Since fabled Dundalk-born burger chain Gino’s, founded by a couple Baltimore Colts in the late ’50s, was obliterated in the ’80s (with most locations converting to Roy Rogerses and others turning into KFCs or simply being shut down), the fast-food joint’s reputation had grown to legendary status. Spontaneous tributes to the chain’s signature “Gino Giant” (“a banquet on a bun”)*, as well as its advertising slogans and graphic design, spring up all over the Internet. And there are multiple Gino’s-themed Facebook groups. And apparently, over 120 “Gino’s alumni” held an informal reunion as late as 2002.
Well, the beloved chain was revived in 2010 with a location in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and has since grown to five restaurants (including one in Towson and another at Camden Yards). And they’ve just announced three more Maryland locales that are about to host a Gino’s after decades of mourning: Aberdeen, Abingdon, and Fallston. The Aberdeen location will sit on Beards Hill Road (part of the new Corner at Beards Hill shopping center),opening in October or November. The restaurants bound for Abingdon and Fallston don’t have locations yet, and are set to open sometime “next year,” so we’ll see.
The new incarnation hasn’t been exactly the same — or so I am told. For one the burgers are now cooked to order, but despite the slightly more upscale concession, the menu has a few unpretentious — and anachronistically health-unconscious — items, like french fries covered in Cheez Whiz and the unapologetically oversize Giant.
Any old school Gino’s fans who’ve been to the new restaurants want to let us know how they stack up?
*And just in case anyone’s keeping score, let it be known that the Gino Giant, with its multiple patties and “secret sauce” (which is probably just Thousand Island dressing), predates McDonald’s Big Mac, with its multiple patties and “special sauce” (which is probably just Thousand Island dressing), by three years.
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