Thursday, January 20, 2011

Giorgio's Pizza

Is it just me, or is it challenging to be in the heart of downtown (think Circle City Mall area) and find a lot of independent lunch places?  I find myself in that area about once a week these days and have been trying to venture out of a couple of usual haunts.  On this day, I walked down to the Circle and checked out Giorgio’s pizza.  This place has been on my list ever since several people told me they did decent New York style pizza.
I went in and asked for my usual favorite toppings—mushroom and red onion ($3.35 a slice with 2 toppings).  They were happy to accommodate my request and piled the toppings on a piece of cheese pizza.  I also got a breadstick on the side ($1.05) (I like that you can order them individually).  So when I got my pizza, I was thinking it wasn’t looking that appetizing because there was so much stuff piled on top and the mushrooms looked like they came out of a can.  You know what I mean right? They were darker brown and like they had been soaking in some sort of fluid for awhile.  My preference is for freshly cut mushrooms.
As I sat down, I thought, I will just scoot all those off and eat the pizza with a few of the nicely thinly sliced red onions.  But then I thought I should take a bite with the mushrooms first before I pass judgment.  You know, they actually were kind of good—they were seasoned, maybe with some garlic and while the texture wasn’t what I would have chosen, they really ended up tasting pretty good on the pizza.  And the onions were the perfect size, like I said.
The pizza slice under those toppings itself was quite enjoyable—not the super large slices you see at some of the other New York style places, but tasty.  The crust was quite crunchy, more so than some, but had a nice flavor with a sauce that was a bit sweet and with just a hint of underlying spiciness.  I liked it quite a bit. And it wasn’t overly sauced, or overly cheesy, which are two of my pet peeves. This is not the kind of pizza you can fold in half very easily, so some of you might say it isn’t traditional New York style, but the crunchiness was nice (and no one really seems to agree on this anyway).
The breadstick was basic, but had the nice tenderness inside that differentiates a breadstick from pizza crust (even though it is likely the same dough being used).  I enjoyed the chewiness of it in contrast to the pizza crust.  The cheese sauce was your standard nacho cheese, no better, no worse as far as I am concerned.
The guys working in there were super friendly and efficient, and the friendly words I received upon leaving were enough alone to make me want to come back. It is amazing what a little friendly customer service can do.
So, I was thinking as I sat there, do any of you remember another pizza place that was in approximately the same location I think, way back in the 80s?  Was it called Chicago’s or something?  As I sat there, I flashed back to hanging out on the Circle with some friends in high school and getting some pizza there.  And back then, there was NOTHING going on downtown at night.  It was almost like a ghost town.  It is amazing how much our city has changed since then!
Anyway, I digress, but I think Giorgio’s is a worthy downtown spot for a quick lunch and a decent New York slice.  Of course, as always, I welcome further feedback on this search! Also, if you have any suggestions for places to grab a bite in that area, please let me know.
Giorgio’s Pizza
9 East Market Street
Indy 46204
317/ 687-9869

Giorgio's Pizza on Urbanspoon


  1. It's obviously not a quit hit lunch option like Giorgio's, but 14 West has a surprisingly reasonable lunch menu -- salads and sandwiches for $8-10.

  2. CorrND, thanks. I actually walked by and checked out their menu the other day. Do you have a favorite thing there?

  3. I work downtown and finding non-chain lunch spots is a bummer. Giorgio's is always great and there are some gems in City Market as well. I'm very interested to hear the suggestions of other readers!

  4. I gotta be honest, I'm very rarely in the center of downtown around lunch and I've never been to 14 West for lunch! But given the quality of the dinners I've had there and the much lower price point for lunch, I can only assume it's well worth it. Worth giving it a shot, anyway!

    These days, my most common lunch stops are Bar at the Ambassador, Zing, Urban Element and my new favorite, Tavern on South. They all have something in common: easy parking outside the core of downtown. I don't normally care for dinner, but time is tight at lunch and parking/walking takes too long in the core of downtown.

  5. I lI love Giorgio's, and also Luca Pizza di Roma next to Le Peep on New York & Illinois St.

    The mention of 14 West reminded me of 120 West, the restaurant in the Hilton. they do a lunch buffet during the week that sounds fabulous and reasonably priced at $13.50:

    (Note the CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN and $2 glasses of wine.)

    Being a buffet, it qualifies for quick eats.

  6. Quick lunch spot downtown...King David Dogs!

    I sorely miss being able to go to King David Dogs. This is a huge drawback of not working downtown any longer.

    I never had a hot dog there that I didn't like and the tater tots are great!


    right around the corner

    Unfortunately my office moved away from downtown before I had a chance to try very many of their offerings.

  8. I think I recall the other pizza place you remember.
    Chicago's Pizza...
    It was on the southwest quadrant of the circle with the entrance on Meridian... just south of hte circle (a few feet south).
    You went in and immediately down the stairs to get in. Dark wood, those red plastic cups.
    Any chance this is the same place?
    Pretty good as I recall.

  9. HoosierNative- thank you for not letting me think I was losing my mind. Yes, that is EXACTLY the place. Wow. dark wood and red cups. You nailed it. yay! thank you.

  10. There's still a few Chicago's Pizza around, if you ever get the urge to go nostalgic. I know of the one in Greenfield and a newer one on Pendleton Pike in McCordsville. Awesome breadsticks and their "infamous" 29-inch party pizza.

  11. If you are in downtown Indianapolis and looking for lunch, it is quick and they offer some variety. For me the food is uninspiring but the kids love the place. So if you need to feed the little ones while downtown check it out.