Peoria, Tazewell, And Woodford: Here, There & Everywhere

Brienzo’s Wood Fired Pizza, Reviewed by Mike Foster


EST. 2012,




by Mike Foster


You never forget your first pie.


In 1962,  mine was the thin-crust sausage, cheese, onion, and mushroom twelve-incher from Pizza De-Lite at the foot of Abington (now Fogelberg) Hill, a concrete-block building just south of the lower exit of Glen Oak Park, west of Woodruff High School, and north of the Glen Oak Swimming Pool, a favorite summer haunt of East Bluff schoolboys and girls.



Alas! The De-Lite is de-gone, like the pool and the high school. It struggled on for a while on Rt. 26 in Spring Bay, but decades ago, it vanished.


The fascination with East Peoria’s Davis Brothers and Sheridan Road’s Agatucci’s continues to elude us. For a few brief and shining years while Rick Malnati played basketball for Bradley University, Sheridan Village was home to a Lou Malnati’s Pizza, but Chicago-style deep-dish pizza was not a local taste.


The Peoria Pizza Works on Prospect Road in Peoria heights boasts a creditable deep-deep dish pie, including anchovies by request, specialty sandwiches, and a good selection of craft beers and stronger potables, like Hell-Cat Maggie Irish whiskey. It’s a popular spot for birthday parties, book groups, and live music.


In these parts, we take pizza seriously.


Our first visit to Brienzo’s was on Feb. 16, 2016, after a doctor visit that ended too late for my wife Jo and I to go on a movie date to see “Hail, Caesar” or the Oscar-nominated animated short films.


So we went over to Junction City to Brienzo’s Wood-Fired Pizzas for two ten-inch pies sloshed down with the house pinot noir.


Image courtesy of Brienzo’s Wood Fired Pizza


Jo had pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and I opted for meatball, sausage, and red peppers with an idea that we’d have leftovers to bring home for our daughter Martha.


And we did.


The thin crisp crust was splendid; it reminded us of Geneva and Milan.


The furniture was simple: several booths for four and tables and chairs.


The owners were convivial; we vowed to return.


And we have, sometimes for take-away.


Ten-inch pies (there are eight to choose from, or you can build your own four-ingredient choice—no anchovies, alas) cost $10.95.  The Brienzo, Margerhrita,  and Carnivore have been our favorites.


Image courtesy of Brienzo’s Wood Fired Pizza


Five specialty pies go for $12.95.


Other dishes include the $7.95 Cheezta composed of garlic sauce or red sauce and cheese.


Five salads—spinach, Greek, arugula, Caesar, and garden—are available for $7 large and $4 small.


Desserts, apple crisp and “Peanut Butter Explosion,” can be had for $8.


Soft drinks cost $2.25 or $1.25 for a children’s size.


For more adult tastes, craft beers and wines on tap serves as suitable quaffs.


The $9.95 dine-in express lunch includes a nine-inch one-topping pizza, a small garden salad, and a soft drink served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.


Brienzo’s delivers to Peoria, East Peoria, and Washington but not, alas, to Metamora.



Phone 309.692.4181 for delivery, 309.966.4185 for carry-out, or order on-line at


One comment on “Brienzo’s Wood Fired Pizza, Reviewed by Mike Foster

  1. John Moffatt
    December 14, 2016

    Another fine trip down memory lane. Like so many other special places attended in our youth the pool and pizza joint of the 62/63 school year still produce vivid images of good times and good friends.

    Thanks again, professor.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on December 14, 2016 by in Mike Foster and tagged , , , , , , , .
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