There are a few things in life that should never be denied to you in 2018. You should never be denied a cold beer on a sunny summer afternoon while engaging in your favorite weekend activities (unless you’re already hammered and being ridiculous). Most notably though, you should NEVER be denied a large pizza on NATIONAL PIZZA DAY.
Akron Pizza Task Force readers, on February 9, in the year of our lord, I was denied the opportunity to order a large half cheese-half pepperoni pizza by three different Gionino’s Pizzeria locations in the area.
I’ve had Gionino’s before and I loved it. It was in the running for my favorite pizza in town. When I got the opportunity to officially review it, I leaped at the chance because of that, and well, because it’s pizza. National Pizza Day not only fell on a Friday, but it also fell on an off-day from the gym, so I was ready. Their website banner boasted a special of a large cheese pizza for $9.95, however, when you ordered online there was no code or instructions on why the price didn’t reflect the advertisement.
I first called the Firestone Park location on South Main street to order over the phone thinking that the 10-minute drive wouldn’t be an issue. They didn’t know there was a special apparently, but agreed to honor it until I gave them my address. It was explained that they “aren’t allowed to deliver in that area” and while I know what that means (the neighborhood is labeled dangerous), I took the news and tried the Tallmadge location. The Tallmadge location turned us away for the same reason and suggested we call the Valley. Since we’ve tried that already, we then tried the Montrose location just for dumb luck and they told us to call the North Hill location, which the Gionino’s website says is closed down. The language that filled up my living room following the last call can’t be displayed here, but I was pissed.
I’ve heard the stories of how West Hill and parts of Highland Square were dangerous back in the 90s, but if this narrative is why I couldn’t get a pizza at noon on a Friday 20-plus years later, then I don’t know what to tell you. What made it more frustrating is that not one location even tried to accommodate us with a “we usually don’t do this but, for an extra fee, etc., etc.” There are historic houses a block from my house, for Christ’s sake! All of this being said, I’m no quitter and if nothing else happened on this day, I was going to be eating pizza.
I’d like to thank Your Pizza Shop on West Exchange Street for saving the day and being absolute sweethearts. We ended up with two pizzas (the half and half part got screwed up, so they made us a medium cheese as well), the wait time was half the time they quoted AND the pizza was delicious. Their dough tastes like a present for getting good grades at the end of the semester. I implore you, if you live in a Pizza Dead Zone or ever experience this level of Tomfoolery, find you a Your Pizza that will have your back.
(PHOTO: Gionino’s Pizza box found one block from Floco’s house.)