Serpico Pizza - Wilkes-Barre

So it was a snowy Saturday morning, and the first lady of the NEPA pizza review needed an errand run in Wilkes-Barre, and I just happen to enjoy driving the pizza mobile in the snow so I volunteered to take the trip and teamed up with a friend to find him some good pizza in the WB.  We didn't have all day, so we kept it confined to an area confined to a radius of just a couple of minutes from the Wyoming Valley Mall.  I did something I don't like to do to find us a place on short notice and consulted google search because the places that were recommended to me by readers were all closed.  I found that Serpico Pizza had a lot of positive reviews and a high rating so I thought I would try it out.  A couple of users said that the service was great, which lead me to believe that my friend and I could sit and receive table service and discuss the pizza.

We drove into the East End Shopping Center, which is a largely vacant facility with a few places still standing including Serpico's and some other shops and a Chinese restaurant.  Strip-mall pizza, as I call it was not what I was searching for, but maybe the facility the place resides in does not define how they deliver service and how good their pizza might be.  We walked in the door and found that the facility was exactly that, cafeteria style with wooden booths, where you order and pick up your food at the counter.  I'm not saying the restaurant layout is a bad thing, but it illustrates why I trust food bloggers' opinions rather than using the big review sites which have numerous conflicts of interest and don't provide a good picture of restaurants.  We weren't looking for a strip mall, we were looking for table service where we could order pizza by the pie, not the slice.  Although I'm sure Serpico's friendly staff would have accommodated our request, it's not their primary method of service delivery and I fault the big sites for giving me something I didn't ask for.  Oh wait, I also fault myself for always being in a rush and not taking the time to research who was open and when!

Anyway, we marched up to the counter and selected a few premade slices to be reheated.  I ordered a plain cheese and a chicken wing.  My buddy ordered a steak and cheese and a mushroom slice.  They were ready in no time and we chowed down.  By my estimation, this pizza did not escape the "strip-mall" label because although it was quite good, it was also quite standard and fit right into the norm of what standard New York Style pizza is.  (Think Roma, Gourmet Slice, Dino's in WVM, etc.).  I did find the crust on each pizza to be quite tender, which is better than many mall pizzas.  The sauce was neutral and of decent quality.  The cheese was a standard mozzarella.  The strength of Serpico would probably be its speed and consistency.  Every pizza on display looked well crafted and pretty fresh.  The cashier service was fast and we were in and out within 10 minutes.

The mushroom pizza didn't net many comments from my partner in crime, but the word "standard" flew out of his mouth immediately before I said a word.  The steak and cheese netted similar results, and I noted that there was a lot of dough and not a whole lot of steak and cheese inside the stuffed pizza.  My hot wing pizza was ok, the sauce was more sweet than hot, so I would imagine that most people would enjoy this more than I did as I'm a fan of spicy food.  Overall, I believe I did enjoy the pizza here although it was not exactly what we set out to try.  Driving 45 minutes for mall pizza was not what we were looking for, so I'll be sure to never use the big review websites again and rely on my readers for recommendations even when choices are limited.  To be fair to Serpico, they do have a nice product, friendly staff, and fast food.  The pizza "plays to the middle" so most people will enjoy this pizza.  You can call this a safe bet to grab a few pies to feed to guests, but if you are looking to step out of the box for something different and unique, you should probably head elsewhere.

Restaurant:  Senape's Tavern Pizza
Location: Hazleton, PA
Date: December 2013

Pizza Ordered: Round Pizza with Romano 
Price: $7.45
Eat In/Take Out: Eat In

Serpico Pizza on UrbanspoonCrust: 3.5/5
Sauce: 3.25/5
Cheese: 3.75/5
Overall Taste: 3.25/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 4.5/5
Overall Value: 3.5/5
OVERALL RATING: 3.5/5

Similar to: Gourmet Slice, Antonio's, Dino's WVM

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Wyoming Valley Mall 8707890583013457640

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