Eloise’s Pizza – Wherever Her Dreams Take Her

Since 2017

Being a Pizza Hound is such hard work that it takes a lot of practice. With the arrival of a brand new sister, Ernie felt it was his job to make sure his new pizza companion was properly trained in the art of Pizza Hounding, so he got her own training pizza.

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Welcome! I’ve been waiting for you to get here. We’re going to have a lot of fun together. I’ll show you around and help you figure out what’s going on in this big world. You’ve met Dad, and by now you know Dad likes to wear a hoodie, so he and Mom got me one, too. And guess what else. . .

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My hoodie has a special message. . .all about you!

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It’s going to be so much fun having a little buddy. I’m going to do my best to look out for you, kid.

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And this Pizza Hound training is just the beginning.

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Hopefully it’ll continue every Friday or Saturday night. Doesn’t that sound like a lot of fun?

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The first thing you gotta do is catch a good scent and hound out your pizza. You may have to sniff around a whole a lot and get Dad to drive you a long way, but it will be worth it in the end. He’ll call in the order and he’ll even pay for it! Then you can head home and put it on the table.

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It can be hard to keep from jumping right in and eating a piece. Dad will make you wait a couple of minutes, though.

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That way, he can take some pictures to tell the world about it.

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Sometimes I sit well, and I’ll continue to now for our purposes here.

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But I admit I like to walk around to keep Dad on his toes.

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It’s just that I’m always so excited about pizza. And I’m sure you will be, too!

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Pizza boxes come in different sizes, big and small. Sometimes they are heavy and square, and sometimes they are thin and rectangular. And sometimes they are just bags and aren’t even boxes at all! Some of them have fun pictures on them, too. I come across all kinds of them, and Dad describes them to me. This one sure smells like a good one!

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Open the box, and there it is! Our prize for our hard work! Delicious sauce, cheese, pepperoni on a well-made crust. Sometimes pizzas are very thin, and sometimes they are very, very thick! Some are cut in square pieces and a lot are cut like a pie. Some are served on thin pans, some in deep dishes. Some pizzas are even double deckers! Those are kinda rare.

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Dad will always want us to pose by the pizza. Sometimes it’s hard to resist, but I can play it pretty cool.

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But pretty soon, I’m ready for a taste!

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Can we have some now, please?

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Pepperoni and sausage are delicious on pizza, but as my sister, I want you be as healthy as possible when you are enjoying a treat like this. So it’s a good idea to try all kinds of different toppings on your pizza, including vegetables.

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There’s a world of flavors out there to taste and enjoy!

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No garlic or onions for me, but you surely can eat them when you’re a little older.

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Load your pizza down with all kinds of good stuff. Don’t forget to explore other great toppings like anchovies, too!

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You usually don’t need to a pizza cutter for the pizzas you hound out, but it’s a good idea to have one on hand. Sometimes deep dish pizzas come uncut, so you’ll need a cutter to enjoy one of those pies, especially in Chicago. You’ll definitely need one for frozen pizzas, a late night family tradition.

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There you go! That’s a nice slice. Can I maybe have a little bite of the crust?

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I’m always going to be interested in what’s on the table, that’s for sure!

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It’s a good idea to put your leftovers in the fridge. That way you can enjoy them the next day for a snack.

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Hey, that’s you!

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You can put your pizza box on top of mine.

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There’s always room for pizzas in this household!

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Where can you Pizza Hound? Well, Chicago’s my favorite place for pizza, and I know you’ll love it, too! There are fantastic pizzas–big ole thick ones–among the tall, sparkly buildings and hustle and bustle of the Loop. But some of the best are hidden away in the wonderful neighborhoods and surrounding suburbs. Don’t forget check out interesting places like Bridgeport, Gage Park, Uptown, South Chicago, Ashburn, Mayfair, Dunning, Montclare, Old Irving, Clearing, Beverly, Albany Park, and, of course, Hegewisch! There are so many other places near the city, ones that I tracked down, and new ones for you to discover. There are great pizzas in Aurora, Oak Lawn, Stickney, Blue Island, Kankakee, and Waukegan. And don’t forget Northwest Indiana! Some of our favorite pizzas have come from Whiting, East Chicago, Valparaiso, Munster, and Gary. I know you can find more.

There are so many pizzas in the world, and you should try them all. You can go all over the country and even the world. I hope you visit wonderful places like Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Haven, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cleveland, New Jersey, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. New York City is a pizza wonderland. Be sure you look in places people might not expect, too. Big cities have lots of stuff, but small towns can have some great pizza, too, and out-of-the-way city neighborhoods will surprise you most of all. Wonderful and interesting pizza can be found in places with names like North Braddock, Coney Island, Gravesend, Lemay, and Florissant. I hear there’s a really interesting type of pizza you can only find in place called Old Forge, Pennsylvania. I’ve never been there but I bet it’s neat. Maybe you could even have a-piz-za-pie in Italy! I hope you do.

So that’s how you Pizza Hound. Do you have any questions?

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Of course, I’ll help you hound out pizzas!

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It will be my pleasure.

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Now that you have completed this training, I think you are ready for your official introduction to the world. . .Ladies and gentlemen, please say hello to our newest Pizza Hound, Eloise Moxie! Born July 21, 2017. Hello, Eloise!

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Do you like the shirt I got you? I wanted the world to see you in style.

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And there’s a message on the back that I hope you take with you on your trips.

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We can discover new pizzas together.

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And I’ll always be by your side. I promise.

Eloise’s Pizza is currently located in St. Louis, MO, but we hope she has pizza adventures all over the world.

Tobin’s Pizza – Bloomington, IL

Since 1963

On the long drive from Chicago to visit family in St. Louis, the Hound and his parents always struggled to find a good place to get a bite to eat. The traffic leaving Chicago was usually horrendous, so once we got moving, we usually didn’t want to stop. But still, fast food was typically the most common and convenient option. So, one night after some convincing, the Hound led us to Tobin’s Pizza in the one of the few large stops on the trip, Bloomington-Normal.

Interestingly, Tobin’s serves two different menus: its own, and also that of another former local pizzeria, Micheleo’s. This caused some confusion for me as I called and the person on the other end of the line said, “Tobin’s or Micheleo’s?” Huh? After the third time the question was asked, I blurted out “Tobin’s,” scared I was giving away the fact that I wasn’t a local. According to Tobin’s website, Micheleo’s had been open since 1981, but in the last few years its owners sold the business to Tobin’s, who added that place’s menu to its, well, menu. Micheleo’s pizza probably great (there used to be two locations in the area), but we felt like we had to go with the primary namesake on this first trip.

Inside, Tobin’s is a classic family pizzeria–the type you don’t see enough of these days. Lots of tablecloths covering the tables, sparkly strands of lights, a few booths, wood paneling, and carpet. By far the best part of the dining room is the huge photo collection of customers enjoying their meals at Tobins. This photographs line nearly every wall–photos of smiling softball teams from 1984, kids’ birthday parties, first dates, and the like. Snapshots from happy pizza moments that are immortalized forever, all the while connecting Tobin’s to the local community. It’s clear that Tobin’s is a nice, comfortable place that thousands of local families have patronized numerous times on special occasions, quiet Thursday nights, and countless times in between.

We had to eat the pizza in the car, but that didn’t take away from the flavor. All pepperoni, half sausage, as usual. Piping hot! The thin and somewhat soft tavern crust was excellent. A true standout. The sausage, which came in huge chunks, was certainly notable, too. It had a distinct, strong flavor of some sort of spice that we could not place. I was hesitant after the first few bites but I eventually loved it. Can’t say that we’ve had any other sausage like it. Having this delicious, aromatic pie in the front seat drove Ernie bonkers! He would have eaten the whole thing if we had let him!

The Hound and I were determined to stop and try Micheleo’s pizza, but the timing never worked out. Tobin’s was definitely worth the short drive off I-55, and we would love to have it again. They do pan pizza, too, under the name “Momma Teresa’s”. You probably would have to grow up in Bloomington or Normal to keep all the names straight! Check out Tobin’s for a nice family pizzeria dining experience, or grab it to go on the long dark drive through central Illinois!

Tobin’s Pizza is located at 1513 N. Main St. in Bloomington, Illinois

(309) 828-0410

Official Tobin’s Pizza Website

Tobin’s Pizza on Facebook