I always preferred going to Gino's over McDonald's not only because I thought the burgers tasted better, but also Gino's was the home of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was nice to have the option of burger or chicken when the family went out for a quick meal. And back then, KFC was pretty much the only game in town when it came to crispy poultry parts, other than grandma's cast iron skillet.
After nearly 30 years of life without Gino's, the restaurant is attempting to make a comeback. Burger joints are the new bagel shop or coffee bar; even celebrity chefs are getting into the act. Hubert Keller, Bobby Flay, Richard Blais, and Spike Mendelsohn all have specialty burger restaurants. So why not ride the wave and bring back an old regional favorite, this time as a fast-casual (e.g. Five Guys, Chipotle) sort of place rather than trying to compete with fast food juggernauts like McDonald's and Burger King.
While I think it's probably pretty easy to make a good burger, I wonder if they'll be able to produce chicken as good as KFC. I, for one, look forward to finding out.
The new endeavor hopes to open its first restaurant sometime in 2010. Read more about it at their Web site, http://ginosgiant.com.
And for nostalgia's sake, click here to listen to a jingle from 1969.