Wilkes Barre Scranton
Where are the best places to have really great food in the area. Does Old Forge still have the best pizza?
We always enjoy Grotto's pizza; perhaps it is the Rehoboth Beach connection. For whatever reason I haven't seen it mentioned on Chowhoud. They offer a half baked take out pizza. Four min's. in the oven on a pizza stone and it is better than home delivery.
Try Alora in Peckville. If you like veal, get the veal marsala; veal is the chef's specialty.
On "Old Forge" style pizza, I enjoy Calaruso's, which also offers half-baked trays.
Yes, Old Forge has the best pizza and most of it is on Main Street. Start with the red at Revello's (the local favorite), then Arcaro and Genell across the street, where you can get a slice or two (White Pizza!) with great pasta dinners. Next up, I'd do the take-out thing at Ghigarelli's (my favorite---amazing crust) and then hit the best up-and-comers, Calogero's (no tables at all). If you want to explore more in that area...I'd recommend Maxie's on Keyser Ave., D's just over the Duryea line on Main and Arcaro's (without Genell) where Taylor becomes Scranton (on Main again).
Scranton, Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre all have very different styles worth exploring, but I'd START with Old Forge.
Two great newer restaurants:
Hemisphere on 6 & 11 just South of Clarks Summit is modern American (for these parts), not ungodly expensive either.
Kazimi's in Kingston is our favorite continental of late. We've had six meals there in the past two years and nothing has been less than "very good".
Wilkes-Barre? The Par Four, Parrish Street serves excellent food with an Asian influence in the most unpretentious atmosphere imaginable. Spag's in the North End is a bar with great food. Hottle's is tops for seafood in the city. Pancho Villa is an authenic Mexican restaurant on South Main. Tony's West Indies across from the theatres on Northampton serves up some lethal Jerk Chicken, Katana on S. Main for sushi. If you're heading up by the malls/plazas, the Dough Company, (cheap Italian) is a bright spot surrounded by chains.
Tony's Diner across the river in Kingston is about as good as Italian Sandwiches get. They're grilled and unlike anything you've ever had. They've been around for 60-some years, but it was new to me a few years back.
Hope that helps.
I appreciate your input 'stanpnepa'. As a person who never leaves home without a small cooler permanently packed with restaurant reviews; I will take your recommendations into consideration. I hour east on Rt 118 and we are driving into the valley.
Great!! I try to tip everyone to Tony's because...
A. It's THAT good! (My favorite area restaurant--period).
B. It's like NOTHING else!
C. Jimmy (aka Tony) threatens retirement every once in awhile, so you want to get there when you can.
Warning or welcome: This is a very staunch Republican business, with signs everywhere and lots of area movers and shakers campaigning or holding strategic lunches. At Tony's, though, everyone can speak their mind. You may be asked to!!! You most certainly don't have to be a big fan of "W" to know how amazing these sandwiches are. I'll try and keep it neutral on these boards, but the politics of Tony's adds to the overall charm...regardless of your points of view. It's part of the package!
AMEN WE worship the same god. The banter is lively, animated, passionate, and it's not without shitck, but it is all about the food, great everything.
It's amazing how quickly things change. Hemisphere, The Par Four and Spag's are no longer in business.
I've heard lots of good things about "Thai Thai" on S. Main Street. You need a reservation. It's owned by the same folks who run the very good (and reasonable) Thai Rak Thai in Scranton.
I've been eating lots of Old Forge pizza of late and want to simply recommend two places. Period. Ghigiarelli's and Calogero's. Ghig's is a bit of a dive, but the pizza is truly exceptional. Calo's is take-out only. To me, they, plus Pizza Perfect of Trucksville are the best pizzas in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. A bit of a drive, but well worth it.
Spag's is now Cork, haven't been there yet, but definitely want to try it. Thai Thai was excellent, but the medium food I ordered was so hot my gums were burning. 3 appetizers, 3 entrees and 3 deserts came to $120 so I don't know if I would call that reasonable for NEPA, but it was very good.
Pizza Perfect, in back mountain Dallas. They serve the old Victory Pig style pizza. Now that VP and Pizza L'oven are closed....Pizza Perfect IS IT! It's so popular that there's a map inside of the place where you can put a pin to say how far you traveled for their pizza. There are pins from all over the country! I live in Philly and my family lives in NY and I always stop at Pizza Perfect on my way to visit. If you don't like onions...make sure to order your cuts without. Minutes from Wilkes-Barre.
16 Carverton Road (just off 309)
Caracbeara is right---you can't go wrong with Pizza Perfect. Maybe it's because of the attention to the dietary restrictions of the high elderly population here, but to the secret to enjoying this pizza is to add a shake or two of salt. I love the onions! (BTW, Pizza L'oven is still open in Exeter, and Victory Pig remains open, but as always, only Wednesday/Friday/Saturday nights.). Pizza Perfect also has very good wings, but the pizza is truly among the very best foods in all of NEPA.
Pizza L'oven in Hanover, right across the Carey Ave bridge, is also still going strong.
And you have to give props to a lot of the good old Italian restaurants around Wilkes-Barre. Friends visiting the area from NYC and Phil have raved about Betelli's Villa on Kidder St, about Pasquale's on the Sans Souci, about Perugino's in Luzerne...
When my sisters visited from Chicago and Philadelphia, we took them to The Anthracite Cafe in the East End on Scott St. Both of them felt that if The Anthracite was located in a big city it would be a renowned destination for its food and "down homeness". All dishes are prepared from scratch, and the microbrew list is impressive as hell.
For something a little more upscale, try Isabella on Route 315 just past The Woodlands on your left if you're heading north on 315. It's in the first floor of what I believe is an office building.
Great food, wonderful staff, great wine list that doesn't hurt the pocketbook. It definitely attracts an older, more dressed-up crowd.
In Scranton, P.J. Scanlan's, 317 Linden Street, is my favorite lunch spot. They're only open for lunch.
I've never been, but I've been told that Patsel's, up near Waverly, is charming. www.patsels.com
Old forge pizza is still good, But the best in the area is absolutely Sabatini's pizza in exeter. Pizza is still fantastic. Still the same. they also have a bunch of specialty pizzas now and their wings/ cheesesteaks are fantastic. Also, no one beats their beer selection.... they have to have over 200 different import/craft beers available. definitly a must stop.
Wish I would have read this thread before we went. We were determined not to have chain food and armed only with an OpenTable list, went to Rustic Kitchen. Menu list was interesting, but preparation was poor. I question that the ahi tuna served me was ahi. In any case, it was inedible as was the accompanying cannelini bean, olive and tomato side. The advertised pancetta garnish had gone missing from my plate. We only go up there every 2 to 3 years and take an elderly relative who is not a foodie to dinner, so we will consult this list our next visit, even though there has not been much activity of late.