One thing I miss about living in New York City is the abundance of places where you can wander in and get a single slice of pizza. While there's plenty of places to get pizza in Peoria (just check out this list here if you don't believe me) there's only three places (that I know of) where you can get a single slice of pizza, as opposed to a whole pizza pie. So I thought that it might be fun to go to all three in one evening and rate all three places and find out who has the best slice of pizza in Peoria. I'm not doing this alone and the rating will be somewhat secretive, but a winner will be announced, so let's go and see who wins the best slice of pizza award for 2016 here on MBIP! Oh...wait a second...we don't have an award...well, let's just go and see what happens!
The fair and impartial judges for this three slice pizza tour are myself and Adam Duvall. The qualifications for judging this esteemed Three Slice Tour include (but are not limited to): A while back I ate pizza every week for a year and Adam said he could drive for the evening. Plus neither of us had anything better to do. The judging will be based on several components: Crust, sauce, temperature and presentation. Also factored in to the judging will be the condiments available, the cost of the slice and the time it takes to get the slice. And so, here we go!
The Three Slice Tour!
Here we are at the first stop, Hoops Pub & Pizza on Main Street. Jules was sitting out front and wished us good luck as we entered the bar for this first stop of The Three Slice Tour!
As you can see from the menu, Hoops has a nice selection of single slices of pizza available on the menu. Adam and I decided to go purist here and ordered a cheese slice from Heather, who was working behind the bar and looking very pretty while doing so!
The Condiments: They had five condiments at the bar: Cheese, pepper flakes, Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce and salt and pepper. This was a nice assortment of condiments and basically everything you need to put on a slice of pizza. And I like Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce because Texas Pete looks kind of like Gumby’s inflamed cousin.
The Slice: Adam and I decided to ask if they would cut the slice in two, since we had two more slices to eat and they happily complied. The cost of the slice with drinks was, $5.90. It took a total of 18 minutes to get the slice and here’s our combined ratings (from one to four from each of us) for the Hoops slice of pizza: Crust: 7, Sauce: 6.75, Temperature: 6 and Presentation: 8. Total combined points for the Hoops slice of pizza: 27.75.
Thoughts from the Judges: Adam: Best pizza in Peoria. Perfect crisp crust with not too much sauce. Hot and made fresh to order. Marty: I really liked the metal tray that it came on and it was a perfect size for a slice. The style of pizza reminded me of a New York slice, although it was served just a little too hot for me and I had to let it cool a little bit before eating it.
Next stop: Casey’s General Store on Farmington Road. When I told people that we were going to be including Casey’s in this tour some of them turned up their noses and said: “You’re going to eat pizza at a gas station?” Well I’ve had the pizza here before and they make it fresh daily and it’s pretty good, we’ll see how it is tonight!
The pizza slices are on display here inside of this glass carousel behind the front counter in the store. Cora and Arlene were on duty at the store and Arlene rang up our slice with a pretty smile and a very friendly demeanor.
The Condiments: They were plentiful, but all came in these little plastic tubs that kind of annoy me and the one's labeled, "Casey’s Ranch" brought back Terry Grawey memories! The lone, unmarked, almost empty bottle of hot sauce really disturbed me and I didn’t want to touch it, so I didn’t.
The Slice: Adam noticed that one of the slices on the carousel was pre-cut into two slices, so we had to choose that one! The total cost plus drinks was $5.47. It took about three minutes to grab the slice from the carousel and have it rung up at the cash register by Arlene. Combined ratings: Crust: 6.5, Sauce: 7, Temperature: 6.5 and Presentation: 6. Total combined points for the Casey’s slice of pizza: 26.
Thoughts from the Judges: Adam: The spicy sausage was the perfect touch on this slice. I like the crust a little more crispy, but there was the perfect amount of sauce on the slice. As far as temperature goes, it could have been a little hotter. Marty: The slice was labeled as “beef,” but both Adam and I thought it was sausage. Whatever it was, it was really tasty and just a little spicy. I liked the crust and the temperature for me was just right. That lone hot sauce bottle really disturbed me throughout the entire time though! Also the cardboard it’s served on is a little bit flimsy.
Here we are at the third and final stop of the Three Slice Tour: Bacci Pizza near the Bradley campus on Bradley Avenue.
You can choose your slice from the pizzas on display at the front glass cabinet. Tevis rang us up while our slice was warming up in the pizza oven. We met Tevis when we came here during the MBIP Year Of Pizza tour and it was great to see her again! I like the new hair color!
The Condiments: They certainly had a plentiful supply of condiments on this shelf next to the pizzas on display. I was curious about the big honking bottle of Heinz ketchup there, I mean who puts ketchup on pizza? Oh, probably the same one’s who dump ranch on it...let’s just move along!
The Slice: Once again, they were nice enough to cut the slice into two portions, but check out the size of this slice! It’s mammoth! It took about four and a half minutes to get the slice and the total cost plus a drink was $5.00. Combined ratings: Crust: 5.5, Sauce: 6, Temperature: 6.5 and Presentation: 5.5. Total combined points for the Bacci’s slice of pizza: 23.5.
Thoughts from the Judges: Adam: This was by far the biggest slice of pizza I’ve had since my days at Bradley. Everything was really good, but I’m not a fan of flour on the crust. Otherwise I was a fan. Marty: This slice was okay, but it didn’t have a lot of taste to it. It was definitely the biggest slice of the tour, but just a little on the bland side. Plus they should put that big honking bottle of ketchup away, it really bothered me!
Okay, the tour is all over and while all the slices were good and everyone at every location was really nice and friendly, there can only be one winner...
Hoops Pub & Pizza! Congratulations to Hoops for winning the best slice of pizza in Peoria and Adam and I will be delivering your award sometime before hell freezes over, I promise! Thanks to Adam for joining me and being a judge on this festive and saucy tour and to everyone else for playing along! We’ll see you all tomorrow!