Author Topic: Garcia's Pizza  (Read 110252 times)

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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!!!!

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!!


 

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