Gino’s East recently opened its first Arizona location in Arcadia on Indian School Road after 50 years as a Chicago staple.
The Valley of the Sun has an endless supply of sunshine and heat. Only slightly less abundant here is the supply of transplants from the Midwest. You never have to look hard to find a Chicagoan ready to tell you about their favorite deep-dish pizza spot. For many of them, the long-awaited arrival of Gino’s East is a piece of home they can’t wait to share with the rest of us.
Gino’s East is rightfully known for their deep-dish pizza – and for the graffiti they encourage guests to plaster on the walls – they have a full menu that should not be ignored. Gino’s East has specialty cocktails as well as local and national craft beers. They also have a wine list with wines by the glass from Italy and California, as well as a French rosé. If you’re looking for a good red wine, the Primitivo del Salento from Puglia goes well with not only pizza, but many of the appetizers available.
Speaking of the appetizers, Gino’s East has a nice blend of the traditional – Fried Calamari, Jumbo Chicken Wings – and also more refined selections like the Eggplant Burrata Bowl with an eggplant caponata, a generous serving of creamy burrata, arugula and crostini. The Caprese Crostini is a nice twist on a regular caprese, served on four pieces of crostini with cherry tomatoes and a balsamic glaze.
There are salads, sandwiches and pasta but for our first Gino’s East experience, we had to go with what put them on the map. Chicago deep-dish pizza. Our selection was the Spinach Margherita, which has spinach, cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil. Like most deep-dish pies, Gino’s East takes about 35-45 minutes to prepare and bake your pizza. It is worth the wait. The hot, steaming pie has a buttery crust that manages to stay chewy with a touch of crisp despite a lot of sauce and cheese on top. For a New Yorker, using a fork and knife for pizza is blasphemy, but with Chicago deep dish, it’s inevitable. There are custom pizzas you can order or you can create your own. If deep-dish pizza just isn’t your thing or you don’t have time to wait, they also have thin-crust available.
Gino’s East is open seven days a week, from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until Midnight on Friday and Saturday.
For more information and to view the full menu, visit ginoseast.com.