We’re into week number nine of The MBIP Year Of Pizza and I thought we’d go to a place that’s been standing in the same spot for over five decades, Leonardo’s Pizza (technically it’s, Peoria LaGondola & Leonardo's but I prefer to simply call it, Leonardo’s because that’s the original name). I haven’t been there for over twenty years, so let’s go and see if the place has changed much and sample the pizza there.
Off we go into the heart of darkness in our ninth week of our year long pizza journey.
And we're here at tonight's destination, Leonardo's. The place has been here as long as I can remember and from the looks of the outside, it hasn't changed one bit.
I think that sign has been here since I was last here.
Let's go in and see what's happening at Leonarodo's.
Okay, this is a little different, there's front counter where you order from that's here in the front of the restaurant.
This is Wiley, who told me you order your meal up here and then they bring it to you at your table. I got a beer to start off with and told him I'd order the meal in a little bit. I thought we'd take a little tour of the place first, so let's look around in here.
Directly across from the front counter is a waiting area if you order something to go. Pretty snazzy little area here and the black leather couches look really comfortable.
The dining room looks the same to me as it did from my memories of years gone by.
I remember these plastic grapes that hang from the ceiling. Wiley told me they're they're the same grapes that have been hanging here since it opened in the '60's.
This lit up tree in the middle of the dining room has been here since the '60's as well. Nice to know some things never change!
Red leather booths line the brick walls in the dining room.
There's a table and more booths in this section in the back over here.
Oval windows look out at the traffic on War Memorial Drive.
Stained glass chandeliers hover over and illuminate the booths in the dining room.
I went and placed my order at the front counter. They have both thin crust and deep dish pizza here, so I got a small pie of each one to sample. For the toppings I chose sausage, onions, salami and cheddar cheese. I have a feeling the leftovers will be plentiful tonight.
After I ordered Wiley let me go back to the kitchen and take a shot of the pizza oven. This is the original oven that's been baking pizza pies since it opened in the '60's. A real slice of history. (Pun fully intended.)
Here's a pie baking away in this historic oven.
Okay, back to our booth while our pizzas get baked.
Here's the view from where I'm seated. Maybe it's just me, but I could stare at those hanging grapes on the ceiling forever. They're kind of hypnotizing.
It's just about pizza time as the condiment ring has been brought to the booth. Once again the only hot sauce is Frank's Red Hot Sauce. Frank's is becoming to be like the dreaded generic mustard of this series! Let's have a little variety people!
It's pizza time! First up is the thin crust pizza. I got it with onions, salami, sausage and cheddar cheese. It looks and smells fabulous. Let's sample a slice.
Wow, this is really good pizza. the crust is thin, yet not cracker crisp, it has a nice texture to it. And the toppings are really fresh and tasty. The one thing that really makes it special is the salami, you don't get that offered as a topping often and it really adds a savory zing to the slice.
Now it's time to try the deep dish pizza.
It's good, but there's no sauce on the deep dish. They use chunks of tomatoes instead which is okay, but I'd prefer sauce. It still tastes fine, but I prefer the thin crust, which is some of the best pizza I've ever had.
The pizza here is really filling and after a slice of each, I"m done and stuffed.
And so the pizzas get boxed up to go back to the MBIP Headquarters to be sampled out of the fridge tomorrow.
Here's Melissa and Brock who rang me up and thanked me for stopping by. And now it's my turn to thanks everyone at Leonardo's for great pizza and a wonderful evening of pizza!
Fast forward to the next day's cold slice and it's delicious. I'll have the deep dish for dinner. We'll see you all tomorrow!
Three Chef Boy Ardees—The thin crust is as good as it gets, but they should add a little sauce to the deep dish in my humble opinion.