I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dear Gino's Pizza & Brew

Dear Gino's Pizza & Brew at Alton and Lincoln:

It's taken me a really long time to get to be able to say this to you, what with our rocky past relationship, but, um, I love you.

I love you a lot. Besides McDonald's, you might be my favorite restaurant.

I love you enough to proclaim that you are the best pizza on the Beach, if not in Miami. That's how much I love you.

(If I'm being REALLY honest, I sort of have to qualify this proclamation, because Cozzoli's, Riviera, Andiamo, and that shady pizza place just north of Washington and Lincoln are also in the running, but I haven't had them in years...and I only eat your pizza, Gino's, so...for now, you're it.)

I love you so much, I have entirely disavowed all other local pizza; oh, it's not to say that my eye (and my mouth) doesn't occasionally wander, but even if I do go to Steve's Pizza, and even when I do get some fancy pie at Sosta, while I'm eating those, I'm thinking of your heavenly New York style slices.

While we're being honest and sharing, sometimes you have some gnarly flavor combinations that, between you and me - are awful, even when wasted (like that alfredo pizza I drunkenly slopped all over myself...and my kitchen a couple weeks back) but your cheese pizza and your pizza bianca are just...they're just tops.

I don't know how you do what you do with the crust (I think it's the hand tossing!) and no one nails that cheeseless baked-sauce border right before the crust quite like you do.

A hot slice of cheese, shaken with extra oregano, hot pepper and parmesan... and garlic knot... drunk, sober, or hungover - breakfast, lunch or dinner - it's... I just... it...

Sorry. I needed a moment. I got a little verklempt.

And on that vein, I want to apologize for my past behavior. I'm sorry for all those times back in the mid 2000s, when I would stumble in, wasted, or all hepped up on somethingorother, and pick fights with your employees. Granted, they were all on drugs that were incompatible with the ones that were likely racing through my system at the time, but there was no reason for me to get all surly when there were no garlic knots or when your employees took too long to come out of their pot-haze to realize they had a customer who was about seventeen seconds from passing out in a heap on those creepy "Follow Me To The ATM" footprints that have since worn off your floor.

Apologies are cathartic, huh? I feel better.

Anyway, I needed to let you know how I feel about you, and to let you know that I'm sorry that at one time, I was a sloppy, unpleasant regular. I like to think that generally I hold it together better when I spent time at your fine establishment, and I've had a drink or twelve... and I hope you'll forgive last August's post Mad-Men Party when Gael and I sat in one of your booths - dressed like soused ghosts of 1962 yelling "WE TRIME TRAVELED! WE'RE TRIME TRAVELERS!" and shoveling delicious pizza into our boozy maws.

But I think for the most part, we've both changed for the better. You've gotten rid of the stock of employees that were ghastly, and by and large, everyone who works at your fine pizza restaurant is pleasant, helpful and attentive. And I'm no longer an angry, impatient drunk. Usually.

Thank you, Gino's Pizza & Brew. I need to end this post, because I'm getting distracted by the noisy Bum-Party taking place by the at the Bus Stop, by the trash can on the other side of the canal from my open windows but I'd like to close out with some lyrics from Chicago, because I think they express how I feel:

"And I know (And I know)
Yes I know that it's plain to see;
So in live when we're together -
Now I know (Now I know)
That I need you here with me -
From tonight until the end of time.
You should know
Everywhere I go -
You're always on my mind
In my heart, in my soul.

I love you, Gino's.