After longing for good pizza in South County with very few options available, and wistfully remembering "the good old days" of Leonard Paul's (Grover City), Munchie's (Nipomo)and Nardonne's (various locations), I tried Gino's Pizza in Pismo Beach in the Pismo Coast Plaza center. I'd heard that it might be good, so I got a small pizza, with custom toppings (not a salty meat eater) and it was a refreshing change from the mostly mediocre pizza we've had!
The crust was crisp on the outside, cooked through even in the center, and the toppings were very generous. The red sauce was an understated background flavor which set off veggies and moist grilled chicken. The crust had a fully develeloped bready flavor, tasted freshly made, chewy on the inside, with a good aroma. What a change from what passes as crust at other area pizzerias! (Guiseppi's excepted)
Prices were in the normal range, about $22 for a large 6 topping pie, well-covered with toppings. No skimping here, but not piled up and mushy, either. Onion sliced very thinly so they crisped up, mushrooms very tasty, almost as if they'd been marinated.
I will definitley go back, take friends, and work through their menu which includes sandwiches, salads, and calzone. The counter help was not too outgoing, but they knew the product and explained it well. They were all busy behind the counter, and the kitchen looked well-organized. Good customer service, too. I had gone next door to the market to shop while the pizza cooked, and returned to have the young counter person bringing the pizza to my car parked out front. Now, that's service!
The atmosphere is pretty spare, being a typical stripmall flavor, but clean and nicely-lit. Plastic chairs and tile floor with not too much "decor" besides some posters and large houseplants. But I'd rather have spare and clean that futsy and not-so-clean.
If you're passing through the Pismp Beach area on 101, take the 4th st exit and go along 5 Cities drive, into the center, just a few doors from Scolari's Market. Or if you're in the area for fun, give this place a try. I think you'll be pleased.
Finally, another good pizza venue for 5 Cities!
539 5 Cities Drive
Pismo Beach, CA
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