Sometimes the Pizza Snob falls asleep at the switch. A new pizza place opened in my adopted hometown of Franklin, and if not for my friend Pizza Joe, I might still have not heard about it!
In late 2014, Gina’s Stonefired Italian & Pizzeria opened shop in a newer strip in the Target Shopping Center on Columbia Pike. After missing the place twice when it was closed (first on a holiday and then on a Sunday), Mrs. Pie and I finally made our way there for one of our regular Saturday lunch dates. While I found that their pizza isn’t spectacular enough for me to stop wishing for Joey’s House of Pizza to come back to Williamson County, I am excited to report that there is now a fabulous and reasonably-priced Italian restaurant in Frank-town!
Gina’s has no more than a small square room in front of a counter with an open view of their namesake stone pizza oven. The room has a nice inviting décor, and I took notice of some faith-based messages displayed that explain their Sunday closure. They feature wait service and offer a fairly impressive Italian menu. As far as pizza goes, they make 12 and 18 inch sizes and also serve slices ($2.95) during the 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. time slot. There is a selection of “Gourmet Pizza” available and a gluten-free option.
Ms. Pie and I have now visited Gina’s twice, and based on the four different Italian meals we have now shared, are thrilled to have this new spot on our regular local dining circuit. Gina’s Italian food is fine, fresh and authentic. We love it, and their pizza is much better than what most of Franklin has to offer, including I suspect, the Pizza Hut that sits just a few doors down! (Sal’s Family Restaurant still makes the best slice in Franklin though.)
On our first visit, I lost the race for the last cheese slice sitting under glass on the counter and had to settle for an $8.95 12-incher. However, on our second visit, I scored a slice, holding off on my review until then, since I believe that a joint that sells slices should be judged by its slices.
While my 12-incher was pretty good, it was much thicker than I prefer. This is almost always bound to happen when you make a pie this small and have to cut it down into tiny slices. Overall though it was fresh and tasty with a full-bodied flavoring coming from its oil and oregano. The sauce and cheese were both delicious atop a crust that was chewier than it was crisp. Despite scoring Gina’s pie somewhat favorably, I remained hopeful that their slice would serve up better taking such fine ingredients and perhaps serving them up slimmer and crisper.
On the second visit, Mrs. Pie and I each got a cheese slice as an appetizer to our Italian dishes. Although they were of course larger, the slices were only slightly slimmer than my previous small pie experience. Again they were quite delicious, most notably again from the flavor of the oil and oregano. But what caught my taste buds this time was that something just did not seem right about the dough—it was just a little too light and fluffy. There was no noticeable char on the bottom crust, and it did not seem to be cooked enough all the way through. This was most detectable at the end where it got quite puffy. Was it the flour they used or perhaps the stone fired oven doesn’t get hot enough?
So the Pizza Snob will chalk up Gina’s as a great Italian restaurant that makes a decent pizza. Unfortunately, it will take its place as another spot in Franklin where the pizza is good, but not good enough to make me want to go there to just get some pie. You will however find me and Mrs. Pie at Gina’s on any given Saturday for this is one darn good Italian restaurant.
PIZZA SNOB RATING ***1/2 Working on a Good Thing
Gina’s Stonefired Italian & Pizzeria
3046 Columbia Avenue
Franklin, TN 37064