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.

Bill’s Pizza & Pub – Mundelein, IL

Since 1957

With the chill of Fall in the air, the Pizza Hound agreed that we needed a heartier pizza than the many thin crust Chicago style pizzas we’d been having. We could get deep dish, but we were looking for something a little different. A double decker pizza to be exact! So, the Hound pointed the way to the north suburb of Mundelein, home of the landmark Bill’s Pizza Pub.

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It was Friday night and we wanted to take our time, so we got off the Eden’s Expressway at US 41 to slow the trip down. The new Gaslight Anthem was playing through our speakers, but as the music played, my mind wandered elsewhere. “Isn’t Billy Corgan’s tea shop around here?” The ever-focused Pizza Hound encouraged me to get straight to the pizza, because we were hungry, and we had slowed things down a little too much already. So, we continued to travel north, then headed east on Townline Road, then north again on Lake Street, or US 45, to reach Mundelein.

First incorporated in 1865, Mundelein used to be a pretty small town. In 1950, about 3,000 people lived within its borders. Substantial growth occurred in the following decades, however, no doubt due to the construction of the Tri-State Tollway. Today, after years of suburbanization, the city boasts a population of about 31,o00 people. Bill’s Pizza & Pub remains from those small town days in the 1950s, having outgrown its original location and now residing its current building, a former garage.

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“Lodge-like” is the best way to describe the building that currently houses Bill’s. That makes sense, too, as the restaurant looks on the outside like a supper club for vacationers mixed with a local bar that everyone in town knows–and it’s located directly on Diamond Lake, one the numerous bodies of water that sprinkle Lake County, Illinois, just north of Chicago, all the way to Wisconsin. Apparently the structure used to be a garage, though.

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The place was plenty decorated already, but did a great job of adding some fall touches which help fit the cool, breezy weather. Pumpkins? Are they taunting me for not stopping Billy Corgan’s tea shop? Anyway, we did not get to check out the dining room, unfortunately. I imagine it’s just about perfect. We did, however, head over to the separate pick-up area, which had plenty of classic local pizza place-isms to enjoy. Photos, a few plaques, and a few Halloween decorations adorned the walls. A freezer with frozen Bill’s pizzas was located off to one side. Mike Ditka is still a huge star in Chicagoland, as his name affixed to the Vienna Beef ad in the center of the photo attests.

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The kitchen was full of teenagers wearing matching Bill’s shirts, chatting loudly about “teenaged” things. And that’s just fine. They were friendly and it seemed like everybody got their pizzas quickly and efficiently. No doubt Bill’s has a been a popular first job for thousands of area teenagers for a few generations. That’s a great community resource. Starting with the photo of the original Bill’s Pizza in the top right corner of the collage below, one can follow the history of the business through faces and places over the years. Not only is Bill’s part of Mundelein’s business history, it is also a player in the personal histories of countless employees and customers for nearly 60 years.

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It took us about an hour to get home because we weren’t rushing, and we just headed back the way we came. When we made it home, we headed directly for the kitchen to behold what Ernie had tracked down. Bill’s has their own printed boxes, adding a nice to touch to the experience. Is that a little bear munching on a pizza? Geez, that’s cute.

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We got the double decker pizza, a hearty pie that Bill’s apparently originated in the Lake County area. I later met someone at a wedding from the area who grew up eating the thin crust pizza at Bill’s, but he had never heard of the double decker pizza, so I don’t know how popular it is locally. But I have to say, to us, it was awesome.

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The Pizza Hound waited very patiently…

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And it was worth the wait. The pizza was fantastic from the first slice. A nice, soft rolled dough crust along the edge, with a very thin layer of crust along the bottom. Sauce, cheese, and toppings came next, just as on a typical pizza. Then, another layer of quality sauce, cheese, and toppings, with the pepperoni beneath the cheese and the sausage chunks sticking out above it. This is Bill’s double decker pizza.

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By our estimation, this differs from Chicago-style stuffed pizza–which has a top layer of dough covered with sauce–by having an entire new layer of all the components. The end crust was softer than the typically dense stuffed pizza crust, and the inside was remarkably thin for the amount of different ingredients included. That said, just one piece filled me up. Happily, for Ernie (and me), he got a lot of crust with this pizza.

This was a special trip for us, and we recommend this pizza highly. Maybe someday we’ll head up to Mundelein again and try out the thin crust. We could even try out Bill’s Pizza North, the company’s second location, in Grayslake. We may even stop along the way for tea.

Bill’s Pizza & Pub is located at 624 S. Lake St., Mundelein, IL 60060

(847) 566-5380

Bill’s Pizza & Pub Official Website

Bill’s Pizza & Pub on Facebook