Old Forge, the (self) proclaimed “Pizza Capital of the World,” is a place I’ve wanted to visit for nearly a decade. It’s been on my list since I first heard about the pizza in 2004 and I finally visited Old Forge and stopped at Revello’s Pizza (voted one of the best in town) for a taste.
For credentials on pizza, I grew up on Long Island and now I live in New York City. I have access to some of the best pizza in the state, if not the world. I traveled to Chicago more than a few times and I love a good deep dish too. I even sampled some pizza from the old country – Italy. I am not a novice on pizza.
So, I had to taste pizza from Old Forge, Pennsylvania – the (self-proclaimed) pizza capital of the world, right? Now, I have.
When I drove into Old Forge I thought I’d see a neighborhood, or at least a street, that resembled New York City’s, “Little Italy (although that is not where the best pizza in NYC is) or at least a few blocks with pizza shop after pizza shop competing against each other for the best slice and your business. I didn’t see that, but I did find Revello’s Pizza. Some people love it, but to be honest, I didn’t. Not at all. Here’s what I thought.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, it wasn’t good. Terrible, really. In fact I think they put sugar in their sauce, but the sauce wasn’t my issue, it was the cheese I really didn’t enjoy. The first bite seemed to stick to my teeth like an adhesive. The pizza wasn’t good. I wasn’t a fan. I almost wanted to ask them to take down the sign, “pizza capital of the world.”
My order? I ordered the regular square, I went with the original. I thought it was like going to a Thai restaurant and getting Pad Thai. Maybe it wasn’t the most the adventurous thing but it’s basic, something they should do well.
I posted an image on instagram and my friend and fellow blogger, Runaway Juno, disagreed. After a debate, she told me I needed to order the white pizza. She’s a world traveler, so I trusted her opinion; maybe I had missed something. OK, since it is the capital, I’d give it another chance.
Later that month, while at a triple-A baseball game in Scranton/Wilkes-barre on “Thirsty Thursday” (dollar drafts) and after a majestic sunset at PNC Field – so you know I was feeling good – I noticed a Revello’s Pizza at the stadium.
I ordered two squares of the white pizza. $6.50, Yikes! I paid it though; this was my chance. I chatted with the cashier and told her I was excited to try the white pizza. She replied that it was great, that unlike the other slices, the white had a bit of rosemary in it. When the squares arrived I noticed the crust on top seemed harder than the bottom with gooey cheese in the middle. A good start. Maybe the cheese-crust pizza was born here?
Well, I did it. I tasted it and… well… It’s not my capital of the pizza world. Sorry.
However, looking back, Revello’s, is trendy in an offbeat way and it’s certainly old-school. The pizza is served on plastic trays and I did enjoy the relatively reasonably priced pitchers of beer. There is a bit of history and tradition in the place that makes it special, just wish it offered better pizza. But I might be alone in my beliefs… If you have been, let me know your thoughts… How was your experience at Revello’s, or even in Old Forge, PA – the pizza capital of the world?
Stay culinary curious, Craig.