208 S. Washington Square
Price Range: From $2.50/slice - $19.00 (for a pie)
Casual atmosphere with excellent customer service
[Mo:] I received an e-mail from a trusted friend asking me if I liked East Coast pizza. East Coast pizza?? I asked. “Why yes, I grew up on Ray's Pizza in NY” I replied. She mentioned that we had to try this new place that just opened downtown called Geno's Pizzeria, specializing in hand-tossed East Coast-style pizza. She said that it was just like home and she was right!
[Jo:] We entered Geno's to find an impeccably clean place with sleek tables surrounded by many comfortable chairs. Additionally, the place was beautifully decorated and furnished with a soothing waterfall right in the middle of the restaurant. To top it all off, we were greeted with the friendliest staff who made us feel right at home.
[Mo:] There's something very specific about East Coast-styled pizza. I don't know what it is but I know how it tastes. To me, there's nothing like it so at the counter, I reverted back to childhood and promptly ordered the traditional. A plain cheese slice. For my second choice I ordered a slice with olives. Jo ordered, at my urging, a plain slice and then after much deliberation (because of the many choices) a Philly Cheesesteak slice.
[Jo:] Aaaaay-yooo, Aaaight! I couldn't resist. That's what the first bite of my cheese slice elicited. Now, I am not from New York, New Jersey, or any part of the East Coast. I'm a proud son of Lansing. But that doesn't mean that I don't know pizza. The Philly cheesesteak was full of large chunks of cheesesteak, onions, bell peppers, and mozzarella cheese. It was mixed with well-seasoned sauce and was excellent! I was so excited to have a touch of East Coast-style pizza that I didn't realize that I hadn't fed the meter until well into my second slice!
[Mo:] My cheese slice was just like home! Hot molten cheese dripped on a thin crunchy crust with just enough tangy tomato sauce. At Geno's there's none of the shenanigans of stuffing a crust with cheese or dousing it with garlic butter to make you eat it. Here, the crust was just PERFECT and I ate all of it. The olive pizza was equally excellent. Topped with the mild tanginess of lots of green and black olives, it was a great choice.
[Jo:] After sitting for a while, I couldn't resist the urge. I had to go back for one more slice. This time, it was pepperoni. You know how you can get a pepperoni slice and only have 1 or 2 pieces of meat? Not here. There were spicy circles of pepperoni all over my slice. It was amazing!
[Mo:] He's right! It was spicy and cheesy. I had a bite of Jo's and then ordered a slice to go!
[Jo:] We were so happy to learn of Geno's and discover that calzones are coming soon. Also, look out for their official Grand Opening.
[Mo:] OOH! I think I feel my New Yawk accent coming back!
Send restaurant recommendations and queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
This column was originally printed in the May 8, 2010 - May 22, 2010 edition.