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selectively conformist

Three Fails: Old Forge Pizza, NYS Ice Cream, Wine

We just returned from a trip to the Finger Lakes with some friends. (See the complete photo set here.) Some highlights:

Thursday: The Pizza Crapital of the World

We set out in the evening, anticipating a memorable dinner. Sara had planned a fabulous itinerary, and its first attraction was dinner in Old Forge, PA, “Pizza Capital of the World.” What? You didn’t know that Old Forge was the Pizza Capital of the World?! Have you been living under a rock? Well, we must be living under one, too, since we’d never even heard of Old Forge until a month ago.

We admit, we were intrigued by this audacious claim. “What enormous cajones this Podunk little town must have,” we thought, “to claim superiority over the likes of Brooklyn, Chicago… and even Rome and Naples.” At first we thought it was a joke. But there it was, proclaimed in black and white, on several well-known internet site (TripAdvisor, Fodor’s, et al.). And it wasn’t even the casual tourists who said it was the best pizza–it was pizza enthusiasts. The kind who make their own pizzas at home. Daily. And take pictures to post online for their friends to see. These were the people who said Old Forge pizza was the best, and we trusted them.

Here’s an excerpt from one posting about Old Forge pizza:

I love Old Forge style pizza. It was always a treat to get away from the “normal” type of pizza and get a taste of NEPA pizza.

We were starving by the time we reached Old Forge. We raced to Revello’s (one of the top-rated pizza places in town) and got a table. The place didn’t look like much, but that actually impressed us–pizza joints are supposed to be kinda seedy, after all. Our skepticism almost began to fade.

We sat down and asked for menus. When they came, we saw that there were two kinds of pizza: red and white. You could order by the slice, or by the “tray.” A slice was $1.05 and a tray was $12.60. (Freakonomics indeed.) We ordered a tray of red (with half pepperoni for the carnivores and half onion for the herbivore(s)) and a single slice of white.

While we waited for the pizza, we had a little birthday celebration for Kartal. We gave him a nifty T-bone T-shirt, certifying him as a true lover of food that’s killed and grilled.

And finally, the pizza arrived. The moment of truth.

The “tray” was just that: an orange plastic cafeteria tray. The pizza sat directly on this tray; no foil, no paper. As I swallowed my first bite, my brain began working to identify the cheese I was tasting. (Old Forge pizza is apparently known for its special cheese–not mozzarella.) The cheese was nostalgically familiar, but I couldn’t place it at first. And then, it hit me. But was this possible? Could it really be? Was the best pizza in the world made with… American cheese? :-&

The sad answer, my friends, is yes. It was American cheese. No, wait. Not cheese; it’s “cheese.” Not the real kind; it was the fake crap (Kraft™ Singles) that I used to eat when I was a kid. The kind that’s not even 100% dairy, but is made with vegetable oil.

The “cheese” (and, consequently, the pizza) was disgusting. It stuck to our teeth like Elmer’s Glue. It wreaked havoc on our stomachs. We were starving; we ate it. Frozen pizza, cafeteria pizza or even airplane food would have been better.

I could go on and on about the Pizza Crapital of the World… but this post is getting too long already, and I’m only 3 hours into our weekend.

Disillusioned, disgruntled and a little nauseated, we headed for Ithaca, making a quick ice cream stop (ice cream stop #1) on the way out of town.

[Editor’s Note: In response to some of the comments this has generated (see below), I feel the need to point out my pizza judging credentials: (1) I’m a native New Yorker, (2) I went to school in Chicago, and (3) I’ve travelled (read: eaten) around Italy–including Rome and Naples, the origin of Italian pizza. If you’re going to leave a comment below, let us know your pizza background. :) ]

Friday: Ithaca is Gorges

After a yummy breakfast at the Ithaca Bakery, we visited Ithaca Falls, which is noteworthy for being both very impressive and easily accessible. We tried visiting Buttermilk Falls later in the day, but the water level was so low (due to recent droughts) that we ended up skipping it.

The upstate NY region is known for its ice cream (in fact, ice cream sundaes were invented right in Ithaca), so we paid a visit to the Cornell Dairy Bar (ice cream stop #2). It didn’t really meet our expectations, but still, ice cream is ice cream.

We left Ithaca and headed to Watkins Glen State Park, with its magnificent gorge and interesting water features. After a pleasant walk through the very scenic Watkins Glen, we headed to the weekend’s destination: the town of Penn Yan, on the edge of Keuka Lake.

We stayed at the Trimmer House B&B, where we were greeted by Gary, who owns the B&B and is a professor of Hospitality Management at the local college.

  • Location: great
  • Hot tub: awesome!
  • Breakfast: adequate
  • Hot tub: awesome!
  • Hospitality: excellent
  • Hot tub: awesome!

Over all, a very good stay; definitely recommended. (Though next time we travel to that area, we decided we’d consider renting a lakefront house with direct water access.)

We had dinner at the Switzerland Inn–mostly because their menu boasted the “best ribs east of Kansas City.” The view was good; the ribs, not so much. (Though the fish fry wasn’t bad.) Penn Yan: not the BBQ Rib Capital of the World.

Back to the B&B for a quick, relaxing dip in the hot tub, and then off to bed.

Saturday: “Wine Drinkers Make Grape Lovers”

After a pancake breakfast (made with local buckwheat), we spent the morning on Lake Seneca, in a canoe and a kayak. The lake wasn’t quite as peaceful as we’d have liked, but it was still fun to be out on the water.

Spent the afternoon hitting some local wineries, some of us getting tipsier than others. The wineries we visited were Heron Hill (where a charming girl served us swill) and Dr. Frank’s (where we actually liked a couple of the wines we tasted).

Took a quick dip in Lake Keuka to sober up, and then headed back to the B&B. On the way back, we passed a go-kart track and couldn’t resist. Perhaps it was the wine in her system, but Nicole shocked us all by flooring it like there was no tomorrow. As designated picture-taker, the only photo I could manage to get of her was a blurry streak.

We decided to hit the hot tub before dinner, and we cracked open our classy bottle of “Red Cat Hot Tub Wine”

After a heavy dinner at a local Amish restaurant, we were ready for an early bedtime.

Sunday: Sundaes at the Source

Another breakfast (buckwheat waffles), and we headed out.

We stopped to pick blueberries at the loveliest blueberry patch we’d ever seen, which was behind the scariest house we’d ever seen.

Another pit stop for another disappointing ice cream cone (ice cream stop #3), followed by lunch back in Ithaca. We intended to cause some controversy by showing up at the all-vegetarian Moosewood Restaurant wearing Kartal’s T-bone shirt, but they were closed. We settled for a mediocre meal at a veg-friendly restaurant (Aladdin’s), followed by yet another disappointing ice cream experience: sundaes at Purity Ice Cream (ice cream stop #4).

We finally made it home, but not before we made a bathroom stop at McDonald’s and snacked on some McFlurry ice cream (ice cream stop #5).

Thus ended a weekend of the worst “Best-ofs” we’ve ever experienced.

99 Responses to “Three Fails: Old Forge Pizza, NYS Ice Cream, Wine” [Leave yours »]

  1. I. said:

    Great trip!

    I enjoyed reading about it.

    You definitely had too much ice cream! No dessert for the next week!

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  2. Ron [author of post] said:

    :) i’m glad you enjoyed it–your blog is my inspriation, you know.

    and i’d rather… give up email (:-o)… than give up dessert. in the words of new hampshire’s original state motto: “Live Sweet or Die!”

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  3. I knew something was wrong the minute you both emailed me asking about where to get Ice Cream in Ithaca. Maybe Ice Cream Sundaes were invented in Ithaca, but as I recall, in my four years of university up there at Cornell, we never once went out for Ice Cream. The reason? The academic year – from August through May – is alternately chilly, rainy, wet, cold, occassionally mild… but NEVER ice cream weather. My theory is that the inventors of the Sundaes wised up and moved south at some point after living through one of the Ithaca winters…

    Glad you made it to the Gorges, though – they are fantastic. Shame about Buttermilk Falls and Moosewood – guess you now have a good reason to visit again!

    Sounds like the hottub more than made up for all the “worst-ofs”, anyhow – well, maybe not the Old Forge pizza ;)

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  4. Ron [author of post] said:

    sadly, we could have used this information earlier. :-|

    i dig your sundae theory; allow me to add that i believe that the inventors of the sundae were actually driven out by hostile, disappointed customers.

    hey, why don’t you guys join us next time we go up to ithaca? :)

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  5. Very entertaining read. If you end up in the area again, try The Cayuga Lake Creamery http://www.cayugalakecreamery.com Amazing icecream. Though go easy on the sundae toppings, they only pollute the icecream.

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  6. LBR (Ric) said:

    What? How can you…..Old Forge Pizza is the finest anywhere. You are obviously a culinary special education dropout.
    The cheese is SUPPOSED to stick to your teeth, numbskull.

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  7. Ron [author of post] said:

    hi ric,

    speaking of teeth… you can bite me. :D

    p.s., you spelled “culinary” right! =d> (see, practice really -does- make perfect.)

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  8. Sara said:

    I’d drop out of the special education level of culinary class too, sounds like a scary class to be in! :) ah, just another reminder that in life, even if things are as they are supposed to be, it doesn’t always make them enjoyable. to each his own, and to ric, we give you all the old forge pizza you can handle. good luck…..

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  9. Mosca said:

    LOL, I can see someone not caring for Revello’s pizza, sure. Revello’s is a study in simplicity and has to be approached that way. IMO it’s more accurate to call Old Forge one of the pizza hotspots of the world, and then stress that the style is regional and might not fit preconceived notions. Defining elements of Old Forge style are the use of a shell rather than a fresh baked crust, a sweet and oniony sauce rather than the typical savory garlic and oregano sauce, and the option of white pizza, either single or double crust, with olive oil, garlic, oregano and rosemary brushed on top. And there is also pagach, a potato and cheese double crust pizza. There are places in Old Forge that make Old Forge style pizza in a fashion closer to traditional American pizza, but they are still pretty distinctly different.

    Thanks for putting your opinion out there, I enjoyed reading it. I would have rather you liked the pizza from Old Forge, but it’s better to search for something worthwhile and sometimes be disappointed than to settle for Pizza Hut and Olive Garden for the rest of your life.

    Regards,

    Tom

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  10. Mosca said:

    The cheese at Revello’s is Monterey jack, by the way.

    Tom

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  11. Ron [author of post] said:

    thanks, tom. informative/thoughtful/respectful comments are always appreciated.

    it’s not just that we didn’t like the pizza; it’s that old forge billed itself “Pizza Capital of the World.” as you can imagine, our expectations–after reading that–were not met.

    at least we can agree about pizza hut / olive garden. :)

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  12. John said:

    I believe Old Forge is the Pizza Capital of the World! because a town of only 8000 people has approximately 20 restaurants where Old Forge style pizza is the speciality of the house. I doubt if “Brooklyn, Chicago… and even Rome and Naples” have that may pizza restaurants for every 400 people that live in those cities. It doesn’t say Old Forge has the Best Pizza in the World. I can understand that some people may not like Old Forge pizza, I’ve actually met three, but your statement “Frozen pizza, cafeteria pizza or even airplane food would have been better” is blatantly false! Expatriots of Old Forge, like myself do make are own pizza, because you can’t get Old Forge style pizza outside of NEPA unless you make it yourself, and still tastes pretty good with some American cheese mixed in.

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  13. sabrina said:

    You are insane! Old Forge pizza is the BEST! People come from all over to get it. The restaurants down there even Fed Ex pizza all over the country! Get your facts straight…it most certainly is real cheese and is not Kraft singles! You must be one of those people that think Domino’s is good pizza!

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  14. Ron [author of post] said:

    ew! :-&

    i used to think that pizza hut had the worst pizza. then i had domino’s, and thought they had the worst pizza. then, i had the misfortune of trying old forge pizza, and now i know that they have the worst pizza.

    but hey, some people like mcdonald’s too. so in all fairness, if you don’t mind the taste of low-quality ingredients, i guess you might like old forge pizza.

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  15. Mosca said:

    Geez, folks, get a grip. ‘Cause someone doesn’t like it doesn’t make it bad. The surest sign that something sucks is when almost everyone loves it… think, Cracker Barrel. If you take chances, if you’re different, you’ll inspire strong reactions both good and bad. We can’t all be Rachel Ray.

    Tom

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  16. kayleen said:

    iv lived in old forge my whole life..iv been to new york and i still believe that old forge pizza is the best pizza i ever had. so you didnt like revellos ? there are many other places that serve pizza here. you should try them before critizing old forge style pizza. and for you to say they use kraft singles? haha one of my bestfriends work there and i had to send him this page, he laughed..literally for like an hr. oh and the cafateria tray thing .. that was funny too.. its a TRAY get over it.

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  17. Ron [author of post] said:

    there are many other places that serve pizza here. you should try them before critizing [sic] old forge style pizza.

    kayleen, the only way that i, my wife, or my friends who were with us in old forge will ever try your pizza again is if we’re (a) on the brink of starvation, (b) lobotomized and then (c) struck repeatedly over the head with a lead pipe, causing profound amnesia.

    i’ve concluded that “old forge pizza” is pizza that only an old forge resident could love. and you and your fellow old forgers are welcome to love it all you want. more power to you.

    p.s., i’m happy to hear that you’ve been all the way to new york.

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  18. kayleen said:

    ehh its ok, and you can get hit in the head as many times as you want, but dont critisize things when you’ve only been here once.

    .. im happy you made it all the way here too;

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  19. ck said:

    Just got back from Thanksgiving in NE PA and our trip would not be compete without a trip to Riviello’s. In fact, that is the first place we stop when we get back to the area. How anyone can say they don’t like Old Forge pizza is incredible. With it’s crunchy crust and gooey cheese, it can’t be beat! We even brought a par-baked one back with us to have later in the week. (and by the way, I can’t believe someone would think that it is Krafts singles, Not) Two other great places for pizza are Arcaro’s (across from Riviello’s) and Alfredo’s located in the South Side Shopping Center, give them a try.

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  20. Ron [author of post] said:

    hmm. it’s “Revello’s,” not “Riviello’s.” (i’m surprised you didn’t know that, since you’re such a fan of their pizza.)

    and it’s not important whether the cheese is actually Kraft™ Singles. the point is that it feels and tastes like Kraft™ Singles.

    in any case, like i’ve said before, i gather that only someone from old forge could actually like old forge pizza. it made all four of us (none of whom are from old forge) feel like puking.

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  21. Mr. Food said:

    [Edited to conform to the comment policy.]

    I don’t normally feel the need to respond to the rantings of bloggers; however, your diatribe against OFP and, specifically, your challenge that “only someone from [OF] could actually like [OFP],” warrants a reply. First, my credentials: NYC – Ray’s (Prince Street, 11th and 6th and the one on 8th Ave in mid-town, with several of the many others thrown in); Chi – Geno’s and Uno; DC – 2Amy’s; Twin Cities – Punch; Pittsburgh – Fiori’s, Vinnie’s, Mineo’s, Aiello’s; and, a little gem of a place called Windber, PA – Mimo’s and D’Arc’s. Too many others to mention. Never been to Italy, but I am sure that I’d love the pizza there, too. I am not from Old Forge or from anywhere in Northeast PA (life-long East-Coaster, now in the Upper Mid-west – I have never lived within a 4-hours’ drive of OF). I fortunately married into a NEPA family and have happily had the pleasure of dining in a number of NEPA’s pizza parlors, including many that serve OFP.

    [snip]

    Is OFP the best in the U.S.? Not by my estimation (My favs – woodfired – 2Amy’s, traditional – Fiore’s, Chi-style – Geno’s – I am sure that everyone has their own favorites). But it is unique and certainly worth trying – as long as you are open minded and not thinking along the lines of a traditional/Chicago/wood-fired style pizza. (BTW – I prefer the corner cuts from the tray, red sauce, no onions – and does anyone else actually order pep. on their Old Forge pizza?). If you have pre-conceived notions and are generally arrogant [Ed. Note: or if you’ve ever had good pizza…], you likely won’t enjoy yourself.

    [snip]

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  22. db said:

    I’m from NEPA and remember eating old forge pizza in high school with my friends. I remember it was good pizza. I just moved back to Scranton after 10 years in bigger cities. I like that white pizza is unique to the area because I remember my father bringing some home when we had pizza dinners and it has a distinct taste and smell, similar to a greek or lebanese cheese pie but with different seasoning. With all due respect to Old Forge, I don’t get the hype. It’s good pizza, but the loyalty that some people have to it is just fanatical. I think it was just years of hype that made them call it the world’s best, coupled with the fact that, again, with all due respect, a worldly traveller in NEPA is someone who has been to Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore and Times Square.

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  23. Mark said:

    I went to Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport Pa and my roommate was from Old Forge. He bragged the whole year how Old Forge was the pizza capital of the world, so I expected something spectacular when he brought two “trays” back to the dorm with him. I have never been so disappointed by pizza in my life. I am from Philadelphia and am used to traditional thin crust with great toppings and personally I found Old Forge to be chewy and tasteless except for the gummy Kraft singles it used which that had a disgusting artificial taste. Even in my state of hunger induced hallucinations I knew this pizza sucked. THE END

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  24. NEPA'er said:

    am from Philadelphia and am used to traditional thin crust with great toppings

    Are you seriously trying to bring Philadelphia into the pizza equation??? Seriously??? I’ve lived in the greater Philly area for the past 11 years, and I can tell you without a doubt there is nothing pizza-wise to brag about. And yes, I’ve had it all from California to Chicago, to the cardboard-and-ketchup nastiness that is New York style pizza, throughout Italy, France (actually had the 3rd best pizza of my life in Paris), and even Tokyo (unagi, actually quite tasty), and here’s what I can honestly say:

    1.) Old Forge style is the best. Granted, having grown up in NEPA, it’s my first love, so to speak. Try Maroni’s in West Scranton or Savo’s in Pittston.

    2.) Philly has the all-time worst pizza in the world. Cheesesteaks are another story, however (Pat’s & Rick’s especially – though not Geno’s. Never Geno’s).

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  25. Mark said:

    You grew up pizza in NEPA, so you’re used to it I guess. Philadelphia has great pizzerias, have you ever heard of Tacconelli’s or Gianfranco Pizza Rustica? They make awesome pizza. Most pizza in the Philadelphia area is rather New York-ish in style so I assume that is why you hate it. As far as cheese steaks go, Steve’s Prince of Steaks is my personal favorite. I doubt you will like them since the meat is not chopped. Pat’s is my number 3 spot.

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  26. George Vanish said:

    Old Forge pizza, Revello’s especially, is inconsistent. Sometimes it is great – juicy cheesy… sometimes it tastes like it was made 3 days ago and reheated. We usually order with extra sauce–

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  27. Stacey said:

    While at work, a few months ago, I met a a native N.Y. city person that posed a question to me, ” what is all the hype w/Old Forge pizza?” I, myself being from this area thinks it’s ok, my homemade pizza tastes better to me, as I make it from scratch, but before I could respond she said what she thought of it. Her conclusion was “it’s like eatting a slice of stale bread w/tomato paste & burnt cheese on it.” To each his own, no I would not travel out of my way for it, now Garlic Jim’s or Armetta’s or Jovanni’s that used to be in Clarks Summit… Jovanni’s was the best, Joe’s parents were straight from Italy so he knew what he was doing….Wish I could find that pizza by Joe again here…

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  28. Kathy Hayes said:

    Sounds like you had a REAL good time. Makes me want to hop in my car. When the spring temperature goes up, and the cabin fever goes down, I think I will take a road trip! You have inspired me.

    Regards,
    Kathy

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  29. tenzo0 said:

    I just googled “Old Forge Pizza” and came up with this page because I just had some last weekend and I can’t believe people actually A) pay for this shit and B) think it’s something special. People, it is school cafeteria pizza! It’s the kind of pizza they thaw in the microwave and sell you for $1.00 at little league games out of the little hut off the 3rd base line. It’s the kind of pizza that, when I see it for sale, just decide to get a bag of chips and a coke instead. Bland, gummy, sits in your stomach like a lead weight…normally I’ll eat bad pizza because it’s still pizza, but I had to call it in after two pieces of this.

    We were visiting a friend in the area and very graciously thanked her for the pizza but as soon as she left the room we had to confide in one another that it was the single worst pizza we’d ever eaten.

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  30. Rob said:

    I don’t know how you can draw a definitive conclusion on ALL old forge pizza from a single trip to a single restaurant on a single occasion. Maybe Revello’s just had a bad night? I’ve had bad meals sometimes at even the best restaurants. __it happens. I’ve never tried Revello’s pizza, but I have eaten other OF pizza (Brutico and Arcaro’s) and it is usually fantastic. The cheese is admittedly nothing to write home about, but when properly made, the crust has a great crunch on the outside and is chewy on the inside. The sauce isn’t too bitter or sweet, and has a delicious onion and garlic taste with good consistency. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say OF pizza is the best in the universe, but on a good night it’s definitely one of the best. Don’t get me wrong. I love John’s pizza in NYC and Gino’s East in Chicago, but they’re totally different; so it’s really like comparing apples to oranges.

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  31. Nick said:

    Who the hell do you think you are? You are a self-righteous, black-balling, mental midget. Before I go any further this is in ressponce to your scathing critique of old forge pizza. OK, D-bag, the lunch tray is an integral part of the experience, and ambiance. The cheese is American, and glorious, and anyone who asks for a menu at Revello’s is beyond help. In asking for pepperoni you are lucky you got a pizza at all; I take comfort in my confidence that your pie was drenched in all sorts of human secretions. Look Rothman, I am sorry this pizza was too much for your dainty little stomach. The truth is that they took one look at you and stubbed out a few cigarettes in your pizza, (Yes, they do smoke in the kitchen). This blog is apocryphal. I say again you are a D-Bag. Good Day.

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  32. OtherMichael said:

    “This blog is apocryphal.”

    “of doubtful authenticity” ?? I don’t think the poster’s identity is in question, thus…. perhaps he meant apocalyptic? or apostrophe? perhaps anastrophe….

    – – – –

    Old Forge pizza is an acquired taste — as the poster above indicated, true aficionados have the menu memorized, or have been prepped in advance to know what to order. Which is always the hallmark of a restaurant frequented by fanatics.

    I’ve lived in the Scranton area for nearly 13 years (raised in South Dakota, with stops in Central Europe — so my pizza definitions are wide), and I like OF-style pies. Not prefer, no. But it is an … interesting … change of pace.

    I like the idea that Old Forge is the “per capita” Pizza Capital of the World. Only that can make sense of it!

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  33. Mosca said:

    God I love that I decided to subscribe to this. I LOVE getting the email that someone else has responded to the original blog entry, and I check in and see that AGAIN someone has taken offense to another’s sense of taste!

    Thanks for all the enjoyment! I personally think OF pizza is great. Thank goodness Ron’s words won’t change my taste, just like my words won’t change his.

    The ocean will have us all.

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  34. PG Newhart said:

    Wow, I just found this by accident. I’m born and raised in NEPA (home of the Pizza Crapital of the world). I never found the allure of OF pizza either, but it’s sacreligious to chastise it round here. Good pizza is Victory Pig pizza (you thought Revello’s was whacked out, you need to check this place out for a blast to the past) or Pizza Perfect. It’s a fried Sicilian style that’s pretty good.

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  35. Ric said:

    Yes PG, Victory Pig is another unique pizza from NEPA!
    Living in Colorado, I miss the unique foods of NEPA. Luckily a family from NEPA recently opened a franchise of “Old Forge Pizza Express” in Edwards, Colorado-only 130 miles away from my home, as opposed to 1876 miles!
    There has been much rejoicing…….

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  36. Xan said:

    I just had a hankering for some OF pizza and came across this thread. Very funny. I don’t get back to NEPA very much anymore but I grew up there and maybe that’s why I love the OF pizza so much. Although my memory – please correct me if I’m wrong – is that you go to one of the pizza places with a group of friends and order steamers, pitchers of beer, and trays of pizza. The steamers/pizza combo is another unusual feature of the OF pizza experience.
    I can understand someone not liking it – frankly, from the photos you didn’t get very good pizza; I’ve never been to that particular restaurant so I can’t vouch for it. At some point someone told me that the OF pizza style grew from Italian bakeries, they would use some of their bread dough to make a meal by adding sauce and cheese and toppings.
    My question is this: has anyone ever seen a recipe for OF pizza? The airy but crisp crust, the sweet sauce and mild melting cheese?

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  37. Max said:

    Ok, you are an idiot…. You judge all of old forge by one restaurant?!?! Revello’s is definately not the best place in Old Forge but it’s not bad. Even if it was the best place, you can’t judge a whole area by one restaurant. If you are going to judge a place like old Forge you have to eat at a lot of restaurants because there is one on pretty much every corner.

    You were worng about the cheese and wrong about all of Old Forge. You and your friends are obviously morons and are trying to bring down Old Forge for some reason. I hope you never go back. Old Forge doesn’t need buisness from culinary special education dropouts like you and your friends.

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  38. See, true aficionados will eat at EVERY restaurant in Old Forge (where they also have the menus memorized).

    Even if it was the best place, you can’t judge a whole area by one restaurant.

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  39. Ron [author of post] said:

    Max, I’ll quickly answer your points (and then I’ll flag your IP for violating the comment policy):

    You judge all of old forge…

    If you had read my blog posting carefully (or maybe if I had used smaller words), you would have known that I haven’t judged Old Forge. For all I know, Old Forge might be a fine town, full of wonderfully upstanding citizens. It’s Old Forge Pizza that sucks.

    Revello’s is definately not…

    You and your friends are obviously morons…

    I see. Then how come we can spell the word “definitely,” and you can’t? ;)

    …by one restaurant?

    Agreed, we are judging OFP from one data point. (And you judged me by reading just one blog post, right?)

    But note that Revello’s is rated as a top Old Forge pizzeria (it was in the top two or three when we checked) so it’s reasonable to expect Revello’s to be representative of Old Forge pizza–and the best of it–in general.

    Also, there was nothing about the experience that led us to believe that they were just having an “off” night, or that the pizza we got was in any way a bad sample. In other words, it seems that Revello’s execution wasn’t the problem; the problem was that the concept of Old Forge pizza is flawed (mostly because the cheese is disgusting).

    39
  40. Shannon said:

    This is great! My husband and I just had another huge argument about Old Forge style pizza. He is originally from the Scranton area and like you mentioned and I also feel, had to grow up there to really love it. I am originally from Portland, Maine, I’ve eaten pizza at all the chains, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa John’s, Papa Gino’s, and plenty of local places depending on where I’ve lived, Portland, ME; Troy, NY; and now Pittsfield, MA. I have also traveled to plenty of places to eat pizza, Rome and Naples (Italy) included. I agree with you that Old Forge style pizza is gross. It shouldn’t even be called pizza. I wouldn’t say that I am a pizza fanatic, so I can’t really say what kind of pizza is my absolute favorite, but I do like Bill’s Pizza in Portland or Old Orchard Beach, ME. It’s nothing fancy, and I’m sure plenty of people hate it (or think it’s crap like my husband does) but I like the texture, the flavor of the sauce, and it’s great after hitting the bars in the Old Port since they are open for an hour after last call. It doesn’t even matter to me that they leave the pizza out on their prep table and throw a piece back in the oven to warm it up for you when you order a slice.

    So back to my argument with my husband: We’re going to the Scranton area next weekend to visit his family and every Friday they go to his grandparent’s house to have pizza (for as long as he can remember). Since we’ve been together for 5 ½ years I’ve taken part in many Friday pizza dinners and since they like to change up where they get their pizza I’ve tasted a lot of Old Forge style pizza. Sometimes they even get pizza from two places (there could be as many as 6-8 people eating so it’s not uncommon to have 4-5 “trays”). So although Ron may have only been to that one place, I think I can really say that Old Forge style pizza is not good. I’m really dreading going next weekend because I don’t want to eat that crap, but I also don’t want to make his grandparents go out of their way to make me something else, or get me Pizza Hut which is a little on the greasy side, but otherwise edible. I wish that I could just not visit on Fridays anymore, but that doesn’t seem to be an option since we normally visit on weekends. Does anyone know of a pizza place in the Scranton area that doesn’t serve Old Forge style? Please help! Any for anyone who absolutely loves Old Forge style pizza and wants to berate me for my comments, save it. I hear enough of it from my husband.

    Thanks, Ron, you rock! (Sorry my comment is so long.)

    40
  41. Mosca said:

    Shannon,

    You’d have better luck posting your question at Roadfood or Chowhound forums and message boards. They are dedicated to answering questions like that.

    And, Vince the Pizza Prince might work for you. Or The Grotto.

    Tom

    41
  42. Stacey said:

    Shannon, ther’s lots of real pizza places that don’t serve the stuff they call pizza, Old Forge style, aka bread w/ketchup & cheese. Garlic Jims & Armetta’s are Ney York style & in Clarks Summit. Garlic Jim’s has a website, Garlicjims.com. They are take out & delivery only. Armetta’s is eat in or delivery. They have a liquor license. There’s a really good one next to Dick’s sporting goods by the Viewmont Mall. I can’t think of the name of it. They are BYOB but in the process of getting a liquor license, yeah! There’s also a place, can’t think of the name, in South Side shopping, behind McDonalds in S. Scranton. I haven’t been there in a few years, but last I knew it was N Y style & they had a liquor license. Hope this helps you! You can also go to an online yellow pages search & see what pizza places come up.

    42
  43. r said:

    Now, I disagree with your judgement of Old Forge style pizza, but each is entitled to his opinion. If it wasn’t good, the 20 or so restaurants would not stay in business and people wouldn’t make sure to come to Old Forge when they come back home to Northeastern PA. I do think its funny that you went to Revello’s, because that seems to be the only place people from outside of Old Forge/Scranton go to, though it is a similar style in all of the resturants. Some will have more onions, some more cheese, but it is the same style. We have brought the pizza to people we know all over the place (including people from Chicago and New York) and they love it. Relatives from out of town will get trays to bring back home with them.

    Now, if your pizza judging expertise was so good you would be able to tell that it wasn’t Kraft singles and that it was Jack cheese as another person mentioned. Also, having NY and Chicago style pizza and traveling around Italy doesn’t give you credibility to judge pizza. I’ve had pizza in NY and Chicago, does that mean I’m an expert too?

    The place in South Side is Alfredo’s Cafe (see the last episodes of The Office). They have both NY and Old Forge style pizza and the pizza that everyone in the area likes is the Old Forge style.

    I work in Clarks Summit and like Armetta’s pizza, but Garlic Jim’s is nothing more than Domino’s with a higher price tag. It actually tastes exactly like Domino’s, no kidding.

    43
  44. Shannon said:

    I think the one by Dick’s Sporting Goods is called Basilico’s. I read about that restaurant on another site that thinks Old Forge style pizza is crap. I have my order in with the grandparents for Basilico’s on Friday, I’ll get back to you and let you know how it goes. Thanks for the info!

    44
  45. Shannon said:

    Basillico’s pizza was really good. I told my husband’s family about this blog and his mom was offended that anyone would think Old Forge style pizza was anything but the best pizza ever. I found it amusing that his grandmother thought Basillico’s pizza tasted like rubber, when the cheese on their pizza from Larussa’s in Olyphant looked like plastic. It really is that if you grow up eating crap, then you think it’s great and everything else is crap. You can put frosting on dog poop but it doesn’t make it cake.

    45
  46. roddy said:

    brooklyn born and raise (italian neighborhood); unfortunately moved to scranton a few years ago. my irish mom used to make mini-pizzas with english muffin, a jar of ragu and a thick slice of mozzarella, and THAT was better than old forge cheesy-bread. (it’s a sin to call that culinary horror pizza)

    i have a theory. once upon a time there were a few italians born without a “cooking gene”. as such, they were lousy cooks and are capable of burning water. in order to avoid shaming the family, they fled the greater new york area and settle up in nepa, specifically old forge. that way, they’re close enough to ny/nj to go visiting the relatives on the holidays, but far enough away that their horrible cooking would not bring the honor of their families. (this may also explain why people up here call stuffed cabbage “pigs in a blanket”)

    46
  47. Shannon said:

    So, Roddy, where do you get pizza in Scranton? I think your theory is pretty good. I would imagine that anything regional is started exactly that way. Sometimes for the better, in this case for the worse.

    I’ve had English muffin pizzas in my younger years, and yes, those are better than OFP.

    I also think calling it “pigs in a blanket” is dumb. But most that I’ve tried in the area (homemade) are pretty tasty. I prefer it when they are called holupki (Slovak) or golumpki (Polish). Although according to Wiki, it’s common for Slovak immigrants to America to call them “pigs in a blanket”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golumpki

    47
  48. roddy said:

    buono’s pizza is pretty good, and i hear antonio’s good too, but given my current late night schedule, i’ve resorted to eating di giorno’s frozen microwave pizza. barely passable, but still better than old forge cheesy bread. (hell, a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich is better than old forge cheesy bread!)

    as for stuffed cabbage, i like it. it’s just that if one asks for pigs in a blanket, one does expect pigs in a blanket, not stuffed cabbage. it’s like asking for tuna on rye, and receiving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

    48
  49. Shannon said:

    So what do you consider a “pig in a blanket”? A cocktail wiener rolled up in a croissant a la Pillsbury doughboy? Just curious. Hot dogs or wieners aren’t necessarily made from pork these days, so even that might not really be a “pig in a blanket”.

    49
  50. roddy said:

    yes, pigs in a blanket are hot dogs, wieners, etc. rolled in golden flakey dough! if one goes anywhere in the world and asks for pigs in a blanket, one will get a hot dog rolled in flakey crust (though there are parts of new guinea where on will get long pork in bananas leaves, and, of course, in nepa, where one gets stuffed cabbage.) sausages and bratwursts might be pushing the envelope a bit, but still in the general category.

    the type of meat is irrelevant, though chicken/turkey franks are on the low end of the taste scale. non-fat franks are to be avoided at all costs, and veggie franks are, well, what’s the point!?!?

    50
  51. Shannon said:

    They make veggie franks!?!? Those vegetarian and vegan substitutes confound me, if you want a burger or a hot dog, don’t mess around, go for the real thing. Just like if you want pizza, don’t go to NEPA.

    51
  52. r said:

    Roddy,

    We live in a country where people are free to do whatever they want with their food. Just because I don’t put ketchup on my steak doesn’t mean someone else should feel bad for liking it or that it is wrong to do. I put jelly on jalapeno poppers and some people think that’s weird, but it doesn’t mean its a terrible thing to do.

    But hey, if coming on an Internet message board and bashing something that other people like makes you feel happy, go for it. But instead, perhaps you can offer your thoughts on your favorite pizza or maybe other pizzas you’ve had that you find interesting or unique.

    Remember, just because something (or someone) is different from what you are used to, it doesn’t make them wrong.

    -Rick

    52
  53. r said:

    One more,

    I do agree with you about Buona’s. I work with one of the owners and it is very good. If you like Buffalo Chicken Pizza, give it a try there. (Unless putting buffalo chicken on your pizza is considered blasphemy, then I apologize and will report to confession immediately).

    53
  54. roddy said:

    i am a gourmand and have eaten many things, including but not limited to, prairie oysters, blood pudding, raw clams, head cheese, softshell crab, ostrich, snails, frogs legs, kangaroo, rabbit, alligator tail and squirrel (though not all together on the same plate.) i lived in ireland for a time, where one can get beets and corn added to pizza. i’m hardly a food snob.

    i know that people have differing taste, and that, quite often “mommy’s cooking is the bestest cooking ever”, but there’s a difference between people liking old forge cheesy bread, and people calling it the best pizza in the world.

    my aunt used to put ketchup on spaghetti. she liked it that way, and that was fine. but i’d hesitate to call it” the best spaghetti in the world”.

    54
  55. i love this post. i was just watching the travel channel and they did an hour on the best pizza in america. nothing about nepa style pizza.

    55
  56. r said:

    Roddy,

    I’m not sure of the point you are trying to convey. I don’t consider myself to have a very good opinion on these things because my travel is limited and I’m not the first one to try the weird foods (unless you consider OF pizza weird, which some of you do….), but I have eaten almost everything you named with the exception of prairie oysters and blood pudding. I do, however, know plenty of people who have been to faraway lands and who have eaten mystical and exotic foods like Tarantula in Vietnam for instance or blowfish in China. These same people also love Old Forge pizza. Friends from China, California, Mexico, and New York City to name a few all love our pizza. I once saw a guy bite into a fish right after he caught it, but that was on TV and I couldn’t get his opinion on Old Forge pizza. If you want to put stock in anything I say, we had a friend stay at our place over a holiday who was from Roma, Italy and she loved Old Forge pizza. I trust her opinion more than someone from Brooklyn… my apologies.

    Also, emanuel, if we’re going to bash something, lets call it by its proper name. ‘Old Forge style pizza’, not ‘NEPA style pizza’. Just like its not Northern Illinois deep dish pizza, its Chicago deep dish pizza. Unfortunately the analogy doesn’t work for New York pizza cause it would still be New York pizza. At least Roddy has the decency to call it Old Forge cheese bread.

    Also, if I sound hostile in anything I say, I don’t mean it that way so please don’t take offense. Sarcastic, maybe… I just think everyone in this forum needs a hug.

    -Rick

    56
  57. roddy said:

    the point of my food list is to show that i’m hardly afraid of tasting and enjoying unique, unusual and unfamiliar foods. so when confronted by pizza of a different ilk, i’m hardly one to shy away from a slice because it’s not familiar to me or because it doesn’t taste like “so and so’s” pizza. the reason i don’t like old forge cheesy bread isn’t because it’s an unfamiliar tasting pizza, it’s because it’s a HORRIBLE tasting pizza.

    it’s not a question of people liking or not liking old forge cheesy bread, it’s the claim that it’s “the best cheesy bread in the world” that’s being challenged.

    lots of people eat at mcdonalds. lots of people like mcdonalds hamburgers – doesn’t make them the best hamburgers in the world now, does it.

    rick, your friend from rome may have loved old forge cheesy bread, she might have liked the ‘unique’ variation on pizza, but did she proclaim it ‘the best cheesy bread in the world”? probably not. and although brooklyn is hardly rome, there are a lot of italian immigrants there who cook like they do “in the old country”, and given the various personal permutations of sauce, cheese and toppings, i can tell you that their pizza in no way resembles the bland tastelessness of old forge cheesy bread.

    as for hugging, no offense, but no thanks. i don’t know where you’ve been. ;)

    57
  58. Shannon said:

    Why can’t we all just get along? ;)

    I guess we’ll have to just agree that the majority of NEPA residents and a minority of people who have passed through NEPA have the opinion that OFP is the best pizza in the world. And that’s all it is: an opinion. My opinion is: I don’t like OFP. People in NYC might think their pizza is better than Chicago and the reverse is also likely. I think the point that Ron was originally trying to make was that Old Forge was proclaiming itself the “pizza capital of the world”. Someone else said that really it should be “pizza per capita” (see comments 12 and 32). Either way you slice it no one is wrong. Food varies so much from culture to culture and from region to region in just this country. It would be pretty boring if we all ate the same thing. The situation here is that Ron used his blog to say that he didn’t like OFP and while a lot of people agreed, several people disagreed and both sides got a little nasty. In the grand scheme of things does any of this matter? The NEPA folks don’t need to get so hot an bothered that everyone doesn’t like their pizza, as long as they like it and the know where they can get it, then that’s all that matters.

    I could use a hug, thanks Rick. :)

    58
  59. Ron [author of post] said:

    Shannon, thanks–your comment really sums things up perfectly.

    May we all share your insightful perspective. :)

    59
  60. r said:

    Agreed, and if I ever run into you sometime and I somehow realize that you are the Shannon from the Old Forge Horrible Pizza blog, I’ll give you that hug.

    And Roddy, if you’re having a Super Bowl Party, Buona’s is running some specials with pizza, wings, garlic knots and soda from $40 all the way up to the big old $150 package and they’re delivering to Scranton on Sunday…just an FYI.

    (And that’s the Greenridge Buona’s, not the downtown one.)

    60
  61. Shannon said:

    Rick, I was just going for a virtual hug, but it would be funny if we ever crossed paths. I’ll keep an eye out for you the next time I’m in Peckville.

    Ron, glad to help, I think this has been chewed over pretty well.

    61
  62. ellen said:

    I’m from nepa – and I love old forge style pizza. Even if you don’t like the Old Forge style of cheese (which I happen to enjoy)- the area has the best sicilian style pizza I’ve ever had. Revello’s is one of my favorite restaurants and I can’t get enough of their pizza. If this pizza is a little too much for you – try Victory Pig. It’s only open on certain days of the week, so call ahead! They even offer curbside service… its a true blast from the past. When I came to Philly for college- I was horrified at the disgusting “greek” style pizza that I found everywhere. (Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good pizza restaurants in the iladel, but if you’re ordering from the neighborhood pizza places just get a cheesesteak instead.) Everytime I visit home – I can’t wait to have the pizza, even the traditional New York style pizza is much better than around here. PS- for those of you who haven’t tried Old Forge Style, give it a shot. Apparently people love it or hate it. I personally love it and bring back frozen portions for my non-Nepa friends!

    62
  63. Linda said:

    You’re so right, Revello’s is horrible, i never tasted such crap. I could of gotten better pizza out of the cheapest grocery store’s freeezer section. I have no clue how anyone could like that garbage. Alot of pizza in NEPA is crap, i’ve had more than i care to with American cheese. I know these people here do not know what good pizza is. I”m from Jersey so i do know. Oh well, poor them.

    63
  64. Shannon said:

    So much for the truce.

    64
  65. Linda said:

    Not being mean folks, just don’t like Old Forge pizza.

    65
  66. Shannon said:

    It would be one thing if you said that: “just don’t like Old Forge pizza”. But reread your post (#63).

    I’ll be the last person to defend OFP as you may or may not know from my earlier posts. But calling pizza in NEPA crap, that “these people” do not know what good pizza is and “poor them”, well, if that’s not mean, then I don’t know what is. You should read my comment #58 again or for the first time. It’s all a difference of opinion.

    66
  67. Linda said:

    OK, i was a little mean, sorry if i offended anyone.

    67
  68. Ric said:

    Old Forge Pizza Express has opened in Edwards, Colorado.

    68
  69. Nathan said:

    Your comments about Old Forge pizza are harsh. I was born about 30 minutes outside of Old Forge, lived in NY for 10 years and have been to Rome three times. Old Forge pizza is different from others and it is tasty, no matter what you say. Revellos often delivers to the Penn State football team , Yankee Stadium as well as other high profile spots along the East Coast. Maybe it being served on fine china would have made you think otherwise. I currently live in Philadelphia and would kill for something different than the razor thin round pizza that EVERYONE sells for three times the price.

    69
  70. M-B said:

    I googled and ended up on this page while doing research for a car club rally I am planning that will culminate with lunch at one of my favorite OF cafes. My mother is from OF, and to the author, yes people from OF do actually leave the area. She met my father when she moved to New York; he was a life long resident of the Bronx. They have very different ideas of what pizza is and I grew up hearing the debate about OF and NY pizza. But I have seen my dad eat and really enjoy a slice or OF red with e glass of Dego Red and I have seen my mother bite into a big floppy triangular slice of NY pizza and enjoy it too.

    For Italians, I think food becomes part of your identity and understandably people can be defensive about their regional food. There is pride for this small town it their world renowned pizza. It was unfortunate that the author could not find a way to express their opinion without begin so condescending. It is also childish that they seem so put of the reaction they solicited.

    Love it or hate it, it is a pizza from a town that itself has survived so much and still keeps its identity full of proud Sicilians, victory gardens, and family owned pizza cafés, bravo Old Forge!

    70
  71. Shannon said:

    M-B, I had a hard time understanding this sentence: “It is also childish that they seem so put of the reaction they solicited.”

    It’s funny that you mention “triangular slice” in reference to NY pizza. I remember back in the day before I understood why the pizza I was eating in NEPA was not like anything I was use to being called pizza. My husband’s grandfather thought that since I was use to round pizzas that by cutting my slice into a triangle would magically make it taste like something resembling pizza to me. Sadly it did not. I wish I could remember when I had the epiphany that OFP ≠ normal pizza. Alas, my eyes have been forever opened. And I laugh to think how silly and confused I use to be.

    I was in NEPA again this past weekend for Easter, and of course Friday night pizza. I got Basillico’s again, and that was good aside from it being almost cold and that it must have been sideways in the car because the cheese was all smushed to one side. Everyone else had pizza from Larussa’s, and I don’t know what they did differently because I’ve never seen the OFP be so soupy on top. When a slice was removed from the company of the other slices, all the cheese on top of the remaining “tray” started to ooze all over the place. Maybe they just put too much cheese on top. It was scary to watch. The cheese that took over the world!

    Oh well, I have nothing new to say about OFP. I still don’t like it. I’m going to Portland, ME in 3 weeks and plan on having some Bill’s Pizza while I’m there. Too bad for my husband, he doesn’t like it. But I doubt we’ll find an OFP outpost there.

    71
  72. M-B said:

    “M-B, I had a hard time understanding this sentence: “It is also childish that they seem so put of the reaction they solicited.””

    Thanks Shannon… I meant “put off by”…. I type like I am missing fingers and besides typo-s I sometimes omit words all together.

    72
  73. AJ said:

    Hey, I grew up in NEPA, and ate this pizza all my life. Thanks for describing the cheese acuratley. While I don’t agree, I thought your article and review were entertaining. I’ve ate NY pizza on several occasions, and while I DID find it better than Old Forge Pizza, I wouldn’t call their pizza terrible. Since you’ve ate pizza from all around the globe I can’t blame you for not enjoying the “Old Forge Style”.

    73
  74. Shannon said:

    Ron, you need to write a blog about grammar and spelling.

    74
  75. Justine Jill said:

    You are wrong. Old Forge pizza uses something called Brick Cheese look it up on Wikipedia. While Revello’s is the best pizza in Old Forge, Pizza by Pappas is the best pizza in the Scranton area.

    75
  76. John said:

    Which pizzeria do you guys prefer in Scranton? Alfredo’s or Pizza by Alfredo?
    -John

    76
  77. P-Daddy said:

    I was so happy to find this site. I moved here about 10 years ago and kept hearing about how “Old Forge” pizza is the best in the world. The first time I tried it I had almost the exact same response as previously described. I had a nostalgic feeling when tasting it and then realized it tasted almost exactly like the mini pizza we made as kids (with bread or English muffins, sweat sauce and cheap American cheese. It also tastes a lot like cafeteria pizza (sweet, chewy, and often soggy).
    This is without a doubt the most overrated food I have ever eaten! Hello, anyone ever wonder why one can buy a tray for so cheap?! The ingredients! Inferior, cheap ingredients. There must be some form of hallucinogenic in the sauce for so many NEPA’ers to believe it’s great (even good) pizza. So incredibly overrated!!

    77
  78. celo said:

    Dude Ghigerelli The best! Old Forge pa right across from rivellos

    78
  79. tom said:

    Oh.. to be able to write so many words with such a limited brain. The same drugs which destroyed your brain cells have clearly blunted your taste buds. Old Froge pizza ranks tops in styles, tastes, and quality for Italians the world over. You, my fair skinned Anglo, have little abilty to judge. Your opinion is like so many hairs on a dog’s backside grounded in a history of tastless meals. Enjoy your Pizza hut!

    79
  80. Linda said:

    P-Daddy, that is what i keep saying, Old Forge pizza is the worst stuff, how anyone can think that is pizza i’ll never know. Has me stumped.

    80
  81. Dave Zinovenko said:

    My parents grew up in Old Forge and every year in the late 40’s or 50’s we would spend a week or two there during the summer. I have not tasted OF pizza for at least 55 years but I can still remember it …and the clambakes too. I’d like to try it again but I’m sure that it won’t be the same. Something about childhood and nostalgia. I understand the strip mines are all closed down and most areas filled in. I think they finally put out the underground fire in the coal dump alongside Lackawanna Ave. And I’m sure the family house on Hickory St has been renovated several times over. A lot changes in 50 years but the experience of eating OF pizza comfort food will remain. I’m in south central Connecticut right now and close to Pepe’s of New Haven, the undisputed champion of gourmet napo-style pizza. Call it heresy or what but I’m actually thinking of getting an OF pie and a Pepe’s pie and comparing them side by side. I’ll let you all know if I do.

    81
  82. Mosca said:

    I got my information about the cheese being Monterey Jack by asking the question directly to the waitress at Revello’s. But sure, brick cheese makes sense, too.

    You gotta love it… not the pizza, but the passion it evokes, y’know? As long as people love to eat distinctive food, there is hope for the world. I don’t care who likes or doesn’t like OFP, really; just stay out of Olive Garden and Pizza Hut and I’m happy.

    BTW, for OFP lovers; the quality of Arcaro & Genell’s pizza has declined precipitously over the last year or so. They seem to have decided that their signature twist is going to be stale, mealy, flavorless crust (I know, I left you haters a hanging curve ball there). The sit-down meals are still great, but the pizza is now a “must skip” for me.

    82
  83. Marilyn said:

    Happened upon this website-too cool-life time resident of NE PA-family travels all over and to be perfectly honest tend to order food or frequent restaurants that are unique and have survived the test of time.(Not necessarily pizza places… Example-the Penguin in Charlotte, N.C., local flavor is a must).Old forge has been the place to take your family and sit down during holiday breaks enjoying beer, pizza, and nostalgia. Great cuisine it’s not, but a slice of ethnicity that is hard to find outside of the area. Miss the local pizza places that were traditional round(Luna Rosa) with real cheese that would minutely break apart and trap a sweet oil that would allow the cheese to slide off gently atop it’s sweet perfectly Italian seasoned sauce. If anyone knows pizza that still exists in Pa let us know! Great unusual pizza at Pizza Perfect in Dallas Pa. Rectangle,bottom gently but crispy fried, excellent onion flavor with flavor filled sauce and non-Kraft like cheese. Paired with their crispy wings and their ice cold Yeungling Lager and you’re set. Just bring cash. They don’t take plastic. Mouth watering alert-peace-out.

    83
  84. Diane said:

    Some of the white pizza in that area of NEPA is fantastic. I am from NYC and I never tasted anything like it. Not all the pizza places make it the same, though. I agree with the author on the red. Only the White Pizza in NEPA rates on a global scale.

    84
  85. Julie said:

    I think you all have no idea what you are talking about and are complete morons! Old Forge pizza is the best around and I would like you to find a pizza better! First of all you aren’t a very good critic if you go in thinking that the pizza is going to be awful anyway. Seriously, idiots! If you know anything about NEPA is that we are very proud of our food and heritage and for people like you to come in and put it down is just pathetic…where do you live so I can come and make fun of your family and friends??????

    85
  86. Milly said:

    I don’t know about Old Forge beig the pizza capital but NEPA is basically the pizza region of the country based on the number of pizzerias there are per population #. NEPA has the most pizzerias in all of the USA. And actually, I was brought up in a pizzeria my whole life and have found that NY pizza is not quite the scale that I like to use to judge GOOD pizza. Yes, good pizza is most often made by italians. That’s not so much the case in NY where a majority of the pizzerias are run by hispanics, greeks, and arabs. (not that its bad, but lets just say if i want a good fajita, i go to a mexican) Most of the pizzerias in NEPA are old school and run by yes you guessed ITALIAN people. Sorry, i just hate that people think they know pizza just because they’re from NY. a little annoying. :)

    -but- i will give you this. anything other than mozzerella on a pizza is just wrong.

    86
  87. dave said:

    Hey, I was born and raised here in NEPA and let me tell you about the pizza here. It is loust anymore. The best pizza I have had in the last ten years was one I made myself in my kitchen. Talk about outstanding. So phooey on all the pizza made in NEPA.

    87
  88. John K said:

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy Revello’s but you probably picked the worst of all of the Old Forge style pizza places to evaluate. You should have gone to Arcaro & Genell’s or Ghigiarelli’s (or even Victory Pig about 5 miles south on US Rt 11. I grew up in NEPA and view myself as somewhat of a pizza expert. I’ve eaten it all over the US and all over the world. Europe in general undoubtedly has the best thin pizza’s I’ve ever eaten. But in general, the quality and variety of pizza in NEPA has spoiled me for pizza anywhere else and made me a bit of a snob.

    What is different about NEPA in general when it comes to pizza is that you’ll find styles of pizza there that you cannot find anywhere else. These are grandma & grandpa’s recipes brought over from the old country & made with love. Old Forge bills itself as the pizza capital of the world because not only do they have more pizza restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the US, but the Old Forge/ Scranton area has proportionally speaking the highest population of sicilians anywhere in the US. The variety of pizza available in the area is nothing short of phenomenal.

    You should do your homework beyond trying pizza from one place and dissing the region because of it. Revello’s just isn’t very good. I bake all types of pizza and have even managed to virtually perfect the area’s famous Victory Pig Style pizza. I bake with various levels of hydration, sauces, and blends of cheese, both neapolitan & sicilian styles and I can tell you, you’ve sold the area short by judging the area based up Revello’s.

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  89. Kitty said:

    Old Forge is so called the “Pizza Capital of the World” not because of the type of pizza it produces, but rather because of the plenitude that abounds (pizza places per capita).

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  90. roddy said:

    to refer to old forge cheesy bread as “pizza” is a horrid culinary crime against humanity.

    as for the “cheesy-bread per capita”, i think chicago or new york might better fit that description…

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  91. David said:

    OK, I lived in Scranton for 2 years after having lived in and around Chicago for 25. (2224 Boulevard Ave Scranton, PA to be exact)

    Old Forge Pizza is NOT pizza. It just isn’t. It’s what lunchrooms across America try to pass off as pizza. Those rectangle tasteless crappy things are just open-faced grilled cheese sandwiches with some tomato paste inside.

    If you want good pizza in Scranton, Get onto Boulevard Ave and find “A little Pizza Heaven.” Best pizza in the area. Get the rosemary & Onion white pizza!

    Chicago Deep-dish is my first love, but I like a good cracker-thin crust here and there.

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  92. bill said:

    It seems to me that the author of this post is someone who likes to pass judgement. I own one of those old forge pizzerias and I have made more money selling this stuff than you’ve ever dreamed of. I know your a little jealous and you’ll probably have some type of childish rebuttle about how it sucks or how I mispellledd a wurd. And yes I was born and raised in old forge and I know a good percentage of the population and most people have been all over the world and I personally have a house in naples italy (which I bought with the money I made from my restaurant) and I’ve tried most pizza in naples and mine is better. Yeah I am an enthusiast of this pizza and I have every restaurants menu memorized…they either have red or white pizza…not that hard. Now get on with your boring life of visiting small towns across the country just to criticize what put them on the map.

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  93. Ron [author of post] said:

    @bill: I’ll ignore your personal attacks. I’ll also ignore your poor grammar. (But shame on those Old Forge public schools!)

    The fact is, I don’t see how your wealth is relevant here. McDonald’s makes more money than any other burger joint in the world, and certainly more money than you. Does that mean they’re the best–or even decent? Nope.

    The only relevant part of your post was the sharing of your personal opinion. Yes, we get it: you’re from Old Forge, you’ve been to Italy, and you think Old Forge pizza is the best in the world.

    People from Old Forge tend to think Old Forge pizza is actually good. We folks from the rest of the world scratch our heads and wonder what’s in your water. As stated earlier in this thread: only a person from Old Forge could love Old Forge pizza. To anyone outside your little corner of Pennsylvania, OFP tastes like a cheap imitation of Elio’s frozen pizza–at least in my (admittedly limited) experience.

    You’re welcome to share your opinion here, as I’ve shared mine. You’re not welcome to make insults–especially not at me. Thanks for understanding that the next time you post.

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  94. Bob said:

    I had someone trick me into trying old forge pizza when I first moved to scranton and I had the same reaction. I just don’t get it, I guess. My favorite old forge pizza memory is when the convention for the show “the office” came to town and a bunch of places set up stands in the square. The reactions from the tourists were about the same, from “oh, they mentioned this pizza on the show!” to “wait a minute, why does this taste like saran wrap?” to “oh god get this out of my mouth where’s the garbage?” with the lines to the stands being about as long as the ones to toss it out. You also may have noticed from your reactions that insulting the stuff is liable to get you into a fist fight if you’re an out of towner.

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  95. Shannon said:

    I love that people are still commenting on this post. Well done, Ron!

    Recently, parents of a friend of mine drove cross country and had the misfortune of stopping in Scranton on their way through PA. They got duped into eating the nasty “pizza” of the area. I quote: “We got snagged into the “Award Winning” pizza. Who in their right mind puts American cheese on pizza. It WAS bogus.”

    Just another unsatisfied customer from “away”. Maybe NEPA should advertise that their “pizza” is only palatable to the locals. That way people passing through won’t waste their time or money on the garbage.

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  96. Shannon said:

    Too bad Bill didn’t say which “pizzeria” he owns, I could ask my local in-laws about it. Of course they just love that kind of “pizza”.

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  97. Rachel said:

    Hello in response to Shannon you may like La Trattoria. I’m from the area, and when I was pregnant with my son they would actually go off the menu and make me a pizza I requested. They use a wood burning hearth.

    No comment on Old Forge Pizza from me! :)

    522 Moosic St.
    Scranton, PA

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  98. Arealitalian said:

    Ok I found your blog because I googled “old forge pizza sucks”. Growing up in this area, I never understood why any of these people think that pizza is good. This pizza is sold so cheap because they, in fact, use cheap ingredients!! It’s gross! The people around here like this pizza because they are inbred and forced to eat it as children from parents who never knew better. I’m a real Italian and go there every year. There is no way this place is the pizza capital of the world. The sauce tastes canned and the cheese is american cheese. It’s greasy as hell too! It’s gross!

    If you want real pizza, like the real pizza from Naples, go to King’s in Mountain Top. I had their margherita brick oven pizza a few days ago and it was delicious!

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  99. Shelly said:

    It’s unfortunate you chose to skip Buttermilk Falls State Park. I was there this fall (along with Watkin’s Glen, Taughannock & Treman) and the gorge hike is breathtaking. Due to limited waterfall, it was barely flowing but the autumn colours and rock formations were amazing sights to see! Also, because of the limited flow, we were able to climb onto one of the ledges of a massive upper fall for a fantastic photo!

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