Taste The Tradition: Gino’s remains a Toledo favorite

. December 1, 2017.
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Can you guess which day is a great day for pizza? Every day! And as the hustle and bustle of the holidays approach and time is scarce, let someone else do the cooking. Pizza is not just for kids. As you may have guessed, my Pizza Posse was out and about yet again. I was so excited to introduce a couple of friends to The Original Gino’s Pizza.

Toledo Tradition

The Original Gino’s Pizza, or Gino’s for short, was started by Steve Sparks and his brothers in 1953. After years of success they retired, and in 1986 Chuck Kreutz became the new owner and president. Now with six locations across the Toledo area from Perrysburg to Alexis Rd. and everywhere in between, there is sure to be one near you.

Gino’s has kept its special recipes the same through the years. The signature sauce, no longer made at each location, is made in bulk to exact specifications to ensure the highest quality. I have always raved about their red sauce that has, to me, just a touch of sweetness. I may have discovered one of the secrets to this special sauce: it’s made with 100 percent California tomatoes, according to Kreutz. “We make our dough fresh ourselves” every day at each location, he said. Only the freshest ingredients are used, and you can surely taste the difference. There is a reason Toledo City Paper and Toledo Area Parent readers have frequently voted Gino’s a past winner for “Best Pizza.”

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Stretch the imagination

Honestly, I have always done carry-out until recently. We enjoyed dinner at the Monroe and Nantucket location, which had ample seating with booths and tables. Eventually half of the seating was filled, but the phone rang off the hook with carry-out orders the entire time we were there. I should have asked how many pizzas they make on any given day. It’s a lot.

Our group ordered about six different pizzas. If you are dining in, you place your order at the counter, grab your drink and your seats, and the staff brings your order out to you when it’s ready. The menu is a bit daunting with a choice of 26 pizzas, 26 subs and five salads. Of course, the “build your own pizza” makes the options endless. Pasta and appetizers are also available.

According to Kreutz, a revamped menu will be ready to go in the coming weeks. I look forward to seeing what’s new! He said a couple of their customer favorites are the cheeseburger pizza, the barbecue chicken pizza, and the chicken bacon ranch pizza.

However, if you stretch your imagination just a bit more, maybe you’d want to try the Jiggs pizza with corned beef and sauerkraut with white sauce. Or a Stanley’s Kickin’ Kielbasa, Cajun Seafood, or even the Holiday pizza topped with turkey, stuffing, gravy and cheese. What? I might have to order that one next just to say I did!

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Pizza Pleasers

The Pizza Posse didn’t exactly make things easy. Not only did we order many different pizzas, but we even had one or two that were half this and half that. The employees were gracious and happy to accommodate. We ordered tomato feta garlic bread, which is a must try, and when an extra plain garlic bread came out as well, Gino’s gave it to us on the house! Both were gone within seconds.
Though we liked the gyro pizza and the buffalo chicken pizzas, we decided our group still loved the more traditional pizzas with Gino’s signature sweet and tangy red sauce. Though there isn’t an actual kids’ menu, the mini-size pizzas are a great option for around $5, and juice and milk are available as well as fountain drinks.

The Short Course

Kid-friendly: Yes
To avoid wait: Anytime
Noise level: Moderate
Bathroom amenities: Changing station
High chairs? Yes
Got milk? Yes and juice
Kids’ menu? No, but the mini-size pizzas are perfect for the younger set

Bottom Line: The Original Gino’s Pizza has been offering Toledoans palate-pleasing pizza that tempts your taste buds since 1953. You can order online for convenience and dine in or carry out at six locations throughout the area. Gino’s offers coupons online or the daily grab-and-go special after 4pm, consisting of a large pepperoni pizza for just $9.