Before we begin today’s post, I’d like to welcome another local Peoria business to the MBIP Bucket List Page, Rizzi’s Italian Restaurant. They have two locations, the original on Sheridan and another on State Street which we visited recently for a tasty pizza post. Check them out on the Bucket List page and stop in to one or both of their fine restaurants. I’ll be checking out the Sheridan location soon, stay tuned for that! Wonderful to have them as part of our Bucket Brigade!
And now, back to the blog, already in progress!
Hoops Pub & Pizza has been a fixture on Main Street for close to twenty years now. It’s open late and a popular spot, especially on weekends. I thought I’d meet some friends there on a Sunday night and check the pizza out and you’re all invited, so let’s make like the Stones and go get exiled on Main Street!
We are here at Hoops Pub & Pizza and it’s early on a Sunday evening and it’s drizzling a little. This is about my seventh shot of the place and I’m not happy with any of them. So screw it, we’ll try it again when we leave and it’s dark out here.
Let’s go through this giant Budweiser door and let the festivities begin.
It’s pretty quiet in here, but that’s because it’s early on a Sunday evening, and nothing much happens at this time of night on a Sunday in downtown Peoria and that’s just the way I like it. Let’s belly up to the bar, shall we?
Hercules is the friendly bartender on duty tonight and he’s quick with a Budweiser and a smile. With a name like, Hercules, I’m just glad he didn’t accidentally turn the bottle into powder.
Here’s the view from the well-stocked bar from where I’m seated.
Specials and assorted craft beers are listed on this chalk board behind the bar.
And some of those bottled craft beers are housed in this cooler, see how this works?
Tables line the walls opposite the bar.
Is it me, or is it odd to find a framed hockey jersey in a place named, “Hoops.”
Okay, this is more like it!
A Bradley plaque from 1982 and photos are featured on this chunk of the wall.
Wow, check out the black and white photo of those two guys strangling each other! It’s only a game fellows, take a Valium and settle the fuck down.
There’s even basketball memorabilia on the table tops here in Hoops, this table is adorned with a vintage Bradley Basketball playing cards.
It’s MBIP pals, Steve and Kathy! Great to see them and yesterday I mentioned that I ought to start an MBIP “Five Timers Club” for people that have been featured on the MBIP blog five or more times like they have on SNL. Here’s what I’m going to do, if you’ve been featured on here five or more times and want to be part of this exclusive club, you have to email me and I’m going to have some sort of party for those of you who send me an email. More to come on this idea, stay tuned!
There’s one more guest star, but she’s running late, so we got an order of potato chips and ate them fast before she arrived so we didn’t have to share, hey that’s what you get for being late! That’s ranch dressing on the side and hot mustard on the right. I ate the hot mustard because I have a thing about ranch dressing.
Okay dokie, the fourth and final member of tonight’s pizza party has arrived. Clare is definitely a Five Timer at MBIP and she has the dubious distinction of being the only person, so far, to be featured on two, back-to-back pizza posts, so she’s got that going for her!
Time to peruse the menu...
One thing we noticed on the menu was that Hoop’s claims to have “Peoria Style Pizza.” I never knew there was such a thing and Hercules said he believed that came out of the fact that the original owners were trying to do Chicago style pizza and more than one person told them they fucked it up. So they stopped calling it “Chicago Style Pizza” and used the name, “Peoria Style Pizza.” Hey, if you can fuck something up and then make something good out of it, more power to you, it doesn’t happen all the time in this town, especially lately!
They only have one hot sauce here and it's Texas Pete hot sauce. How wonderful not to have Frank's on the table tonight! Kathy noticed that the Texas Pete fellow on the label looked like a red version of Gumby. Could he be Gumby's Commie-Rat brother?
Over here is where you picke up your pizza.
And there's where the pizza magic happens in here.
And through the magic of these here interwebs, Steve, Kathy and Clare's pizza is done and being sliced at the pizza counter. They ordered a white garlic sauce pizza which I couldn't eat because garlic gives me heartburn like crazy. I ordered a separate slice and keep on scrolling to see that piece of pizza as it's served up.
And here's their pizza at our table. Note that that they cut their pie up into slices and not squares which is a bit of a rarity for these parts.
Hoop's is one of the few places around here that you can purchase individual slices of pizza, the only other place I know of is Bacci's, which we went to a couple of week's ago. I got a slice with sausage, ham and onion. Here it is all peppered and sauced and ready for that first bite...
This pizza is really a dense piece of pie. There's lots of cheese and they are generous with the toppings. The sausage is a real standout, spicy and very tasty. The crust is somewhat thick and it has a nice texture and taste to it. Steve, Kathy and Clare had nothing but great things to say about the white garlic pizza and I'm a little sad I can't try it, but I don't feel like burping fire all night.
I had a late lunch, so I could only eat half of the slice. As I said, this was a dense slice of pie and very filling.
As you can see, Kathy Steve and Clare enjoyed their garlic sauce pizza pie, there's barely a crumb left!
And here's that shot of Hoops at night that I promised you, I told you it would look better!
Okay, time for the next day cold pizza challenge! And we're down to two lonely Red Stripes, we'll need to restock this corner of the fridge soon, any suggestions?
It's delicious! We'll see you all tomorrow!
My Slice—Three Chef Boyardees—a nice and tasty slice of Peoria Style Pizza!
The White Garlic Sauce Pizza—Four Chef Boyardees—Kathy, Steve and Clare said it was great pizza that deserves a four Chef rating, but there’s not enough Tums in the world for me to try it, so I’ll take their word for it!
Hoops Pub & Pizza
516 Main St.
Related Posts: YOP @ Oliver's Pizza & Pub North, Rizzi’s on State, Bacci Pizza, Veterans Pub and Pizza, Larry’s Driftwood Pizza, Norwood Pub ‘N’ Grub, Barrister’s Pizza and Pub, Mickie’s Pizzeria, Double A’s, Lucca Grill, Avanti’s, Leonardo’s, Lou’s La Grotto, Knuckles Pizza, Davis Bros. Pizza, Kenny’s Westside Pub, Dave’s Pizza, Peoria Pizza Works, Sugar and Agatucci’s.
Today’s post was brought to you by Rizzi's Italian Restaurant on Sheridan and State Street. Check them and all the other fine businesses helping to support this blog over at the MBIP Bucket List Page. Your Daily Random Linkage awaits you at the bottom of the that page as well!
Bonus Pizza Art From Jaws the Cabbie!
I’m no stranger to being pie-eyed, but Jaws the Cabbie really puts a new spin on that with this piece of pizza art! Great work, Jaws, thanks!