Norm's Pizza - Wilkes-Barre

Norm's: True to Values and the Proof is in its Growth

Norm's Pizza and Eatery has been on my to-try list for quite some time.  I've received several recommendations from people over the years to give it a try, and for some reason I always thought it was a tiny little place in Wilkes-Barre, but after visiting their website, I found it used to be a small pizzeria on Spring Street until they moved to their current location in the giant building on Sherman Street.  I was very impressed with the size of the building, ample parking, and moreover how full said building and parking lot were!  Norm's must be doing something right to fill up a restaurant like this!

I entered through what I think was the rear by the pizza counter and got a quick glimpse of the pizza making operation which was just churning out pies.  I controlled myself and refrained from totally geeking out as I normally do witnessing pizzeria operation and proceeded to the hostess station.  I was quickly seated in one of the many dining rooms scattered throughout the building.  The separate dining areas were nice because although the place is huge, it provides a more quiet and intimate environment (a shame I was dining alone)!  Even though it was very busy, the waitress was immediately over to take my drink and food order.  I tweeted out to the NEPA Nation to see if I should get a round or square pizza, and the feedback was about 50/50 so I decided to order a little of each, a couple of slices of sicilian, and a small round pizza.  The pizzas were ready and at my table in less than 10 minutes, which is quite a feat with so many hungry mouths to feed!

Both pizzas came out at the same time and my eye was immediately drawn to the round pie.  The pizza appeared to be the cracker crust, sauce swirl on top of the cheese style that is so popular in Wilkes-Barre and Luzerne County.  After doing a little photographing and filming while a few bewildered people looked on, I dug right in to give it a try.  The crust was actually not the dense and brittle cracker crust style, it was more of a light, New York Style dough which is made fresh daily and this particular crust was cooked nicely with heavy browning and light charring which brought out a number of different pleasant flavors.  It was my favorite component of the pizza as it was crispy both around the edge and on the bottom.  The cheese was a sharp cheddar (or similar) by my estimation which is pretty customary for this type of pizza.  The sauce was very savory, maybe a little on the sweet side - but very savory.  I'm more of a traditionalist where the sauce belongs under the cheese, but I do have to say I do enjoy the sauce swirl the more I try it.  The swirl creates tremendous flavor and texture variation.  For example, in one bite you may get no sauce and essentially a white pizza and in the next bite you might be wiping the sauce of your chin and cheeks!  It makes for a unique pizza adventure in every bite!  This pizza was very good, and quite similar to many other pizzas in the surrounding area like The Dough Company, Tommy's Pizza Corner, Grotto Pizza, and more.

The square pizza was an interesting cross between an old forge crust and and the fried sicilian pizzas that are popular in the region.  I was a bit confused by this pizza because the crust had the same spongy bread-like consistency of an old forge pizza as the bubble pattern was so consistent and unlike the other pan fried Sicilians I've reviewed.  It was quite soft and a lightly cooked.  I was also expecting the fried variety, but didn't detect much if any oil, which could be a good thing, right?!  The sauce was solid with a little sweetness and a smoother consistency.  I went with the default onions in the sauce and was happy that I did because they did add a pleasant and subtle flavor and texture into the mix.  This pizza was fine although when I go back, I'll probably stick with the round, unless this wasn't indicative of a normal Norm's pizza which could be the case on a very busy Friday night after comparing my pizza to some of the photos online.  I'm also told by people that the strombolis are amazing here, so I'll be checking them out on on my return trip.  Please do share your experiences with the Sicilian in the comments so that I can compare.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience.  The service was courteous and fast.  The prices were very fair and Norm's provided a family friendly environment that would be great to take the kids.  I can envision Norm's being a hot spot to eat after little league games because it's so inviting and affordable.  There are a couple of games to play and you can watch the pizza maker do his thing in the back if you so chose to do so!  Norm's website states that their 3 main goals are great quality, service, and affordability and they certainly delivered on those promises.  All in all, this was a successful pizza review at yet another family-owned small business in NEPA!  I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Norm's Pizza and Eatery to the NEPA Nation.  If you've tried Norm's, please do leave a comment and let me know what pizza and menu items you love the most there!

Restaurant: Norm's Pizza and Eatery
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Date: January 2019
Pizza Ordered: Small Round
Price: $8.25
Eat In/Take Out: Eat-In

Crust: 4.5/5
Sauce: 3.5/5
Cheese: 3.5/5
Overall Taste: 4/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 5/5
Overall Value: 3/5
Similar to: Grotto Pizza, Tommy's Pizza Corner, The Dough Co.

Pizza Ordered: 4 Slices Sicilian Square Pizza
Price: $1.10
Eat In/Take Out: Eat-In

Crust: 1/5
Sauce: 3/5
Cheese: 2.5/5
Overall Taste: 2/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 2/5
Overall Value: 4/5
Similar to: Chicken Coop


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