2014 Festival Flyer

Greek Food Festival 2014

This year’s Greek  Food Festival started yesterday and runs through Saturday, June 7th.

Get there if you are anywhere near downtown Scranton, it is worth stopping in for the food. Here’s a map if you need directions.

Sweet and delicious


I’ve written about this festival before. You can check out an earlier post on this festival here. It’s one of my first blog posts.

This year I want to highlight the sweets. Greek pastries are exceptional, the church community does a spectacular job showcasing the best of the best. Take home some pastries.

Greek desserts

Pastries on display.

We sampled Baklava, Koulourakia, Kourambiedes, and Finikia. All were amazing, make sure you get enough to share and some for later. You know after everyone else is sleeping a little Baklava is what you need.

A delicate butter cookie



Here is a link to the menu for the 2014 festival, read it, know it, call in your order.

Greek Festival Menu


Good times, everyday.

Chick’s Diner

Chick’s Diner is the place to go if you have never been to an East Coast diner. The food is classic and the crowd is straight out of a novel. Sit relax and pay attention to your surroundings. But please pay heed to the sign over the counter that requests you limit your visit to 45 minutes after you are served.

MAP : Chick’s Diner 1032 Moosic St  Scranton, PA 18505

Chick’s is that place people come to hang out, linger longer than their meal and solve the world’s problems.

Chick’s is open 24/7, closing for a few hours occasionally for regular kitchen cleaning and part of Christmas Day, I was told by the staff. So good chance you can drop in for a meal if you are on I-81 North or South driving past Scranton.

Voted best local burger in 2012 Chick’s holds a place in the hearts of generations of Scrantonians. Be sure to check in on Foursquare if you stop in, let everyone know you were here.

Popular is the Egg Chick Muffin. Ham, Egg, American Cheese on an English Muffin. Simple, easy, fresh eggs cracked to order. Right in front of you on the behind the counter grill late night / early morning. Coffee. Hasn’t changed in 50 years because it doesn’t need to.

Simple hot and what you need.

Simple hot and what you need. Made fresh on the other side of the counter.

Pancakes and Kielbasi

Chick’s offers smoked kielbasi along with traditional bacon, ham and sausage. Switch it up!

Try some smoked kielbasi with your pancakes and eggs. Change of pace if you’re on the road eating at other great places along the way. Then coffee.

Coffee, diner coffee.

Coffee, diner coffee.


Colarusso’s Coal Fired Pizza – FLAME ON!

Colarusso’s is a popular name for pizza places in Scranton and the extended Northeast Pennsylvania area. Stopping for a meal at any place with the Colarusso name is always a good idea.

Map: Colarusso’s Coal Fired Pizza

Why go: The pizza! Get the house salad and share, you will get addicted to the coal-fired wings.

Website: http://www.colarussoscoalfiredpizza.com/home

Toasty and delicious, pizza harmony

Colarusso’s Coal Oven creates just the right toasted flavor on the delicious Margherita Pizza

There is a story behind the various places that use the Colarusso name, I don’t know it though. If anyone has a link to the story behind the restaurants let me know and I will update this post.

This place is the only Coal Fired Oven in the region. I’ve heard of coal ovens making great pizza and I was excited to give this one a try. The result of the high heat and expertly selected ingredients makes a special pizza experience. The crust can be lightly toasted or deep char-delicious depending on which variety you choose.

The Margherita pizza is almost delicate with tomato slices, fresh mozzarella and basil. My crew loves this pizza. We’ve gotten it a few times, now it’s tough to get them to branch out for other things on the menu. The crust is a toasted brown and the cheese melts nicely into the tomatoes. The basil gets a little char and develops a deep flavor. The heat of the oven crisps the top of the crust for great flavor.

Crispy caramelized chicken.

Colarusso’s Oven Baked Chicken Wings. Don’t expect any leftovers.

The house salad is a huge portion of fixin’s that is a perfect start to a family meal. Share the salad. The Coal oven wings are rubbed in Italian seasonings and given a perfect crispy char. Served with caramelized onions these are the wings you wish you could eat everyday twice a day.  The chicken wings get crispy and a deep, deep char flavor. Different from the traditional deep fried and smothered in sauce wings we all love.

The specialty pizzas are an adventure I’m still pursuing. The Black n’Blue pizza is dotted with strips of sirloin steak, caramelized onions and just the right amount of Gorgonzola cheese. Fantastic if that’s your flavor combination.

Next to try the Philly Cheesesteak Pizza, with onions peppers and mushrooms. Then the Bianco Pizza with Ricotta, Provolone, mozzarella, and Romano cheeses topped with Italian seasonings.

For an expert review of the pie, check out NEPA Pizza Review. One more great review of this place is here. Checkout the Colarusso’s post and blog by Keystone Pizza Critic.


Steak, Onions, Gorgonzola dance in this masterpiece.

Colarusso’s Coal Fired Specialty Pizza – Black n’Blue. Switch it up!

Tents go up for La Festa Italiana 2012

Festivals in Scranton August 16-18

Royal Kona Coffee
Scranton’s diverse immigrant history continues this weekend. Three festivals running Friday Saturday and Sunday roll out local heritage with food, crafts and culture.

Kicking off the weekend on Friday August 16th and continuing Saturday the 17th is the Slavic Festival at St. Mary’s Byzantine church 320 Mifflin Ave in Scranton. Quick link for the details from WNEP Events – Slavic Festival. 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM both days.

Downtown on courthouse Square the 7th Annual Scranton Latin Festival opens at noon on Saturday with a parade around the square in true latin style. For more information visit their Facebook page. Scranton Latin Festival Facebook. This festival runs Saturday Noon to 8:00 PM and Sunday Noon to 6:00PM

These two festivals are three short blocks apart so plan on walking from one to the other for a trip around the world.

Rounding out the offerings in the city this weekend is the 12th annual Lebanese-American Food Festival. Featuring Middle Eastern food and pastries, This festival is in Scranton’s Westside at St. Joseph Melkite Greek-Catholic Church, 130 N St Francis Cabrini Ave, Scranton, PA 18504.

I’ve added these festivals to the big map of Church Picnics and Festivals for 2013. Check that out here and get some local culture and heritage on a plate this weekend!


Scranton, Pa The Electric City

La Festa Italiana Scranton Party!

Hawaii Coffee Company
Map: La Festa Italiana

Why Go: Celebration of Italian food and culture. Huge event, three days.

Website: http://lafestaitaliana.org/

Labor day weekend is here and that means La Festa Italiana in Scranton, Pa.

One thing Scranton does right is throw a party. La Festa is one of the bigger events, taking over the entire downtown for three days of food and culture. Tens of thousands of people visit the three day event that runs August 31st, September 1st and 2nd 2013. Crowds and good food make for a fun time.

Tents go up for La Festa Italiana 2012

Tents start going up early in the week for La Festa. The event wraps around the block and the streets are packed with festival goers.

2012 La Festa capped off with a Dean Martin impersonator, direct from Las Vegas. This year he’s back on Sunday at 7:30 to wrap up the festival. Not to be missed on Friday a Frank Sinatra tribute and The Poets. Classic Scranton.

Entertainment starts at noon each day and crowds ebb and flow all day long. Fireworks on Sunday night. Here’s link to the schedule for the weekend’s acts. Go get some.


Pictures of cannoli in an update.

Tents waiting for vendors at Scranton's La Festa Italiana 2012

Tents run the length of the street on all four sides of the Lackawanna County Courthouse. Scranton, Pa.

Roof top view of setup Scranton, Pa
Crews start early setting up tents for La Festa Italiana in Scranton.

two stages working the entertainment all weekend

Two stages rotate acts at La Festa Italiana in Scranton.


Ithaca Farmers Market

Ithaca Farmers Market. Ithaca New York

Ithaca, NY has a roaming farmers market. Vendors set up shop in different locations throughout the week.

One of the great things about living in Northeast Pa. is the proximity to so many things to do. Getting away for the day or the weekend is a favorite among the locals. Day trips to New York Yankees games, Philadelphia Phillies, or Hershey Park are popular in the summer.

We made the trek north to the Finger Lakes wine country, upstate New York. Our goal was a garlic festival along the western shore of Seneca Lake. Since we like to wander my wife decided we should bounce through Ithaca, NY. It was on our way and she wanted to check out their farmer’s market. Worth the diversion.

The Sunday market featured 100+ farmers, crafts folk, cooks, and services. The range was interesting with a new discovery around every corner. From a vendor that only sold sweet corn to a Tibetan snack stand the variety kept us moving for the hour we spent there.

Heirloom tomatoes, white cucumbers, pointy cabbages, tomatillos, golden beets, herbs and a dozens different varieties of squash piled high at the vegetable stands. Mixed-in were crafters, and cooks so no stand competed directly against its neighbor. The layout works very well at Steamboat Landing, where the market sets up on Sundays. Right on the shore of Cayuga Lake.

One bakery hauled a wood oven on a trailer and made pizza to order. And even though the pizzas took two minutes to get crispy and a little charred there was a line waiting to place an order. The warp on this post is that there is more to see and do at the Ithaca farmer’s market than one visit can cover. Definitely on our list of places to take a break from the road when headed north through the Finger lakes region.

For more information on Ithaca NY check out this article from the New York Times.



Church Picnics – 2013 Northeast Pennsylvania

2012 Sacred Heart of Jesus picnic in Dupont, Pa. http://www.sacredheartdupont.com/

Church picnics have a long history in our part of Pennsylvania. They bring communities together and give an important boost to neighborhood churches. Each local parish has dozens, sometimes hundreds of committee members and volunteers that make these events happens. Visit these picnics and support good people. There performances by local bands most nights.

Explore the event when you get there, often there is a main food tent offering typical fare. Burgers, hot dogs, french fries. Wandering around you can find the specialty stands that focus on one delicacy, potato pancakes, clams, and dishes from one or more ethnic groups active in the parish.

Fried Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes, Fried by the thousands at church picnics across Northeast Pa.

The Scranton Diocese is rich with ethnic churches. Check out the parish websites through the links below to find out if the picnic features Mexican, Polish, Italian, Lithuanian, Irish, or other traditional favorites.

Note that some of the links below take you to the parish website if possible. when there is no information about the parish picnic on their site I link to the Google map I created to support this post. Onomahuna!

JULY 2013

25, 26, 27 –– Our Lady of Fatima, Wilkes-Barre, Holy Redeemer High School parking lot, South Pennsylvania Ave MAP

26, 27, 28 –– St. Maria Goretti, Laflin, church grounds & hall (Laflin Road)

“Great homemade food: Porketta, Pigs-In-The-Blanket, Clam Chowder, Haluski, Pierogies, Potato Pancakes and Sausage & Peppers”

26, 27, 28 –– Christ the King, Archbald, St. Mary Church grounds, Betty& Main Sts., Eynon

26, 27, 28 –– St. Joseph’s Center, Scranton, Marywood University campus 

The St. Joseph’s Festival is more than a picnic. Local TV personalities promote the great work done by the staff and volunteers at the center. If you are in the area tune in to WNEP-TV Channel 16 for daily updates. Through the hard work of the station staff the St. Joseph’s Festival is the highlight of the summer. Follow Go Joe 16.


1, 2, 3 –– Our Lady of the Snows, Clarks Summit, St. Benedict Church grounds, Newton Ransom Blvd., Newton Ransom Township.

1, 2, 3 –– Sacred Heart of Jesus, Dupont, church grounds (215 Lackawanna Ave, Dupont, Pa)

“The food offerings includes pierogi, golombki (pigs in the blanket), halushki, kielbasi, and placki (potato pancakes).  Pizza, hot dogs, and sausage are also part of the venue.  The men and women of the parish prepare the ethnic foods.”  Source – http://www.sacredheartdupont.com/

1, 2, 3 –– St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Wilkes-Barre, St. Aloysius Church grounds, Barney & Division Sts

2, 3 –– Our Lady of Victory, Tannersville, church grounds (Cherry Lane Road)

8, 9, 10 –– St. John the Evangelist, Pittston, church grounds (Church & Broad sts.) and Seton Auditorium

9, 10, 11 –– SS. Anthony & Rocco, Dunmore, St. Rocco Church grounds, 122 Kurtz St. (Bunker Hill section)

9, 10, 11 –– St. Jude’s, Mountain Top, church grounds/grove (420 S. Mountain Boulevard)

“The picnic includes food, music, a raffle of cash prizes, games for children & an open-pit chicken BBQ on Sunday.” From “In Your Neighborhood”

9, 10, 11 –– St. John the Baptist, Larksville, church grounds (126 Nesbitt St.)

16, 17, 18 –– Blessed Sacrament, Throop, parish grounds & hall (215 Rebecca St.)

17 –– St. Juliana’s, Rock Lake, church grounds, Route 247-N (Creamton Drive)

17, 18 –– Queen of Heaven (St. Mauro Festival), Hazleton, parish grounds (750 North Vine St.)

23, 24, 25 –– Prince of Peace, Old Forge, St. Lawrence Church grounds, 620 S. Main St., Old Forge

September 2013

13,14,15 – St. Paul Parish Block Party, 1510 Penn Ave, Scranton, Pa

Please send any pictures you have of these picnics. I will include them in a slide show and next years list.