Since we have started on our own food journey, we have encountered the true food icons of Chicago. We have tasted the cheezborghers at Billy Goat, savored Italian Beef at Al’s , and delighted in a Vienna Beef at Wrigley. Everyone in foodie land has told us that you haven’t tasted Chicago until you have had a deep dish pizza. We decided to go right to the source, the place that everyone says has the best deep dish pizza is Gino’s East.
There are many locations in the city and burbs, but we took a trip to the newest one. Gino’s just opened a new location in the River North area, formerly the home of LaSalle Power Company. In the spring, Gino’s will also be introducing a micro brewery as well. Trudging through the snow, we finally arrived. Everyone was so helpful , helping us to pick menu items that they were sure we would enjoy. Since we would eating pizza, I thought a beer or cider would be appreciated. I picked a real winner, the Ace Pear Cider had a sweet taste, almost like wine instead of beer. Our warm up consisted of mozzarella sticks , a smoked trout dip , and the mediterranean antipasti trio.
The mozzarella sticks were covered with a crispy coating. You could definitely tell that the sauce was fresh, it was chunky , not runny. Each stick was packed with loads of cheese. The smoked trout was a nice change of pace from the parade of usual appetizers. It was like eating a mini version of lox and bagels. The antipasti trio was the crowning glory of the tasting. Don’t get me wrong, I like wings, nachos, and the other starters. (They are also available at Gino’s) These were just a little more gourmet and spotlighted that Gino’s like to cater to the more discriminating diner as well. Even their antipasti is more unique than other ones that I have tried in restaurants. The hummus was bursting with flavor, the tabouleh was made with cannelini beans and flavored with mint for a zesty taste. Finally, the couscous was infused with beets to give it the purple color it had. Then it was garnished with homemade honey goat cheese. Delishh. It was a world tour for the taste buds.
The piece de resistance was the pizza. We decided to go with the Gino Supreme. We were not disappointed . The crust was thick and golden, a true classic. The filling was stuffed with lots of green peppers, mushrooms, onion, and pepperoni . But the cheese…could have stretched it for miles. Finishing up , we indulged in a couple of Sweet Mandy’s cupcakes. It was worth the trek and brightened up our day in Chiberia.
There are many pizza places that we have tried and each of them has their own special recipe or topping. I would tell anyone that was a tourist , if they want REAL Chicago deep dish , they need to find a Gino’s and stat. The newest member of the Gino’s family is located at 500 N La Salle , next to the Anti Cruelty Society.