Going Italian with Giardino’s

. August 29, 2013.
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Giardino’s Sandwich Creations and Pizza
5060 Jackson Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Phone: (734) 585-5070
Hours: Mon-Sat: 10:30am-9pm;
Sun 12pm-8pm

www.giardinopizzaria.com

My family’s first impression of Giardino’s Sandwich Creations and Pizza restaurant could be summed up in two words: casual and comfortable. The four of us were able to pick our own booth, where we quickly relaxed, on a Saturday night. There were TVs to check out, music to listen to, plenty of families
and couples dining amongst us, and clean surroundings.

Giardino’s is located on Jackson Road on the west side of town. In business for several years, Giardino’s offers pizza, oven-baked and flatbread sandwiches, salads, entrées such as baked cod and spaghetti, and calzones. There’s even beer and wine for Mom and Dad.

We figured if they put “sandwich” and “pizza” in their restaurant name then that’s what we should order. My 10-year-old son and I decided to share a pizza. I was tempted by exotic kinds like the Flavor Feast with pineapple, feta cheese, Italian sausage, roasted red peppers and spinach. Alas, my son only wanted pepperoni. We settled on the Pepperoni
Supreme pizza with double pepperoni, provolone, mozzarella, Muenster and Parmesan cheeses plus a sprinkle of oregano ($15.29 for a large).

My husband selected the Godfather calzone with salami, pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage, banana peppers and cheese ($7.99). My six-year-old daughter suddenly
professed her undying love for sub sandwiches. This was news to me and I worried she’d turn up her nose when the sub arrived. Thus, I calmly shared the yummy sounding kids’ meal choices: cheese pizza, toasted cheese sandwich, spaghetti, chicken nuggets, or mac and cheese ($3.99 to $4.49). Each meal included a drink and cookie, too. Still, our daughter only wanted a sub. She settled on the 8” Pizza sub with pizza sauce, pepperoni, smoked ham and cheese ($5.99).

When you dine in at Giardino’s, you receive free breadsticks. We found them light, fluffy and perfectly dusted with Parmesan and butter. The thin yet flavorful
marinara dipping sauce enhanced their taste. It seemed like just moments after the breadsticks arrived that the rest of our food was served.

The pizza was decadent, with plenty of cheese and pepperoni layered on the hand-tossed crust. The large size boasted eight meaty slices. My son and I gave the pizza a thumbs up. My husband’s calzone was gigantic and tasty, filled with meat and cheese. He found it a little cold in the middle, but our server cheerfully popped it back in the oven and returned
it hotter a few minutes later. Once he got some extra marinara sauce on the side, my husband dug in.

Meanwhile, we cut my daughter’s pizza sub into quarters. She happily ate one quarter.

“How was it?” I asked.

“Good,” she replied.

“How did it taste?” I coaxed.

“Like pizza with ham in it.”

Maybe she really is a sub connoisseur after all!

The restaurant serves plentiful desserts, from shakes and malts to spumoni cheesecake and flourless chocolate cake. After stuffing ourselves full of breadsticks, pizza, calzones, and subs, though, we were full and had to pass on the sweet offerings.

In the end, my 10-year-old nicely summed up our experience at Giardino’s: “They have lots of great items for lots of hungry people to eat.”

 

THE SHORT COURSE
Kid-friendly:
Yes
To avoid wait: The restaurant’s dining room is spacious and the food is served quickly. Waiting shouldn’t be a problem.
Noise level: Medium
Bathroom amenities: changing table in women’s
High chairs: Yes
Got milk: Yes, and apple juice, lemonade, and pop.
Kids’ menu: Yes, with five meals to choose from that include a drink and cookie.
Anything healthy for kids: Spaghetti or kid’s size cheese pizza would be the best bets.
Food allergy concerns: They can inform you of ingredients, but are unable to cook food separately.

Katy M. Clark is a freelance writer from Saline.