After a devastating fire in 2012, the locals wouldn’t let Gorham House of Pizza die. How right they were.
I knew right away that Gorham House of Pizza was no ordinary joint the moment I walked it. Was the food good? Yes, and I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, let me say this: If the town of Gorham has a heartbeat, surely GHOP is a big part of it. Angelo Sotiropoulos opened the place in 1981 and has enjoyed years of success since then. However, as many of you know, an electrical fire all but destroyed the restaurant in April 2012. Eight months later, with the help of several local fundraisers and a whole lot of love from the shop’s loyal customers, GHOP was back in business.
Fast forward to two weeks ago when this gal finally made her way to the storied establishment. Every time I drive to Gorham, which is not that often, I’m reminded of how close it actually is. My Friday drive from Portland was just four and a half radio songs long. I parked on the street – for free, no less – about 20 feet from the entrance.
It was on the early side, just past 11:30 a.m., but the place was already hopping with walk-in customers, and phone orders were pouring in at a rapid clip. While the walls looked freshly painted, the layers beneath hold three decades of memories of family pizza nights, take-out sandwiches for the kids after soccer practice, business meetings, high-school hangin’, construction worker lunch stops and so much more. Heck, there was even a mailman in there getting lunch after me. People love this place.
I stood for a few minutes perusing the menu while I heard a couple of “Hi Angelo!” shout-outs from customers. I thought about pizza. The Greek (spinach, ham, onion, Greek olives, tomato and feta, at $8.99 for a small or $17.49 for a large) was tempting but my eyes shifted over to the “Oven-Baked Grinders/Wraps” section, where I considered the “Special Sub” (turkey, roast beef, bacon, onion, pickle, green pepper, provolone, tomato and lettuce, at $7.79 for an 8-inch and $8.49 for a 10-inch). I came very close to ordering this, but then my eyes landed on “From The Grill” and lingered for quite some time. I finally looked up and placed my order: A Chicken Gyro for $6.49. Then I slid into a booth with my Diet Dr. Pepper and watched the world go by in downtown Gorham. Ten or so minutes later, my name was called and I returned to my seat wild – and starving – with anticipation for said gyro. Thank you, Angelo and company, for not letting me down. The pita was the proper thickness, the tzatziki sauce fresh and delicious and the chicken was tender and juicy. I was in heaven and ate with enthusiasm.
Then I patted my belly and exited via the side door, walked a few steps and then spent several minutes in a small, ancient cemetery next to GHOP, where some of the graves date back to the 1700s. It was a fascinating visit and an enjoyable stroll after a satisfying meal. I was certainly glad to be among the living knowing that The Gorham House of Pizza will always be there, well loved by the locals and a bright spot for us out-of-towners looking for a sure thing. Next time I think I’ll try a calzone or a cheeseburger sub or the antipasto salad. Because you had better believe there will be a next time.
WHERE: 2 State St., Gorham | 839-2504 | ghop.me/
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday
WAIT: 10-15 minutes
OUTDOOR SEATING: No
HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE: Yes