Chicken Coop - Wilkes-Barre
When I walked in the door to look around, I noticed that the place was upgraded with new TV's everywhere, new Phillies and other local sports teams memorabilia plastered all over the walls, and the dining room was laid out a little differently. I was really pumped to relax in this atmosphere and get my buddies' thoughts on the wings. Once we sat down, we were given menus and one of my friends pointed out that the coop offers pizza. This was a complete surprise to me as I didn't have any idea that they served it. Of course, I immediately added a pizza to the order. The waitress asked if we wanted onions on the pizza, so I'm assuming it normally comes with them on. The friend who was splitting the pie with me was anti-onions, so we decided to go half with and half without to get the full experience.
While waiting for the pizza to come out, we grazed on our jumbo chicken wings and raved about how perfectly cooked they were, how flavorful the sauces tasted, and how they applied just the right amount of sauce on the wings. As my mouth was burning from my spicy hot wings, the site of the pizza traveling to our table was a welcome site to calm my taste buds. I immediately identified this pizza as an Old Forge style pizza with a premade, store-bought crust. That didn't disqualify the pizza from being good, but I always enjoy trying to decide if a pizza is made of fresh dough or not. I removed my first slice noting that the bottom of the pizza was still pretty spongy and not crisped except for in the corners and edges. I would assume this was because it was cooked in a traditional oven rather than a brick oven that cooks from the bottom up - just a guess.
The crust tasted spongy and chewy, just as it appeared - and well you know what a premade shell tastes like. The sauce was pretty smooth and simple. It was pleasant tasting and neutral, which earned praise from my friends with a simpler pallet than mine. I acknowledged our difference in taste preference and moved on with the review. The cheese was also pretty simple, although I won't offer a guess on what it was. The ingredients did work together nicely in this simple "bar pizza" and everyone that tried a slice did enjoy it. Personally, I wasn't wowed by it, but the Chicken Coop is a sports bar that specializes in wings - not pizza, so this pizza is a complimentary menu item that serves its purpose flawlessly. Pizza and wings go together like peanut butter and jelly, and I would add that pizza is necessary to settle your taste buds after a spicy snack.
Overall, this pizza achieves exactly what it sets out to do - adding to an already diverse menu that specializes in some of the best wings in the area. The simplistic nature of the pizza works because the kitchen does not need to clutter up their space with a dough mixer, proofing boxes, extra refrigeration, and all of the other hassles that go along with making pizza. Bar pizza is what it is, and it too should be celebrated in its own form. I would recommend grabbing a pizza here - especially if you are in a group and want to have a snack to go along with your wings!
Restaurant: The Chicken Coop
Date: December 2013
Pizza Ordered: Old Forge Pizza
Eat In/Take Out: Eat In