Farmland around Joliet is giving way to subdivisions and strip malls, but when a promising Italian bakery moves down into one of the new strip malls, perhaps Mother Earth is pleased. I am. Doughboys is operated by Louis Lezze, an heir of the Lezze Italian-ice family from Bellwood. Doughboys proves its bona fides by causing Chicago expats to cry for joy when they see treats like sfogliatelle and by making tray pizza as a sideline to the baked goods. Each morning around 11:00, Louis and co-owner Mario Esposito make a twelve-slice tray of cheese pizza and a tray that's six slices of Italian sausage and six slices of pepperoni. All the slices (squares, actually) are usually gone by 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. One can order half or full trays. Today I got to Doughboys early enough to get two slices of the Friday-only spinach and ricotta. Nice! Several strands of spinach and half-inch thick squares of ricotta dotted each piece. The surprise was large slices of baked garlic. Good flavor on a crust that tasted more bakery than pizzeria--purer, if you will.
Doughboys is on the SE corner of Black Rd. and Route 59. It's in the strip mall one enters off Black, not the one entered off 59. Black is about a mile north of US 52, Jefferson St.