You know what’s beautiful about Chicago? It keeps you on your toes. There’s a new restaurant opening each week, cool new bars, coffee shops, you name it. What’s even more beautiful is that you can hang in an area almost every weekend and stumble upon a hidden gem as if it just arrived yesterday. It’s the little things like that I love. I was invited to Gino’s East’s Lasalle location (500 N. Lasalle) by their publicist Sahar a couple days after Thanksgiving for their Holiday Showcase. The shock is, I’ve walked past this location for the past 27 years I’ve been in Chicago and had no clue it houses a full comedy bar nestled on the 3rd floor. Gives you no choice but to fall in love with this city over all over again.
PRO TIP: Sahar recommends seeing a show at the venue on Friday and Saturday nights. But the venue is open Monday - Sunday so there’s plenty of days to drop by. Feel free to check out the show schedule here.
We sat down, front row and center, with 10 minutes to spare before the show. A bright eyed, bubbly waitress greeted us and went over the menu options. In my head, I remembered Sahar mentioned Gino’s East new slogan “Deep As F***!” which also coincides with their new #DeepAF pizza upgrade - pretty much a more delicious version of the deep dish pizza. My mom and I decided we were feeling thin that night (pun intended) and ordered a medium thin crust half Margherita, half Spinach mix pizza. Even though we didn’t get a chance to taste the #DeepAF, I’ll be back to give it a try. Especially if it was anything as delicious as the thin crust. Highly recommended.
The crust was a perfect amount of buttery crunch, the sauce was well seasoned and my spinach accompanied by cheese and whole tomatoes were a perfect marriage. My mom was equally satisfied with the pepperoni half of the medium thin crust. Reminded me why Gino’s East is and will always be a Chicago staple - it’s some damn good pizza!
A pizza and beer combination is a necessity. So we did just that, we ordered some brews. All of the beer selections at this location are brewed in-house thanks to Gino’s Brewing Co. The Lasalle St. Lager - a traditional German Helles brewed with Pilsner, Munich and CaraHell malts was my mother’s brew of choice and perfect for those with a lighter palette. To me, it resembles a Blue Moon. So if that’s your vibe, you will love this selection.
Me on the other end, I like it dark! I ordered the Hold On To Your Bagpipes which is a malty Scottish Ale made up of Pale and Chocolate malts. Not going to lie, another round was ordered. Unbelievably delicious.
We sipped our beers during each act. Each comedian hilarious in their own way.
The host made light of her racial ambiguity and highlighted moments people mistaken her for latina like a champ with a stereotypical “Hola, como estas?” accent followed by a “But I’m Middle-Eastern” which sent the crowd in an uproar of laughter. Not only was she funny, but it was refreshing to see a woman of color holding her own and slaying the stage.
I’m already planning my return to catch a late night Saturday burlesque show at Gino’s and of course prepared for round two of delicious pizza and beer. This hidden gem is the perfect date night spot, group outing, or an impromptu hang out with your friends or family. Gino’s East, The Comedy Bar and Gino’s Brewing Co. - the perfect threesome and hopefully your next Saturday night out.
Thanks to Sahar, Caitlin and the rest of the Gino’s East team for your hospitality!
*GINO'S EAST PROVIDED TICKETS, FOOD, AND BEER COMPLIMENTARY. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN.