is back in town and is primed to open its second store on Monday, March 5 in our very own Perry Hall (located at 5001 Honeygo Center Drive in Honeygo Village Center). My daughter was lucky enough to land a job with Gino Marchetti's famed franchise and has been busy training for the past week with her fun coworkers.
Yesterday, she admitted she'd forgotten to get her work permit signed and so—as teenagers often do—begged me to get it all worked out. Ugh, grumble, grumble ... but the upshot was I met her awesome manager, Debbie, and scored an invite to come to a trial run for a free meal for me and my family! OK, so all was forgiven.
We eagerly arrived at 5 p.m., not really sure what to expect. No paparazzi, but there was a guest list and, "whew," we were on it! Still a little unsure and overwhelmed by the group of amazingly cute greeters, we inched ourselves up to the well-manned counter, three deep with helpers (during training they have 3 times as many workers as will be there during a normal shift).We ordered a variety of burgers—including the Perry Hall Burger—a chicken sandwich and a huge basket of onion rings and fries. Drinks are self-serve, but unlike Five Guys, we were given a number (similar to Noodles & Company) and so we sat down and waited while watching old time Gino's ads play on TVs hanging on the brightly painted red walls. Did you know Soupy Sales, Dom Deluise (aka The Gino Genie) and Muhammad Ali all starred in ads?
Our food was delivered by the cutest server in the world—my daughter. Wow, she's good at balancing all those baskets! OK, now that I've thoroughly embarrassed her I'll move on to the food.
All I can say is I overheard my two teens exclaiming it was "much better than Five Guys or Z Burger." My 4-year-old devoured his adult-size burger and not one single fry or onion ring was left in that basket. The deliciously spiced onion rings are long and stringy and my youngest got a kick out of pretending he was eating long worms.
Something special about Gino's is the friendly wait staff who make sure everyone is taken care of, getting customers free refills and taking away their trash—yes, there's no need to bus your own mess!
Debbie and the restaurant's owner, Sophie, have hired a wonderful, enthusiastic team, mostly local teens from Perry Hall and Dundalk. My daughter said everyone is really nice and super funny. There's a genuine desire to include and benefit the local community and the restaurant is sure to increase traffic to the shopping center. Debbie came and encouraged my other teen to come work there when he's old enough—a real ego booster!
Before we left, we checked out the well-stocked condiment counter/display case filled with Gino's t-shirts, caps and mini Colts helmets. My littlest, of course, couldn't care less about the A1 Steak Sauce but thought the helmets were super cool!
Couldn't leave without taking a picture of my daughter with Debbie while her co-workers flirted with my youngest. I'm sure my teen boy thought all the girls were equally as cute, but he'd never admit it. My guess is he and his friends will be there a lot. For that matter, I think we will too ...