I used to spend a decent amount of time at Hoops Pub & Pizza several years ago, when my friend Minney worked nights at one of the local TV affiliates.
I remember Hoops due to their inexpensive huge slices of pizza and awesome calzones.
StfRon and I stopped at Hoops, 516 Main Street in Peoria Sunday, since it was after 2 p.m. and there is a limited selection of local joints open downtown at that time of day.
There was a small crowd watching the Daytona 500 when we arrived.
Our barmaid was pretty much on the spot throughout our visit; apologetic that as far as red wine, all she had to offer was merlot, but then again, it's not really a wine kind of bar. She was also handling tables in the restaurant.
StfRon scored with $2 Pilsener Urquell bottles.
We sat at the bar, and each ordered calzones. I remembered Hoops for their calzones and recall nights going to Hoops and ordering a huge slice of pizza and getting one free for dirt cheap.
On this visit, I went with a veggie calzone, choosing green peppers, black olives, garlic and onions as my filling.
The calzones now start at $6.45, and the prices go up after two toppings.
StfRon went with pepperoni, sausage and onion.
I saw Steve, who I remembered being one of the mainstay workers from our more frequent visits over 7 years ago, sitting at the bar.
The calzones arrived, and although being a little disappointed that they did not have riccotta cheese in them by default (it is an add on), I found them to be good, with a soft mozzarella type cheese oozing out. The calzones were served accompanied by a side of marinara sauce for dipping.
StfRon was a little disappointed to find that the sausage was a pretty much standard institutional pizza topping, but ate the whole calzone. I saved 1/2 of mine to bring home for later.
He also reported that the mens room seemed to be a little neglected. I didn't have occasion to visit the ladies room on this outing.
While we were hanging out, we noticed a handful of families with young children coming in, who seemed to be either leaving or heading to a Civic Center event, based on their attire. Which led me to think; where would families go for a meal downtown relating to a Civic Center event? Pretty much Old Chicago is about the only other restaurant right downtown I can think of that would be open, and it's a chain.
It was good to see Hoops catering to this clientèle.
Hoops is open from 11 a.m.-4 a.m. every day.