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I love Food. Cooking it. Eating it. Experiencing it. As a result, that's what this blog has evolved into: A journal of my gastronomical journeys abroad, as well as my culinary creativity at home. I hope you enjoy what I have to say, and I'd love to hear your comments... Cheers!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Giving Fast Food a Good Name

Just as I'm reading a fascinating re-counting of the Greatest Game Ever Played (Colts v Giants, 1958), I discover a new, instant favorite spot to eat when I'm in the Main Line area outside Philly. 
What's the connection?  Why do I mention a football book in a food blog?  Because said restaurant is Gino's, named for Hall of Fame defensive end Gino Marchetti, who played for the Baltimore Colts in that legendary game 50+ years ago, and was an original partner in the business...

Founded in 1957, Gino's was ahead of it's time in many ways.  A predecessor to the likes of the Five Guys budding empire of bringing a higher standard to making fast food fresh, Gino's Burgers and Chicken was also the first fast food chain to "go big," introducing Gino's Giant, a triple-decker of a burger, in 1966.  McDonald's soon followed suit, and the Big Mac was born.

Expansion from Baltimore was necessitated by its growing popularity, and the Gino's brand extended to much of the Atlantic seaboard corridor, including New Jersey and Philadelphia.  But after 20+ years, Gino's disappeared almost as quickly as it won a place in the hearts of its food-loving fan base.  Marriott bought the franchise in the '80s and Gino's was...gone, absorbed into the company's ill-fated Roy Rogers franchise.  The catchy jingle touting, "Everybody Goes to Gino's" was put in mothballs, seemingly retired forever.

Fast forward to 2010.  I'm in King of Prussia, PA.  Almost directly across from the K of P Mall, a small restaurant is open for business.  The name, the sign, the trademark red color looks...familiar.  Nostalgic.  A throwback.  It's Gino's, and, as their advertising exclaims:  "We're Back!"

My first experience with the food puts a smile of instant recognition on my face.  I'd never been to an original Gino's back in the day, but the recognition is that of genuine, unprocessed, simple, and satisfying fast food.  The burgers are griddled to perfection, juicy, and fresh, with a soft sesame seed bun and any toppings you want... free!  The real revelation is the chicken tenders.  They are incredibly flavorful and made to order.  The focus is on the chicken, not the breading (what a concept!).  And Gino's offers a bevy of specialty sauce-dipping options and seasonings (talk about having it your way!).

Even better news:  Gino's is expanding...again.  There are five locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland scheduled to open within the next year.  An American entrepeneurial success story getting a second chance for a new generation.  Good for Gino's.  Good for me.  Good for anyone who doesn't want to feel a pang of shame or guilt about enjoying "fast food" again.

This is far from generic.  This, is Gino's...

1 comment:

  1. Hello, looking for a Ginos Fashion company profile in here but didn’t getting any ideas, do you have any suggestion or advice that what things should be keep in mind before making a company profile.

    Ginos Fashion company profile