Ricci's Pizza - Wilkes-Barre

Ricci's Proves that Thicker is Better!

Ricci's Pizza is a place that has been on my radar for probably 5 years as it's been recommended by scores of readers from the NEPA Nation, but as with many places time passes and it takes me forever to get there for a variety of factors.  Some of the factors were distance and that several people told me it is located in a bit of a rougher area in Wilkes-Barre, but after arriving later on a Friday night, I didn't think it was a bad neighborhood at all.  The area was well lit, and the people walking around all seemed friendly to me so my brief experience was not consistent with those comments I heard.  The other comments I received is that the pizza is legendary and that I had to try it so after half a decade, I finally made the journey down to the WB.



Ricci's was very easy to find, right on a main road and lit up with plenty of neon lights and beer signs.  I called ahead for a pickup order and was assigned a time approximately 30 minutes from the time of my call to pick up the pizza - pretty quick turnaround for a Friday night!  When I arrived, things were very busy behind the counter with a flurry of activity of people working hard churning out pizzas.  I marveled at the large industrial looking piece of equipment that rested on the counter behind the counter.  It appeared to be a vintage dough rolling machine, but whatever it was I wish I had time to stop and ask a few questions about it!  Alas, everyone was so busy and I had some pizza to eat, so I grabbed my tray and walked back to the pizza mobile.


See my YouTube video review of Ricci's Pizza here:

I ordered 10 cuts of pizza, which happened to equal to a full tray.  If you're not from NEPA, let me translate - I ordered 10 slices of pizza which equals a whole pie!  A cut of Sicilian pizza is only $1.35 per slice, so $13.50 for a full tray which provides pretty exceptional value and I'll tell you why in a minute.  The pan-fried Sicilian Pizza is so popular in this area of Luzerne County and is one of my favorite styles.  If you aren't familiar with pan-fried Sicilian, it's NOT Old Forge Pizza - not even close.  It's a thicker Sicilian crust usually baked in a pan coated with a generous amount of peanut oil, covered with chunky tomato sauce, typically onions, and a usually a mozzarella or cheddar cheese.  It's astounding to me how many people in Lackawanna County are not familiar with this style of pizza.  Equally amazing how many people confuse this with Old Forge Pizza!



Anyway, on to the review.  I opened the box after taking in the pungent aroma of the onions in the sauce (as I requested) and was surprised at how thick the pizza was.  I've eaten at least 20 different pan fried Sicilian pizzas in my day and this was by far the thickest crust I've ever encountered.  I have to be honest, when I think really thick crust, I think a doughy and chewy slog through a pizza that has little flavor because the dough just saps the flavor from everything else.  I'm happy to report I couldn't be more wrong with this assumption.  The crust was an absolute marvel to behold.  It was bursting with flavor from the peanut oil and was remarkably tender.  I can't even describe to you, nor was my camera able to capture adequately the perfect shade of brown that the bottom and sides of this crust displayed.  I may have to go order another pizza and drive it down to the Crayola factory and see if they would create a new crayon color called "Ricci's Crispy Crust."



The crust was so tender, cooked fully throughout, and the bubble pattern and texture variation left me speechless.  Every bite I took was a different experience as the bubbles created different nooks and crannies that held differing amounts of sauce.  With many regular Sicilian pizzas I've had in the past being monotonous and mundane to eat, this Sicilian just kept me guessing the entire way through.  Obviously the crust was my favorite component of this tray, but the sauce was also excellent.  It was simple with a slight sweetness and plenty of moderate chunks to be found.  The onions were diced up into tiny pieces and provided plenty of texture.  I would highly recommend ordering with onions, even though I have no basis for comparison without.  I would surmise that the cheese was a mozzarella, perhaps with something similar blended in.  The cheese didn't need to do too much talking in this conversation because the dough was screaming while the sauce was talking loudly.  The cheese's job was just to hold it all together, and it did a fine job of doing just that!



Overall, I am in disbelief it took me this long to get to Ricci's.  I'm so thrilled that a member of the NEPA Nation finally threatened to unfollow me on twitter if I didn't get off my butt and get down there!  This is one of those pizzas that has a unique story to tell and that everyone should try at least once.  It's a pick-up or delivery only restaurant and definitely worth a quick trip into the WB.  At $1.35 a cut, Ricci's definitely provides the thickest, heartiest, and most generously-sized slice of pizza in the area for the price.  Two cuts and a soda for lunch will definitely fill you up.  I absolutely recommend Ricci's Pizza to the NEPA Nation!  Have you ever tried Ricci's?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!


Restaurant: Ricci's Pizza
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Date: January 2019
Pizza Ordered: 10 cuts Sicilian
Price: $1.35 per slice; $13.50 per tray
Eat In/Take Out: Take Out

Crust: 5/5
Sauce: 4.25/5
Cheese: 3.5/5
Overall Taste: 4.5/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 5/5
Overall Value: 5/5
OVERALL RATING: 4.5/5
Similar to: Teberio's, Pizza Heaven, Pizza L'Oven, Pizza Perfect, Victory Pig

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