
  • Chicago - Now that's Pizza!
    • The Emperor.net
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2003, 05:43:38 PM »
If you want, I can post the bread recipe and you can experiment with it.

I want! Please post it.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards

Offline Steve

  • Steve Zinski
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1900
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Richmond, VA
    • pizzamaking.com
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2003, 02:48:47 PM »
Basic Sweet Dough

2 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cardamom
4 eggs, beaten
8 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter

Sprinkle yeast in the warm water. Let stand a few minutes; stir to blend. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, eggs, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add 3 more cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour make a soft dough which can be handled. Cover, let rest 15 minutes. Turn out on floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl; turn greased side up. Cover with damp towel. Let rise in warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down. Cover. Let rise again until almost doubled (about 1/2 hour). Turn out on lightly floured board. Divide into 3 equal parts. After shaping, let rise 20 minutes, until puffy, but not doubled. Bake at 375 degrees F. for 20 to 25 minutes or lightly brown.

-----------------------------------------------------

Note: My wife made this bread and it reminded me of Garcia's pizza (Champaign/Urbana, Illinois). One day I will experiment with this dough recipe and try to make pizza with it. This recipe is posted as-is and is not scaled nor tweaked for pizza. Good luck!!
Pizzamaking.com is a member-supported public resource. Click HERE to become a Supporting Member.

YoMomma

  • Guest
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2003, 08:58:52 PM »
Okay, I tried this (above)  recipe and it is getting there, but not quite there.  The texture was good but the flavor was off.    This may sound pathetic, but I've spent the past 25 years trying to recreate Garcia's pizza - it is the standard by which I judge ALL pizza.  Next time, I'm leaving out the cardamon and reducing the sugar by 1/2 & hopefully I will be one step closer to cloning this.  I could just kick myself for not goint to work for them back in the 70's when I lived in Illoinis.  :'(

JonesinForPizza

  • Guest
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2003, 10:12:19 PM »
I regret to notify you of the almost demise of Garcia's Pizza.

In 1990 or so, I had a friend that managed there.  Every few months, he would say, "Yup.  We're using cheaper tomatoes."  Or "Now we're not using butter anymore."

The taste of the pizza today isn't what it was in the 80's (gawd... am I so old?!)

Of course, people didn't notice the individual shortcuts as they happened one by one.  But eventually, the pizza tasted more and more like plastic.  There were 4 or 5 locations in Champaign/Urbana alone.  Last time I visited, they were down to 1 or 2.  That was a year or so ago.

Papa Dell's, however, remains strong, and the pizza is still great.


Offline Steve

  • Steve Zinski
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1900
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Richmond, VA
    • pizzamaking.com
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2003, 08:09:26 AM »
Sadly, the same has happened to several local pizzerias here in Richmond.

I have vivid memories of some of the best pizza that I've ever eaten as a child back in the 1970's. The Italian Kitchen and Julian's Restaurant here in Richmond made some of the most outstanding pizza that I can remember.

Over the years, the parents of the family-owned businesses died and the children have taken over... in the case of both of these pizzerias, the original recipes were altered and the quality of the pizza has gone down hill. When I moved back to Richmond (from Champaign/Urbana) back in 1995, I visited both of these restaurants. In both cases the pizza tasted nothing like I remember, but there was an ever-so-slight hint of flavor that I remembered from days gone by. Now, 8 years later, the pizza tastes absolutely nothing like I remember.  :'(

I've written to the owners of both restaurants and asked for the original recipe. Of course they politely said no. So they won't release the original recipe and they won't make the original recipe. The pizza is lost forever!! :'(

I'm experimenting now... trying to reproduce what I remember. So far not much luck.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2003, 08:10:33 AM by Steve »
Pizzamaking.com is a member-supported public resource. Click HERE to become a Supporting Member.

Offline YoMomma

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 28
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2003, 11:16:14 AM »
Say it ain't so!!   :o   I can't bear the thought that it's not the same...and that I'll never, ever taste that taste again!   :'(   I dream of returning  to the champaign/urbana area just to have garcia's again and also a place called monical's (for thin crust pizza).  My parents returned there several years back and noticed the garcia's had closed (in a town near champaign) and promptly sent me a sympathy card to help mourn the passing.  

JonesinForPizza, you've just gotta get in touch w/ your manager friend and pick his brain for ALL the ins-n-outs of how it used to be.

I must go now and find a shoulder to cry on.

Offline Randy

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2020
  • Age: 67
  • Pizza, a great Lycopene source
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2003, 06:57:36 PM »
In my search for pizza nirvana I have not found a single recipe that covers in detail all the information required to make good dough.  When the old timers past away if the children never paid attention to the art of a recipe then truly all is lost.
I am reminded of the original McDonald french-fry.  Those of you who were born to late to have tasted a fresh cut french fry at McDonalds have missed out on the best French fry in the world.  But they are gone forever.


Offline DKM

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1684
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Texas
  • Chicago - Now that's Pizza!
    • The Emperor.net
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2003, 10:38:45 PM »
There is a lot of that going on.  I was talking to guy who works at a Pizza Inn and was amazed at the difference in how dough is made now - Dump 25lbs mix bag, add water vs. when I worked at one where almost all the ingredients were added individually.

DKM
I'm on too many of these boards

NotEmul8d

  • Guest
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2003, 09:39:34 AM »
Say it ain't so!!   :o   I can't bear the thought that it's not the same...and that I'll never, ever taste that taste again!   :'(   I dream of returning  to the champaign/urbana area just to have garcia's again and also a place called monical's (for thin crust pizza).  My parents returned there several years back and noticed the garcia's had closed (in a town near champaign) and promptly sent me a sympathy card to help mourn the passing.  

JonesinForPizza, you've just gotta get in touch w/ your manager friend and pick his brain for ALL the ins-n-outs of how it used to be.

I must go now and find a shoulder to cry on.

it's even worse than you think.  they've cheapened more than just tomatos... they no longer make their own dough, but buy pre-made dough nowadays. :(

Monical's and Papa Del's at least are still as good as they've always been, at least.

Offline YoMomma

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 28
Re:Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2003, 08:20:14 PM »
 :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(

Joey T.

  • Guest
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2005, 08:11:05 PM »
A former Garcia's employee told me what that secret ingredient in the sauce is; powered beets.

Does anyone have the rest of the recipe?

How I miss the Wright Street store and its great upstairs view of the Quad...

   - JAT

Offline YoMomma

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 28
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2005, 12:07:20 PM »
I wonder if they sold the original recipe to someone else and it is being made under a different name.  It's a shame to let something like that die.  Fine if they want to compromise and do crappy cheaper pizza now, but let someone keep the original recipe alive. 

Offline Steve

  • Steve Zinski
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 1900
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Richmond, VA
    • pizzamaking.com
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2005, 10:30:48 PM »
Anybody seen their new website?

http://www.garciaspizzainapan.com/
Pizzamaking.com is a member-supported public resource. Click HERE to become a Supporting Member.

Offline brianc

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 15
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2005, 10:39:52 AM »
Garcia's was also big at Purdue (West Lafayette, IN) until the mid 90s, when I guess they changed the recipe and no one really liked the pizza, so they closed up shop.

jeremy

  • Guest
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2005, 10:39:54 PM »
there is a  store in denton tx called the tomatoe which used to be the flying tomatoe brothers which was owned by ralph and joe i talked to the owner he still makes the same pizza as garcias fresh dough everymorning old recipe same ingrediants going next week i live in san antonio but grew up in rantoul il acroos the street from a garcias so i will let you know if its the same

Mike

  • Guest
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2005, 09:41:58 PM »
It is amazing to me (Oklahoma City) and a brother of mine that lives in Miami, FL that like the best  5-6 pizzas we ever had were all in Champaign, IL! ...Garcia's, Papa Dell's, Monical's (remember the family special with the big salad bowl?--man, those juicy, greasy, bubbly  little squares were savory!), the Italian Village, and Pizza Village or something on Mattis ave.There was another one hidden in the heart of Urbana that sliced their pieces into skinny strips..anybody remember the name of that place? Also I loved a place called Shakey's..they served fun at Shakey's..also pizza!

They also had the best fish sandwich in the world at a place called Deluxe Tavern or Deluxe Inn.

Matt

  • Guest
Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2005, 06:46:39 PM »
If anyone can approximate the recipe for the Garcia's Crust or Sauce I would be so very, very pleased. I lived in Rantoul in the 80s and used to eat there every chance I got. I was recently in Iowa and almost made a trip out to Peroria to see if it was the same. I didn't have time, and now I am kinda glad I didn't.

Monical's (sp?) was pretty good to, It's still a treat whenever you see anyone cut a pizza like that.

There were still a couple of Shakey's up here in Western Washington state as of a few years ago. The pizza was still pretty darn good.


 

pizzapan