Monday, February 14, 2011

Alfredo's Pizza Cafe

1040 S Washington Ave.
We like it here. It's usually crowded, and for a good reason. The food is good. The pizza's good. It has a charming ambiance. And it's not too expensive.
So tonight, (Valentine's Day) was no exception; it was packed.

This time we tried something different - the Pizza Alfredo Plus. This is a thin crust pizza with Alfredo sauce, approximately 20 lbs of artery-clogging mozzarella, and fresh spinach. It's good. And filling. After one piece, we were done. But not really, because we got the cannoli to take home for desert. I just finished it. Delicioso! I once got a cannoli from a bakery in Visalia, California, and it was like a deep fried tortilla filled with frosting. Yeah, that's right, frosting. But I digress.

Because there is no such thing as an uneventful night out for us, let me tell you what happened. Shortly after we were seated, another older couple were seated behind us. That's when we smelled it. I smelled it first.
"Oh dear God, do you smell that?"
"No, what?"
"It smells like somebody emptied the ashtray of a car that's been sitting since the 70's under our table."
"Whoa...yeah, I just caught a whiff! It's the guy behind you."
Now, I get it when somebody's just had a cigarette and the smell is still on their clothing. It's both a familiar and annoying smell. But I swear this guy really did empty the ashtrays from several 1970's cars and then rolled around in it like it was catnip. You would not believe this stench. But here's the kicker...he was wearing an oxygen hose under his nose. And hobbled out halfway through the meal to have a smoke. 

Don't let this story prevent you from going here. You will probably have better luck than we did; everybody does. That's just our thing. It's how we roll. We love Alfredo's and will go here again.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Coney Island of Scranton

This is the one on Cedar Ave.and Lackawanna, not to be confused with Coney Island Lunch, down the street on Lackawanna Ave. The building says "Coney Island Texas Lunch" but the business name is actually "Coney Island of Scranton". Confusing. There is some sort of feud going on between the two businesses about which is the original, but I say, who cares? This shit will kill you if you eat it more than once a year, anyway.

I was feeling nostalgic for Texas Weiners, as it had been maybe 25 years or so since I had one. So I propose the idea to Danelle, who is from California. "Let's go get some Texas Weiners", I said.
"What are Texas Weiners, and why are they famous in Pennsylvania?", she asked. Hmm. Excellent question. I don't know why they are famous here, but did my best to describe one for her. "It's a small hot dog sliced down the middle and splayed on a grill, then you put it on a bun and put chili sauce on it."
"Oh, so it's a chili dog", she said.
"Noo, it's a Texas Weiner. Shut up."

She doesn't want to go. It doesn't sound that good to her, so I have to talk her into it. It didn't help that my brothers happened to be around to chime in, "You gotta go. The guy lines the buns up on his hairy forearms while he makes 'em". Now we've triggered her gag reflex. I figure there's no way I'm going to talk my obsessive-compulsive germophobe girlfriend into going now. So I convice her that modern day health codes don't allow this practice anymore, and if we see that going on, we'll leave.
So off we go, to get Texas Weiners!!

We get there, and it's different than I remembered. This is because the place was set ablaze in 2008, and they had very recently rebuilt it. And it's cute. It's old fashioned; black and white floor tile, nice and clean. So we order our weiners with fries. One bite, and I gotta say, profound disappointment. Not a lot of flavor. It's not at all how I remembered it. The dogs are flavorless, and the chili sauce is flavorless. It's like eating texture.

The fries probably would've been ok, except that Danelle luckily spotted the hair before we could eat one. Can you see it, glistening in the oil?? It's laying across that bump thing.

We actually ran into two of my brothers-in-law, who were in town for a mini family reunion, and who also had a nostalgic craving for Texas Weiners. "Yep, looks like an arm hair to me", said my brother-in-law Chuck. I don't know if you can appreciate how hard it is to photograph a single short hair, but there we were, all four of us, laughing hysterically, with the exception of Danelle, who is in panic mode, with our cell phone cameras, trying to get an acceptable photo of the hair. Oh what a scene we created! Oh, and by the way, the sight of the hair on the fries in no way curtailed the appetite of Chuck or Ed. Those men ate like contenders at a hot dog eating contest.

But even Chuck, who has very fond memories of this place, admitted that the food just wasn't the same as it used to be.  I've since been told that we went to the wrong place. The "original" recipe is down the street on Lackawanna Ave. But it doesn't matter. Danelle has post traumatic stress syndrome now and will forever associate it with Texas Weiners. I will have to go here alone someday and post a review.

Maybe I'm remebering these as better than they actually were, or maybe my tastes have matured. Or maybe they really aren't the same as they used to be. Go decide for yourself. But try to be objective instead of fiercely loyal. Let me know what you think.