Tono Brings Taste of Sicily & Philly to Maple Grove
When it comes to pizza, everyone has their personal preference.
But if you’re looking for a place that has something a little different, look no farther than Maple Grove’s newest pizzeria: Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks.
“My dad’s from Sicily, my mom’s from Philadelphia, I worked for my parents growing up in the pizza industry, so it’s something I always wanted to do,” said Antonio Gambino, the president of Tono Pizzeria + Cheesesteaks.
What Gambino and his business partners have done is created a place that sells pizza and Philadelphia cheesesteaks all under one roof.
“You can get pizza in a lot of spots, where it’s like cheesesteaks, like where can you get a cheesesteak? Maybe the mall right? Who goes to the mall anymore,” Gambino said.
Now you don’t have to go to the mall — or to Philly — to get your fix of ribeye, onions, peppers and cheese tucked into bread from Philadelphia’s Amoroso’s Baking Company.
“You know, one of our best accomplishments is making east coasters feel like they’re at home,” Gambino said.
Fourteen Pizzas on the Menu
Tono serves eight different cheesesteaks, but make no mistake, pizza is the big draw here. It’s a style of pizza Gambino refers to as “artisanal.”
“A blend of New York style and Neapolitan,” Gambino said, when asked to describe their pizza.
In other words, Tono serves a thin-crust pizza using dough made from locally-sourced flour that cooks for two and a half minutes in a brick oven set to 660 degrees.
The end result is something that Gambino hopes will keep people coming back in a crowded pizza marketplace.
“You get the customers that are willing to take that first step and be like, ‘alright let me try it,'” Gambino said. “But a lot of people wait ’til they hear someone else say, ‘alright this place is good.'”
Each of Tono’s six locations has its own signature pizza. In Maple Grove, it’s the Don Carlo, which is topped with pepperoni, hot honey, cheese and basil.
“It’s delicious,” Gambino said of the Don Carlo. “The hot, the cold, meshes really well.”
Gambino is hopeful that pizza like the Don Carlo — along with their selection of Philly cheesesteaks — will help Tono become a fan favorite.
“The best way is to just have them try the food. You can’t convince someone over words,” he said.
Meanwhile, there’s extra incentive for customers to stop in on Tuesdays. They run a promotion called “Tono Tuesdays,” where you can buy one pizza and a soda and get another pizza and soda free of charge.