New Found Love

Ohh snap.  Grandma’s Back.  I apologize for my absence last week.  I was on vacation and forgot to tell you all!  My original plan was to post while on vacation but, I was just too darn busy to do so.  So, you will be getting a post every day this week.  That’s right.  Every single day.

For vacation, we went to Chicago and visited my gparents in Georgia.  Let’s start off with our first meal in Chicago.  When you think Chicago, you think 3 food items – Hot Dog, Italian Beef and Pizza.  Maybe you think more than that but, for me, those are my top 3.  I have been researching for months the best places to get all the items.  Prior to the trip, I was told that we would not be having Italian Beef.  Okay…no biggies, I don’t like it anyway.  I was given the green light on pizza and dogs though so, I focused my planning on these 2 items and more.  Our first stop would be for pizza.

After reading reviews and blogs, I decided on Giordano’s Pizza.  Even though they are a chain, they are a chain that is based in Chicago.  Our hotel was in Oakbrook Terrace and there was a Giordano’s 10 minutes from it.  Perfect.  After flying into South Bend, fighting with Hertz, touring Notre Dame, driving to Chicago and checking into the hotel, we were all quite famished.  We arrived to eat about 5:30pm Central Time so, 6:30pm real time.  We found the restaurant to be huge and were seated upstairs.

I already knew the main jist of what we would be ordering when we arrived.  We also decided to get an appetizer.  None of the appetizers really stuck out to any of us so, we played it simple and went with the Cheesy Garlic Bread.  After 10 minutes or so, we were served our appetizer.  The bread was similar to an opened up sub roll and had a large layer of mozzarella cheese melted on top.  I anxiously grabbed a piece and saw the familiar pull of the cheese.  I let my piece cool for a few moments, then dug in.  While I could certainly taste the cheese, I did not taste any garlic.  The bread itself had a crusty exterior and a super gooey interior – blame the cheese.  I dipped my piece in some mariana sauce but, I didn’t love the sauce.  Overall, the Cheesy Garlic Bread was fine.  It was nothing amazing but, good to hold us over.

For our pizza, we opted on a Cheese Stuffed Pizza and a Thin Crust – half with just cheese and half of the Super Veggie.  While I do not like deep dish pizza at all, I was intrigued to try the stuffed pizza.  While the Small Cheese Stuffed Pizza was not huge in diameter, it was very very thick.  I got myself a piece of the Stuffed Pizza along with some Thin Crust.  I decided to start with the Thin Crust.  This pizza was on the thick side of thin crust but, was still quite tasty.  I really loved the Super Veggie pizza – it was loaded with tomatoes, olives, peppers, onions and more.  The crunch & extra taste provided by the veggies, meshed perfectly with the cheesy crust of the pizza.  This pizza was even better cold the next morning.  As for the Cheese Thin Crust, it was good as well.  Amazing, well no, but, certainly good.  The crust was far more crusty then normal thin crust pizza.  I could taste the crust with each and every bite.

Once my piece of Stuffed Pizza had cooled a bit, I dug in.  For the first few bites, I used my fork and knife.  When I placed the first piece in my mouth, I was surprised to find so many layers of cheese, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  All held together with a somewhat thin but still thick crust.  The flavors were amazing.  The melty cheese worked so perfectly with the almost bland mariana sauce.  It allowed the cheese & mariana sauce to play equal parts rather than the pizza be dominated by one or the other.  My favorite bites were the ones close to the exterior crust of the pizza.  These pieces had large crust that was crispy & very Italian Bread like in taste.  This taste mixed with the cheese & mariana made for my tasty piece of pizza.  I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the Stuffed Pizza oh so much.

After gorging myself with far too much pizza, it was time to leave.  I was so glad that I found & selected Giordano’s for our pizza option.  I went into it expecting that I would not like the Stuffed Pizza – that it would be too similar to Deep Dish Pizza.  I am glad to say that I left with a full belly and discovered a New Found Love for Stuffed Pizza.  Mommy and Taylor both agreed that the pizza was great.  We had enough to bring some back to the hotel and, as I mentioned, it was even better cold.  Be sure when you are in Chicago to visit one of the many locations of Giordano’s.  Besides the great food, the service was excellent & the restaurant was beyond clean.  I know next time I am around the area, I will be running back to my New Found Love.