Me, your mother, that frickin' grabowski over there, and those other asswipes are goin' ta Gino's fer a nice deep dish dinner, ya know? That's just how Chicagoans talk; it's been widely documented.
Luckily, and educationally, the installation of Gino's East Chicago Pizzeria, off of I-30 near Six Flags and the Ballpark, now offers Arlington residents the rare opportunity to bear witness to the elusive Chicago transplant in its native clime. The pies at Gino's must have some sort of homing beacon lodged deep within the layers of cheese and sauce that pulls all manner of Chicago-based life forms toward it.
Let's just say there was a large contingent at Gino's for Monday's grand opening who really like the Bulls' chances in their second-round playoff series against LeBron and the Cavs. And the pizza lives up to the hype, too.
Wait, did I mention there were a lot of people from Chicago?
The pizza at Gino's is so good that the original Chicago location (there are 11 total in the greater Chicago area) has been supplementing dine-in revenues with a frozen deep dish mail order service that has shipped za to Chicago transplants wandering all parts of this great land of ours. The four Texas locations (two in Houston and one in San Antonio) have followed suit -- frozen zas can be carried out or cold shipped to your home. There are plans for a Dallas-area Gino's in the future, but a timeframe and specific location are still up in the air.
My blistering hot pie came out in a pizza skillet after an hour's wait, and the layer of sauce (which lies on top of the cheese, mind you) resembled liquid hot magma more than anything that came from a tomato. My half BBQ Brisket, half Chicago Fire actually took just about 50 minutes, but the staff and the menus are quick to remind patrons not to get too impatient. Your pizza will be ready when it's ready.
On the BBQ side, brisket cords were hidden by the layer of sauce, caramelized onions and red and yellow peppers, but make no mistake, there is lots of brisket involved in this proposition. The pool of tomato sauce does wonders for the meat's juiciness.
But the real MVP was the Chicago Fire, which comes with hot and spicy patty-style sausage, fire-roasted red peppers and red onions. I'm not saying you shouldn't order anything else, but make sure the Chicago Fire deep dish is in the mix. There's just the right amount of spice in each forkful.
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Starting later this week, a lunch menu will feature a personal pan option ($8.99) that isn't quite as daunting as the small ($21-$23) pictured above. Thin crusts and sandwiches are also available, and Gino's Italian beef in particular was getting a lot of run with the Bulls fans sitting next to me.
Delivery service is also in the works, for those of you dirty rats lucky enough to live within a 3-mile radius of the homing beacon.
Gino's East Chicago Pizzeria 1350 E. Copeland Road, Arlington, 817-809-7437, 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday Gino'sEast.com