Just as I thought my journey on the Chicago Pizza Tour was beginning to wind down, I had no idea what I was in for.
Holy shit. Welcome to Gino's East.
This is Gino's East's largest location, formerly a Planet Hollywood, where vandalizing is not only allowed but encouraged on any untouched spot in the joint-
Why not? It's fun for the whole family!
Gino' East was founded in '66 by two taxi-drivin' buds Fred Bartoli and Sam Levine with their pal George Laverde. Though they were (relatively) recent Italian transplants, they had no idea what they were doing when it came to deep dish pizza, so they hired this woman:
Alice Mae Redmond. This righteous lady cut her teeth making pies at deep dish ultra HQ Pizzeria Uno and Pizzeria Due for 17 years before heading over to Gino's East to do some major damage.
Unhappy with the taste and consistency of the crust in Uno's pie, Alice made some major tweaks to create what has now become legendary at Gino's- a thick, bready, corny crust.
Yes, you heard me right. This stuff tastes about one ingredient away from actual cornbread and has a slight sweetness to it.
Somebody that saw this picture without any explanation thought it was a bloody foot. What you're looking at here is Gino's crumbled sausage deep dish pizza (not to be confused with the disc-like patty sausage variety) consisting of the aforementioned crust, a pound and a half of mozzarella, sweet chunky tomato sauce, and small bits of sausage.
Alice eventually retired in 1989 after developing recipes and working at Gino's for 29 years. I'm impressed...
...unfortunately I can't say the same for this...pizza. Of all the deep dish places I visited, I think I liked Gino's LEast.