Large pie: half plain, half pepperoni.
That’s what my brother, Eddie and I order when we go in together on a pizza.
I’m the plain; he’s the pepperoni.
Pizza has been a favorite food for both of us since we were little kids, although back then, both of us would only eat plain. We’ve since expanded our palates, but cheese pizza is still my go-to.
Which is why I won’t have any trouble deciding what to have for dinner today, National Cheese Pizza Day.
No, the dilemma won’t be in what to have, but in where to get it.
Should I go to Rosario’s Pizzeria & Ristorante, where they make those delicious grandma-style trays and my favorite chicken parmesan pizza? Or how about Collarusso’s Cafe, my number one choice for a Sicilian? Or maybe Dino & Francesco’s Pizza and Pasta House, a long-time favorite of my family’s? Or, there’s “the one by Gerrity’s,” as I’ve called it throughout several name changes over the years (most recently renamed Summit Slice). Or, am I in the mood for Domino’s?
There are so many good choices.
One of the first things my family set out to do upon moving here from New Jersey when Eddie was 3 and I was 8 was to select our favorite local pizza place. Instead, we found several favorites and none we didn’t like.
Nearby Old Forge may lay claim to the title, “Pizza Capital of the World,” but the Abingtons has its own underrated share of marinara-mozzarella goodness.
When we were kids, our family didn’t order pizza as often as my brother and I would have liked (we’d have eaten it every night, if we could), but that made it even more of a treat when we did get it.
Once in a while, we ate in at a pizza restaurant, but more often we got takeout. And when it was time to go pick it up, we all went, because we had a second stop to make: a library (usually Abington or Dalton), to check out a movie. Because pizza and movies go together like cheese and tomato sauce. And why pay to rent one from Blockbuster (remember Blockbuster?) when there were just as many or more options available for free at the libraries?
And so, on pizza nights, our everyone-gathers-around-the-table-for-dinner family did what was out of the question any other night: we ate in front of the television.
And we made memories in the process.
We also made memories eating out. It still saddens me to drive by the empty lot that used to house the Pizza Hut on South State Street in Clarks Summit. Not because I was particularly fond of Pizza Hut (although I do like it), but for the memories that place held. My elementary school, Summit Baptist Academy (now Summit Christian Academy) participated in Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! program, in which each student received a big round pin with empty circles on it for stickers. Every time a student finished reading a book within a certain page count requirement, he or she received a sticker to place on the pin. Once the pin was full, it could be redeemed for a free personal pan pizza at the franchise.
I loved the feeling of placing that final sticker on my BOOK IT! pin, because I knew that meant now my family had to go out for pizza.
I got a similar sensation when I learned about National Cheese Pizza Day.
“Now I’ll have to get pizza,” I thought, as if I need an excuse.
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