Chicago Style Pizza Arrives In Music City
It’s a city that has captured my heart and if it weren’t for the sub-zero temperatures and harsh winters, I’d likely move there. From the varying architectural styles, the booming food scene and I can’t forget that mid-western hospitality, Chicago really has it all. My love affair with the city started years ago and I have since made subsequent trips soaking up as much of the city as I possibly can. No trip to the Windy City is complete without some Chicago-style deep dish pizza.
I’ve said it once and I will say it again, pizza is a very polarizing topic for Chicagoans. However, the Windy City has no idea how good they have it compared to Nashville. It wasn’t until the past five or so years that we’ve upped our pizza game with places like Desano’s, Five Points, Nicky’s Coal Fired and Slim and Husky’s. As a pizza connoisseur, I can say with certainty that I enjoy each of these establishments because they have a unique spin on this classic Italian dish. Several months ago, news broke that Music City was FINALLY going to get authentic Chicago-style pizza from Gino’s East. Since that announcement, I’ve been anxiously awaiting their arrival in downtown Nashville.
Gino’s East not only serves Chicago-style pizza and cold craft beer but they are also serving up laughs with their Comedy Bar. I had a chance to check out their newest location and sample (aka devour) some pie.
Let’s face it, there’s nothing more I love than cheese. If I were lactose intolerant, I’d have a real situation on my hands. You can almost always count on me ordering Mozzarella Sticks of they are an option on the menu. Just blame it on my 12-year-old inner child.
Once we were settled, I perused the menu and noticed not one but three different types of Mozzarella Sticks on the menu. It was evident that I had died and gone to cheesy heaven. I chatted up some of the staff and they proceeded to share that these are made daily in-house at their Chicago location and shipped to all their locations. While I’m typically drawn to a twist on a classic dish, I decided to order the classic. I was not disappointed. You can certainly tell that these are house-made not the sub-par nonsense from the freezer section. (Note: These little gems are even great reheated the next day, promise!)
Attempting to balance things out and let’s face it, feel a little bit better about consuming all of these calories, we looked to the greener part of the menu and ordered the Kale Caesar with Spicy Caesar dressing. After taking a few photos, I was able to get in a few bites before our pies came.
I cannot say enough good things about the staff at Gino’s. Not only were they incredibly hospitable but they were more than willing to provide guidance and recommendations ensuring that we had the best experience possible. Once we realized we could do half and half pizzas, it was on. Total game changer.
There were so many options (check out their menu here), we really did struggle with what to order but we knew we wanted it all. We started with our half and half pie which was half Burger and Fries and half Diavola. Isn’t it a stunner? I promise it’s not as large as it looks. I enjoyed slices of both but certainly gravitated to the Burger and Fries. After all, who doesn’t love it when their two favorite food groups are combined into one delicious creation!
A trip to Gino’s East would not be complete without experiencing the Deep AF pie. I still can’t wrap my head around this. Granted, I had my fair share of food earlier in the evening, but after one slice, I was completely spent. I am amazed by those who can put down more than one piece of this.
It goes without saying that we left Gino’s with SEVERAL take-out boxes and the leftover pizza was just as good the next day. (Tip: Skip the microwave and take that pie straight to the over on medium heat. The cheese will be just as ooey and gooey the as it was the night you ordered it.)
I’m so excited to include Gino’s East in my regular restaurant rotation, however, my waistline might feel differently. Next time you find yourself wandering around downtown Nashville or pre-gaming before a show at Ascend, swing by and grab a slice.
Tariff: Appetizers start as little as $4.00 and range to $21.00. Depending on the size of the pie and if you go Deep AF, pizzas are priced between $17.00-$36.00. Don’t forget you can always go halfsies.
Can’t-Miss: Hello, it’s Chicago-style pizza. Everyone must have the Deep AF experience, it’s only fitting. Also, I’m a huge fan of the Burger and Fries pizza. Combining two of my favorite foods is definitely a win in my book!
Potential Pass: If it were me, I’d skip the salad and save it for the cheesy goodness.
Until Next Time!