We’re in Chicago!

First stop, Gino’s East Gino’s East. Actually Lou Malnati’s was our plan, but we got there and they weren’t open. The New Yorker in me didn’t realize that any pizza place could be closed for lunch on the weekdays.

So the whole place looks like 3-year-olds with crayons and chalk came through.

Gino's East 2 Gino's East

We were warned that their Deep Dish Pizza’s take about 40 minutes so we started with a salad and a sampler platter. The salad was simple, Iceberg and stuff. The dressings were awful, a blue cheese that tasted like nothing, and a raspberry that was a liquid Jolly Rancher.

Luckily, everything else was better. The sampler platter had so-so calamari (served with cocktail sauce) but the best mozzarella sticks and spinach sticks ever. They had a crunchy breading, were not at all oily, and good wholesome oozing cheese.
sampler platter

We’ve never had Spinach Sticks before but they’re just fortified Mozzarella Sticks. We loved them to pieces.
spinach stick

The pizza finally arrived (you can call ahead and have them start your pizza befroe you get there) and it was so climactic for me, having never tried Chicago pizza before.
Deep Dish

We loved the sausage, which was tender large crumbles. We loved the sauce, which we thought was much more like pasta sauce than pizza sauce. We loved the cheese, the same one used in the mozzarella stick, fresh and milky. We didn’t really enjoy the crust. The yeast was a bit strong and it was too corn-y (haha), both in flavor and texture, resulting in a hard crust.

Sausage and Cheese

The meal was still great for $38 (including tax and tip). We were full for hours and couldn’t go for our planned ice cream stop. The most important thing I noticed was that everything was perfectly seasoned. Foods like these often get too salty and here they really restrained. We enjoyed our coma-inducing (we really had to nap) lunch but I don’t believe this is Chicago’s best.

posted by jessica at 08:10 PM Filed under Italian, Restaurants, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.