Name: Sabatini's Pizza
Location: 1925 Wyoming Ave., Exeter, PA 18643
Phone: (570) 693-2270
Price: Around $10/$12 for a pizza. Bring cash!
One thing I've alluded to a few times throughout this blog adventure is my affinity for good beer. And by "good beer" I don't mean Heineken or Guinness. I prefer high-quality Belgian sour ales, rich coffee stouts, barleywines, hoppy IPAs, and just about everything in between.
Sabatini's, nominally a pizza parlor, plays host to one of the most prodigious selections of beer I have ever seen. They have 12 taps at any given time for draft beer. Usually about half the taps are the usual swill you'd find at most other bars, but the other half consists of selections you aren't likely to find anywhere else. They sell and fill growlers, giving patrons the option of taking 2 liters of draft beer home with them. The bottle collection is phenomenal, with selections from many of the top American craft breweries and from breweries all around the world. And did I mention the pizza? It's certainly different from most pizza I've ever had, but it's strangely addicting and is among my personal favorites.
Megan and I were heading to a concert in Scranton last night and I took that as an opportunity to introduce her to Sabatini's. I'd been a couple times before. Word of warning: this is not an easy place to get to. It is quite a distance from both I-81 and I-476, and you will have to endure many red lights and little suburban towns where the speed limit is 25 MPH. The small borough of Exeter, PA is home to Sabatini's, on the west bank of the Susquehanna River about halfway between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. Not easy to get to from Binghamton, but if you like pizza and/or beer, it's worth the trip.
The restaurant itself is laid out such that there are two distinct dining areas. The front room is comprised of older, wooden booths with all sorts of memorabilia on the walls from the coal-mining days of yore in the region. The back room has some larger tables. It's a comfortable atmosphere with a sunroof in the front room to provide some natural light to an otherwise dimly-lit restaurant.
I started with a Bell's Oberon wheat ale (draft) and Megan (not a beer drinker) had a Sprite. Note: if you like Blue Moon...try the Oberon and you'll never go back! We ordered a medium pizza (10 small slices and plenty large enough for the two of us) with half meatball.
Now, that probably does not look like the most appetizing pizza you've ever seen. It is definitely an oddball in the pizza universe. The crust is very thin and the toppings extend the whole way out to the edge of the pie. The cheese is an interesting blend that Megan and I both thought was not entirely mozzarella, and the crust has a nice char to it that gives the entire pizza a very smoky flavor. What separates this pizza from the pack is the sauce. This is some of the sauciest pizza I've ever had and it has such a unique sweet taste. It's the kind of pizza where you take your first bite and think it's just OK, but after you've downed a slice or two, it becomes awesome, as if it takes a few minutes for your taste buds to adjust their expectations. That sounds like some kind of backhanded compliment but it really isn't. This is addicting stuff, vaguely similar to the Neapolitan pizza Megan and I had in Italy, and we polished off the whole pie in short order.
I washed it down with another draft, this time a Pretty Things Baby Tree Belgian-style ale, a strong beer brewed with plums and a hint of coffee in the finish. A fine beer indeed, and not one I would readily find anywhere else. I filled a couple growlers to go and then we were off to our show.
If you like pizza, Sabatini's is definitely worth trying out. I don't know that it would be worth the trip for just the pizza alone, but it is consistently rated among the best in the Scranton area, a region well-known for its pizza-making prowess. If you like beer, Sabatini's is a gold mine of amazing brews available at completely reasonable prices, far superior to what you would be able to find at Sam the Beer Man in Binghamton. It is a miracle to me that a place like this with such a world-class selection exists in the small town of Exeter, PA, but I will gladly make more trips to sample both the great beer and their addicting pizza in the future.