Return to Gino’s East: A C2E2 2018 Side Quest Gallery


Once more, with pizza.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: two weekends ago my wife Anne and I traveled once again to the wondrous wilds of Chicago for another round of conventioning at C2E2, with a Friday night intermission for dinner at Gino’s East, one of the city’s many, generally fine pizzerias. The walk through the brisk, freezing winds wasnt my favorite thing, but the food and my companion were worth it. While I’m trying to juggle an eventful week here in the now and get my head back into the proper writing space, please enjoy this selection of photos from the experience. It wasn’t our first time there, but this meal was a blessedly stratospheric leap in quality over last time.

Gino's East!

As mentioned last time, Gino’s allows and encourages its customers to indulge in graffiti just about everywhere — on walls, on furniture, on statues, even on the fridge and the soft drink dispenser at their takeout counter.

Gino's East mural!

Not even this mural is safe from the addition of amateur flair.

Brussels Sprouts!

Our appetizer, chosen hastily when our server rushed us into deciding: crispy Brussels Sprouts cooked in pancetta and garlic. We’re not Brussels Sprouts fans, but these were the greatest Brussels Sprouts of ALL TIME. The trick is burning them and soaking them in other ingredients until they stop tasting like genetically corrupted plant matter.

Artichoke Pizza!

Our main course of choice, again chosen without thinking: thin-crust artichoke pizza, with a white sauce of Parmesan, mozzarella, garlic and lemon. A nicely indulgent alternative to tomato sauce. Pizza can indeed survive without meat.


The service was so lousy (for starters: zero, count them, ZERO refills) that we got dessert from the takeout counter rather than risk spending an extra hour at the table and in the Chicago winter overtime. One decadent tiramisu for each of us, brought back to our cozy hotel, was the perfect capper on a long, hard day on the road and at the con.

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