Cuchi Guidos

Brent Finnegan -- January 22nd, 2010

Chuchi Guidos HarrisonburgA new establishment is bringing a little piece of New Jersey to downtown Harrisonburg. Cuchi Guidos will serve up Brooklyn style pizza, Philly cheesesteaks, and Jersey hoagies.

The eatery had their soft opening today.

The menu claims that Cuchi Guidos is the first joint south of the Mason-Dixon line to serve real panzarotti. According to Wikipedia:

It consists of a pocket of dough filled with varying amounts of melted mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and any reasonable number of fillings, which is then wrapped, salted, and baked. The panzarotti rises during this process, creating a pocket containing a considerable amount of steam which should be partially released prior to eating.

There has already been much discussion about name of restaurant (read halfway down the comments here). Many find both “cuchi” and “guido” offensive.

There’s currently an ad on Craigslist, recruiting models for a 2011 “Cuchi girls” calendar. Radio ads and pizza boxes for Cuchi Guidos include the tagline, “everybody wants a little Cuchi.”

Well, do you?

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93 Responses to “Cuchi Guidos”

  1. Karl says:

    Would have loved to try the joint out yesterday mid afternoon, but they were not open. Dave’s got my business instead and will going forward since I can count on them being open at what I consider very typical dining times.

    Walking in certain parts of Harrisonburg on Sunday would give you the idea that Blue Laws still exist. A very small walk down a section of water street I passed three places that serve food and a former convenience store…none open. Cut left at the end of the block and another eatery was closed. Great that there are so many downtown businesses, but what’s the point when none of them are open.

  2. katie hudson says:

    I asked about the business hours when I was at cuchis last week. He said he finds it really important that Sunday remains as a day of rest. After reading your comment I do wonder how much business they’re losing…

  3. eso says:

    It is odd that a business that going after the college student market is going to be closed on a day students don’t have class. That his/her decision to make but still an odd business decision. And don’t get me started on the Local Chop and Grill…

  4. Amanda says:

    After two attempts to get a pizza to-go, we finally got a chance to try out the food at CG yesterday afternoon. I don’t have any problem with the restaurant being closed on Sundays. I understand the need for a day to rest, or to perform more extensive cleaning, restock and prepare for another busy week. (eso – is that your issue with LC&GH?)

    What I do take issue with is that my husband was able to walk into the restaurant’s front doors, see people hanging out and drinking in the lower dining area and then be told gruffly “we’re closed come back another day”. This happened twice.
    Our lunch experience yesterday was disapointing. The food was ok but the service was lacking. He ordered a cheesesteak and I ordered a pizza. His cheesesteak arrived almost immediately and the server told us the pizza would be out in a few minutes. My husband attempted to tackle the 12inch cheesesteak without a fork, knife or napkins because none were offered. I gave the server a few minutes, thinking she would check back with us…but she didn’t so I went in search of napkins and utinsils. The pizza arrived 10 minutes after the cheesesteak and I had to go in search of a plate.
    I understand that a new server might not get everything right, and I wasn’t expecting 5 star service. I was disappointed that the 8 other employees/management moving around the lower dining area didn’t notice that we (the only table) were missing forks, napkins, plates or that one half of our order was delivered a full 10 minutes before the other half?
    I do wish them the best of luck and hope they figure out that providing basic service is just as important as offering authentic cheesesteaks.

  5. Josh says:

    There was a letter in today’s Breeze about Cuchi Guidos:

    Cuchi Guidos: A Blind Review

  6. seth says:

    anybody else heard their latest radio spot? it opens w/ a female voice stating “12 inches just isn’t satisfying anymore.”
    i always felt like a foot long filled me up pretty well….
    while i don’t find it horribly offensive, i think their marketing campaign would make more sense if they were selling sausage.

  7. eso says:

    Amanda: Yes. I was just disappointed that we didn’t get to LC&GH this weekend for an anniversary. We planned to go Saturday, didn’t because of the snow, then they were closed Sunday. Understand but disappointed.

  8. BANDIT says:

    It’s been rumored that this will be one of the performers at Cuchi Guidos … take a look at this video. Maybe the masks will catch on with the staff …

  9. BANDIT says:

    Moderator, can you post videos from YouTube here? The way I posted on another site was using the embed line … that did not work here.

  10. seth says:

    I think this is what you were looking for…

  11. Lowell Fulk says:

    Awesome rock and roll Seth, thanks for sharing the link…

    But now I must say that I’ve spoken with my Wife, who has taken a business client to the restaurant, and with my eldest Daughter who has vowed not to set a foot therein, both of whom I really like and respect, and I have read the reviews and opinions posted here, and I have come to the conclusion that I will not be frequenting the establishment…

    Don’t need New Jersey in my life. Someone who tells me to take my food and get out doesn’t need my patronage… And if they’re going to advertise in a crude fashion which offends my womenfolk?…

    They really don’t need my money to help ’em pay for it.

  12. Renee says:

    Bandit, you can post a link to a video but I don’t believe you can embed videos in our comment threads.

    Seth, are you implying Aerosmith will be performing at Cuchi Guidos? Awesome :)

  13. Renee says:

    I called the restaurant the other day to find out if they had small salads I could get to go. The girl that answered the phone said they had large meal-sized salads that started at $8+, but no small side-salad option. I found that odd since I thought most quick-Italian places (like Sbarros) let you order a small side salad with a slice of pizza or calzone. And if they have large salads, why would they tell a customer they can’t order a small salad?

    Not sure whether my expectations were realistic, but I agree with the above commenters that customer service is considered very important in this small town (especially basics like making sure customers have napkins and silverware), and they better shape up quickly before they ruin their reputation permanently!

  14. BANDIT says:

    OK, I’ll try it this way … I still think masks for the staff are a good idea considering all the comments made about the place…

  15. megan says:

    As if I needed another reason not to go there… YIKES!

    I’m with Lowell on this one. Doesn’t seem like the kind of place I want to spend my money; no matter how good the food is.

  16. republitarian says:

    Looks like Benny Neal to me….

  17. That is the legendary Jimmy Johnson, FOB

  18. BANDIT says:

    Now…if we could get Fitzgerald’s comment on the video, we’d be complete.

  19. Sasha Lubbuck says:

    Can’t believe so many are naive to think the slogan isn’t offensive. Yeah it means cute little men, but does it make sense to say “Everybody wants a little cute little men.” It’s obvious its a sexual innuendo for the other “coochy.” Have you heard the latest ad with the sexy voice saying “this 12 inches isn’t enough” then they go on to introduce a 17 inch sub by saying “we’ll put a spark in your mouth” Give me a break. They’re trying to use sex to sell their product. I AIN’T BUYING!!

  20. Lowell Fulk says:

    Have you been reading?

  21. Tony Duke says:

    The owners a little gruff, but the food was tremendous, Im a big guy and I can hod my own, but their cheesesteak put me in my place. I work downtown and look forward to consistently giving the place some business..

    Insofar as the name/marketing goes? Lets face it sex sells, innuendo has been gracing radio/tv ads for atleast a decade. Im not one to let something that superficial effect where my dollar is spent. Just Sayin…

  22. Emmy says:

    I know at least one person who has eaten there several times and enjoyed the food. I doubt I’ll be going any time soon, but I just don’t eat out that often and when I do I go somewhere I know I like.

  23. David Miller says:

    All I know is that the cheese steak took a year off of my life and I enjoyed every minute of it and the 28 inch pizza was tasty and fed 12 guys for around 30 bucks. Not my style for dine in but the delivery was great (once the person taking my order figured out that they did indeed take credit cards)

  24. Ashley says:

    Food is the best in Harrisonburg (for what they’re offering). I’ve eaten here on numerous occasions now, and they keep getting better. The pizza has gotten WAY better since opening, and I recently sat at the table next to a New Yorker who claimed that it was as close to Brooklyn style that Hburg has to offer. The cheesesteaks are wonderful as well, as are the hoagies and DELICIOUS fried appetizers (that i’ve had). Salads are a little lacking (no spinach salads), but if you’re looking to count calories I suggest you go to Subway and not a cheesesteak joint. LARGE awesome beer list, and a wine list that they’re apparently working on now.

    KEEP IN MIND: this place opened 2 weeks ago today. If any of you have ever opened a kink-free restaurant that had perfectly trained servers and a smoothly running kitchen on the first day, then let me stand corrected. The fact that they’re doing this well so quickly is AWESOME and they’re only improving.

    These people are trying out new staff, new food and deserts (of which they won’t hesitate to let you try on the house). When’s the last time Dave’s offered up something new and exciting?

    It’s chaotic for now, and if you’re in a rush, I can see how you’d get a bad first impression. Give them a few more weeks to work everything out, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. The owner can be a bit boisterous, but understand this restaurant and the food served is his passion. Servers have always treated me well, less so when the restaurant is packed for obvious reasons. But hey, who wants to eat at an empty restaurant?

  25. Tony Duke says:

    John Carlo, glad you have time on your hands, it is a valuable asset.

    As far as my posts go, I stumbled upon the negative reviews in my downtime, and thought it was only fair to impart the positive experiences I have had at Cuchi Guidos. I also thought it was appropriate to pose some questions regarding the “hooplah” and general outrage expressed towards Cuchi’s advertising.

    SO instead of beating a dead horse why dont y’all try the food and formulate an opinion on your own?

  26. Tony Duke says:

    Oh yes, Ill accept that apology any time.

  27. Jeremy Aldrich says:

    Jason, why would a Christian lie about their name and email address – twice? Or should I call you “Paul Funkhouser”? You need to start using a legitimate email address or all of your comments will be removed.

  28. I tried to email you, but the address you provided is fake.

  29. A reminder to everyone about the words in red above the comment box: “No anonymous, libelous, or name-calling comments. Please limit yourself to a single screen name and a legitimate email address.”

  30. megan says:

    Did you really mean Jason? Maybe there is something missing from the thread, but it appears that Jason hasn’t commented on this topic. From the 5 comments before me it looks like a lot is missing.

  31. His comments were put in moderation for failing to provide a legitimate email address, along with a few others from this thread by other commenters without legitimate email addresses. “Jason” seems to be a repeat offender.

  32. “Jason,” if you’re reading this, contact us via the contact form, or use a legit name and email address the next time you post.

  33. Justin Neitzey says:

    $9 for a 7-inch cheesesteak?

    I don’t care what you call it (a Caesare?), but it doesn’t come with fries or a drink. It comes in a plastic basket with damp chips. The steak was good and overflowing, but the onions weren’t cooked enough. We had to ask for utensils and got the absolute cheapest plastic forks and knives.

    We split a $12 14″, two drinks and an order of cheese sticks (which were really good). But the total bill with tip was $30.

    Either lower the price or throw in fries and a drink. Otherwise, I’m going to Ciro’s Lasagna House.

  34. Justin Neitzey says:

    Sorry, that was $14 for a 12″ sub.

  35. seth says:

    i thought it was 17″ of priapic goodness….

  36. Frank J Witt says:

    We had the 17″ bBig Boy, split between my daughter and I …the waitress had no idea we were even sitting upstairs, the guy in charge of payroll (we knew this because he kept telling his phone buddy how he “had to get going to get payroll done”), could not order Dr. Pepper because it was “broke” but they brought her a fountain Pepsi (??), when we ordered we asked for fried onions and mushrooms and just was left at that…no offer of apps or whatever. About 3 minutes later, our waitress, Untrained, returned to tell me that WE CAN’T PUT MUSHROOMS ON THE SUB…no explanation offered or apologizes issued…still not sure why you can’t put mushrooms on a sub….unless they were BROKE like the Dr. Pepper…

    Now, seeing as we order ONE hoagie, why would they NOT cut it and bring a paper plate? Don’t know, don’t know why they didn’t bring my daughter a straw for her Pepsi either…or “silverware” for that matter.

    After requesting and receiving that above, we went about and tried to eat the monster roll before it froze…very cold upstairs.

    Much of the meat was relatively thick and not chopped apart which made us use our fingers to tear the food apart and leave it on the plate. The roll was not toasted and maybe a day old because it did fall apart rather easily, unlike a “baked daily and delivered fresh to us”…

    Chips were an embarrassment to potatoes everywhere…served cold, greasy and hard (overcooked). Beer was cold though….

    And for it to be 2:20 pm Tuesday afternoon, the payroll guy aforementioned WILL BE BUSY because there were well over a dozen people there…although not sure how many bosses were there as many acted as if they were…

    Sad to think this is how Real Philly Cheesteaks are made…Wit’ or Wit’ out mushrooms…..

    So, in my not-so-humble opinion, worry more about the food that anything else that can upset you….Just saying, of course.

  37. Chris says:

    This place has major problems, management-wise. I like the food — at least the pizza, fries and Greekish salad I’ve had. But they majorly screwed up both of my orders. The first time, they gave us the wrong pizza for takeout. The second time, for delivery to my office, I asked that they include a fork for the salad and ketchup for the fries; no problem, they said. They did neither. Plus, they forgot to put dressing on the salad. (And they answer the phone by asking, “Are you hungry?” That was bad enough the first time. It was almost intolerable when I called back to complain :)

  38. seth says:

    they sent us a free pizza @ work today! i could yet be converted to fandom.

  39. Achmed Ramzoullah Al-Tikiriti says:

    I can’t see how people have had such bad experiences with Cuchi Guido’s… perhaps because it’s new; things are bound to be a bit chaotic.

    My friends and I go there every Thursday night to wrap up the week and hear whatever band is playing, and we have never had a bad time there. The waitresses are prompt and courteous, the food is always fresh and the atmosphere is great.

    On one visit, a friend attempted the 18″ Big Boy sub challenge and there was a slight problem between the manager and the server on when to start the time (he started when the sub left the kitchen, she started it when it hit our table) We didn’t think the situation seemed fair, as two minutes was lost between the sandwich coming off the grill and it being delivered to our table. My friend didn’t eat the whole sub anyway, but the manager DID come out and explained what went on and apologised to us for the disconnect between the kitchen and servers. He only charged half-price for the sub and delivered us a complimentary garlic bread platter.

    I really like the 28″ pizza. It’s great. On one of our Thursday night visits, my friends and I devoured one in less than 15 minutes. The cheesesteaks are very tasty, too. Some of the best I’ve had since I was in Philly…and say what you will, but Cuchi Guido’s comes close, and I’ve had cheesesteaks all over Philly. The panzarotti is very good also. The texture of the dough is great and it has lots of cheese, with excellent flavor.

    Overall, I love the food and the atmosphere of the restaurant and plan to continue my patronage there. I hope some of you with bad experiences will at least go back and give them a second chance, it’s honestly worth it.

  40. MF says:

    Looks like they closed down.

  41. Emmy says:

    Eight months. Perhaps they should have read the comments here. Sorry to see anyone go out of business, but when you don’t listen to your customers…it happens.

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