Tuesday, November 09, 2010

French Fry Diary 167: The New Gino's

After hearing about Gino's reopening in King of Prussia PA, I quickly put together a French Fry Diary road trip. The Bride's folks, her aunt and her friend came along, and after seemingly endless hours on the horrendously packed and unmoving Schuylkill Expressway we finally made it.

The new Gino's is an oasis of nostalgia, between the giant photos on the walls of days gone by and the vintage WFIL-style oldies (interspersed with newer oldies and old Gino's commercials) on the overhead sound system. There was a steady stream of folks coming in and out, but it was not crowded by any means. Busy, yes, packed, no. The atmosphere was very upbeat and happy, the staff pleasant, quick and helpful. The kitchen, as advertised, was open, but you really couldn't actually see anyone cooking.

The counter area was set up as a line, starting at a wall with a simplistic menu, like the fries visually at least, very similar to the simple menu at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Honestly, not a bad successful business to emulate, but shouldn't Gino's be trying to rebuild or build their own brand? There was always a bottleneck at this menu before the line went to the 'order' and 'pick-up' stations.

We were eating in, so we took a number to our table and waited for our food to be brought to us. Take-out fries were served in cups (also like Five Guys) but eat-in orders were poured into a basket with your sandwich. But there's no way to really know whose fries are whose in this concept. It was almost like eating family style despite the fries all being ordered individually. Imagine my frustration when my burger arrived alone in a basket with no fries.

My burger was very, very good, better than Five Guys, and not conjure their specter again, it had two patties, just like they do. The two hand-formed beef patties on the sesame seed bun made for perhaps the best burger I have had in quite a while. Coke products were offered as was locally produced Hank's root beers and sodas.

The fries were not great at all. My Aunt Ellen nailed how I felt about the fries with her initial assessment of them - greasy, but at least you can taste the potato. These thick natural regular cuts were unimpressive, and tasted of peanuts, possibly from the oil, but if that was so, where were the warnings for those allergic?

The Bride liked that the cheese for the cheese fries was Cheez Whiz. My mom-in-law was surprised (as was I) by the lack of coffee or tea on the menu. We didn't try the chicken, or the milkshakes made with Edy's ice cream, and unfortunately the fries don't have enough pull to bring me back.

The fries were less than satisfying, but all in all, it was a great fun day out with the family, and a successful French Fry Diary road trip.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: