Arcaro's the Next Generation - Pittston

Arcaro's the Next Generation Carries on Family Tradition While Adding Variety

Cheese pull on the Deep Dish Square Pizza at Arcaro's the Next Generation.
If you've lived anywhere near NEPA or the Pizza Capital of the World Old Forge, Pennsylvania you know that the Arcaro name is synonymous with Old Forge pizza royalty and this name helped put the rectangular "trays" of pizza on the map.  Arcaro's the Next Generation stems from that family tree and has opened a fairly new shop in downtown Pittston on Main Street across from Rite Aid.  The restaurant sits back slightly in a row of buildings, so as I approached the building I began to expect a small pizzeria, maybe a takeout joint with a few tables, but boy was I wrong!  After entering, I was shocked at how large and spacious the dining room was given the size of the store front.  It was very spacious with comfortable booths and tables providing a relaxing and casual atmosphere to dine. 

Crispy caramelized cheese edge on Deep Dish Square Pizza.

I saw what I thought was a Detroit style pizza on social media and set out to review that pizza because it is very difficult to find in NEPA and I enjoy finding unique pizza stylings in the area.  I found out that the pizza is actually a "deep dish square" pizza, not exactly a Detroit.  You might be asking "what is the difference?"  Well, there isn't much of a difference, but this pizza has a little thicker and more dense crust and the sauce is placed under the cheese as opposed to a Detroit which traditionally provides a red top.  I gave the pizza a try and immediately found myself enjoying the guilty pleasure of copious amounts of cheese and crust.  The pizza had a 
crispy bottom with a soft interior which was cooked to a fluffy and pillowy perfection.  To me, the best feature of this type of pizza is the caramelized cheese around the edges which carries a satisfying saltiness and richness that always leaves me wanting more.  This cheesy combination delivered on that satisfaction.  The sauce was equal parts sweet and savory and really balanced out the whole pizza.  This is certainly the type of pizza that I'd love to overindulge with while watching a late night ballgame or Netflix binge session, but normal people would probably enjoy sharing a tray with friends and family!

Although I set out to review the pan pizza, I was provided the opportunity to put 3 other pizzas to the test.  I had never performed a quadruple pizza review in one sitting before, but I was up to the task!  Next on the list to try was Arcaros TNG's most popular pizza - the double crust white.  If you've followed me for any amount of time, you might know that I am simply not a white pizza person.  Call me a purist or stubborn, but I typically require some sauce in the equation.  I also don't typically run into a cheese a four cheese blend married with a light and flavorful crust that makes me want to finish a whole slice!  The crust of this pizza was light and flavorful with a seasoning blend that included rosemary (an ingredient that I only enjoy on a pizza like this).  The dough was cooked thoroughly and had a crunch around the exterior while being soft and tender where the dough met the cheese.  The cheese was the real star here, with a melty blend that packed some richness, some butteryness (yeah I made up that word), and phenomenal texture that didn't bind to my teeth or stick to the top of my mouth.  The whole thing just worked, and I have to say I had a leftover slice the next day and simply microwaved it and the cheese came right back to life and was just as delicious as the day prior.  Simply put, this was a lovely double crust white that I was glad I tried. 

My expectation for the Old Forge pizza was very high given the history and training of the owner.  The pizza certainly had the visual appearance of being masterfully crafted by some experienced Old Forge hands.  After cleansing my pallet with some water from the previous slice, I grabbed a cut and experienced a classic and quintessential Old Forge tray complete with a magnificent cheese blend that brought a medley of flavors and textures.  The sauce was equal parts sweet and savory and for you onion haters - there were no onion chunks and it did not have a strong onion presence at all.  Some Old Forge sauces are super savory and chunky, this was more neutral and let the cheese do most of the talking.  The crust was tender, light, and crisp on the bottom.  The whole pizza was cooked perfectly and put together nicely.  Overall, had I tried this pizza prior to ranking my Top 10 Old Forge Pizzas in NEPA for PMQ Magazine, this tray very likely would have made that list.

Finally, I learned that you can teach an "Old Forger" how to make round pizza!    I saw the special board on the way in noting a 16" pizza was $6.99, but was currently on special through Discover NEPA for only $4.99.  I thought it had to be a misprint because 16" pizzas usually cost $11-$13 in this area.  After learning that the deal is legit, the round pizza was before me and its appearance was quite striking and photogenic for something that only cost five bucks!  I noticed that it was a thin crust, although not as thin as a traditional New York style pie.  I also noticed that it was cooked on a screen which allowed for a more uniform cook through and eliminated the gum line.  The crust was quite tender, the sauce provided some real zest and punch, and the cheese seemed to be a high quality mozzarella.  Besides the price, the thing that really struck me was the shelf life of this pizza.  It looked basically the same as it did coming out of the oven as it did an hour later.  That makes this pizza the perfect party pleaser.  It's an exceptional value, has a great shelf life, and has qualities that both the pizza snob and a young child would both enjoy.  The next party or big game at my house, I know where I'm ordering from!

Overall, I thought that all four pizzas were individually and thoughtfully designed with unique sauces, cheeses, and doughs.  I confirmed with Fran, the owner, that they do make multiple unique fresh dough daily as well as maintain different sauces and cheese blends for each pizza.  This might be add to the prep work duties and storage requirements, but the nuances in each pizza did not go unnoticed by this pizza guy.  Each pizza started out with a vision and goal in mind, and I could detect those goals in each bite.  Arcaro's the Next Generation does offer much more than just pizza, including a full menu of homemade Italian dishes and more, but the pizzas I sampled were all very good.  If you are looking for a taste of Old Forge in Tomato Town, the perfect birthday party pizza, or if you're a double crust white or deep dish fan go check out Arcaro's TNG and let me know how your experience was in the comments!

Restaurant: Arcaro's the Next Generation
Location: Pittston, PA
Date: May 2019
Eat In/Take Out: Eat In

Pizza Ordered: Square Deep Dish

Price: $
Crust: 3.75/5
Sauce: 4/5
Cheese: 4.55/5
Overall Taste: 4.5/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 4.5/5
Overall Value: /5

Similar to: Nearra's, Little Caesars

Pizza Ordered: 6 Cut Double Crust White

Price: $8.95
Crust: 4.5/5
Cheese: 5/5
Overall Taste: 4.5/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 5/5
Overall Value: 3.75/5

Similar to: Arcaro and Genell's

Pizza Ordered: 12 Cut Old Forge Red

Price: $11.95

Crust: 4/5
Sauce: 3.75/5
Cheese: 4.5/5
Overall Taste: 4.5/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 4.55/5
Overall Value: 3.5/5

Pizza Ordered: 16" Round Pizza

Price: $4.99

Crust: 3.5/5
Sauce: 4/5
Cheese: 4/5
Overall Taste: 3/5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 5/5
Overall Value: 5/5++
Similar to: Katrina's Pizza


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