Chicago deep dish heavy hitter Gino's East opening in PhoenixPosted: Updated:
Look out Lou Malnati’s, another deep dish heavy hitter is making its way west for a pizza showdown of epic proportions.
Gino’s East is opening in the Arcadia area in a brand-new building at 36th Street and Indian School Road on Monday, April 24.
Gino’s East has been a Chicago favorite since 1966, later expanding to Wisconsin, Texas, Mexico City and now – finally – Arizona. That seems fitting seeing as the Valley is not only the spring training home of the Cubs and the White Sox but also a home away from home for countless transplants.
Like Lou Malnati’s – deep dish lovers rejoiced when their beloved Chicago-style pizza arrived in the Valley nearly a year ago (Seriously, hundreds of people lined up on opening day) – Gino’s East is authentic Chi-town at its core.
While Lou Malnati's was the first to conquer the pizza eaters of the Phoenix metro area, it's history in Chicago doesn't go back quite as far as Gino's East -- 1971 vs. 1966.
Gino’s East announced its intention to open in Phoenix last year just a couple of months after Lou Malnati’s opened the doors on its first restaurant outside of the Windy City.
Both boast super secret proprietary recipes (You'd probably have more luck finding out what goes into Col. Sanders' blend of 11 herbs and spices) and both claim to be the best.
If you Yelp "best Chicago deep dish" in Phoenix today, a week out from the Gino's East grand opening, Lou Malnati's wins hands (and napkins) down. With four stars, it has more than 620 reviews. No. 2, Vito's Pizza, also has four stars, but only 105 reviews.
Will that change in the weeks and months to come? Only time, and pizza aficionados, will tell. More on that in a moment.
Bottom line: Phoenix has a front-row seat for a pizza battle of deep dish proportions -- Lou vs. Gino.
The Gino’s East Phoenix Facebook page has been posting photos of amazing-looking eats all week, including the first deep dish out of the kitchen and the first thin crust fresh from the oven. It also showed off the first signature on the wall of the new restaurant.
With two such big Chicago deep dish players just 5 miles apart, we now have a question for you. To be fair and objective, taste testing might be required.
Bravo Restaurants -- the company that owns all five Gino’s East locations in Chicago, including the original – will run the Arcadia location.
Ten percent of the proceeds from grand opening day -- April 24, in case you forgot -- will benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
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