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Thursday, October 6, 2011

On Gigio's Pizza, giving your customers lip and things in common with Tina Fey

I finally had my first slice at Gigio's, the famous pizzeria in Evanston that serves up big slices of yummy pizza. I had the pepperoni slice for $2.65 with a Dr. Pepper in the can. I'm a dedicated fan of the massive New York style slice of pizza. Deep dish doesn't do much for me (which I know is going to be a problem for my pizza eating habits as a Chicagoland resident) so I was excited to finally try a slice at Gigio's.

What the Gigio's pizza slice experience offers is the perfect ratio situation, where identical amounts of ingredients make up the slice; dough, cheese, meat, sauce are all served in equal amounts which creates harmony in the mouth, not a battle for attention between sauce and bread. There is nothing worse than your pizza going to war in your mouth which deep dish totally does for me, I'm like "let me make room for 40 lbs. of dough and like 1/2 lb. of cheese during this chew of this bite." I don't want the kind of eating experience deep dish offers.

You'll find that most of the diners at Gigio's are very happy. During my visit it was lunch time and the place was packed, line to the door, 2 tables empty in a room of 30 tables. Most diners order multiple slices, I wanted just one on my first visit and settled for the pepperoni although I did take a bite of my son's cheese slice and thought it was just as good. The line moved fast and while you're waiting, you get to stand at the counter and watch the older time put your slice in your over for a quick warm up which gets you access to the customer banter. One guy in line was arguing (in jest) with the old timer who was letting the pizza stay in the warm up for too long, they were giving each other lip but you could feel the love.

As we were about to leave two little girls came in the pick up their pizza to go and as they were paying the old timer in the back asked "Where's your mother? You can't carry this out, it's too big. Where's your car? I'll take it out there." The little girls gave each other a look like "Okay, guess we gotta listen to him" and they showed him the way out to their mom's car. It was totally cute and they would of dropped the pizza for sure, it was huge and they were 6, max.

The best part of Gigio's? I now have two things in common with Tina Fey; my love for Gigio's and the Evanston YMCA. Read Bossypants when you have a minute (it won't take long) and you'll see that Fey spent some very formative years in Evanston and would save up for a slice at Gigio's on Fridays during her lunch break at the YMCA. Through osmosis alone, I too am a successful stand up comic writing for a hit sitcom living it up as one of the highest paid women in TV.

Gigio's Pizza of Evanston
1001 Davis Street
Evanston, IL 60201-3609
(847) 328-0990
Hours: Sun 2:00–10:00pm; Mon-Sat 11:00–1:00am

Thank you for reading my blog "Evanston Newbie", a project that I am using to chronicle my new life in Evanston. Do you have favorite Evanston bakeries, bike shops, events that you can recommend? Send me an email at and I will post my review on this blog. -Lisa Degliantoni

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