There is also a distinctive "Hazleton style" pizza, typified by Senapes (pronounced "snaps") and Longos. It is square, with a soft, chewy crust, lots of sauce, a small amount of very sharp cheese, and no other toppings; it is served cold. The edge pieces are desireable for the crispy crunchiness of the cheese at the edges; the center pieces are desireable because they are usually a little larger and have more sauce. You can get this pizza in boxes at the grocery store, or as individual slices wrapped in cellophane at the checkout counter of most convenience stores.
I work in Hazleton, and we have a friendly rivalry with another business in Scanton; whenever they do a favor for us, we have to send them a box of Senape's pizza, and when viceversa they send us a tray of Old Forge.
re: Tom Brenholts/Mosca
Yeah, Senape's is great pizza---or pitza! My dad works on the road and often brings it up for us.
Hazleton is about 30 miles south of where I live, but like all good food it's worth the drive. Any other recommendations?
P. S.--Do you know anything about a pizza place in Girardville?
As a former native of the area, I will chime in with these thoughts:
OlD Forge pizza is an acquired taste, but is very hearty and satisfying. Revello's in Old Forge and Arcaro & Gennels in Old Forge, as well as Arcaro's in Taylor, PA, set the standard.
The best pizza in the area rests with VINCE THE PIZZA PRINCE, in the 500 block of Pittston Ave., in SOuth Scranton. It has a cult following that stretches across the country, and it deserves it. BEnn eating it since childhood, and it has remained as consistently good, chjeesy, crisp and delicious as when I first tasted it. They have an amusing website vincetheprince.com.
NEPA's got LOTS of great pizza.
For Old Forge Style (square tray):
For Greasy "Polish Pizza" (square tray again, but it's good, really!)
For Round Sweet Sauce Pizza
re: Stan P.
Old Forge style pizza is almost the opposite of New York Style pizza. Crusts mostly resemble a frozen square pizza shell---and if there's anything to criticize about it, that's it! The emphasis is on sauce, very tomato based---often slightly sweet, to tangy to even spicy. Cheese varies and ranges from imitation (I swear that's what one of the biggest uses) to combinations of mozzarella, cheddar and just about anything else. The cheese is seldom burnt, and sticks to the roof of your mouth.
Old Forge pizza obviously is a pretty respected style, since a friend in Mendocino, CA told me he has seen it on the menu out there.
Some "out of towners" love it, others don't get it. Regardless, it must be tried at least once...and is the most distinctive dish in NEPA, though I suppose some of Polish specialties (haluski, pierogies) come close.