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Pepperoni Balls in Erie, PA?

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beckym Jun 12, 2002 04:58 PM

Can anyone tell me about the pepperoni balls in Erie, PA that I've heard folks raving about? Apparently, they are available in local bars and restaurants. I found a single entry on a search that got me to an announcement by the Erie Central (school) Band sale listing three differnt kinds: pepperoni balls, cheese & pepperoni balls, and hot cheese & pepperoni balls, all made by Stanganelli's Italian Foods in Erie. Any idea of how they are made? They sound like great beer eats! Thanks.

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  1. j
    JohnnyT Jun 12, 2002 10:06 PM

    While growing up in Erie I consumed my fair share of pepperoni balls. They consist of deep-fried dough balls, about the size of a golf ball, with a chunk of pepperoni in the center. Yes, they do go great with beer, and there's not much use in drinking lite beer if you're munching pepperoni balls. I used to chase them down with Koehler's lager, which is no longer made. However, they do have a microbrewery in Erie to supply you with Mad Anthony's or Railbender Ale, either of which would be a fine substitute.

    11 Replies
    1. re: JohnnyT
      b
      beckym Jun 13, 2002 10:48 AM

      Thanks JohnnyT - I'll have to experiment and see if I can come up with a recipe to make these tasty-sounding treats. Your description of Mad Anthony's and Railbender Ale have inspired me - I think a field trip to Erie some day soon is definitely in order!

      1. re: beckym
        d
        dave Jun 16, 2002 11:09 AM

        Oh the memories! As a kid growing up in Erie a Friday night treat was hot pepperoni balls and one of those big 16 ounce returnable glass bottles (ice cold) of Coke. Here in central Jersey I have yet to see any balls. I also miss the round pepperoni bread from International Bakery on 18th st. My mother would heat it up and the grease would soak through! Awesome.

        Now I'm hungry for the square pieced pizza from Luigi's at 18th and Liberty with the sauce poured on top of the cheese.

        1. re: dave
          b
          Becky Jul 28, 2002 12:32 PM

          You're killing me! We used to have that kind of pizza in Buffalo, made by the Italian bakeries. YUM!

      2. re: JohnnyT
        j
        Joe W Mar 18, 2005 10:47 PM

        they are not the size of golf balls I have had more peperoni balls than you can imagine from erie county they are the size of tennis balls.

        1. re: Joe W
          p
          pawstrudy Jun 20, 2010 12:06 PM

          I agree with you completely JohnnyT!
          The pepperoni balls are the size of TENNIS BALLS!
          If you have had the pepperoni balls the size of golf balls someone made them very WRONG!!

        2. re: JohnnyT
          e
          eddie66 Dec 8, 2010 06:22 AM

          I grew up in Erie too. But, the pepperoni balls we ate as teenagers were not deep fried. They were pizza dough stuffed with pepperoni and baked in a pizza oven and they were about the size of a tennis ball. They were also available as pizza balls with pep, cheese, and sauce inside. They were available at a lot of small family run pizza joints. I too, remember the International Bakery on 18th street they had the best pepperoni bread and cannoli's. On 18th and Liberty was Luiggi's and parallel to Luigi's was Hectors cafe which had the best spaghetti and meatballs (actually meatball, but it was the size of a baseball). Greek dogs were available at several places around town, but the New York lunch was regarded as the best. South of 26th and Peach there was the Schmidts brewery and Kohler brewery famous for the Kohler collar--Kohler went under in the early 80's and Schmidts went later on. If I remember correctly Billy Blanks had a karate studio on 18th Street also.

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          International Bakery
          232 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

          1. re: eddie66
            s
            snivaladay Feb 3, 2011 10:09 AM

            enough already, who has a house for sale, i'm moving back

            1. re: snivaladay
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              percoset Feb 10, 2011 05:24 PM

              I grew up in Erie and one of the best things about town was the pizza rest., stefenalli's candy and wise potato chips. Living in the Midwest now the food sucks but I go back each year just to get a week's worth of food. We got pepperoni balls from Arnones and they sucked. My suggestion for the pepperoni balls is either International Bakery or Barbato's pizza. If your in the mood for something different try Quaker Steak and Lube on peach street for Ox Roast sandwiches, Patty's pizza or Barbatos for their Old Style pizza it has only sauce and a bunch of spices it's delicious. If anyone lives here in the Midwest (St Louis) let me know. Please do not answer back and tell me that Imo's has the best pizza it's like eating a cracker with grease from the Provel cheese nasty, nasty. If you go to Erie check out these places you won't be disappointed.

              -----
              International Bakery
              232 N 10th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

              1. re: percoset
                PoppiYYZ Mar 8, 2011 05:49 AM

                Hi Percoset,

                Got caught in the weekend storm and stuck in Erie on Sunday. Really wanted to go to New York Lunch but no one answered, so I assumed they were closed Sundays.

                Instead, tried the Quaker Steak and Lube for wings. Place was busy but I didn't know it was a theme chain restaurant. Sign behind bar said they won best Buffalo Wings in 2010, but the ones they were serving definitely weren't them. Big wings but rubbery (either frozen or - echh - made ahead). Sauce was OK.

                Also stopped into Patty's for Pizza and Pepperoni balls. Patty's pizza "dough" was a prefab bread disc from a bag ! Shredded cheese also came in large bags too. Anyway, pizza was only a notch up from supermarket frozen pizzas. Place looked well established and the equipment looked authentic, so my guess is the real pizza guy is gone and these were new owners.

                Pepperoni balls were also a surprise. I expected golf ball size and these were baseball sized. Dough was closer to old fashioned donut dough than pizza dough. My guess is they also came out of a bag though.

                Next time in town, I'll try NY Lunch and/or Barbatos.

                1. re: percoset
                  j
                  JLivingston May 27, 2012 05:29 PM

                  By far, the best Ox Roast sandwiches are at Valone's Grocery and Deli in North East, Pa (about 15 miles east of Erie)!!! And you can get great Pepperoni Balls in the same town at LaCasa's Pizza...or Michael's Pizza. Grew up in the area and after moving to Florida 3 years ago, I definitely miss the food!!! Good Pepperoni Balls can also be found in downtown Westfield, NY although the name of the place has escaped my brain. There's a little ice cream and coffee shop right on the corner in Westfield that has the most delicious Fireball hard ice cream (made by Perry's but for some reason is not sold in stores in mass quantities).

            2. re: JohnnyT
              b
              BCAHuntress Jul 3, 2012 08:11 AM

              do you know anywhere or anyone that would have a recipe like chuck and ginny's sauce recipe?

            3. k
              KristyC4 Jun 22, 2002 10:46 PM

              If you're going to make a field trip to Erie, you have to try another local specialty. Greek sauce. I grew up not realizing it was a local specialty, until I moved away and couldn't find it anywhere else. It's this wonderful spicy meat sauce that goes on burgers, hot dogs or fries. Sounds like chili, I know, but it's a different kind of spicy. I used to get it at a place called New York Lunch, on East Avenue (no idea if it's still there).

              Actually, while you're on East Ave., my favorite pizza growing up was Pio's.

              12 Replies
              1. re: KristyC4
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                Becky Jul 28, 2002 12:29 PM

                Thanks for the tip. I'll try and find it - sounds delicious!

                1. re: Becky
                  k
                  KristyC4 Aug 1, 2002 02:20 PM

                  If you're making a road trip, I should warn you to avoid Chinese food in Erie. It's gotten better in recent years, but still isn't very good.

                2. re: KristyC4
                  b
                  BeckyR Aug 18, 2002 10:26 PM

                  Both the New York Lunch on east ave. and Pio's are still thriving business' in Erie to this date. And they still make the best greek dogs/burgers(NYL), and steak subs(PIO'S) around.

                  1. re: KristyC4
                    p
                    pawstrudy Jun 20, 2010 12:08 PM

                    Yes the New York lunch is still there, I just read it on here.

                    Does anyone have the Greek Sauce recipe???

                    I live in Missouri and I am so hungry for that sauce.

                    1. re: pawstrudy
                      t
                      therippa Jun 28, 2010 01:25 PM

                      1 pound hamburger
                      2 chopped onions OR 1/2 tsp onion salt and 1/2 tsp onion powder
                      1/2 tsp oregano
                      1/2 tsp chili powder
                      1/2 tsp sweet basil
                      1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
                      1/2 tsp garlic salt
                      1/2 tsp cumin powder
                      1/2 tsp black pepper
                      1/2 tsp salt
                      1 small can tomato sauce
                      3/4 cup water

                      place all ingredients in crock pot. cook all day on low or 1/2 day on high.

                      I'm from Erie and my mom saw this recipe in the paper years ago, tastes just like the stuff you get from New York Lunch.

                      Also, Staganelli's makes the best pepperoni balls, in my opinion. Any time I visit home I come back with a cooler stuffed with those, smith's hot dogs, ox roast, urbaniak's snack sticks and beef jerky, troyer farm's chips, snyder's of hanover's bbq chips, and romolo's chocolate.

                      For being a little hellhole in Pennsylvania, they sure do have their own little food culture, and I love it

                      1. re: therippa
                        PoppiYYZ Feb 6, 2011 06:35 AM

                        Where are Stanganelli's Pepperoni Balls available ? Are they just a home / restaurant supply house or do they have a restaurant location ?

                        Going to be down that way soon. Any other suggestions for good lunch places to eat fresh Pepperoni Balls (and drink a cold one)?

                        1. re: PoppiYYZ
                          p
                          percoset Feb 10, 2011 05:27 PM

                          stagnelli's is about 25 and East Ave on the corner. They come frozen and are quite delicious. My only bad thing to say about them is that they don't ship to my house. Enjoy them they do have a web page. Have a good time eating them and if you are from the midwest please bring me some

                          1. re: percoset
                            PoppiYYZ Feb 11, 2011 05:06 AM

                            Thanks percoset,

                            Thanks for the tips, but sorry I'm not heading your way. Traveling through on my way south from Toronto (down I-79/77), but I'll stop in to give these Pepperoni Balls a try.

                            New York Lunch also sounds interesting, which location is the original or best ?

                        2. re: therippa
                          j
                          JLivingston May 27, 2012 05:31 PM

                          There's nothing like a Smith's hot dog...or a Pulako's chocolate covered strawberry!

                        3. re: pawstrudy
                          p
                          percoset Jul 17, 2010 07:24 AM

                          Hey I live in Belleville Il. Don't know where you are in Mo but I'm leaving to go to Erie July 30 for 2 weeks. Do you want me to see if they sell the sauce and bring it home to you. I'm going for Smith's hot dogs, pepperoni balls, sponge candy, wise potato chips to bring back. Whoops forgot the ox roast. so if you want I'll be glad to pick you up the greek sauce. I know exactly where NY lunch is on the east side. Give me a heads up

                        4. re: KristyC4
                          f
                          firefighter Aug 6, 2010 06:36 PM

                          I was in Erie the week of July 26, 2010, and had Greeks at the East Ave New York Lunch twice. Miss Nina is still there, and they will ship frozen sauce to you if you call them and order it. I had my grandchildren with me (5th generation to eat there), and both of them loved the burgers. Brought back Smith hot dogs, Ox Roast, and Walleye. There is nothing like Erie food.

                          -----
                          New York Lunch
                          922 East Ave, Erie, PA 16503

                          1. re: KristyC4
                            b
                            betsydiver Mar 12, 2011 01:44 PM

                            was this speidie sauce?

                          2. j
                            John Sep 13, 2003 11:14 AM

                            They truly are great.
                            You had one guy tell you to deep fry them, you don’t need to do that, in fact most people don’t (tho they are good!)
                            Also purists do not add cheese of any kind to it, in fact don’t add anything but dough and pepperoni. (Though I’m guilty of sometimes adding garlic powder to them.)

                            It’s extremely simple to make and I blow my friends and my fiancées friends away when I make them for games or outdoor picnic concert outings to Wolf Trap down here in DC.

                            All you need is some pepperoni and frozen bread dough that you can get at any grocery store. (the dough usually comes two to a pack in a loaf shape.)
                            Let the dough get to room temp and rise a bit.
                            You can use packaged pepperoni presliced. But I like to buy a stick or two and slice it myself so I have thicker slices.

                            Rip off a piece of dough from the pile about the size of one and a half golf balls. Stretch it out enough so you can place about 4 or 5 slices (actually how many is up to you) and roll the dough up so the pep is completely incased in the dough. That’s it! Cook it in the oven on a cookie tray or a cooking stone around 350*.

                            Keep an eye on it you want the balls to be golden brown.

                            Eat them as fresh as possible from the oven with your hands without getting your hands or mouth burned. But they taste great cold too.

                            I put a little brush stroke of olive oil on top before cooking so they don’t burn. Your choice.

                            Another option if you don’t want to go to all the trouble of making individual balls is to take the dough and roll it out and make baguettes with them. Roll a steady line of pepperonis in the midst of the dough again so they are completely incased in the dough and serve it sliced.

                            Don’t know where you live but I make them down here in DC whenever the Steelers are on national TV!

                            MAKE SURE EVERYONE EATS THEM BY HAND.

                            Enjoy!

                            1. r
                              rhugill Sep 5, 2009 08:26 AM

                              I have tried several from the Erie area and Pio's are definately the cream of the crop. From what I have heard, Pio's is planning on shipping to anywhere across the country. You may want to call them and see where they are in that process. You can reach them at 814-456-8866 and ask Pete Pio himself.
                              They freeze well, and to eat them is to love them.!!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: rhugill
                                b
                                BCF Sep 10, 2009 11:09 AM

                                I went to college near Erie, but I grew up in Ellwood City, PA (about an hour south of Erie.) I have to say, the best of the Erie pepperoni balls are Pio's. But, the pepperoni rolls and puffs in Ellwood (we don't call them balls here...that terms is reserved for fried bite size bits like cheese balls, not dough-encrusted) are even better. Try the puffs at Johnny's pizza shop (available with or without hot pepper rings) or the rolls at Pizza Joe's. If you happen to be in town around the 4th of July or the late July/early August church bazaar, be sure to try a pepperoni puff from the Holy Redeemer parish. They are the cream of the crop - deep fried, slightly sweet dough balls filled with pepperoni and mozzarella cheese. So very good!

                              2. Davwud Jun 1, 2010 05:30 PM

                                This is pretty interesting.

                                Here it is 2010 and I'm wondering if Pio's and New York Lunch are still around.

                                Pepperoni balls sound great and I'm intriqued by Greek Sauce. Is it anything like Cinci Chili??

                                DT

                                -----
                                New York Lunch
                                1525 Peninsula Dr, Erie, PA 16505

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: Davwud
                                  b
                                  Beeves Jun 14, 2010 09:36 AM

                                  Sadly Pio's went out of business a month or two ago. However New York Lunch is still going strong with two locations.

                                  -----
                                  New York Lunch
                                  1525 Peninsula Dr, Erie, PA 16505

                                  1. re: Davwud
                                    p
                                    Phenuala Jul 2, 2010 08:23 AM

                                    Greek sauce is not exaclty like Cinci Chili in taste, it seems more earthy and 'spicy'(not hot spicy)If you venture into NY the sauce morphs into something else entirely and that is found at Johnny's, fyi.

                                    1. re: Phenuala
                                      Davwud Feb 4, 2011 03:37 AM

                                      I found NYL's menu on line and it says nothing about pepperoni balls. Do they not have them anymore??

                                      DT

                                      1. re: Davwud
                                        t
                                        therippa Feb 4, 2011 08:55 AM

                                        New York Lunch never did pepperoni balls, they were always greek dogs/fries/burgers

                                        -----
                                        New York Lunch
                                        1525 Peninsula Dr, Erie, PA 16505

                                        1. re: therippa
                                          Davwud Feb 4, 2011 10:15 AM

                                          Ah

                                          So where is the best place to get pepperoni balls??

                                          DT

                                          1. re: Davwud
                                            t
                                            TLENDURESTRESS Feb 18, 2012 05:42 PM

                                            I grew up in Erie and the first was Super Duper East where Super Walmart is now the closest place next is the pizza shop in the plaza around the corner next to the new home of Erie Count Farms I think its pizza plus next to the bowling alley.
                                            Then there's Arnones now on West 18th and Cherry street they were 30cents apiece at Super Duper back in the 70's.
                                            I live in Buffalo now and their suppose to have this long strong Italian heritage but I've never seen a pepperoni ball here but this yr I'm gonna start selling them at the festivals, also steak balls

                                          2. re: therippa
                                            t
                                            TLENDURESTRESS Feb 18, 2012 05:52 PM

                                            They had the best hot dogs with chili sauce and chili cheese fries though.

                                    2. m
                                      mako1966 Jul 26, 2010 07:05 AM

                                      Wow...was funny when I typed in Pepperoni balls and ERIE came up because that is EXACTLY the place I had in mind because I lived there for 6 years back in early 80's and is the home of my first pepp ball! Don't recall the name of the pizza joint but it was catty-wompus from Pano's rest., out on E.38th St. and Pine Ave. in the Super Duper market complex! Anyhoot, the pepperoni balls were THE BOMB! Greasy as all hell but absolutely delicious! I think they were deep fried and most recipes I have found so far, they are baked! I want the calories and grease! They were soooooo good! Need recipe for deep fried! Anything less would be an un-welcomed experiment! Bring on the fat content and atery hardening material!

                                      -----
                                      Panos' Restaurant
                                      1504 W 38th St, Erie, PA 16508

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: mako1966
                                        t
                                        TLENDURESTRESS Feb 18, 2012 05:56 PM

                                        Hex yeah that's how i got my nick name dough hips soft and delicious............every Sunday we'd get 2 fresh loaves
                                        of Italian bread and a dozen pepperoni balls.

                                      2. PoppiYYZ Feb 11, 2011 07:47 AM

                                        The Pepperoni Ball's description sound very familiar to a Buffalo finger food : Pizza Logs. They are a baked pizza dough and come in a variety of fillings including pepperoni and cheese or sausage and cheese. They are usually ordered along with those famous wings.

                                        Are they the same thing, just a slightly different shape ?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                          t
                                          TLENDURESTRESS Feb 18, 2012 05:50 PM

                                          No absolutely not have had them. Here's the recipe closest I've come to at least, get pizza dough at wegmans fresh the best roll it out take a cup cut out dough using the cup. line 4-5 pepperoni inside with cheese then roll them like a meat ball, i don't use sauce just pepperoni and cheese using deep fryer drop them in grease 300 degrees until they rise and let drain then serve them hot

                                        2. srsone Mar 8, 2011 06:39 AM

                                          not having ever been to erie...these sound good...and never heard of these..

                                          are they anything like the balls that LANDI'S in Brooklyn,New York make?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: srsone
                                            m
                                            Metagal Mar 12, 2011 01:35 PM

                                            I doubt it, but if they are have to...! The pepperoni balls that i grew up with were fluffy more like doughnut batter than chewy glutenous pizza dough, greasy with good pepperoni and smoking hot, size between a golf ball and a tennis ball, and definately made in store... puffy and satisfying...

                                          2. m
                                            mlipps Mar 19, 2011 10:34 PM

                                            I just wanted to share this wikipedia article w/you all because I think it's so funny. I grew up in SE Ohio right on the WV line and had no idea until I got to Chicago for college that pepperoni rolls, as we call them down there, were not universal. It was a rude awakening to say the least. Back home they sell them at Kroger in the bakery but I stopped at one in Wheeling last time I was in the area and didn't find any there, so maybe that's not a universal thing. Anyway, just thought this article was funny, pepperoni rolls/balls seem to be a coal miner thing and once Jay Rockefeller had to intervene to save them in 1987. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepperon...

                                            1. l
                                              lindacerie Feb 1, 2013 03:31 PM

                                              I'm from Erie, PA, now living in Cleveland. The best pepperoni balls in Erie are found at Barbato's or Valerio's. Living in Cleveland for the past seven years I still crave the pepperoni balls and when visiting Erie will stop at Barbatos on West 38th St to have them make me a dozen uncooked to bring home. Also have the best Pizza Balls. Yum.....

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: lindacerie
                                                l
                                                laliz May 7, 2013 02:48 PM

                                                I get them at Barbato's on Buffalo Rd. in Wesleyville.

                                              2. o
                                                Owtahear Mar 15, 2013 12:56 PM

                                                Just a note. I went to college in Erie. And my god......I cannot believe anyone would go to Quaker Steak and Lube for wings in Erie Pa. It would be akin to going to Outback in NYC for steak or Red Lobster in Seattle for seafood.

                                                This is the second best wing city in America next to Buffalo. Albout any bar, dive bar will have fantastic wings. Any chowhound looking for wings head to 26th st. Within a block or two of each other, Eli's or Oddi's. Don't go to a chain restuarant. Please.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Owtahear
                                                  PoppiYYZ Mar 30, 2013 05:24 PM

                                                  Thanks Owtahear !

                                                  I seem to be travelling through and stopping in Erie more and more often. I'll be there again in the next few days, so can you recommend either Eli's (92% w/76 votes on Urbanspoon) or Odis 12 (92%/47) for a first time wing feed ? Both look very promising.

                                                  If it helps, I am a l*o*n*g time Anchor bar fan, but also like Duffs too.

                                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                                    t
                                                    therippa Mar 30, 2013 05:40 PM

                                                    Go for Eli's, but also try the Herbie Cajun at Park Tavern

                                                    1. re: PoppiYYZ
                                                      l
                                                      lindacerie Mar 31, 2013 12:50 PM

                                                      I highly recommend the Country Tavern for some of the best wings Erie has to offer. I used to order them cooked "crispy" and they were always done just right. Having lived in the Cleveland area for the past 7 years I really miss the home-town restaurants and local taverns Erie has to offer.

                                                  2. l
                                                    laliz May 7, 2013 02:56 PM

                                                    I go to Erie at least once (if not twice) a year: I grew up there and still visit family.

                                                    Pepperoni Balls at Barbato's (Buffalo Road in Wesleyville) ~~ I was just there Thanksgiving weekend 2012. (also their original pepperoni pizza TDF as well as their meatball sandwiches. OMG.

                                                    I had lunch w/cousins same trip (November 2012) at New York Lunch on East Street; also at Coney Island ("Greeks") on Buffalo Rd. in Wesleyville). Hot dogs and chili at both and both are as good as ever.

                                                    I'm going again this week, but don't know if I'll make New York Lunch ~~ however I will make BARBATO'S no matter what.

                                                    BTW, pepperoni balls are baked in oven, not fried.

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