Author Topic: Garcia's Pizza  (Read 97842 times)

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Offline zappcatt

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2005, 11:48:07 PM »
Steve,
Do you know how "new" that website is? I seem to remember seeing it a couple years ago when I was jonesing for a stuffed guttbuster. The copyright notice on the bottom says 2003, and to check back for updates..but nothing seems to be updated.

I ate at Garcia's in Bloomington, IN when my family drove my brother back to IU in '85. I have never found another stuffed pizza anywhere near as good as it was...I would love to see a recipe or be able to buy one.

What was the concensus on the Garcias in Champ/Urb? Is it still there? Is it worth visiting, or is it a faint shadow of its former self?


Online Steve

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2005, 08:02:27 AM »
Can't answer your question... it has been 10 years since I lived in Champaign/Urbana.  :-\

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Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2005, 08:01:25 AM »
Steve,
Do you know how "new" that website is? I seem to remember seeing it a couple years ago when I was jonesing for a stuffed guttbuster. The copyright notice on the bottom says 2003, and to check back for updates..but nothing seems to be updated.

I ate at Garcia's in Bloomington, IN when my family drove my brother back to IU in '85. I have never found another stuffed pizza anywhere near as good as it was...I would love to see a recipe or be able to buy one.

What was the concensus on the Garcias in Champ/Urb? Is it still there? Is it worth visiting, or is it a faint shadow of its former self?

I think the concensus is that it has changed and nowhere near what it was. Someone that is North of Chicago should try Cheese to Please Pizza in Wilmette. The former owner was a manager at Garcia's, knew Ralph&Joe, made the pizza just like theirs, and now the new owners have the same recipe.

Offline Danivel

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2005, 08:17:08 PM »
Hi,

I grew up in Champaign-Urbana and I've thought they had the best pizza of anywhere I've ever been.  My favorite was always the Monical's Deluxe & Delight.  I really hate to hear about the demise of Garcia's, they were also great.  I've gotten pretty good at making crusts similar to Monicals but still have to figure out how to get the right taste from the toppings, I think it needs more grease from the sausage, or something.

As far as Garcia's, I found a recipe for a crust that tastes just like I remember it tasting.  It's actually from the Frugal Gourmet Cooks American cookbook.  I think the main thing that makes it taste "right" is the cornmeal.

2 Pkg Quick Rise Dry Yeast
2 cups Tepid Water (90)
1/2 Cup Salad Oil
4 Tbls. Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Cornmeal
5 1/2 Cup Flour

Intended for use with a KitchenAid mixer, rinse the bowl with warm water before starting to warm it up.

In the bowl of the mixer, dissolve the yeast in the water and wait a few minutes for it to become active.  Add the oils, corn meal, and 3 cups of the flour.  Beat for 10 minutes with the paddle, switch to the dough hook and add the other 2 1/2 cups of flour.  Knead for several minutes.  The dough should be very moist, not as dry as dough for bread would be.  I remove the dough, grease the bowl and, and then put the dough back in.  Allow it to rise till double, punch down, and allow it to rise a second time.  Punch down and make pizza!

This recipe will make two 9x13 pizzas, use metal pans, not glass.  Split the dough in half and spread it on the bottom of both greased pans, coming 1/2" up at the sides to create the lip.  I use a little bit of olive oil to coat the dough, helps keep the sauce from making it soggy.

The sauce should be made from canned plum tomatoes, drained and squished with your hands.  Add Basil, Oregano, Garlic, Salt, and a little bit of sugar, all to your taste.  The sauce should be pretty thick compared to other pizzas.

Spread the sauce on the pizza, add mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, but not too thick.  Add the topping of your choice.  For a GutBuster, add Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Onions, Green Pepper, and Mushrooms.  Garcia's used fairly large slices of the vegetables, so don't dice them up if you want a real GutBuster.  Don't cook the sausage first, the grease helps in flavoring the pizza.

The Frug said to cook at 475 for around 35 minutes.  I think that's too hot, I bake mine at 375 for around 45 minutes.  I made a couple of pans of this last night and it is amazing how close it is to Garcia's.

Have Fun!!

Dan...



Offline zappcatt

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2005, 08:43:31 PM »
AWESOME!!! Thanks for the "Garcias" recipe. A couple of questions.
1) When you say the recipe will make 2 9x13 pizzas, does that include the upper crust for the stuffed gutbuster?(did they have a non-stuffed gutbuster?)
2) Italian sausage- mild or hot?

Thanks again.
Zack

Offline Danivel

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2005, 09:32:06 PM »
Hi,

I never had a "stuffed" GutBuster at Garcia's.  I worked on campus and usually bought them by the Slice on Wright Street.  This amount of dough, split between the two pans, makes a crust about 1" thick in the middle, thicker at the edge, of course.  You have to be careful not to over-bake the pizza if you want it to turn out Garcia's, theirs was usually rushed out of the oven and the crust was still a bit on the gooey side.  It really messes up the taste if it's too done.

Dan...

Offline Danivel

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2005, 10:42:09 PM »
Sorry, missed the part about mild or hot sausage.  I like it hot but my wife can't handle it, so guess what I usually have to use.  I normally use Jimmy Dean's Italian sausage, it has good flavor and isn't too hot for my wife.  I also use Armour Pepperoni.  It's a lot cheaper and I think it has better flavor and is a little spicier than the other stuff.

The one other ingredient I use on almost all pizzas is green salad olives.  Monical's deluxe pizzas had them on   them and I got hooked.  You can have my share of black olives, I'd rather not have them on a pizza.

Dan...

Offline YoMomma

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2005, 11:40:50 AM »
I tried Danivel's crust recipe yesterday and want to say that the "taste" of the outer crust was not the same but the inner (gooey-like) texture is pretty darn close to what I remember - but then we are talking 30+ years of a now cloudy memory. 

Offline zenzera

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2006, 09:21:03 PM »
Hi all -

When I came across this site, I was so jonesing for Garcia's Pizza. It's a long way from LA!  But, I worked there in college.  The one thing I can remember is that we put cheese on top of the dough before the sauce.  Not shredded, but flat triangles of mozz.  I hope that helps.  Also, I called Garcia's pizza and asked if they shipped, the guy on the phone said yes, but the manager wasn't in, and he was the one to talk with.  Try the Garcia's in Normal, IL.  Lemme know if it works!

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #29 on: February 20, 2006, 09:56:56 AM »
I tried Garcia's in Normal about 10 years ago, and all 3 stores were closed down. Don't know if they opened new stores there again. :(


Offline ralph

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2006, 06:27:19 PM »
I feel really old writing this.  We used to roadtrip from EIU to go to the Garcia's in Chambana.  I've lived outside of Tulsa for years and still occasionally get an empty Garcia slice box in the mail from one of my college pals

Offline sek144

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2006, 10:39:15 AM »
 :(
Everyone familiar with Garcia's Pan Pizza would love "The Tomato" in Denton, Texas.

Originally "The Tomato"  was the Garcia Brother's Flying Tomatoe Pizza in a Pan.  The recipe is the same great pizza from the 80's with no compromise.  Unfortunately, the real estate that The Tomato sits on is set to be Razed in the near future.  This will be a tragic end to Great Pizza.  When the new buildings are constructed I imagine The Tomatoe won't be able to pay triple rent to stay in business.  It's ashame but I guess that is how capitalism works.

http://www.dentonrc.com/sharedcontent/dws/drc/localnews/stories/DRC_How_to_retain.4d7e7142.html

Offline ralph

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #32 on: June 28, 2006, 08:54:39 PM »
Any update???  closing, moving? 

Offline sek144

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #33 on: June 28, 2006, 10:05:19 PM »
There have been many letters to the editor in the Denton Record Chronicle newspaper
http://Dentonrc.com

There is a grass roots movement "Save Fry Street" to try any stop the developement.
http://www.savefrystreet.com/

The only problem I see is that the company isn't going to budge.  It's their's to do as they please.  I'm okay with new developments but I will greatly miss the Tomato Pizza if they are not able to stay in the area.

Offline kk7ac

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2006, 11:57:02 AM »
Hello all..a new poster here that had to toss in my 2 cents on Garcias as I was searching this site.

... I grew up in Champaign and still go there about 3 weeks each year. My grandpa owned the U of I Campus Store (open from 1937-1987) at the corner of Wright and Green, and directly south and above (the building was and is a 3 story that connects on the 3rd floor). My grandpa would "horse trade" his stuff (as those of you who know my grandpas store, he had everything) for pizza by the slice, of which I would eat. Ralph and Joe were good friends with my grandpa.  So I grew up on the stuff as I hung aound that great corner store most of my childhood. That Garcias closed as I recall in 1998. At one time, that had a small store just down the street from my house in SW Champaign at the old In and Out on Mattis and Henry that was open from 1985 to 1996 or so.

 The only 2 that remain is (a very aged and in need of some serious upgarades ---its still got that funky 1970's style wood..wicker like atmosphere that is water damaged and dirty..I go thru the drive thru there!!) location on 1st and Green and the old VW dearlership building at Univeristy and Mattis (north of anothe rgreat C-U pizza place, Monicals).

Another interesting point is my mom, who was very good friends of Ralph and Joe (the owners and inventors of the pizza) designed the flying tomato for them in 1973. She drew the tomato with the wings on them. In fact about 10 years ago my mom was going through some old stuff in storage and found many colored pencile drawings of tomatoes with legs and wings of the like that they use as their trademark even today.

The current state of Garcias today is not good from what I hear. In fact, the only locations left are the 2 in C-U and maybe one more in Normal? Athough the pizza by the slice does not seem as good as it was 20 years ago, I cant resist getting at least 2 or 3 cheese slices when I'm there. Now, the best pizza intown as far as I'm concerned, is at the Old Orchard bowling alley on south 45 and Monicals in Urbana.

Offline RSMBob

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2006, 09:08:09 PM »
I was at UIUC '79-'83 and got to experience some great pizza...as well as the cheap stuff from Pizza World and the birth of Domino's. Garcia's at Wright & Green was THE place to stop for lunch for a slice and the sight of the hot air balloon around campus was a fond memory.

Interesting about your comments...I have heard some not so good things about Garcia's the last several years, sad to say, but I've gotta say that the Old Orchard Bowling Alley pizza is a new one to me! Hmm, where's Papa Del's on your list??? I'm a long time believer that PD's thin is even better than their deep dish/stuffed. I've also enjoyed Bonnie Jean's on recent visits, and I hope to make one of thos visits during a trip to IL next month.

THanks for the info/story about your grandfather and the Garcia brothers.

Offline kk7ac

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #36 on: July 29, 2006, 10:01:37 AM »
Papa Dels is very good too. Their deep pizza is great. Pizza World! The first of the delivery pizza in C-U at First and Green...Its now  A Dominos as I recall. Pizza World was pretty good as I recall. They even had their own "pizza world" cars for delivery. I can still picture those red cars. Place a call anywhere in Champaign or Urbana, and get the pizza in about 45 minutes. Amazing.

Offline lilbuddypizza

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2006, 07:09:58 AM »
I was in school when Papa Del's opened their present location, but worked at the one on Wright and Healey (original location?). THAT place had an incredible amount of roaches. We used to have to eat our lunch in the basement and it was frightening. Now, after years as a Health Inspector, I am suprised that they were allowed to be open at all. The newer place, though, was always spotless.
Great pizza though.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2006, 07:23:21 PM »
Big news , A friend and I have made a deal with Ralph and Joe and we are going to be opening a new Garcia's in Decatur, il.
I am going from a guy who just loved the stuff to a guy who is making and selling it.!!!

The pizza is still awesome, I can't wait untill I get my first store open!!

Later

Offline sportsguy

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #39 on: April 15, 2007, 11:02:59 AM »
The Tomato in Denton, Texas will be staying open for business just moving to a different location the Denton area.....

My sister and brother in-law run the business!!!!