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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Gino's East [Meeting #43]

Gino's East
162 E. Superior St. (GoogleMaps)
(312) 266-3337

CPC invaded Gino's East on 7/11/07.

We made our way to this Chicago Pizza Establishment on a balmy July day and found a line that stretched out to the street. We chuckled at the suggestion of having to wait and walked towards the hostess to inform her that the Chicago Pizza Club was present and ready to be seated. The line moved pretty quickly and waiting let us get our thoughts together anyways.

Gino's was started in 1966 in its original location downtown. It was started by a group of friend's, none of whom were named Gino's. It moved to a new location in 2000 before moving back to its original location in 2006. Apparently, the stench of failure from the Planet Hollywood that occupied the temporary location was strong enough to drive them back home after some reconstruction on the site. To be fair, the River North location remains open for business and it retains the 40 years of graffiti covered booth and walls that were transplanted with the move. It is too big to have the same feel as the "new" original location and we elected to meet at the "new" original location. This chain of pizzerias is not to be confused with The Original Gino's which was on Rush street before finally closing.

OK, on to the pizza. We ordered the following:

  • Deep dish Supreme which includes sausage, onions, peppers, and mushrooms
  • Thin crust vegetarian with asparagus, mushrooms, onions, squash, zucchini, red and green peppers
Prior the arrival of our pizza, we ordered some bruschetta. It was nothing special, but the sauce was nice and chunky and was a sign of things to come. The pizzas took the standard 45 minute time to cook and arrive. The thin crust pizza was overloaded with ingredients. While a vegetarian may enjoy the pizza, I thought it was way too busy with all the toppings and lacked some salt. Additionally, the bounty of high-water content vegetables soaked the crust and made it soggy. Face it, we were all here to sample the big boy - the Deep Dish Supreme. It did not disappoint. It was similarly overloaded with ingredients, but these toppings were on a pie whose crust was able to support them. The sauce was chunky and fresh and the cheese wasn't out of proportion as we have seen in previous outings (thank you, Exchequer). The sausage, crumbled in this case, was very tasty and the crust was made from cornmeal and it held up under the weight of the ingredients. Really, I've always felt that Gino's is the baseline for a true deep dish pizza. The ingredients are fresh, it's a simple design, and I've never had one that is undercooked - it accomplishes its goal of a meal in a slice quite well.

Petey gives Gino's East a score of 7/10.

Deep Dish!

Francisco sportin' a brand new shirt...

For the vegetarians

Where it went down...

Original Gino's East on Urbanspoon


  1. I enjoyed this pizza, the downtown location made the atmosphere a little "touristy" but it also is the original Gino's location and that alone makes it worh the trip. Compared to the other "core" Chicago-style pizza chains I'd rate it ahead of Giordano's and behind Lou Malnati's. I give it a solid 7

  2. Gino's East is my favorite of the major Chicago-style pizza chains. The buttery cornmeal, crust plays against all that tomato sauce much better than the standard flour crust.

  3. If you're absolutely starving and ready to eat a whole pie, DO NOT go to Gino's. They intentionally make you wait long for your order. On two occasions, I waited for an hour before getting my order. One time was a first date, and nobody likes a cranky first date.

  4. Sorry to post on a review that was done over three years ago. I have to jump in on the cornmeal issue...THERE IS NONE! Gino's East does not use cornmeal in their dough formulation. It's a food color called "eggshade" that is used to color the crust. Good pizza, don't get me wrong, just no cornmeal. So for "cooky-monster" who said, "The buttery cornmeal, crust plays against all that tomato sauce much better than the standard flour crust." Well, you're off the mark, it is just a "flour crust", but not so standard...and no butter either, corn oil and extra virgin olive oil.