Cali's Don Tomaso Peatza - Dunmore

Some of the Best Old Forge Pizza is Outside of the Pizza Capital of the World

The Old Forge style pizza at Cali's Don Tomaso Peatza in Dunmore, PA.
Cali's Don Tomaso Peatza is a great little take-out and delivery pizza joint on Drinker Street in Dunmore.  I believe I had a slice or two from one of their previous locations down by the Icebox in Scranton but never really sat down to do an in-depth review, especially of the Old Forge Style square pizza.  Jay Cali, the owner issued a review challenge to me during NEPA Pizza Madness about 2 years ago, and for some reason it took me this long to get here and put his pizza to the test!  As you can see in the video, I was anything but undercover in this review as I teamed up with fellow pizza aficionado, Ron Augelli to give the pizza a try inside the restaurant!

New York style pizza with pepperoni at Cali's Don Tomaso Peatza in Dunmore
Reviewing pizzas live on location creates some amazing opportunities to chat with ownership as well as customers as they filter in and out.  We learned so much about the history and family lineage of Cali's Don Tomaso Peatza, which can be summed up in the story on the back of the menu (below).  You also get an extensive feel of the vibe of the place.  In this case, every single customer that we saw enter was immediately greeted by name and seemed to be ready to roll into conversation from the previous meeting.  It was really cool to see such loyal people and the friendly interactions at Cali's DT.  This loyalty was validated after I posted some photos on social media of the pizza we tested, with an outpouring of positive comments, some of which declared the pizza "The Best Around" and "The Best Pizza in Dunmore" - both very bold claims that after trying hundreds of pizzas "around" and in Dunmore I can see where people are coming from.

Ron and I tried both a round and a square pizza and Jay explained that the square is his most popular but he gets a lot of positive feedback about the round as well.  We tested the Old Forge square first and marveled at the melty, creamy, ooey, gooey, american cheese on top in all of its (unburned) glory!  We also experienced an intoxicating aroma radiating from the crust that could not go unnoticed.  Upon the first bite, I couldn't immediately identify a favorite component because the flavors were so perfectly balanced and the textures were also neatly varied to create a really well executed tray.  After further reflection, I decided that the crust was too much of a masterpiece to not crown it the best part of this pizza.  It was golden brown, flaky and crispy on the edge and bottom and soft and chewy in the middle.  It had a ton of flavor and texture.  It was very light and airy, but also maintained its shape and structural integrity despite having generous amounts of sauce and cheese on top.  The sauce was slightly chunky, very flavorful with a hint of sweetness, a dose of savoriness, and a mini punch of oregano.  As some of you know, American Cheese isn't my favorite to put on pizza, but this really worked nicely, particularly the way it was applied and baked.  This was a really nicely executed pizza and rivals any and all of the best Old Forge in the area, including in the Pizza Capital of the World.

We ordered the round pizza with pepperoni on top, and as it cooked, we learned that it's made with my favorite brands of cheese, sauce, and pepperoni - I won't overtly give away those brands here and shed some light on the recipe, but let's just say they are quality products that cost a little more than standard.  The crust on the pizza was very sturdy and flavorful.  It was slightly thicker than a traditional New York Style pizza and had a nice density and chew to it.  The sauce had a natural sweetness to it, and the cheese blend on top was delicious as well.  The saltiness of the pepperoni definitely added to the pizza and I'm glad we tried it!  I have been using this term a lot recently, but this pizza definitely falls into the "Party Pleaser" category because it's sure to have a long shelf-life thanks to the slightly thicker crust and generously applied cheese and sauce.  

With both pizzas, there is plenty of flavor for a reheat, to eat cold or at room temperature.  I will say, I ate a slice of the Old Forge straight out of the fridge 2 days later and it was ridiculously good - without thinking, probably in the top 5 cold pizzas I've ever eaten.  This stuff should be sold at grocery stores and gas stations.  PERIOD.  Overall, I think both Ron and I enjoyed both pizzas, but we had to give the nod to the Old Forge tray as it was just so very well composed and the flavors and textures just worked together in harmony.  I can see why it's Cali's Don Tomaso Peatza's hottest seller.  Make sure you get yourself to Dunmore and give them a try!  Have you eaten a Cali DT Peatza?  You have to tell me about your experience in the comments! Please share! 

The Ratings

Restaurant: Cali's Don Tomaso Peatza
Location: Dunmore, PA
Date: October 2019
Eat In/Take Out: Eat In

Pizza Ordered: Old Forge Pizza
Price: $13.20
Crust: 8.8
Sauce: 8.2
Cheese: 7.6
Overall Taste: 9.1
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 9.2
Overall Value: 8.4
Similar to: Roosevelt Beer Garden, Salerno's, Colarusso's

Pizza Ordered: Round Pizza With Pepperoni
Price: $12.30
Crust: 7.8
Sauce: 7.4
Cheese: 8.1
Overall Taste: 7.9
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 8.4
Overall Value: 8.4
Similar to: Pat's Pizza, Budd's Pizza, Brick Oven Pizza


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