Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
JennyUptown

Undiscovered gems in NEPA

Recommended Posts

Slightly off topic...

I am having such a craving for a "Blueberry Delight" from Old River Road Bakery. They closed all (or most) of their storefronts, right?

I have a pound of blueberries - how I wish I could recreate that recipe!!

Does anyone remember Kaltenbach's Bakery in Scranton, and their "Army Bread"?

Best damn bread Ive ever had. No idea what made it great, but it was dense, almost buttery but not quite, almost sweet but not quite, just an amazing bakery item.


Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rich, those are good choices!!! All within a few mile drive and close enough in style to warrant comparison. Do you think the pizza club will buy into the whole "square" tray concept? That's a tough sell for many. Also, some round pie fans find it undercooked. (A co-worker, who grew up in New Haven on Pepe's, gets take-out from Revello's and Colarusso's and then bakes the pizza a little longer!!! It's never well-done enough for him).

Pizza Club folk are pretty serious folk, very analytical, very studious (hey, look at the pictures on the PIZZA CLUB thread...) and very diligent in their pusuit of pizza, in whatever form it takes. Old Forge Pizza has its own unique merits, like all of the pizzas we've tasted and tested so far. So, I dont expect there to be much revolution or rebellion or insurrrection, just agressive consumption.

Unless they start drinkin.


Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Old River Road has closed up all of its shops, must be about ten years now. I had many an ORR Birthday Cake in the 70's. :smile: I don't remember the blueberry delight. Bakery Delite (sic) on River Street near the Cross Valley Expressway has become the en vogue bakery for desserts in Wilkes-Barre these days.

Agostini's (Old Forge/Duryea) makes some great local bread, that's what they use at our beloved Tony's for the sandwiches!! My favorite growing up was Ristagno's in Exeter. Dad and I would get a dozen rolls every Sunday morning for dinner later on, but we'd have two gone by time we hit the bottom of the hill!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made a trip back to NEPA for Easter (brunch at Patsel's) and to celebrate my father's birthday (14 of us dined at Amici for that). The real highlight, though, was Old Forge style pizza at Armetta's in Clarks Summit. Oh my...that was GOOD. Three of us had a half tray (six rectangular slices) and top to bottom, it was the best pizza I have had in a long time.

The crust wasn't as doughy as some other Old Forge style pizzas I have had (and liked admittedly). Instead it was somewhat lighter and almost airy. Delicious tangy tomato sauce and a cheese blend I'd peg as part mozzarella, part provolone. Six slices for the grand sum of $6 and change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just ate at Ghigarelli's for the first time yesterday; thought I'd share this.

Well, we finally got here. This is the place that everyone's said is the best. Forget Arcaro & Genell's, they say. You'll never go back to Revello's they say. Are they right? Well, no on either count, and maybe a little bit on both.

First, this place is a real old time joint. It looks OK from the outside, but the inside is best described as "run down". We walked in through what seems to be the janitor closet; at the end you turn left into the (all smoking tables) dining room, or right into the bar area. Both are fully lit; the bar tables are all in a line like in a cafeteria, and at 6PM on a Saturday there were some pretty serious drinkers who looked like they'd been pounding 'em down all day, and who weren't going home soon either. The dining room had one setup for 30, and maybe 10 tables for 2 or 4.

We sat at a table in the dining room; there was only one other couple there. In a couple minutes the waitress showed up, and asked what we wanted. I asked for a menu, and she pointed to the little card in the standup on the table; that was the menu. On the one side, pizza; either red with a choice of toppings or white with a choice of plain or broccoli. And on the other side the dinners; potato gnocci with meatballs, spaghetti with meatballs, tripe, linguini with red or white clam sauce, meatball plate, or sausage and peppers. Since we were in Old Forge, we decided on a mix of pizza slices; we got some red with sausage, with pepperoni, and with sausage/mushroom/pepper; and some white plain, and white with broccoli.

Timing was OK enough. I could see the kitchen from my seat, and I will say that it's been a long time since I've seen someone smoking in a kitchen; our waitress was puffing away right by the door. You have to remember where we are, though, in Ghigarelli's in Old Forge. You want hoity-toity, well, they don't need you either. This is a joint.

On to the food, though! Here's the good part. The crust. Oh man, this is the crust. It is crusty. It is thin, and it breaks like a cracker. The crust is a rebake; it is a shell, but I don't think it's an Augustini Bakery shell. It seems homemade. And it tastes like really great Italian bread. The red sauce is pretty good; it's sweet and oniony, not real oregany, not very garlicky. Ghigarelli's uses mozzarella for their cheese (Revello's uses Monterey Jack). The white is a double crust with the cheese in the middle, brushed with olive oil, rosemary and garlic and other savory herbs. The mozzarella runs out of the cut like warm brie; there is twice as much crust. I'll say it again: twice as much crust. Slices run about a buck each, by the way.

The sensation of eating an Old Forge pizza cut is really one of accepting the beauty of simple things. Crust. Sauce. Cheese. Eat. Repeat. Have a beer while you're at it. I'd say that these slices are the equal of Revello's. Because of the crust, maybe a little bit better...

But here's the rub. The toppings. Seriously, if you come to Ghigarelli's and get the pizza, skip the toppings. The sausage is from frozen. The peppers are canned sweet peppers. The mushrooms are canned. The broccoli is frozen. The pepperoni is, well, pepperoni. At Revello's, the sausage is the same sausage they serve in their sausage and pepper dish. The meatballs are the homemade meatballs. The peppers and onions are freshly cooked. Only the mushrooms are canned. At Arcaro & Genell's, all toppings are fresh, as is the broccoli in the stuffed white pizza.

So there you have it. A little bit of both. Some folks with a small town perspective on things, putting out an excellent product that they don't really seem to think about or care much about. "Excellent pizza? Yeah, what's it to you? Some kinda big deal or what? Here, have some canned peppers, that'll shut you up. We got drinkin' ta do." If you want a restaurant, go to A&G. If you want consistently excellent with "extras", go to Revello's. If you want a very narrow and limited definition of the best, go to Ghigarelli's and avoid the extras, get plain red and plain white. For those items, they found the bullseye and can hit it repeatedly.

On the other hand, we were stuffed full for well under $20; with sodas, tax and a $3 tip we were out the door for $17 even and took a slice we couldn't eat home with us. And for food the quality of Old Forge pizza you can't beat that with a stick.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And is Woody's still open? Quality varies wildly there, depending. They were just squeaking by financially, last I talked to Woody.

The best hoagie I've had in a long time is from Sicilia in Tunkhannock. It has ham, salami, cappicola, prosciutto, provolone, l/t/o/p and nice spicy herbed oil dressing, and it's served on a large crusty roll rather than on a soft roll. Sicilia is a real find. I don't think they'll be around much longer, the food is much better than people are prepared to pay for up that way.

Tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not so much a restaurant or even pizzeria, but there is a great dairy a few miles off of the Wilkes-Barre exit on the turnpike just minutes from Penn State Wilkes-Barre.

Hillside Dairy has the best ice cream I have ever had. You can also buy milk, butter (and cheese, I think) from the cows grazing just across the street. There is a small supply of frozen meats and eggs as well. We always stop there on the way to our mountain house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...