Mr. Bigg's Pizza
A Republic pizzeria offers St. Louis–style pizza with creative toppings and plenty of provel cheese goodness.
On a rainy Saturday night, I set off with my husband, Eli Estes, and our friend Aaron Lambert to find a place to fulfill a pizza craving. We tossed around the idea of heading to one of our favorite Springfield spots, but we ultimately decided to give Mr. Bigg’s Pizza in Republic a try. None of us had been there, but I’d heard positive reviews from some Republic patrons. When we got there, we found an old converted house that holds a few scattered dining spaces separated into different rooms. There’s something extra charming about a restaurant in a house. It feels cozy. The street view scored the first point for Mr. Bigg’s. We parked our car in the lot out back and headed inside to give it a try.
The first things to the table were our beers: Three really, really cold glasses of Sam Adams. I don’t know if we just got lucky or if the beer is always this cold, but that was some of the most refreshing Sam Adams I’ve ever sipped.
We ordered small house salads ($2.99 each) to whet our appetites. They were topped with just the right amount of creamy provel cheese. There are several salad dressings to choose from, but I ordered the house dressing. It’s a thick, sweet Italian dressing similar to the kind at Imo’s Pizza.
Right as we were polishing off our salads, our pizza arrived. We had opted to share a chicken alfredo pizza ($17.49 for a large), which is topped with alfredo sauce rather than typical red sauce. It also comes with grilled chicken, onions, bacon and mushrooms. We swapped the mushrooms for tomato slices, and the staff was happy to oblige our switcheroo. The pizza was delicious. Thick alfredo sauce covered an ultra-thin crust. The bacon was crispy; there’s nothing better than strips of breakfast bacon on a pizza, and it tasted great with the sauce. We devoured a lot of the pizza, but between the three of us, we couldn’t finish it.
That’s partly because we also ordered a sandwich. The restaurant has a sandwich menu with a variety of options, and we decided we had to try the salami sandwich ($5.99). It comes on Italian bread with lots of volpi salami, a little bit of provel cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo. We opted for no mayo, and we ordered the sandwich hot. When it came to the table, the edges of the salami were cooked to crispiness, and it had all the salty goodness you expect from Italian cured meat. I wasn’t sure I would like the addition of pickles, but in fact it was the salty, briny, crunchy icing on the cake. It went so well with the salami that every bite that featured pickles was my favorite. We couldn’t finish this sandwich either. We each tried a slice, but we wound up taking some of it home along with the leftover pizza.
There’s one more flavor on this menu that we tried: We started our meal with jalapeño poppers (eight for $4.99). Even though the poppers were fairly ordinary, it was a craving we just had to indulge. The peppers were mild, the cheese was melty, and the breading was crunchy. Yum!
Bigg’s also offers a thicker crust. I can’t comment on it, as we didn’t try it. It looked like the other diners there that night had opted for the thin crust, as well. But for those of you who aren’t fans of St. Louis–style pizza, it might be worth a try. If it’s as tasty as our chicken alfredo pizza, it’s worth it.
Mr. Bigg’s Pizza
517 E. Elm St., Republic,
Open Mon.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–9 p.m.;
Fri.–Sat., 11 a.m.–10 p.m.;
Sun., 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m.