February 25, 2010

Tobin's Pizza

By Eric Shangraw

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 2:30 PM CDT

In the Twin Cities, there are just a handful of old fashioned Mom-and-Pop restaurants.

One of them is Tobin's Pizza.

Tonight, Eric Shangraw finishes his February pizza tour in this week's You Gotta Eat.

Tobin's Pizza is on Main Street right on the line where Bloomington meets Normal.

It has been in this location since America's Bi-Centennial. When the shag green carpeting on the wall was in fashion. There are thousands of still photos of customers from 30-years ago mixed in with the 70'S decor.

Moe Davis bought the business a few years ago from original owner Big Jim Tobin. Davis says he doesn't want to remodel, because the customers don't want an updated atmosphere. And in the restaurant business, the customers is always right.

"Some people say its' time for the carpet to go. Others say don't take it down because it is what we call home when we go out for pizza. So they argue it both ways," says Davis.

The pizza recipe is the same that's been in use since Tobin's was first established in 1963. It features made from scratch thin crust. A tomato based sauce with a little seasoning, and a generous portion of toppings.

On a busy night, Tobin's will crank out by-hand eight-to-nine hundred pizza's.

"We do the original thin crust. It has a good crunchy texture to it. Lots of cheese. We bake it nice and golden brown," said manager Kevin Scott.

Photographer Warren Brenegar and I ordered a large thin crust with sausage and green peppers.

On each table is a bottle of Tobin's barbecue sauce. Davis says it is not a sauce you can buy retail. A squirt adds a certain unique twist to each slice.

We also had salad and Tobin's garlic bread, guaranteeing a pungent post pizza breath.

With drinks our bill: $23.55 plus tip. You can order a sixteen-inch pizza with two toppings and another ten-incher of the same for a dollar more and feed a family of four for around $25.00.

Tobin's dinning room is like an old friend frozen in time and its' pizza is simply terrific.

Tobin's is at Main and Division in Bloomington. They open seven nights a week starting at 4:30. Call ahead for pick up or delivery in the Twin Cities.

Tobin's Pizza
1513 N. Main
Sunday-Thursday 4:30-11pm
Friday-Saturday 4:30-midnight

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