Friday, July 31, 2009

Return to Giordano's

Giordano's Splendid China Location
Not long after my initial experience with Giordano's Pizza, I ended up eating at one of their other touristy locations with some visiting relatives. This Giordano's is in a Chinese themed strip mall on 192 in Kissimmee. The mall is near the former site of Splendid China, and although the park has sat abandoned for years, the mall still looks very pagoda-like. From the outside, it felt like Giordano's should have been a Chinese restaurant.

The meal started out with everyone at the table sharing cheese covered garlic bread and a chopped salad.
Cheesy Garlic Bread
Chopped Salad
On this visit, two pizzas were ordered. One was a small stuffed pizza filled with green peppers and pepperoni. The other was a thin crust pizza topped with half mushrooms and half ground beef. I focused mainly on the stuffed pizza since that's what Giordano's is famous for. I liked the topping combination and noticed that their sauce was really tasty while eating this pie. The pizza was still really cheesy, but wasn't overflowing like on my last visit to their other location. Perhaps the pizza had a bit more time to set, or maybe they used less cheese and more toppings.
Giordano's stuffed pizza
As for the thin crust pizza, don't bother. I tried a slice of the pie and it reminded me of Donatos Pizza. Donatos was the (former) McDonald's owned pizza chain that was very short lived in the Orlando area, and for a good reason too. Donatos' pizza was horrible. Definitely go for what Giordano's specializes in and get the Chicago Style stuffed pizzas.
Giordano's Thin pizza
Giordano's on Urbanspoon


Anonymous said...

Hello! I found your blog randomly sometime last year, and enjoy keeping up on all the interesting restaurants you visit. I was surprised at this update where you stated you hated Donatos! I hope that if you ever visit a town with a Donato's, that you will try it again. Donatos are very successul where I live (Southwest Ohio), and I've heard of few people that dislike its taste... Most people just dislike the price, because it's more expensive than your average pizza! Maybe the Donatos in Orlando were poorly run, or made their pies incorrectly, which could have contributed to their closing. Donatos pizzas really are quite tasty; I like pepporoni and plain cheese the best.

You sometimes like a restaurant better once you visit a different location, please come to Ohio and visit Donato's! Donato's began in Ohio, maybe you'll just need to venture here to locations that make the pizza the best!

On a side note -- I like Giordano's, but love Gino's East more! I try spend a weekend in Chicago about 1-2x's yearly, and always get some Chicago deep dish pizza. This year we tried something besides Gino's East for a change, because we saw Giordano's on the Food Network. Maybe next year we'll try a different Chicago pizza establishment.

On a 2nd side note, because I don't recall reading that you have ever tried this restaurant.... Skyline Chili! This restaurant serves "Cincinnati-style chili" and is found in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.. I recently found out there are some in Florida too. Skyline acquired taste, I guess you could say. I did not like it until I reached adulthood. I am interested to see what your thoughts would be on it! The most basic items to order are a cheese coney (I like mine without mustard), and a 3-way (spaghetti, chili, cheese). But you can't twirl your chili spaghetti at Skyline, there is a special way to eat it!

watch me eat said...

Yep, I didn't like Donatos. I gave them a few chances, but was always unhappy with the pizza. Interestingly, I have been told by several people from up in your area how great Donatos is. I never understood it, nor did anyone else I ever ate at a FL Donatos with so maybe there is something to the theory of the stores down here not being run properly.

I've never heard of Skyline Chili. I looked on their website and the closest one is about 3 hours away, so I don't know if I'll get there any time soon. I'll keep it in mind though.


i will try giordanos soon i love deep dish!!

Ana said...

LOVE Giordano's
BTW Splendid china will be the new home of LEGOLAND, I wonder if they will change the look of the formosa gardens mall for a lego-like one :)
Greets from Argentina

woofboy111 said...

I read about Legoland looking into building where Splendid China was. I also remember reading that they were looking into buying up Cypress Gardens and building a Legoland there. I didn't know they actually went forward with confirming any definite plans.

Jon said...

Personally, I miss Donatos. While their pizza took some getting used to, I came to quite enjoy it, and the loads and loads of pepperoni were wonderful.

They seemed closer to my favorite pizza than anything else I have found in Orlando.

My personal fave pizza? Me 'n Ed's. It's a California chain that has been shrinking (none of the ones that used to be in Orange County, where I lived, are still around.)

Like Donatos, Me 'n Ed's took the ingredients to the edge of the crust. They used a blend of 6 cheeses, which seemed to add to the flavor, and all their meats were fresh. I'd love to get a pizza somewhere where I can see them tearing little chunks of ground beef apart, the place it on the pizza.

Still, I'm enjoying reading about some other Orlando pizza places I might want to try. Any suggestions for a crispy pizza that isn't super-thin, and fresh meat toppings?


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