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.