Harvard pizza

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ScreamingChicken
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2015/09/23 19:47:09 (permalink)

Harvard pizza

No, not pizza from some highfalutin' college out east...

Bonus points if you can tell me the cow's name without looking it up online!
 
Up until this past Labor Day weekend I'd visited Angelo's only once before, probably in early 1980, and to be honest I don't remember anything about it other than it was where my uncle took me after spending some time teaching me how to use an Agfaflex V.  I was actually planning on making a different stop in the area but since I was already there I figured I'd kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

 
Since Angelo's is in a downtown storefront it's not a really big place, but does have room for some booths and a handful of tables.

 
Was the pizza like this 35 years ago?  Darned if I know, but the present-day version is respectable although fairly safe; it reminds me of the pizza I've had at a few small-town Italian restaurants over the years.  The thin (but not too thin) crust had a little bite and chew, the sauce was pretty mild and there was an abundance of cheese, the pepperoni wasn't too greasy or spicy, and the sausage was pretty typical.  A solid pizza that should appeal to just about everybody...hence it's "safe".

 
 
Better Red's than dead!!
 
But the real reason I was in Harvard was to visit Red's Tavern & Pizzeria, located on IL-173 on the eastern edge of town and according to some accounts Harvard's first pizza place.  It'd been recommended to me by a coworker a few years back and I'd been meaning to visit, but the time just got away from me.

 
The tavern side, with the man himself at the far left.  Probably wondering, "What's that damn kid doing with that camera?"

 
The dining room is pretty simple, with the kitchen right through the door at right-center.

 
Just like at Angelo's I ordered a mushroom pizza with half pepperoni and half sausage, and the first thing I noticed was that there wasn't as much cheese.

 
The second thing I noticed was that at Red's, thin crust means thin crust!  It was cracker-crisp and did a great job of carrying the tasty sauce, cheese, and toppings, which were applied in a good ratio.

 
This was an excellent pizza, and properly cut to boot.  However, it was definitely one of the saltier pizzas I've had and I don't know if that's how they make them (Red's does sell beer, after all) or if it got accidentally overseasoned, but if the fine folks of Harvard and the surrounding countryside like Red's then that's good enough for me.  Heck, I'll bet they come all the way from Capron!  I think a return visit is definitely in my future and it'll be with Mrs. C along so I can have a couple of cold ones with dinner.
#1

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    TnTinCT
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/23 21:00:51 (permalink)
    So it's interesting on one pie the toppings are under the cheese, on the other they are on top, is there a regional thing there, or just that particular place? I am a cheesy pizza lover but that first one looks almost too cheesy. Nice pizza pics, thanks for sharing!
    #2
    leethebard
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/23 21:22:57 (permalink)
    Don't like Cracker crust pizza...crisp....but sauce on a "cracker" type pizza is a no-no with me.....no nice burnt crust edges either.
    #3
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 08:21:13 (permalink)
    TnTinCT
    So it's interesting on one pie the toppings are under the cheese, on the other they are on top, is there a regional thing there, or just that particular place? I am a cheesy pizza lover but that first one looks almost too cheesy. Nice pizza pics, thanks for sharing!

    Thanks!  It seems (to me, anyway) that as the amount of cheese increases so does the probability that it'll be over the toppings, not under.  On one hand, cheese is a big thing here in the upper Midwest and a lot of people consider a lot of it a requirement for a good pizza (I don't mind it but I do like it browned).  And on the flip side, if there's not a lot of cheese on a pizza putting the toppings on last can kind of hide it a little bit.
     
    Although all speculation aside, I suspect it's mostly due to how the pizzamaker learned and likes it.
    #4
    ann peeples
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 13:34:34 (permalink)
    Red's pizza looks great! I love a super thin crust. The other one just has too much cheese for me. I am mourning the loss of Pepi's pizza on the southeast side of Milwaukee. They have a crust like Red's.Unfortunately, they moved to the Brady St. area, and we just don't like to drive over there.
    #5
    stricken_detective
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 14:21:56 (permalink)
    I wouldn't drive to Brady Street for pizza either.
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 19:52:48 (permalink)
    You couldn't pay me to eat one of those cracker-thin things.
    #7
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 20:12:04 (permalink)
    So you're saying you like them so much you'd eat one for free?
    #8
    JRPfeff
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 20:15:56 (permalink)
    Both those pies look great to me. Send one of each to NC.
    #9
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 20:20:56 (permalink)
    Sorry, I don't think they'd travel well.  However, based on what you've said about NC in the past I could substitute coupons for Little Johnny Caesar's Domino Hut...
    #10
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 20:27:18 (permalink)
    ScreamingChicken
    So you're saying you like them so much you'd eat one for free?


    Not exactly.
    #11
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 22:18:22 (permalink)
    Harmilda.  Been hearing about this overrated bovine for years.  It was the subject of much hand wringing a while back because town leaders were talking about either moving her or removing her completely from village property.  The townspeople calmly and quietly gathered their torches and pitchforks and stormed the village hall in protest. 
     
    "No one is going to take away our heritage," they screamed.  "Harmilda is the very heart and soul of Harvard," they wept, "You can't take her away."
     
    The enraged villagers won the battle and Harmilda stayed put.  For all the noise made over this ersatz beast, you'd think she stood 40 feet tall and squirted free milk from her udders while all the townsfolk held buckets beneath her to collect the sweet, sweet nectar.
     
    Nothing could be further from the truth.
     
    Dad and I had a series of Roadhouse Bar-B-Que Sauce demos to be done in and around Delevan, Wisconsin.  We managed to leave early and decided to take the scenic route from the northwest suburbs of Chicago to the Lake Geneva area.  Northwest Highway, Rt. 14 runs practically from my front door all the way to our intended destination, taking us right through the heart of Harvard, Illinois.  I was darned excited because I thought I was going to finally see this Wondrous Cow.
     
    As we approached Harvard I looked far out into the horizon, expecting to see Harmilda looming in the distance, towering over the cornfields.  Harmilda did not present herself.  We kept going, getting closer and closer to Harvard and its Sacred Cow.  As we entered town from the south I expected Harmilda to greet us with a majestic, "Moo," as in, "Moooove along fellas and quit staring at my majesty and grandeur, you're holding up traffic."
     
    No Harmilda.
     
    We drove through town, slightly disappointed, but still full of hope as we knew she might be waiting for us further up the road.  Finally, as we approached a semi-downtown neighborhood, I spotted her off in the distance.  At least I thought it was off in the distance because she appeared so small.  It turned out she was less than half a block away.
     
    While I was expecting this giant symbol of America's Dairy Farmers, there she stood, not even as big as a real cow, let alone the magnificent creature I was expecting, based on the public uproar over her potential removal.  If I had sneezed too hard near this fiberglass phony it would have fallen over.  And not with a thunderous crash, but an underwhelming "clunk".
     
    We continued on our way, alternating between cursing and laughing at the ridiculousness of it all.  The experience taught me a thing or two about high expectations and overblown reports from the press.  I take things with a grain of salt now and wait until I see them with my own eyes before passing judgment.
     
    It got me to thinking, The Statue of Liberty...that's pretty big right?
     
    Buddy
    #12
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re: Harvard pizza 2015/09/24 22:46:44 (permalink)
    You get the bonus points for knowing Harmilda's name!
     
    And then you lose them for misspelling Delavan.
     
    But if you think you might be able to overcome your seething resentment of the Fiberglass Faux-stein, check out Red's the next time you pass through.
    post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2015/09/24 23:20:17
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