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Pizza great at Gino's

Pizza has pizzazz at Gino's

The sign can fool you. Unless you are in the know, you, like me, might think Forestbrook Village isn't home to Gino's.

Thankfully, it is. The sign on Belle Terre Road just mentions Food Lion and Cleaners (that is Allbright Cleaners). Nothing on it indicates there is a beloved eatery at the mostly empty shopping plaza that contains only the aforementioned, a liquor store and Gino's.

The New York style eatery has a dedicated following, and they testify to the delicious taste of its pizza, pasta and subs.

Folks told me there were rumors of Chinese and Mexican eateries coming to the center, but those haven't shown up so far.

Still, Gino's is there in all its authentic Italian glory, and customers are content about that.

Frank Dendow bragged about the cheese steak.

"It is something to write home about," Dendow said. "When you bite into it, you will think you are in New York City."

He is equally enthusiastic about its pizza.

"They serve real pizza, not the frozen kind you might serve the guys while watching the football game," Dendow said.

Others declare you can't go wrong with anything on the menu.

Rita and Dan Rivers sat down to lunch with the Bada Bing, a pizza made with the five toppings they chose. They ordered a 16-inch, and I wondered how two people could eat such a giant pizza.

They didn't.

"We know we can't eat it all," said Rita Rivers, who is Italian and married Rivers, an Irishman, when he was a vegan. "We take it home, and eat it later. This is a large pizza, but it's their smallest size."

You can order pizza by the slice or a 16-inch, 18-inch or 20-inch pie.

The original location launched three years ago and is located in North Myrtle Beach, but the location in Suite E1 on Belle Terre Boulevard is owned by Brian and Rosaria Wunderlich.

Rosaria Wunderlich's dad, Gino Sorce, 65, started making pizzas at 6 with his mother in Italy. In 1967, he founded his business in Astoria, N.Y.

Dan Rivers said the North Myrtle Beach location at 532 U.S. 17 N. has better pizza.

"I give the pizza here an 81/2 and the pizza at Gino's a 10," he said. "What can you expect? He has more than 40 years in the business. She doesn't." Nevertheless, customers claim she still makes her daddy proud with excellent food. Sauces are made from scratch, as well as the pizza dough and some of the meat toppings.

Tammy Parnell, the cashier, is also a plus for customers who constantly tell her that her friendliness, kindness and knowledge about the food are among the reasons they keep coming back.

Parnell and the rest of the staff are some of the kindest people I have met. Period.

When they bring out piping hot Sicilian pizza, from-scratch garlic knots,homemade pasta dishes and other items, it is with a smile, warm and sincere.

Gino's has daily lunch specials that are easy on the pocket, with menu prices ranging from $2.06 (for a cheese pizza slice) to $22 for the 20-inch Bada Bing.

Hours are 11 a.m. until, daily.

Call 236-8885.

Caribbean eatery will soon open

Caribbean flavor is on its way to Myrtle Beach.

J & B's Soul Food & Caribbean Cuisine, at 1604 N. Kings Highway, has been approved for its liquor license and inspected by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

It has been a long haul for Jacqueline "Jackie" Brewster and Jerome "Bones'' West (he was extra skinny for a long time and picked up that nickname), but they are excited about opening in the next couple of months.

I was fortunate enough last week to sample the curried chicken and goat, and it was delicious.

If you don't prepare goat properly, it has a tendency to be tough. This, however, was tender and flavorful.

James Beckford, a Jamaican native, prepared it. He will be helping out in the kitchen beginning in February after returning from Jamaica.

Jermaine Alston, a former cook at Key West Grill and Planet Hollywood, will be the executive chef.

There will be about 20 employees, with all of them wearing Caribbean-inspired colors.

The owners said the ambience will be relaxed to encourage customers to hang out and enjoy their dining experience.

Housed in what was formerly a Myrtle Beach welcome center, it has booths, tables and an illuminated bar.

There will be gospel brunches and open-mike performances inside. Calypso music and other entertainment will be held on the outside deck.

Prices, they said, will be reasonable. The menu will include oxtails, fried chicken and collard greens.

My stomach is excited, and I'll keep you posted.

Big Daddy's Closes

Big Daddy's Oceanfront Dining at Second Avenue Pier is closing Nov. 1.

Lyle Brock, manager of operations and son of the owners (Ervin and Linda Brock), said their lease expired and it wasn't renewed.

Big Daddy's Roadhouse Grill at 1610 S. Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach, however, is still open. Early bird specials are from 4 to 6 p.m., with prices ranging from $6.99 to $12.99. The rest of the menu is reasonable, too.

Hours are 4 p.m. until daily, although Brock said eventually the eatery will open for lunch and possibly breakfast.

Call 448-3819.

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