Wicked Mushroom - Scranton, PA

Wicked Mushroom is the Swirly Sweet Pizza with a Growing Underground Following

Small Pizza from Wicked Mushroom in Scranton, PA.

Pizzeria Born Out of Pandemic Has Small Footprint and Smart Strategy

Wicked Mushroom is a newer pizzeria in Scranton that I have been receiving a high volume of word of mouth recommendations about for the better part of a year or so.  It's a small, takeout only pizzeria currently with limited hours, so it took me some time to get there so the recommendations from people not only persisted, but grew louder over time.  This was interesting to me because Wicked Mushroom has no social media presence and does not advertise (to my knowledge).  It left me wondering, how could a new pizzeria with limited public outreach have such a strong "underground" or "grassroots" following?

Wicked Mushroom Pizza is located next to Gerrity's and Frutas Locas on Meadow Avenue in Scranton.

Wicked Mushroom is tucked away in the same parking lot as Gerrity's Supermarket on Meadow Avenue in the same building as Frutas Locas.  It's a bit tucked away, but easy to get to just off interstate 81.  From what I'm told, and what I observed, this pizzeria is a one man show which is open only on weekdays and closed on weekends (at present).  The menu is very simple - you can choose from a small or large pizza, and a choice of pepperoni, onion, mushroom, or extra cheese for toppings.  

Check out the hypnotizing sauce swirl on the Wicked Mushroom Pizza.

I ordered a small 10" cheese pizza which comes standard with the sauce swirl on top.  The crust appeared to be coated in semolina and was cooked to a nice golden brown perfection.  The fiercely vibrant red sauce swirl was mesmerizing on top - a smooth and rich textured sauce which wound it's way around the nicely cooked yellow cheese.  I took my first bite and was immediately greeted by the intensely sweet sauce with some complex undertones - I even detected a hint of smokiness in the flavor profile which made it all that more interesting.  I always say I'm not a huge sweet sauce fan, but I could definitely see why people love this particular sauce.  The cheese, I presume was cheddar, or a blend that included cheddar but I couldn't be certain.  The crust was tender, flavorful, light, and not all that crispy, but crispy enough.  Overall, it was a very interesting, unique, and certainly delicious pizza that was well executed.

Golden brown crust on Wicked Mushroom Pizza in Scranton.

In terms of starting a new business during a pandemic, I find this simple yet elegant approach to menu construction, overhead, and scheduling to be brilliant!  In uncertain times with supply chain issues, labor shortages, and unknown variables related to the pandemic I think this (presumably) low overhead, simplified operation with word of mouth advertising and an affordable, unique, quality product that fits a growing, yet largely unmet demand for sweet sauce pizza in the Scranton and greater Lackawanna County market.  Sweet sauce pizza generally used to be just a Dunmore and Luzerne County thing (with some exceptions, of course), but Lackawanna County has a growing thirst for sugary sauces on their pizza.  

Wicked Mushroom's menu as of September 2021. Please refer to WM's website for current menu.

I'll also add that only one person making the pizza allows for extreme quality control and a consistent product.  Every Wicked Mushroom pizza picture that people have sent to me has looked the same.  Same shape, same swirl, and baked the same way every time.  Consistently quality product keeps people coming back.

It's incredible the type of following this unique little pizzeria has gained in such a short amount of time, but after trying the pizza, experiencing the smart strategy first-hand, and hearing the buzz from my readers it really isn't all that surprising in hindsight.  Great idea, good timing, nice execution.  Well done Wicked Mushroom.

The Ratings

Restaurant: Wicked Mushroom
Location: 316 Meadow Ave Unit #3, Scranton, PA 18505
Date: September 2021
Eat In/Take Out: Take Out

Pizza Ordered: Small Round Pizza
Price: $6.55
Crust: 7.4
Sauce: 7.3
Cheese: 7.3
Overall Taste: 7.4
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 7.4
Overall Value: 7.5
OVERALL RATING: 7.4
Similar To: Angelo's, Gerry's, Nardozzi's

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