Bilbo’s Pizza in a Pan – Portage
I love pizza…but then again, who doesn’t? No matter where we live, the first order of business is finding a great pizza place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Papa John’s, but when it comes down to it, all chain pizza joints are exactly the same. They have the same boring crust, similar sauces, and lack of depth when it comes to flavor.
Whenever I’m coming home from a long day of work, J likes to have something waiting for me. It’s usually take out or delivery which is fine with me. After an 11 1/2 day plus almost three hours of driving, anything tastes good.
We don’t know much about the pizza scene in Kalamazoo yet, but there was one place that was recommended to me by a commenter on Mid-Michigan dining. He noticed we travel I-94 quite a bit as we drive back to Chicago and suggested we stop off for pizza some night. He said it was a detour worth taking.
Bilbo’s Pizza in a Pan is on Westnedge Avenue in Portage in front of the Southgate Shopping Center. The building actually looks like an old chain to me, but I really have no clue. Since we just did delivery, we didn’t get to see what kind of place it was inside. We’ll save that for a future trip. Just a little bit of a spoiler…there will be a future trip.
I told J my GPS was telling me I would be home at about 7:45. She called in the order just right because as I was pulling in, the pizza delivery guy was pulling out. I don’t mind eating pizza cold. Heck, sometimes I even prefer it, but I was looking forward to that hot, fresh pizza.
J ordered two pizzas which is pretty much what we usually do. Nothing ever goes to waste. We can usually get two meals out of two pizzas and since she prefers a plain cheese pizza, she orders a meat one for me. I’ll eat the plain cheese and not complain about it, but I don’t complain when I get little chunks of cows or pigs on mine either.
Being from Chicago, we’re kind of pizza snobs. What so many people don’t realize about Chicago is that deep dish is not the only thing you can get in the city. In fact, there’s a couple places on the south side that serve up the best thin crust pizza you will ever have. J and I were married just a couple weeks ago and we had our rehearsal dinner at Palermo’s 95th in Oak Lawn, IL. Everyone who went to that dinner said they would be making the trip back….the pizza was that good. It’s our usual place because they have the best cracker thin crust in town.
When we go looking for pizza places outside of Chicago, the crust is always the first thing we look at.
J noticed Bilbo’s does a screen baked thin crust, so she ordered two of those. She got one medium cheese and one large Dragon Feast which came with pepperoni, ham, sausage, and hickory smoked bacon. Both of them had a stone ground wheat crust. The total for the two pizzas was $33 which seems awfully expensive for pizza. When we eat out, I like to get out for around $20, This was way over that price. It was the specialty pizza that drove the price up so much. My pizza alone cost almost twenty bucks.
My jaw sort of dropped when she told me the price, but that was a good thing. Made it easier to shove a little pizza in there.
The pizza was almost the cracker thin crust we like. It was cut into wedges so you almost eat it New York style. Do the little break in the middle and fold it over. The sauce had so much flavor and just a little bit of a kick. J’s mouth was on fire after a couple pieces. I like the heat so I was just soaking it all in. There was definitely plenty of meat on the Dragon Feast to make it worth $20. I had all three meats in just about every bite.
Bilbo’s was a great first attempt at Kalamazoo area pizza. I really don’t know how anyone is going to beat it. They have a great crust and a sauce with a ton of flavor. At this point, it’s going to be hard to even give another place a try…it was that good.