Gio’s Cafe in Sanford, FL

This is the inaugural review from one of our new Experts MB I ate at Gio’s Cafe I in Sanford, FL for dinner after reading a positive review about the restaurant in an Orlando Sentinel review. It was a Greek/Italian restaurant which sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a try. I was actually […]

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Gio’s Cafe in Sanford, FL

Posted By: MB
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This is the inaugural review from one of our new Experts MB

I ate at Gio’s Cafe I in Sanford, FL for dinner after reading a positive review about the restaurant in an Orlando Sentinel review. It was a Greek/Italian restaurant which sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a try.

I was actually expecting more Greek food and less Italian. The Greek food probably took up a quarter of the menu, while Italian took up the remaining three-quarters. The Greek food seemed kind of overpriced for what was being offered, so we ordered garlic knots and pizza. The newspaper had good stuff to say about both items, so I was expecting an okay meal.

The garlic knots came out first and were okay, but they could have definitely used triple the amount of garlic that was given.

The pizza soon followed, and I definitely disagreed with the Orlando Sentinel review. The newspaper called Gio’s pizza impressive. I thought it was one of the worst pizzas I’ve eaten in a while. The crust was a little thick for my liking, but that’s just based on my personal preference. My real issue here was with the cheese on the pizza. While the pizza was hot, all of the molten cheese poured off of the crust onto the plate. As it cooled, the cheese solidified, but it didn’t stick to the rest of the pizza. The entire mass of cheese on each slice would pull off leaving a sheet of hot cheese hanging out of my mouth with every bite. The solidified lump of cheese was strangely chewy and dense, and was still stuck in my throat several hours later. I’m not exactly sure what Gio’s Cafe did (or didn’t do) to make the cheese on their pizza turn out this way, but it was definitely not a good thing.

Another issue that I had wasn’t exactly pizza related, but instead was something the restaurant wouldn’t sell me because I ordered pizza. I wanted a side salad as an appetizer, but according to the waiter, side salads were only available if I was eating an entree. Otherwise, my only option would be to buy a much more expensive meal-sized salad. Perhaps I should have ordered an entree though. I’ve found I’m almost always happy with spanakopita, and I’m sure it would have been better than the pizza…

I give Gio’s Pizza in Sanford, Florida, 1 out of 8 Slices

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26 Responses to “Gio’s Cafe in Sanford, FL”

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    16 Sep 2008 at 4:16 pm

    MB, that looks awful. I hate when the place undercooks the pie (which is evident by the cheese falling into the center) and then they don't allow proper cool down time, so by the time the pie is delivered it is like eating dough and cheese on the side. They should get their act together. Excellent review, we all look forward to seeing some more writing out of you!

  • mattspizza wrote:
    17 Sep 2008 at 9:36 am

    Great post. Welcome to worst pizza!

  • Maria wrote:
    17 Sep 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Thanks for this review…I just moved in right next door to Gio's and was going to try it….now it looks like there's no need.

  • Mark wrote:
    18 Sep 2008 at 9:53 am

    Let me get this right…you took my favorite pizza place, Gio's, who makes the best pie in three counties and put it on WORSTPIZZA.COM? The food is great, fresh and well worth the price. The place is clean and the staff is good. And you decided to slander the entire restaurant because cheese slid off of your pizza? Next time you go, take your finger out of your nose and put it on one of the clean utelsils they have next to your plate. That will solve the cheese problem. I just had two pies delivered to the office and the entire office loved them.

  • Danny wrote:
    18 Sep 2008 at 10:09 am

    That would be a mistake. This pizza geek has no clue. What a great restaurant and a great pizza.

  • mattspizza wrote:
    20 Sep 2008 at 11:56 am

    Real pizza does not need utensils!

  • CCYaz wrote:
    20 Sep 2008 at 4:30 pm

    I agree more with Danny and Mike. I've had dinner at Gio's twice in the past 3 weeks, and have also ordered delivery. I could not be more happy and satisfied with the service and the food. The pizza is terrific, I wouldn't say it's the best in three counties, specially since I have not tried them all, but it's right up there with the ones I've had. I did not have the experience MB had with the cheese. I've also had the Escargot, and the Shrimo Scampi served over Capellini, and they were both perfect. My wife tried a Greek Salad and loved it.
    I completely recommend the place with no problem.
    Maria, give it a chance, and let us know what you think.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    20 Sep 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Maria, it looks like you could be the final word on Gio's, everyone is waiting for your review of it here! Please let us know as soon as you try it!

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    20 Sep 2008 at 4:50 pm

    I am anxious to see Maria's review, and see what she thinks. Come on already Maria!

  • MB wrote:
    22 Sep 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Mark– Using utensils to eat the pizza would not solve the cheese issues that I had. Eating pizza with silverware should be an option, not a necessity. I expect my pizza to hold together when I pick up a slice using the normal silverware-free method of eating pizza. If you got the impression that I was slandering the restaurant, that was not the case. My main issue was with the pizza and the pizza alone. The restaurant itself was nice enough and the service was good, but the pizza was bad. The salad thing was a minor issue, but if Gio's would rather not get more money from me by selling a side salad, then it's their strange business plan, not mine.

    Now, it is possible that Gio's Pizza is normally excellent, but the one night I choose to eat there, I just happened to get one of the few pizzas that turned out bad. It's always a possibility, but a restaurant should make sure that there are no bad pizzas. Not only to keep customers, but also with today's technology. You never know when a random diner will snap a few pictures with a cell phone camera and post them with a negative review of the bad pizza up on multiple food blogs for other potential customers to read.

    That is why you always make sure there are no bad pizzas, or any other food for that matter.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    23 Sep 2008 at 4:23 am

    There is no way anyone can dispute what the picture shows, and it shows a very sloppy pizza. Now all your Gio lovers can say whatever you want, but the photo has spoken for itself. Each and every pie that comes out of the oven should be presented like it was the only pie you had made that day. I want to feel like the pie you served me was served for a king. If you put out quality pies with some thought put into the time it bakes, nobody would complain on an expert review site like this.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    23 Sep 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Maria Has promised to go to try gio's tonight, let us see if she does and what she thought of the food!

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    25 Sep 2008 at 10:01 am

    Maria has sent me an email saying she will send me another email with her thoughts about Gio's. Early indications say it is not going to be promising!

  • Kelly D wrote:
    01 Nov 2008 at 5:52 pm

    WORST PIZZA EVER. they need to close their doors. bad service and worse food.

  • Sherry wrote:
    16 Nov 2008 at 1:35 pm

    I think all of you that are speaking negatively about Gio's pizza are absolutely crazy!!!! My Mom had 2 pizzeria's and I know what a great pizza should both look like and taste like. Gio's has gone above and beyond all of my expectations and this restaurant is not only quaint, but very relaxing with a nice atmosphere. All of their ingredients are the best money can buy and it shows in just the taste of the cheese alone!! You guys need to stop being so negative and find something else to complain about!! Are you sure you are not just a disgruntled ex-employee?? Thats what all of you sound like.

  • Ted wrote:
    05 Dec 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Wow. Maybe the pizza needed to cool a bit, because I consider their pizza the best I've had in Florida, and maybe more importantly, so does my wife who is from the Bronx, so she knows good pie. I've only had it delivered, though, so maybe that was the difference. When I had family down here we ordered one cheese and one pepperoni, and my family was ecstatic about how good it was. We also had a team building session at my house and we ordered three different pies, one being the meat lovers, which my coworkers and I thought was fantastic. I'm sorry you didn't like their pizza…maybe the cheese just needed to cool down a bit before they served it to you.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    05 Dec 2008 at 6:50 pm

    Please tell us another place that you like Ted so we can all compare your tastes….

  • Dave wrote:
    14 Jan 2009 at 10:55 pm

    This guy is an idiot! Clearly you are not an educated consumer of high quality cheeses becasue Grande Cheese is the best recognized high quality cheeses in the world. You can visit other local pizzeria's and settle for inferior blended house brand cheese's and get the low budget quality your accustomed too! Secondly, the Orlando Sentinel did not review the pizza they covered entrees and appetizers. Also, Gio's Cafe was awarded recently “BIg Bites Award” for the best entree, Saltimbocca. I eat here at least 3 times a week and recognize qulaity from the trump flour to the fresh buffalo mozzarella. In closing, stick with Sam's Club pizza it appears to fit your mentality of Italian pizza and budget!

  • Chezy wrote:
    29 Jan 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Gio's pizza is the BEST pizza I have eaten in Florida. They have great tasting cheese and the crust is crisp, the way it should be. Isn't mozzarella cheese supposed to be stringy when baked in the oven???? That's when it's the best you dinbat!

  • RealPizzaGuy wrote:
    12 Feb 2009 at 6:17 am

    Hey smart guy hot cheese is supposed to melt, and that stuff that allows the cheese to come off after the cheese cools is called sauce, which far to many pizza places seem to forget is a main ingredient. Obviously you like the New York street pizza that is almost thin enough to read through and has a table spoon of sauce per 18″ pie. Pizza was not invented to be walk around food the you can eat and keep your chothes clean. Maybe take a freind (if you have one) next time and you can talk a minute and allow the pizza to cool (god forgive it comes out fresh from the oven instead of sitting under a warming light for an hour on the street side pizza cart). Maybe you could not act like a cave man and use a fork to eat with if you can't manage holding the crust and the pizza toppings at the same time. As for Gio's pizza, it is not in my top two favorite but is far better than most because it does have some sauce and toppings and yes I am not a fan of pizza you can read through.

  • Daryl wrote:
    21 May 2009 at 8:26 am

    Are you kidding?? I stumbled across Gio's when they first opened, my wife and I went in thinking it was just another hole in the wall pizza joint, but when we walked thru the door it was like walking into a scaled down 5 star restaurant (I actually felt under dressed). The wife ordered some lobster ravioli, and on a whim I had ordered the chef's special (which was a stuffed piece of Veal), the food and service was incredible! A few weeks later we we're doing some things around the house and a friend showed up, and long story short we decided to order some delivery for dinner.
    This is when I ordered the pizza. Now for me pizza is literally a way of life, I've worked in lil mom n' pop pizza shops since I was 12 (legally when I turned 16 ha, ha). Hell my father has worked for Roma Foods (largest distributer of Italian foods) for 20 years. And my wife works for Red Brick pizza. Suffice to say I like to think I know a lil something about pizza. The round thing in the square box that was delivered to my door was in NOOOOOO way anything liked described above. The Pizza I had gotten was cooked perfectly and tasted as incredible as the dinners I had a couple weeks earlier.
    Now I dunno what happened with MB (maybe they had a fluke “cook havin' a bad day” scenario), but I've been back to that Restaurant several times, each time I try something new and each time it's been wonderful. My last trip (earlier this week) my wife and I ordered a bowl of lobster bisque, this flatbread pizza modeled after a Gyro, and a piece of homemade Baklava cheese cake. We paid $25 and I had enough left over for lunch the next day! The place is sooo good that I made reservations to take my boss and the rest of the company there for a Birthday lunch.
    Am I saying everyone needs to go there? No, you're your own person make your own decision, but I'd be damned if I took one individuals opinion to shape my own idea of what's good and bad.
    Or as Lamar would say, “Don't take my word on it, try for yourself.”

  • jimsock wrote:
    18 Jun 2009 at 1:39 pm

    ROFLMAO! Way to go, folks! This so-called self-proclaimed “pizza expert” is the idiot of the century – who doesn't know crap about pizza! He's just a little whining
    wimp that wants any kind of recognition he can get. Gio's makes a great pizza and well, looky here! Most people know it! I tell you, people, take some time to read around this site and check out what a moron this “pizza expert” is, and you'll also see a extra wannabe or two appearing as well. Just tell me that you don't want to take these little wussie geeks and shove their faces down into the pizza and rub it in! LOL! This place is a sideshow…! It vies for the main attraction!

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    18 Jun 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Have you tried every single pizza place in America? I am surprised you have the time in between throwing around insults.

  • jimsock wrote:
    06 Jul 2009 at 3:28 am

    Why, no….no I haven't….have YOU? After all, you call yourself “the expert”…..I wouldn't call myself something arrogant like that.
    No, oh mighty know-it-all, I haven't been to this nice place, all I had to do was read the opinions of other good people to find out that the pizza here is worth every cent. You see, we're not “experts” – we just aren't little whining wussies…..we're normal people that love pizza.
    So, anyway, I guess you HAVE tried “every single pizza place in America”. That must be why you are an EXPERT. ROFLMAO!

  • smangey wrote:
    14 Sep 2009 at 3:19 pm

    what a stupid review. Of course when pizza is hot the cheese will fall off. How long have you been eating pizza?

  • smangey wrote:
    14 Sep 2009 at 10:19 pm

    what a stupid review. Of course when pizza is hot the cheese will fall off. How long have you been eating pizza?