Alley Whey Eatery - Honesdale

Homemade is Alley Whey's Way

The Grandma pizza from Alley Whey Eatery in Honesdale, PA.
Honesdale is an awesome town with tons of history and charm.  Main Street in Honesdale is lined with small family-owned shops and restaurants that are unique and sometimes quirky.  Alley Whey Eatery is an awesome restaurant located in front of the Irving Cliff Brewery on Main Street.  It initially started as a cheese shop in across Main Street in 2013 and started making their signature sandwiches in 2014.  As the sandwiches grew in popularity and the customer base grew, Alley Whey made a move in 2017 into the property where they now reside which provides a full dining room experience for hungry customers to sit and relax.  Perhaps the most exciting news came in the addition of pizza to the menu.
The New York Style pizza from Alley Whey Eatery.

James, the owner who is a trained chef, knew he could do more than just sandwiches on fresh baked bread, so he decided to put the homemade in-house and hand-pulled fresh mozzarella cheese to use and combine it with his bread and dough-making knowledge to create some pizzas that are unique not only to Honesdale, but really sort of different than anything else in NEPA.  With this backdrop of information from Ron, my pizza colleague, I decided it was worth the near 50 minute drive to Honesdale to try the pizza.


Check out the video review of Alley Whey Eatery on my YouTube Channel and Subscribe!

Upon arrival, I noticed the building was eerily familiar - because I had been there many years ago possibly when it was the location of Gretchen's Grotto.  But I also noticed that the lattice work that I remember was replaced with modern finishes and a relaxing color template.  I was really impressed with what they did with the place.  I could see why it is such a popular place for people to eat, and my belief was further affirmed once I spotted a few of the gigantic and tasty looking sandwiches going out to the tables.  We weren't here for the sandwiches, however, we were on a pizza mission to try three different pies: the New York Style, the Grandma, and the Margherita pizza.


Close up of the Grandma crust and stewed tomatoes atop of the pizza at Alley Whey.
The three pizzas all had one thing in common - the sauce was incredibly unique in that it had such a pronounced flavor, but I couldn't quite describe to you exactly what I was experiencing.  My taste buds told me it was sweet, but my brain said there were other factors in play here.  It had a crisp and refreshing flavor profile with a clean aftertaste which indicated to me that it had little if any sugar in the sauce.  After carefully analyzing the flavors on each of the three pizzas, I decided I couldn't decipher what was in the sauce, but I did conclude it was very good and likely made from high quality and fresh tomatoes!


A close up of the colossal air bubbles in the crust of the New York Style pizza at Alley Whey.
The dough on each of the pizzas were a little different, perhaps not in recipe, but certainly in execution.  The New York pie featured a thin, yet sturdy crust in the center, while also providing an airy and thick edge.  There were many air bubbles in this crust, one so big I could have fit a golf ball inside!  I loved the air bubbles because they provided so much texture variation and were fun to eat!  There was a generous amount of really flavorful mozzarella cheese on top, but the generously applied amounts of sauce and sturdy crust provided great balance throughout.  As you'll see below, this pizza scored quite high in the ratings, but not the highest of the 3 I tried.  It may not make sense, but the New York was my favorite despite the Grandma scoring higher.  Sometimes you have to put personal preference aside, and grade objectively!
A look underneath the Grandma pizza from Alley Whey Eatery in Honesdale.
The grandma pizza featured a dense and chewy dough with a wonderfully browned bottom.  It was also covered with generously applied flavorful cheese and some dollops of sauce and finished with a stewed tomato atop each sauce dollop.  I could have eaten a bowl of those stewed tomatoes by themselves.  These tomatoes had that same signature flavoring of the sauce and could have been eaten like candy!  One thing is for sure, James didn't just grab a stewed tomato from a can and plop it on top - there was just too much flavor for that to have happened.  There's really no other way to say it other than the Grandma pizza was pretty darn awesome.  So much flavor, such a great crust, and topped with those unbelievable tomatoes created the highest scoring pizza of the trio.
  
Margherita Pizza from Alley Whey Eatery in Honesdale.
The Margherita pizza really allowed for the sauce to shine.  This refreshing pizza is covered in sauce, a few chunks of the house-made fresh mozzarella, some fresh basil, and I presume a drizzle of olive oil.  The exposed sauce had a chance to reduce further in the oven without having the cheese to trap the moisture in.  This provided a higher concentration of flavor and was contrasted wonderfully with the fresh basil.  It was quite unique in flavor as well as quite tasty.
Grabbing a slice of the Margherita Pizza!
Overall, it was very much worth the long drive out to try Alley Whey Eatery's pizza.  I would never have guessed that pizza like this would be found in a rural area like Honesdale.  That's certainly not a knock on Honesdale, but it's not extremely common to find artisan-type pizza in the country.  I'm aware that there is other good pizza to be found around town, but this is unique stuff that I was really impressed with!  It's really nice when you are surprised by a pizza, even when you're told in advance from credible sources that it's very good.  Bottom line: hop in the car and try it out - it's worth the trek.


Jim and Ron grabbing a photo with owner James R. after crushing 3 different pizzas!

The Ratings

Restaurant: Alley Whey Eatery
Location: Honesdale, PA
Date: September 2019
Eat In/Take Out: Eat In

Pizza Ordered: Grandma Pizza
Price: $13.95
Crust: 7.9
Sauce: 7.4
Cheese: 7.9
Overall Taste: 8.0
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 8.5
Overall Value: 8.4
OVERALL RATING: 8.1


Pizza Ordered: New York Style Pizza
Price: $13.95
Crust: 7.8
Sauce: 7.4
Cheese: 8.1
Overall Taste: 7.9
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 8.4
Overall Value: 8.4
OVERALL RATING: 7.8


Pizza Ordered: Margherita Pizza
Price: $13.95
Crust: 7.9
Sauce: 7.4
Cheese: 7.5
Overall Taste: 8.2
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 8.1
Overall Value: 8.4
OVERALL RATING: 7.6

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