I had heard about Gino's at Katipunan and asked my students about it -- surprisingly even if it was just a stone's throw away from the Ateneo, quite a number had never heard of it. The few who had tried it said it was worth a stop over before I headed home after class.
Gino's is on the second floor of this building across Miriam University, look for the Mercury Drugstore on the ground floor. It's a bright, cheerful place, with basic tables and chairs but with a shiny wooden floor. These wooden floors spell the difference for me -- the owners obviously care enough to make a better impression. Connected to Gino's is Cello's Doughnuts -- most likely owned by the same group.
The first time I tried Gino's I ordered 3 pizzas to take home. The waiter recommended the SMEGG,
with their own homemade sausage, mushrooms, gouda cream and eggs. It was still slightly warm when I got home -- despite the C5 traffic. Gino's brick oven makes for a softer, thin crust which makes lifting each slice difficult -- best solution is to fold each slice and eat it like that.
This is Gino's mushroom pizza -- their best seller and I heartily agree. It reminded me of Mozza's mushroom pizza but with a lot less mushrooms. I liked the fact that this pizza used cream as a base instead of the usual tomato sauce. Aside from mushrooms and garlic, you can also taste a lot of the mozzarella and a hint of bleu cheese. My favourite!
Two weeks later, I was back at Gino's this time with friends. For starters, we ordered the Burratta, (in Italian, it means "buttered") a huge pocket of mozzarella and cream that was a bit rich for my taste. Drizzled with EVOO and a bit of freshly ground black pepper which somehow, cut through a bit of the cheesy creaminess.
My friends are carnivores so we also ordered a side of speck or smoked prosciutto.
This is called the Bomb and yes -- it's an explosion of pizza goodness! Onions caramelized in balsamic vinegar added a sweetish tangy taste -- plus mozzarella, bleu cheese and mushrooms... yes, I agree -- it's appropriately named.
I didn't taste this but my meat loving friends did -- the buffalo chicken pizza looked spicy hot but was quite mild. Gino's tried and true combination of mozzarella and bleu cheese plus tomato sauce and chopped chicken is a flavour that buffalo chicken wing lovers will definitely recognise and enjoy.
Here are my pizza loving carnivorous friends ... please don't judge us by the number of pizzas we ate!