We had an old friend from California visiting us the other day and he was intrigued to try Giordano’s because there’s not a lot of Chicago-style pizza in the Bay Area. Hubby and I had only had it once since it opened here in Indy, and that was carry out, so it is hard to say if it was as good as it could be (plus it was when you had to order it like 5 days in advance and they were so busy, I think they were making them well in advance).
Anyway, I wasn’t surprised when on a Sunday evening they told us there would be an hour and a half wait. I was surprised when they texted 30 minutes later to say our table was ready. We scrambled over there and got our table. It looks like the wait times have decreased a fair amount—after we were seated there were a couple of tables that sat empty for a while.
We ordered our pizza right away—we were warned that they take 45-50 minutes to prepare. We decided to also go ahead and order an appetizer to share as well since we were all pretty hungry. We ordered the bruschetta appetizer ($8.50), which was toasted bread, a slice of mozzarella, and a huge mound of marinated diced tomatoes with basil and a drizzle of balsamic. Honestly, It was better than what I was expecting. I mean, the tomatoes are done about as well as they can be when they aren’t really in season. But the olive oil, basil and balsamic glaze added nice flavor. The bread stayed crisp throughout—helped along by the layer of mozzarella in between preventing the liquid from making the bread soggy. I also liked the added soft, but slightly firm texture from the cheese.
It was still enormous though, and you have to be careful because then the pizza comes and you really need to save room for that. Unfortunately, our app came only like 10 minutes before our pizza (service was a bit off) so we didn’t get to stave off the hunger waiting for our pizza that much. The pizza came and our server served each of us a gigantic slice—we split a large (there were 5 of us) and had half spinach and half sausage ($25.75). Having the pizza at the restaurant was much better than carry out—the crust stayed crisper on the bottom and flakier on the edges (I also recommend against getting mushrooms as we did the first time because they contributed to soggy crust syndrome I think).
The pizza is good, but honestly, I can’t get as excited about it as some people seem to. My favorite part of it is the sauce, which has a nice acidic savory kick—it isn’t sweet like some pizza sauces are. I was kind of overwhelmed with the amount of cheese on there—I think about 80% of the pizza is cheese—and it’s a thick pie. There was a thin layer of spinach (or sausage) underneath all the cheese. I think the spinach was the preferred topping—everyone thought the sausage was kind of bland. I also had a side salad—the harvest salad (still quite large) ($5.25). It was mixed greens with blue cheese, candied walnuts, dried fruit, pear and balsamic vinaigrette. A little heavy on the dried fruit for me, but it served its purpose—cutting through all that cheesy pizza with some hits of acid.
I think we all decided we wouldn’t wait an hour for it, but it’s an okay option if you’re in the mood for a giant cheese bomb. I know you are all going to probably tell me I’m crazy, but I just don’t think it’s all that.
4100 East 82nd Street