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Aug 20, 2013 05:44 AM

Looking for Local in NEPA for Thursday Night

I've been to the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area a couple of times already, and I've explored Old Forge pizza, Senape's, Lincoln Inn in DuPont, Manning Farm Dairy, Glider Diner....

Anywhere else intensely local, good or unique, casual? I will probably cheat toward the W-B end of the valley thsiis time around, but I'm not too limited.

I will definitely try to hit Hillside Dairy this time. Do they sell scoops of ice cream or just by the pint?

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    1. re: mookleknuck

      Plans changed and we will be up in that area tonight..... we'll be going by Frederick on 270 then 15 to Harrisburg......

      1. re: Steve

        Good luck! Especially if you get into the Wilkes-Barre area kind of late... Do you think you'll eat closer to Harrisburg?

        1. re: mookleknuck

          Maybe on the way back on Sunday, if you have any suggestions.

          Today we stopped at Hillside Dairy in W-B, excellent blueberry ice cream, but served drippy. Our dinner was further north from Scranton off 81 at an Italian place that was hideous. I am not sure how an entire region eats this poorly.

          I saw on the news that President Obama ate at a diner/pie house today near where we are staying, so I think I will hit that up.

          1. re: Steve

            Sorry for seeing your post this late, Steve! If you had taken 81S last night, I could have passed on a recommendation for Shakedown BBQ - I can't recommend it as I have yet to go, but it is from a reliable source. Right on the other side of the Susquehanna in Harrisburg, i would have recommended another tasting of Old Forge-style pizza at Jigsy's on 15S (in the interest of comparison).

            Where did you end up? What was the place Obama went?

            1. re: mookleknuck

              After 3 trips up to the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area, I have come to the conclusion that this is Desperation Central for a Chowhound. I have now seen the Lower Depths, and they are not pretty.

              The good result of all this is that I will never again complain about food that is merely mediocre. It will seem like a godsend.

              Our first night we ate a random Italian place north of Scranton, Armetta's. We order a typical tray pizza of the region plus spaghetti and meatballs. The pizza had American cheese (I guess) which was not even up to the level of Kraft Singles. The meatballs had a gummy, mostly filler taste and the sauce was like a condensed can of soup poured straight on top.

              Our other dinner was at Bingham's Diner, where the President got some pies to go after his speech with Joe Biden in Scranton.

              The plate of food I received was not as hideous as it looked. It was turkey breast and stuffing with mashed potatoes covered in a day-glo yellow congealed sauce. Thank goodness the sauce had no flavor. my wife had a steak with a sweet sauce that she managed to scrape off pretty well. There was a long list of pies - their claim to fame. We had a slice of cherry crumb and fresh raspberry. Both had plenty of nice, fresh fruit, but both too sweet. The crust was inert tasting and too thick.

              We managed to get back to the Manning Dairy Farm store for their fabulous ice cream, plus we also stopped at Hillside Dairy Farm in W-B. The blueberry ice cream at Hillside was made with fresh tiny wild blueberries. It was delicious, but both ice creams we had at Hillside were served too warm and drippy. We wound up enjoying Manning better.

              Dairy is the basic reason for a Chowhound to enjoy a trip up to this area.

              The best food we had on this trip was in Emmitsburg, MD at Chubby's Bbq where the pork sandwich is very impressive.

              Maybe next time we are up this way, we'll eat in Harrisburg.

              Is that where you are located?

              1. re: Steve

                This sounds pretty awful, but makes me thank you so much more for your martyred reporting. I'll either eat before or after driving through this part of PA or just pack a cooler.

                I think that much of this region is economically depressed with coal mining and industry having left this area behind. So most people either cook at home, settle for eating out as a small measure of convenience, or wait until there is a fair to eat fair food. Any contrary opinions or recommendations from anyone else from this area? Please?

                Thanks for the recommendation of Chubby's BBQ. I'm in the Harrisburg area on a monthly basis these days.

                1. re: mookleknuck

                  I am not sure it has anything to do with the economy. There is much more substantial Italian-American in Erie, PA. i think it is the culture. This is how the people grew up generation after generation. It's a weird kind of American-Italian more than Italian-American.

                  Senape's Bakery in Hazleton does a nice room temperature pitza, typical of the area but with parmesan and not American cheese.

                  1. re: mookleknuck

                    "I think that much of this region is economically depressed with coal mining and industry having left this area behind."

                    We are quite familiar with the region between Clark's Summit and Factoryville( not so much around Tunkhannock)/ the 407, 6-11 and 107 corridor.
                    I would say 20 years ago the area was still depressed, but this has much changed during the last 5-10 years or so. If one drives a bit around in the area one will see lots of rebuilt houses and beautifully kept places. The area around Abington looks downright upscale nowadays.
                    I can't really tell people where to eat out, since I truly prefer to cook myself, but - if I were to try a place, this one would be on top of the list
                    The parking lot is never empty.
                    Also -we ate years ago at the Inn at Abington and we liked it very much.
                    Manning's Ice cream was mentioned, it is excellent and so is the nearby Montdale Farm! The best!!
                    Now if you want to pick up one of the best Polish Kielbasa along the way, make a stop at Lechowski. We love the one with extra Garlic!

                  2. re: Steve

                    once you've been to Chubby's, you don't need another place......except when time doesn't allow

        2. A few places to recommend in the Scranton area. I grew up here but moved away when I got married:

          Chinese - Royal Buffet on Commerce Drive in Dickson City, or China Palace on the same street.

          Mexican - La Tonalteca From I81 Rt6 exit near Viewmont Mall

          Other local goodies - Fratelli's, Providence Rd Scranton, Manning's Dairy (wonderful ice cream) various locations, Kabuki (Japanese Hibachi)on Main St,Peckville

          1 Reply
          1. re: karo63

            Oh yeah, Manning's is great. And it's easy to be charmed by Senape's room temperature bakery-style pizza.

            Will check out the others if we are up that way this summer.