Steve and Irene’s

North of Scranton, in a tucked away corner of a small easy to miss strip mall sits Steve and Irene’s. If you can find Mayfield, Pa on a map it’s because Steve and Irene’s put it there.


A standard issue old sign, genuine, authentic. Hides the quality of the food from many people. Pull in, take a breath and go through the door. Get a great hoagie.

So what do you need to sample the Reader’s Choice Best Hoagie 2014? Here’s a link to their menu, you can order from the link on their homepage.

Bright menu board at Steve and Irene's

Bang for your buck? A 24″ cheese steak hoagie feeds a family of four.

Big flavors, Big hoagies. Tempura battered banana pepper rings? Buffalo sauce? Texas Wiener sauce? All on cheese steaks? Mix it up. Find your favorite, you’ll be glad you did.

Hot Hoagies, 24" Cuban anyone?

Modified and original, once you go you’ll keep going back. Work your way through the menu.

And pizza, salads, fried fish basket, but go for The Steamtown Cheese Steak, The Flaming Wiz or a Buffalo Bill. Bring friends, it’s a big hoagie.



Hawaii Coffee Company

Try some great coffee!




There’s a small Italian specialty shop in Scranton’s Westside that imports great Italian products. They have Italian stoneware for sale on the side in the back of the shop. Worth browsing if you are looking for some authentic pieces.We picked up a few serving platters and dishes made in Italy.

The place see heavy traffic around lunch time for their hoagies.

Italian hoagies in a pure form.

Hot or Mild, get a few of each.

Seriously heavy traffic. The hoagies are ready to go and easy to grab right by the register. The quick in-and-out and reasonable price makes Catalano’s a popular stop for any contractor working in the area. These hoagies are semi-famous, so good you will be sad you didn’t buy one more. A Catalano’s Italian hoagie is one of the best lunches in Scranton.

Catalano's Sausages

Housemade sausage is popular at Catalano’s. Some of the best in the city.

A true specialty shop, Catalano’s housemade Italian sausage is worth the trip. Stop in for the sausage, grab a hoagie to eat on the way home (no one needs to know about the hoagie). A perfect ingredient to any gathering of friends or family dinner. Catalano’s fresh made sausage hits the spot.

Go to Catalano’s in Scranton’s Westside, it might be the best thing you do that day.


Hard to find products from Italy, spend a few minutes browsing the shelves for fun finds.


















Onomahuna baby!

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.