Thursday, August 17, 2006

Pig Pizza Perfection!





Nestled in the Wyoming Valley, along Wyoming Avenue, in Wymoning, Pennsylvania sits an icon of pizzadom.

Victory Pig Pizza has been nurturing addicts since the 1930's! My grandparents and parents made pilgramages to this delicious place of pizza perfection for decades. Kyle was the fourth generation from our family to sit at the faded orange tables set on a worn black and white checkered linoleum floor.

Pig Pizza (as the locals call it) is unlike any other pizza anywhere in the United States. It is a rare species of Sicillian Pizza that I have yet to find a rival. Many Pizza places make square pieces with thicker crusts and call it Sicillian.

Pig Pizza stands apart from the rest with its sauce made from fresh tomatoes and a delicate buttery crust that keeps patrons coming back for more. Scandles have rocked the Valley and Back Mountain area as former employees of Victory Pig have tried to steal the top secret recipe or replicate it. Some have come close (Pizza Perfect in Trucksville, PA is pretty close and quite good), but none have cracked the secret held tightly in the heads of the Secolli (sp?) family.

Victory Pig is only open 3 nights each week. My dad, who has serviced the HVAC for over 20 years, asked the owner why they aren't open all week like other restraunts. The reply: "I make more than enough money with only three days. I like having 4 days off."

Every time I've ever been there since I was a wee one, the place has been crowded. If seats aren't available, there is curb service. . . just honk your horn!

The other great thing (I think) is that Victory Pig has not changed since my grandparents ate there when it was a barbeque stand. (Pennsylvania barbeque is NOT what you think. Texans beware: PA BBQ has NO BBQ sauce. It's thinly sliced ham fried in butter on a potato flour bun served with sweet pickle relish.)

In a world of franchise restraunts where every little town is beginning to look identical to the one down the Interstate, it's refreshing to find a place that remains fairly untouched by time.

Northeastern PA has been dubbed the official "Pizza Capital of the World." I know other places make similar claims, but the evidence is in the lack of Dominoes and Papa Johns. Although in my humble opinion, Victory is one of the best, you can't go wrong with any pizza in NEPA - it's ALL good.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Victory Pig had the best Pizza and service in the late 1970's. In today's world its amazing the place is still there and serving exactly what it served back then. Many a Friday nights and Saturday night were spent in the parking lot of Victory Pig waiting for that odd shaped slice of the best Pizza in town. have mived many years outside of Pa and always remember and miss Victory Pig Pizza! They have to figure out a way to ship it outside of the great state of Pennsylvania!

Anonymous said...

I'm from right down the street from VP (down the ave, that is) but I've never been, as my family has refused to patronize the joint since my father and uncle were booted for having long hair inn the early '70s. Guess I missed out.

Mary Anne DeMarco said...

Victory Pig has changed its customer service policy since the 1970s. I have a 13 year old who has long hair (longer than mine) and the servers and other staff are always very friendly to us when we come in. Give it a try; their pizza is the most delicious in the entire region. Its crunchy, sweet, melty, and always fresh. The have a very strict personal policy on re-heating the pizza; they don't, under any circumstance, do it. And for me, there's nothing better than taking a bite of pizza--then a bite of one of their pork BBQ sandwiches, and alternating until finished. I'd suggest to any pizza connoiseurs out there to try their UNIQUE style of pizza. By the way, it is spelled "Ceccoli". And the Ceccoli's don't remove men from their restaurant anymore for having long hair...hahaha...those were the good old days.

Anonymous said...

I moved out of the WB/Scranton area about 10 years ago and really miss Victory Pizza. Every time I visit family, my wife and I stop in for some pizza and take anywhere from 20-60 frozen pieces with us. We always ask if they started shipping their frozen pizza out of state, since we live in North Carolina now, because my wife and I don't like waiting to come in and see. My sister found a method of shipping their frozen pizza, but I really don't like inconveniencing her. PLEASE, anyone reading this, contact Victory Pizza and tell them that they need to start shipping it. I even got my neighbors who are not natives to the area addicted to their delicious pizza. Their phone number is 570-693-9963 for anyone wanting to let them know, since they don't have a website.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Wilkes-Barre and moved to California in 81. I really envy those who can go anytime to get Pig Pizza. It is one of the best that I have tasted. I always rave about NEPA and all the good food that I use to enjoy. Most people out here get offended when I complain that you can't get a good pizza pie anywhere out here. Most have never tasted Pa's great pizza,so they can't comment on what we all know. I also miss Abe's. the best ever.

D. Gudger said...

Wow! I posted this last summer when I traveled back to NEPA to visit my family. Living in Denver, I miss it horribly. People out here just don't understand...

I can't even begin to describe Pig Pizza b/c there's nothing anywhere else for comparison!

I wish they'd ship it raw to those of us who are transplanted.

I indulged again this summer - about 4 pieces of the divine stuff.

Sigh!

Richard Ceccoli said...

Thank You, every one, for your comments on our pizza. Our family tries very hard to keep the quality of our pizza up to it's reputation. My mom and dad at 83 years old still work in our 110 degree kitchen to insure the quality of our pizza and BBQ sandwiches . Ever night our pizza is made fresh and what is not sold, which is very rare, is given away to or employees or thrown away.I am thinking of starting a nation wide V.P. Pizza delivery business . The pizza would be made fresh and then shipped . V.P. fans what do you think ?

Rich C. Owner And Proprietor of Victory Pig Pizza Inc.

Anonymous said...

Oh My Gosh!!!! Rich!!!!! YES!!!!!

Go right ahead and start that mail-order business! Here's another fan in NC. I grew up in Wyoming Valley and moved away in 1977...and I can still taste that PIZZA. Truly the best pizza on the planet.
Thanks for making me hungry~

Lori, Ed and Christopher too... said...

I spent the better part of my teenage years working ay Victory Pig. I still remember burning myself on the hot cheese and sauce as the pizza came from the kitchen. Friends of mine were envious that Rich and family would give the employees free pizza at the end of the evening. Crazy thinghappened to me when I left my employ at Victory Pig...I lost 15 pounds in about a month. The weight gain was worth it!!! I no longer live in the Valley, but when I visit, I make it a point to stop by the Pig and talk with Rich and Joe while waiting for my slices. Joe still put my order name as "BC", that is Boy Counter. C'mon man...I'm almost 40. I sure wish Rich and family could make the pizza available to the rest of the world. I can get Nardone's (YUK!!!) in Philadelphia. How about a website where we could all order our pizza, have it delivered and enjoy the taste of the Pig. Better yet, make it available at grocery stores in the Philadelphia area. Would be wonderful to go to ACME or Genuardi's and get it whenever I crave it.

--ed

D. Gudger said...

Ugh! Nardone's! I thought I forgot about that nasty stuff. Our school served it on Fridays.

I'm hoping Pig Pizza can get to Colorado where I now live.

Anonymous said...

My mom and dad are originally from the Wilkes-Barre and Wyoming area- we live in Allentown. But as children whenever we went to visit our grandparents we begged our parents to eat at Victory Pig!!! They have the best pizza and I wish they could ship their pizza. Great memories and great pizza.

kegsgram said...

Oh how I would love a piece of "Pig Pizza". Have been away from the area for almost 35 years. I would love to have the opportunity to mail order "Pig Pizza".
Will keep checking this site to hear the good news about the new mail order business. Oh if wishes could come true.

elise said...

I spent summers at my grandparents in Forty Fort (1968-1970) & Victory Pig Pizza was a big treat. I miss those days of hanging out at the park, swimming in the pool & dancing to the bands on the weekends.
I'll be flying in from Ca with my family to visit the cemetery, drive by my grandparents old house & treat my family to Victory Pig before heading out to NYC & Conn. to see my husband's family. Elise

Anonymous said...

for anyone who is interested boxes of 18 frozen cuts are now available on ebay .....

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=140264693825&_trksid=p3907.m32&_trkparms=tab%3DSelling

Paul said...

YES! My father used to deliver Bartels beer to the original Mr. Ceccoli and his wife who owned the place in the 1960's. I grew up standing at that bar on a Friday or Saturday night waiting to take a huge box of that delicious stuff home and gobble it down till we would all be ready to explode! Often my dad was offered the pizza for free he was that close to the owners. However, he'd alwasy stuff a few bucks into Mr. Ceccoli's shirt pocket before leaving. What great memories. YES!!! I want some now!!!!!!

Paul said...

I just now remembered that Mr. Ceccoli's first name was Louie and my dad would always refer to it as "Louie's pizza". They were good friends for many years.

Anonymous said...

Wow I guess you haven't had Pig Pizza lately. I have heard from others that is not up to par. I tried it and have to agree. I thought every aspect of it was tasteless! I was always a fan of Pizza L'oven, Pizza Perfect and Pig Pizza.

james said...

I was born in Wilkes-Barre General hospital and lived in Kingston as a young kid. I have family in Scranton and Clarks Green, but haven't been there in 25 years. I live in Arizona and I'd love to see Pig pizza shipped to me. There is no better pizza and nothing even comes close. Please ship it to me!!!

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Victory Pig stole Pizza L'Oven's recipe.

Jaccob said...

I will never eat at Victory Pig again, they let a dog roam around the restaurant. I have seen it go into the kitchen. Who knows what else goes on there.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in Allentown but had lots of family in NE PA. We used to make trips up the line to the Victory Pig. I live in Arizona now and would LOVE to be able to get the Pig pizza by mail. Please consider it.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Victory Pig Pizza has been around a long time and I worked there also. When the original owners had it, Louie & Lee Ceccoli, the pizza was top quality. They only used the best ingredients and were very fussy about how it came out. If it wasn't right, the customer didn't get it. Then their son took over, Bob Ceccoli, and started ...buying cheaper ingredients. It worked but just wasn't the same. Now the original owners grandson has it, Rich Ceccoli, and the whole process is changed; totally. Different ovens, different method of baking. I guess the reason is they cant find anyone who is actually remembers how to bake it or wants to learn to bake it. Maybe some people cant taste or see the difference, but working there and knowing how it used to be, I actually think this newer product is "bottom of the barrel" as Lee Ceccoli would of said if she was still alive. When Lee and Louie passed on, they took the quality with them.
Mark Peterson

Anonymous said...

As a teenager in the 60's I lived in Forty Fort, Pa. There were two places my friends and I would "hangout" - "The Dairy", and "Pig Pizza. I moved away in '69. Finally, I made it to my 40th high school reunion. Our first night we all met at the "Pig" parking lot. I could hardly wait to get my hands on a piece of pizza. Once you have had the original pig pizza, you never forget it. Needless to say, it was a big disappointment. This was not the pizza I loved as a teenager. Where were the onions, big pieces of tomatoes, delicious cheese and greasy buttery crust. It tasted like any other frozen pizza from a box. Greed must have taken over the Ceccoli family somewhere along the way, maybe after their parents passed. Their pizza was "one of a kind".

Anonymous said...

New Pizza Place in town is now Pizza Heaven on Bennett Street in Luzerne Former employee of Victory Pig and former owner of Pizza L'oven and he took the best of both worlds and now has the best "Sicilian " style in the "pizza Capital " of America so whenever you get back to the valley be sure to stop by and taste the best fried pizza "IT IS OUT OF THIS WORLD" Pizza Heaven in Luzerne is a most stop for great pizza. I have been there many times and tell all my friends and the atmosphere and the friendly employees is what you would expect on a visit to "heaven"