Arcaro's Pizza - Taylor

The Super Secret NEPA Pizza Sandwich is Red, White, and Delicious!

The NEPA Pizza Sandwich was invented by local resident Mark McAndrew while dining at Arcaro's in Taylor years ago!

It has been way too long since I have visited Arcaros in Taylor (not to be confused with Arcaro and Genell in Old Forge or Arcaro's the Next Generation in Pittston) with 2013 being my last pizza visit there.  I can't tell you how many people told me that I have to go back and try the shrimp and pepper pizza since that visit over 7 years ago.  There was also a new and exciting development that I saw on social media regarding the "Arcaro's Pizza Sandwich" created by a local dad and his kids.  I couldn't believe that I had never thought or heard of such a thing so I had to try it ASAP!

When you order a "3 cut" at Arcaro's, they serve you these cool looking "mini-trays" which are roughly 1/3rd the size of a full tray of pizza!

I want to get right into the pizza sandwich and the shrimp and pepper pizza, so if you want to read about Arcaro's and their red pizza, the recipe has not changed a bit since I last had it, check out this article.  The white pizza was really tasty, and was built on the same fresh, soft, and doughy crust as the red pizza was.  The cheese blend was flavorful, smooth, and gooey with a buttery finish.  It was lightly and appropriately seasoned in a way that provided just the right amount of spice that the pizza needed.  Overall, I'm usually a regular sauce and cheese pizza guy, but I think I slightly favored the white over the red by a thin margin.

Both the red and the white pizzas were good, but I was left wondering about this Arcaro's Pizza Sandwich and what happened when the two pizzas were combined.  I have to be honest, before trying the combination I kind of thought it might be a little gimmicky and just taste like a soft Sicilian with the cheese and sauce in the middle.  But if I reviewed pizzas by preconceived notions and photos, I wouldn't be out there actually trying some of the best and coolest stuff NEPA has to offer! 

Three cuts of white pizza from Arcaro's in Taylor.

I grabbed a slice of each and smushed them together with the crusts on the outside and cheese and sauce on the inside.  It formed what looked like a pizza grilled cheese (which is what many people describe Old Forge white pizza as).  After a quick glance at this pizza conglomerate I dug right in and was immediately surprised to find that this sandwich was not gimmicky at all!  The white pizza, which had generous amounts of cheese, perfectly complimented the red pizza which is light on cheese.  The savory smooth sauce of the read and the seasoning of the white provided enough contrast and flavor to balance out the significant amount of crust that the two slices provided.  Overall, I found the sum of the parts to be even better than the individual slices themselves!  

What a genius idea!  So simple, but so smart!  I reached out to Mark McAndrew, who happens to be a local chef and a longtime patron of Arcaro's, after he posted his photo of the pizza sandwich on facebook a couple weeks ago.  He is the creator of this truly NEPA pizza combination and I'm so glad I learned about this from him!

I reached out to get the scoop and Mark tells me: "Every Friday when my daughters were younger, and even now, we get pizza. Arcaro’s is one of our favorites. We always get both red and white pizza. One Friday night as we were having pizza we were discussing which pizza should we first. Red or white. I said problem solved and made the red/white sandwich. It’s has become a family favorite and now some of my friends do it as well. It’s like the ying/yang." I couldn't agree with his assessment more, an interesting family story that resulted in a fun and delicious culinary creation! Thanks for sharing Mark!

Three cuts of red pizza from Arcaro's in Scranton.

Now, onto the Shrimp and Pepper Pizza.  This seems to be a pretty popular topping combination in NEPA as people tell me to try it over and over again.  I'm long on the record being a plain cheese pizza guy, but Arcaro's is one of places most cited as having great shrimp and pepper pizza.  I think I've only ever had one other shrimp and pepper pizza and that was during a Colarusso's Coal Fired Pizza review.  That pizza was comprised totally differently than this one.

When ordering this type of pizza, you get to select the type of pepper you want: banana, jalepeno, or sweet peppers.  I went with the spicy banana peppers as I always do when faced with a similar decision on hoagies and sandwiches. Shrimp and pepper pizza is literally that - a red pizza with shrimp and peppers on it.  I analyzed it a bit for looks and then gave it a try.

Immediately I was confused by all that was going on as there was so many different flavors and textures going on.  It was clearly very different than say sausage and onion on a pizza, but at the end of the day it was just 2 toppings on a pizza.  After getting my bearings a bit I did find it to be quite tasty and I have to say I'm glad I tried it.  I think I was able to see why people like it - because it is unique and has so much flavor, but I think I'll stick to the NEPA Pizza Sandwich with plain old red and white pizza next time!

Shrimp and Pepper Pizza at Arcaro's in Taylor.

Arcaro's is a great place pizza, but they also have awesome tacos and a number of great menu items.  It features a full bar and dining room with a great atmosphere.  It's the favorite of many in the NEPA Nation and it's pretty unique all around so definitely worth a try if you haven't been there yet!

Restaurant: Arcaro's Pizza
Location: Taylor, PA
Date: September 2020
Eat In/Take Out: Take Out

Pizza Ordered: 3 Cuts Red
Price: $
Crust: 7.1
Sauce: 7.4
Cheese: 6.8
Overall Taste: 7.2
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 6.8
Overall Value: 7.4
OVERALL RATING: 7.1
Similar to: Gin's TavernMainline Hoagie

Pizza Ordered: 3 Cuts White
Price: $
Crust: 7.1
Sauce: N/A
Cheese: 7.7
Overall Taste: 7.7
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 6.9
Overall Value: 7.4
OVERALL RATING: 7.2

Pizza Ordered: 3 Cuts Shrimp and Hot Pepper Pizza
Price: $
Crust: 7.1
Sauce: N/A
Cheese: 7.7
Overall Taste: 7.2
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 6.8
Overall Value: 7.4
OVERALL RATING: 7.0

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