Author Topic: Garcia's Pizza  (Read 95916 times)

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Offline ralph

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #40 on: May 22, 2007, 08:01:31 PM »
Flying Tomato in Denton, TX has closed.  I went by yesterday and the last day was May 13.  I looked thru the window and could have sworn I was at U of I.  There were several rather graphic messages on the windows telling the property owner exactly what he could do with his new development on the site.  Rumor is that the store is relocating, but nothing definite. :( :( >:( :(


Offline zappcatt

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #41 on: June 04, 2007, 10:39:25 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

Any updates?
If you are open, are you going to sell dough? Ship out to use out a towners?

Offline zappcatt

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2007, 10:42:09 PM »
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!!!!


Any updates????

Offline Gary_Hedberg

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #43 on: September 14, 2007, 05:51:42 PM »
I was a student at the U of I from 1969-1973. I was there when there was only ONE Garcia's pizza (on 6th St) and it was in a dinky little store front across from the Brown Jug...which was remodeled into Second Chance about 1971 or 1972.  The original pizza place only had a half a church pew to sit in while you waited for your pizza.  They had one 2-high pizza oven.  It was either Tuesdays or Thursdays that they had whole wheat stone ground pizza dough.  Best damned pizza I ever had, bar none.  Ahh the good old days.  Then there was Papa Dells that cooked their pizzas in cast iron skillets.  The pizza easily stood 3" thick!  They had a standing challenge, that anyone that could eat a whole 16" pizza by themselves in one sitting could have it for free. I don't know of anyone that succeeded in winning that challenge.  I'm glad I read this message thread and know that there are many others out there that lament the loss of Garcia's superlative pizza in a pan.  I also know now that I won't bother ordering Garcia's to be shipped to me out here in Tucson.  I'll see if Papa Dell's ships instead.

Gary Hedberg '73
Corona de Tucson, AZ
gary_hedberg@yahoo.com

Offline faithdawg

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2007, 10:18:41 PM »
I lived in Rantoul in the mid 1970's and bounced back and forth from Garcia's and Monical's. I still have a paper drink Garcia's cup on my desk in which I keep pens and pencils. I was in Rantoul (C/U also) in 1999 for a high school (RTHS) reunion. The Rantoul Garcia's was bought out by a place called Pizza More'. It was good but not as good as Garcia's was in the 1970's. We ate at one of the Garcia's in Champaign but it was not the same either. Monical's, however was everything that I remembered. I now live in northern Louisiana (Shreveport), and really enjoy a place called "Johnny's". If you travel through north (Interstate 20) Louisiana, stop and enjoy a Johnny's pizza.

Offline joesnuffy

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #45 on: October 31, 2007, 07:31:22 PM »
I was raised between Rantoul and Gifford. The two main things when I was a kid was working at Vetter fairings and chowing down at Garcia's. The Flying Tomato balloon actually landed in my Mom's garden!! They actually put it down between the barn and a house my folks rented out--about a 100 square foot area--AND missed the power lines!! Those guys were good!! We got some free pies for that. Anyone ever get a frisbee they used to throw when they were flying? I had a stack of them, but like all good things they disappeared. I went to high school in Rantoul from '77 to '81. I used to get $1.00 every day for lunch and it just so happens a cheese and a coke was a buck!! Used to go to Mabel's (anyone remember Clockwork Orange?) with the ol' trusty fake I.D. and stagger around the corner to Garcia's and take care of the munchie's. Guess those days are gone now. I was going to try and get them to ship me a pie to Georgia and saw that their website is still under construction. After 4 years, I believe I'd hire a new web page designer. Is that guy opening a store in Decatur or was that just a tease? If so, that is a VERY cruel thing to do to someone who is jonesin' BAD for a gutbuster!!

Offline dgoetz

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #46 on: November 04, 2007, 02:32:41 PM »
    My husband and I were passing through Decatur yesterday.  We were on our way to get Torpedoes from La Gondola when we came across a new Garcia's.  Needless to say we forgot the Torpedoes and went for the "Gut".

    The Gut wasn't the same as it was twenty years ago, but it was still good.  The crust was a little too thin and overcooked, and the ingredients weren't the big chunks of yore.  Since the place is brand-spanking new, maybe they're still working out the kinks.

    Decatur is a bit of a drive (and a boring one), from where I live, but it's nice to know there's a reason to go there.  Because of the distance, I will probably continue to make my own "Gut", but we will also go back from time to time.  I hope they make a go of it.

Offline Knoxvillain

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #47 on: November 11, 2007, 04:59:47 PM »
Man am I glad I found this site, Garcia's, Monicals, that is the stuff I grew up on.  I now live in Tennessee but still get up to Central Illinois quite often.  I eat Monicals Pizza each and every chance.  If anyone has a recipe close to that, please post it as that is the one I really love.

Offline sonick

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #48 on: December 04, 2007, 04:57:45 PM »
Newbie here, hello all : :)

I too found this site while trying to replicate and search for clues on how to replicate Garcia's pizza.

I grew up just outside of Normal, IL, and went to college at Illinois State from 1991-1995. I remained in the area, bouncing back and forth to Chicago before finally moving to Phoenix 3 years ago.

The ENTIRE time I lived there, I would do whatever I had to; drive wherever i had to, to get my Garcia's pizza fix. Whoever said the quality slipped over time is absolutely right!! The mid-eighties to mid-nineties offerings at the downtown Normal location were just pure pizza bliss..  eyes-rolled-back-in-the-head-its-so-good style!  What I wouldn't give to replicate it...... And La Bamba burritos and hot sauce as well, but I digress since this is a pizza site ;) 

Garcia's even had a flying tomato bro's hot air balloon that used to fly around the rural areas around Bloomington/Normal all the time. In fact, they once sprung a leak and emergency landed in the middle of a cornfield near our house.... i actually ran out there on a quad and picked them up to bring them back to the house to call it in. No cellphones back then!

One thing I noticed worth mentioning: the closest thing to garcia's pizza I tasted was from another pizza joint from the Central IL area from the mid eighties called "Rocky Rococo's".  My brother delivered for them, and would frequently bring home what was left over. It was almost identical to Garcia's taste as I recall.

Anyway, just wanted to add my memories of Garcias, champion the desire to replicate it, say hello to the site and mention the Rocky Rococo's thing as well :)

Kind Regards,
Jayson
« Last Edit: December 04, 2007, 05:00:04 PM by sonick »

Offline tmorrison

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #49 on: December 06, 2007, 10:36:07 AM »
Garcias finally came to Decatur this year!  Unfortunately, management issues have left them in desperate need of customer service skills!

Several of our Millikin Univ. students have been there and unfortunately have not been treated very well.  Prior management gave them a coupon for a free Gutbuster pizza and the new manager would not honor it.  Very lazy staff!!!

Love the pizza....but they better get on the ball!!
Millikin students bring quite a bit of income to our eating establishments, not to mention many of them work at them.  Come on, they deserve that free pizza!!


Offline dgoetz

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2007, 07:34:13 AM »
    I wonder if the Garcia's in Decatur is still owned by the same guy from this site.  He's been pretty quiet if he still owns it.  It's a shame to hear about the service.  The service was fine when we went there, it's the quality that wasn't quite there.  How long has the restaurant been open?  Evidently long enough for the kinks to be worked out?

    Look on the bright side.  If Garcia's doesn't "pan" out, at least there's a La Gondolla down the block.  Their Torpedo is a wonderful addiction.

Offline joesnuffy

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2008, 10:59:31 AM »
Sonick, I feel your pain. Cheese and a coke was my noon fix all four years of high school. If they would have had a LaBamba's in Rantoul in the early '80's I'd be big as a house by now! Unfortunately outside of the chains (Pizza Slut, Domino's,etc. ad nauseum) all there is in Georgia is BBQ. I'd trade every last damn rib in this state for ONE stuffed pepperoni and extra cheese pie.  :P

Offline auribe14

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #52 on: February 10, 2008, 07:16:51 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?


Funny thing, I saw a handmade sign (due to a construction move) for Flying Tomato in Dayton, Ohio this week and just looked it up hoping to find it was Garcia's. No luck, so I googled "Garcia Brothers Pizza" and after a couple of links landed here. Was reading a post quoting the above post, and started thinking "I arrived at IU in 85..." Lo and behold, that was my brother's post! Small world, this internet thing.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 07:25:37 PM by auribe14 »

Offline GarciasFAN

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #53 on: February 17, 2008, 05:43:34 PM »
Hi Everyone!

The internet is so amazing.  I thought I was the only one that dreamed about Garcia's Pizza, and never imagined this forum and the funny similarities between myself and many of the people here!

I now live in So. Cali., but I went to Millikin U. in Decatur in the late 80s early 90s.  Garcia's Pizza was my all-time favorite pizza!  I went there to celebrate after I had my senior show (art).  The one I went to was in the big mall in Decatur.  Does anyone have any photos of that location?  They had a really cool seating area with multi-level platforms and lots of stairs up to these levels. 

But the pizza was soooo good and sweet.  Unfortunately, I haven't even eaten pizza in the last 4-5 years because of stomach problems.  I am working with doctors though to resolve it, and one day I will eat Garcia's Pizza again!  Seriously, I dream about eating Garcia's, and it is a goal to be able to enjoy it again and feel good!  I'm not a cook, but thanks for the recipes contributed.  I plan to hire a cook to make Garcia's style pizza in my home!

One last note.  I grew up in Northern IL.  Another really good pizza, different from Garcia's but probably my #2, is Moore's Pizza in McHenry.  Thanks!


Offline loowaters

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2008, 09:43:59 AM »
Moore's Pizza in McHenry!  HA!  I've forgetten about them.  Not exactly one of those names that comes to mind of the finest of Chicago pizza restaurants but pretty good nevertheless.  I remember getting a large stuffed one time for a group of us and it weighed about eight pounds.  I don't think I'm exaggerating that at all.   :-D  Sorry, I've gone off subject.  Time for a "McHenry Style" thread.

Loo
Using pizza to expand my waistline since 1969!

Offline Mad_Ernie

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #55 on: February 20, 2008, 10:24:52 AM »
Check out this recent article about Garcia's.  Looks like they're trying to make a comeback after their Chapter 11 debacle.  :chef: :pizza:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2008/02/17/ups_and_downs

I think they suffered in Cham/bana in the late '90s because the newer college students weren't as familiar with their legend status, so the company was hurt due to good alumni performance during homecoming games but poor ability to build a new customer base.
Let them eat pizza.

Offline dgoetz

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #56 on: February 26, 2008, 07:11:09 AM »
Hi GarciasFan,

    My husband and I used to go to the Garcia's in Decatur nearly every weekend, when it was at the mall.  Sadly, they closed about ten or so years ago.  A new Garcia's opened just this last year.  I believe it's on Water street, a block or so down from LaGondola.  Anyway, I hate to burst your bubble, but I wouldn't recommend eating at Garcia's anymore.  They are nothing like what they used to be.  You're better off making your own.  That's what I do.

Offline kelliagles

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #57 on: April 07, 2008, 06:50:13 PM »
My sister went to ISU.  I went to visit her - half to time just to get a slice.  then they put one in NOrthwoods mall, peoria, IL - the original one - was the 2-story wooden framed type store with the "good" recipe pizza slices.  then they moved it to the entrance/ground level larger store - yes started to change but was still good.  miss it amongst other midwest stuff now that i live in fl.  yes, i too alsmo miss the la gondola  torpedoes which is from my home town area of morton, east peoria - ie avanti's is still the best original ital. sandwich bread!  tried to make/copy the bread - to no avail.  keeps me travelin.  at least i can get my fix of imo's in Lake Ozarks/Osage Beach MO!  miss arts tomales, Peoria, IL>

Offline wildwood_players

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #58 on: July 03, 2008, 02:42:47 PM »
I had a friend that worked at Garcia's back in 1974.  She lived across the hall from me in the Stoughten-Goodwin apartments in Urbana.  She more or less helped me figure out the recipe.  The important ingredients are un-toasted wheat germ and cinnamon.  I have a recipe at home that I have been using for the past 30 years.  I will try to remember to post it.  It would be fun to hear from that friend.  I won't mention her name but I think she still lives in C/U.  She had a two roomates in the apartment, one's name was Rachel, the other was Karen I as I recall.

Offline rkalmar

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Re: Garcia's Pizza
« Reply #59 on: August 13, 2008, 11:59:59 PM »
Please Please Please post the recipe wildwood_players!  :-)