Review: Arcaro & Genell, Old Forge PA

After years of reading about Old Forge style pizza, I made the 2.5 hour drive on a Saturday to discover “tray” pizza in Old Forge, just outside of Scranton PA.

Main Street in Old Forge is lined with Italian restaurants and pizza joints, and there are several more on the side streets. Census stats say that more than 40% of Old Forge residents have Italian roots, so perhaps that ties in to the ratio of pizzerias to the population.

Most Old Forge pizzerias offer two basic styles of pizza. The red pie is a conventional rectangular pizza with red sauce, topped with mild white cheese that could be American, mozzarella, or a blend. The white pizza is typically made with a layer of dough on top, dusted with herbs, so it really is like a funky grilled cheese sandwich.

I started my day with the two rivals who are within a block of each and are the best-known: Arcaro & Genell, and Revello’s. You might think of them like you think of the New Haven pizza rivals, Sally’s and Frank Pepe’s.

The bar inside Arcaro & Genell

Most of the Old Forge “pizzerias” are more like a full restaurant or tavern. Revello’s had a diner-like feel, but Arcaro & Genell was dark, big but cozy, and felt like a trip back in time. I’m sure it’s been updated (and expanded) since opening in 1962, but I found it to be very Italian, very friendly, and curiously packed with happy patrons (some at the bar, others in groups at tables) around 3:15pm. This is not a “drop in for a quick cut” (slice) kind of place, but that was my agenda.
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Source:: Pizza Quixote