Posted by: Jeffsayyes | May 16, 2008

Trip to Old Forge – “The Pizza Capital of the World”

Old Forge must have hired a PR firm, proclaiming it the “Pizza Capital of the World.” This title is backed by the claim of having more pizzerias per capita than anywhere in the world – as well being the subjective “Best” of course.

Because Arturo’s is closed on Sunday’s to walk-in traffic, I went to Revello’s.
revellos

The cheese is interesting… at first I thought it was a blend of a few cheeses – some sharp, some smooth, mixing in small shards of onions which definitely piqued my interest. The way it sticks to my teeth and roof of my mouth makes me believe there is some generican american in there, BUT from all reliable resources, what makes old forge old forge is the BRICK CHEESE. The sauce is seemingly normal, and the crust makes me wonder if they bake it on the premises. Either way, it is definitely pre-baked then topped when creating your red pizza – I took a long peak inside the kitchen manned by high schoolers.

revellos pie
It’s essentially a variation of a bar pie – A hastily put together production from a bar kitchen that developed a fever for over the years. I can see the fever. It has a swell taste. It is totally unique, not necessarily great, but like a White Castle – all of the sudden a craving hits you. Plus the bar/restaurant would be a great place to have cheap, fun times with friends.

Make sure to order by the “tray”, if you say “pie” they will for sure know you’re not a PA native. Also, coming here gives you a chance to speak in northern drawl without people lookin at you funny (or caring if they do).

Of note is the preparation of a takeout order. After your tray is ready, they put the open top boxes in a large fitted brown paper bag then fold up the sides and twist the edges – most likely a mandatory part of initiation for a new employee. How did they know the secret ??? Everything in a brown paper bag tastes so much better.

Old Forge is a good experience to have under your belt, but mostly if you are interested in going to Disneyland, seeing the Eiffel Tower, and looking out cracks in the Liberty Bell. It is a tourism ploy. Definitely a unique pizza, but nothing compared to a little town about 150 miles east or even some country over the Atlantic, through the Strait of Gibraltar and up a toe.

Links:
What is an Old Forge Pizza? (from Old Forge Express Pizza)
Jigsy’s Explanation of the Old Forge Pizza
About White Pizza
CNN Breaks the News
The story of Brick Cheese
Brick Cheese Wiki
Old Forge Pizza Forum
Salerno’s at Roadfood.com
Recommended Old Forge Pizza: Arcaro and Gennell & Revello’s


Responses

  1. It’s disgusting pizza, how they can pass it off as pizza i’ll never know. Yuck!!!!

    • Well then, why do you have to wait sometimes up to two hours to get a seat at any one of the cafes in Old Forge on a Friday or Saturday night? Why do the troops in the Middle East demand Old Forge pizza? To each their own, but you ma’am have no palate!

  2. I repsectfully disagree with your assertion that this pizza is for the tourists. I am a native new yorker with plenty of travel under his belt, while I appreciate a good NY pie or a chicago pie, St Louis pie, I would consider old forge a style of its own with each maker putting a slightly differnt spin on their cheese blends. The region it belongs to is north eastern PA and on par with anything else I have tasted…including anything I have tasted thus far in italy which was quite frankly overrated. Go back up to PA, sit down in Alfredos in Scranton and order up tray. You picked the wrong place

  3. Hey Rick,
    I think the pizza has been marketed to a high degree by the townspeople – making it for tourists. I definitely respect the pie for being unique to it’s region and a total comfort food.
    Thanks for the comment!
    -Jeff from Jeffrey Tastes

  4. I live in Seattle, lived in Ca., Tx., and several places on the East Coast and between.

    To me and my family, Old Forge has the best pizza anywhere.
    Not unusual for us to place a call to one of the “parlors” in OF and send a “tray” overnight…especially their white pizza!

  5. […] Links: Staten Island Pizza Tour 2010 wrap-up SI Pizza Tour 2009 wrap-up SI Pizza Tour 2010 photo set My trip to Old Forge, PA […]

  6. old forge pizza is to northeastern pennsylvania just as cheesesteaks with wiz are to philadelphia. insult it if you like, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a current or former resident of the area who doesn’t have a fondness for a cut of red or white. it has nothing to do with marketing, and everything to do with tasting like home.

  7. NYC, Chicago, Old Forge, PA… does anyone else besides people in these cities eat pizza?
    Yes, indeed! The city of Sao Paulo, Brazil has more than 6,000 pizzerias. Just check out their current City Hall records.

  8. Old Forge pizza is not just for tourists. It’s not even primarily for tourists. Surely you don’t think a town the size of Old Forge gets enough tourists to keep so many pizzerias in business? My family is from Old Forge. My grandmother lived there her entire life, a few blocks away from Ghigiarelli’s and Revello’s. The locals do frequent these places. Usually, everyone you see there lives nearby. Also, there is no single kind of cheese that is common to Old Forge pizza. Each restaurant has its own blend, and those blends are closely guarded secrets. Old Forge pizza connoisseurs can distinguish one restaurant’s pizza from another’s by the taste of the cheese alone. (Well, sometimes by the presence or lack of onions in the sauce, as well.)

  9. Thanks for the comment, Cathy!
    I agree, it’s totally a local’s pizza. I guess I was commenting just on the fact that they call it the “Pizza capital of the world” – which I guess is why I came. Very interesting about the cheese blends. I totally respect your town!

    • It’s not exactly my town. My family settled there after coming over from Italy, but I’ve never actually lived in Old Forge, though my parents are both from there. In fact, my grandfather was once mayor! (I’m in the Washington, D.C., area.) I think the pizza capital claim comes not only from the distinctive pizza there, but also from having an extraordinarily high number of pizzarias per capita, many times higher than in, say, NYC.

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