Six months ago, I visited Gino’s with a friend and came away impressed with their service and of course, their pizzas. Over the course of the summer, with their soft opening now long gone, and their appearance on a Korean food television show spiking their popularity, I headed back with the NYC ladies, Steph and Sabrina, to see how they where holding up. Turns out they doing better than Derek Jeter in October.
How to get there: For pictures including directions please click here. For the incredibly lazy, take the subway to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and depart from Exit 1. Walk about 500 metres until you get to the fork in the road with one road leading down to Gyeongridan and the other going up the hill. Go up the hill and Gino’s NY Pizza is on the second floor beside Coreanos.
The Waiting Game: We arrived just before lunch at around 11:30am. It was busy and has been recently due to their appearance on a popular Korean television show. We had about a 30 minutes wait, which if you are pushing for time at lunch, you might want to consider this wait beforehand.
Service and Atmosphere: Not much as changed since my original posting. Service was great when we actually sat down. All staff seemed eager to help and were attentive. They also spoke some excellent English! Boom boom everyone wins.
Food and Drink: Today the NYC girls and I ordered The Woodstock, Brooklyn’s Best, an order of Cajun fries and an order of Gino’s Sloppy fries.
Cajun Fries (6,000KRW): The girls really wanted the Cajun fries. I was indirectly pressuring them to order the wings, but they really wanted fries, so who am I to judge? The Cajun fries were fried to a golden brown and seasoned nicely with cajun spice. I’m not a huge fan of cajun, so I was glad that they didn’t overuse the spices. A nice start to the meal.
Gino’s Sloppy Fries (8,000KRW): The Gino’s Sloppy Fries were the next guests to arrive at our gluttonous gala. At first glance, I thought it was a small cake with the amount of Thousand Island dressing pasted on the top. Underneath this paste was a bed of golden fries, a couple of slices of American cheese, and a few grilled onions. It was okay. I was expecting less dressing and more cheese and onions. However, if you are one of those people that can’t get enough of the “special sauce” on a Big Mac, this just might be the perfect appetizer for you.
The Woodstock – Large (32,000KRW): Named after my hometown! Well probably not, but unlike my hometown, the Woodstock was warm and crispy instead of cold and rainy. Seriously though, the Woodstock delivered on all accounts. The first aspect of the Woodstock that stood out was the sheer amount of toppings on this bad boy. The pie was stacked with pepperoni and mushrooms. If there was a slight criticism on my first experience, it was that the toppings on the pizza were a little light. This is not the case anymore. Furthermore, the crust was baked to a perfect level of crispiness and everything stayed on track. It was worth the 32,000KRW price tag, especially considering the shit pizza you can get in Korea for 32, 000KRW, but I digress.
Brooklyn’s Best – Large (37,000KRW): Brooklyn’s Best was listed as one of Gino’s Signature Pizzas; so obviously it had with some large expectations. The Brooklyn’s Best is topped with Italian sausage, red onions, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese, grated Parmesan cheese, Romano and hand crushed plum tomato sauce. The diversity of toppings on this pizza creates a vibrant and colourful display of pizza mastery. The flavours blend well together with the plum tomato sauce tying all the flavours together as a base. I asked the girls if it tasted like an authentic New York style pizza and they both agreed it was fairly authentic in taste and texture. Personally, I loved it and would recommend Brooklyn’s Best over the Woodstock on a visit, even though both were very well done.
Value: The quality of ingredients and the portions make Gino’s worth the price. If you want cheap pizza, there are plenty of options around Seoul to liquify your intestines (Hello Pizza School!) The three of us left Gino’s looking like three mafia kingpins after Sunday dinner at momma’s house. That said, if you are on a budget, it’s going to be hard to justify almost 40 dollars for a pizza. Do as you will gentle reader. Do as you will.
Who Should Visit Gino’s New York Pizza: Hands down one of the best pizza places in the city, with a hip atmosphere and tons of great beers on tap. This is a great spot for a date or to simply chill with some friends. New Yorkers will be happy to get a taste of their famous pies in the land of kimchi and soju.
Who Should Avoid Gino’s New York Pizza: Budget travellers and those who do not have an hour for lunch (at least until the crowds die down)
Menu (August 2016)