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|
|A cut of red|
|Under the hood of my red cut|
|The white cut, with spinach|
|Cross section of the white cut|
The cuts from white pies, with the double crust and hefty cheese filling, are about double the weight; my slice with spinach was $2.50. My big corner cut was about the size of a generous grilled cheese sandwich, but so much more dense. The top and bottom both sported an almost pretzel-like crunch, and it was dusted with a nice mix of Italian herbs, most prominently rosemary.
|Underside of the white cut|
Overall, Arcaro & Genell is a winner that, alone, justified my trip to Old Forge. When I return, I'm coming with friends and family for a full sit-down meal. I can't argue with those who prefer the across-street rival Revello's Cafe, but for me Arcaro took the prize hands down. It may be that Arcaro & Genell is better for adult groups, while Revello's is more kid-friendly. It certainly was a great introduction to Old Forge style pizza. Two thumbs up.
Many thanks to our friends at NEPA Pizza Review; please visit www.nepapizzareview.com for a wealth of reviews of pizza in Old Forge and all over the NEPA region. Also, check out the coming documentary on Old Forge and NEPA styles of pizza at: