Rodano's - Wilkes-Barre, PA

Rodano's is a place which holds a special place in my pizza filled heart dating back to their old location just up the street on Kings College's campus.  When I used to work in downtown Wilkes-Barre, I would visit the place at least once per week to get two slices for lunch.  Now Rodano's is downtown on the square and is a hot spot for great night life and good food.  I'm amazed at how massive the place is inside and how it includes multiple dining areas, 2 full bars, long high top tables, huge TVs everywhere, a stage, and a gaming area.  I can't imagine asking for anything else out of a bar, cafe, or restaurant.  This place is like the Super Walmart of bars - and what I mean by that is that it has everything (not that it has cheap stuff and long lines at the register).
 
As I said, when i used to eat at Rodano's, I always ordered pizza by the slice and never had a full pie, so this time I would finally get my chance!  To provide a little more back story, I remember the pizza being a very good, yet pretty standard NY style pizza with a somewhat zesty sauce which I enjoyed.  Basically this pizza was right up my alley, so I brought the first lady along for my reunion with this pizza that I recalled so fondly.  After taking in the incredible atmosphere, we sat down at a high top table and ordered a 16 inch pizza for $10.99.
 
The pizza was ready in no time, and as I watched the waitress walk it across the dining area I squinted and strained to see the pie from afar.  Something looked a little strange about the pizza, and the closer it got, the more unfamiliar it looked.  When the pizza got to our table, I knew my instinct was correct, this pie was not as I remembered it.  The main difference was that the sauce swirled on top, which to most people isn't a big deal, but I was in pizza shock when I wasn't reunited with the old friend I remembered from down the street!  My disappointment only stemmed from a change in the recipe, so I put that aside and pressed on with the review.  Many of my comments and statements made from here forward are a collective work between myself and the first lady, because I didn't want to confuse my disappointment with a change in recipe with how good or bad this pizza really was.

We found the sauce to be very much on the sweet and tart side, and this really stuck out as the dominate flavor of the pizza.  The sauce had a smooth consistency and was pretty full bodied.  It was spread under and drizzled over the cheese, making it the driving flavor force that creates a little imbalance in the equation.  The crust is a little thicker than most New York pies, but I'd still keep this in the "thin crust" category.  It was a nice balance of slightly doughy slightly crispy, but could have used another minute in the oven if I'm being picky.  I would guess that the cheese is mozzarella or something similar.  Although this pizza is part cracker crust pizza with sauce on top and part New York Style pizza, I think the combination of the two types of pizza makes this somewhat unique.  The only other place that I've found with a similar makeup so far is the Dough Company in Wilkes-Barre.

Although I was a bit disappointed that Rodano's changed up the recipe on me, I can't be selfish and judge this pizza on my tastes.  Judging this pizza on its own merit, I'd have to say it's pretty good, and if you like sweet sauce, this one is definitely for you.  Even if you totally hate pizza, you have to get to Rodano's to take in the experience.  Even though I wouldn't rank this pizza in my top 10, I would absolutely rank the bar/restaurant in my top 3 favorite places to eat or drink in NEPA!
 
Restaurant: Rodano's
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Date: March 2013

Pizza Ordered: 16" Large New York Style
Price: $10.99
Eat In/Take Out: Eat In

Rodano's on UrbanspoonCrust: 3.75/5
Sauce: 3.5/5
Cheese: 3.5/5
Overall Taste: 4/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 4/5
Overall Value: 3.5/5
OVERALL RATING: 3.75/5

Similar to: Grotto Pizza, The Dough Company
 

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