Even the beloved Scranton-set sitcom “The Office” mentioned that Alfredo’s makes good pizza.
Owner Don Galacci is known for “the good pizza,” not only by Dunder Mifflin employees, but also by his loyal customers in Northeast Pennsylvania.
Galacci started the business in 1982 with a family pizza recipe and has turned the small takeout business into a full-scale restaurant with a dining room and outdoor patio. Located in South Side Shopping Center, 1040 S. Washington Ave., Scranton, Alfredo’s is known for not only its menu including pizza, subs, salads, pasta, seafood and more but also that memorable name drop on “The Office’s” 2007 episode, “Launch Party.”
Chef’s Table recently chatted with Galacci about Alfredo’s past, present and future.
Q: What is the history of the restaurant?
A: At a very young age, I worked at my grandfather’s bakery and developed a good work ethic and a taste for good food that led me into the restaurant business. I started Alfredo’s Café in September of 1982 from my father’s pizza recipe that was passed on many years ago. I started off as a takeout business and then grew to just a small seating area with counter service. Since then, I have proudly grown my business to what it is today with indoor seating for 180 people, which includes a bar area, dining room and back room, and outdoor, covered patio with seats for 50 or so customers, and we have heaters for chilly days.
Q: What type of food do you serve?
A: Alfredo’s Café is considered an Italian restaurant. We serve everything from pizza, subs and wraps to specialty salads, pasta, seafood, chicken and veal entrees right up to Filet Mignon dinners. We have something for everyone’s palette, including a lot of appetizers to choose from. We have a very extensive menu, and our entire menu is available for takeout and delivery (not just dining in).
Q: What’s your specialty?
A: We are famous for our “Award-Winning” Pan Pizza, which is a 12-cut square tray. Our “Award-Winning” Pan Pizza also is featured on the TV show “The Office” and known as “the good pizza” on their show. We have won many awards for our Pan Pizza.
Q: How did your menu come to be?
A: It grew gradually over the years starting off as just pizza, salads and subs. The restaurant has grown to have a dining room, which is the biggest part of our business today (excluding our current circumstances with the pandemic), which led us to grow with adding appetizers, entrees and desserts to our menu.
Q: What are your most popular dishes and drinks?
A: Our martinis are our most popular drinks (and) we have won awards for them for several years. Our pasta is our most popular dish as well as our Chicken Parmesan dinner being our “go-to” entrée.
Q: What kinds of entertainment and specials do you offer?
A: We offer daily food and drink specials. Our Pasta Monday is a busy day with offering $3 off all pasta entrees. Our “Martini Madness” on Wednesdays and Saturdays is very popular. We offer half-priced martinis from 5 to 9 p.m. “Wine Down” Tuesdays also is a favorite among customers as well. All of our bottles of wine are half price from 5 to 9 p.m. with glasses of wine being $1 off on Tuesdays.
Q: Do you offer catering, event space, etc.?
A: We offer on- and off-premises catering and remind people that no party is too big or too small for us to handle.
Q: Where do you see the restaurant headed in the future?
A: Once we get past this pandemic, we hope to continue to see Alfredo’s Café continue to grow like it has since the beginning. Every, our business has grown since its inception, and I continue to expect it to. We have great community support, and we have longevity with our customers and with our staff. Many customers have been coming to us for nearly 40 years. We have served many of these customers for so many years that we now serve their children and their children’s children. We consider ourselves a casual, family restaurant. You can come here for your date night, happy hour after work or with your family. Everyone always seems to know someone here, so even if you come in alone or as a first-time customer, chances are you will be chatting it up quickly with one of our regulars if you choose to, and they will immediately be suggesting one of their favorite menu items for your meal. We have a very friendly and vibrant atmosphere and our motto is “We’re not fine dining; we’re just fine food.”
Address: South Side Shopping Center, 1040 S. Washington Ave., Scranton
Established: September 1982
Owners: Don Galacci
Current hours: Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant is open for takeout and delivery.
Laura Rysz is the features copy editor and calendar editor at The Times-Tribune and runs the Talk of the Times column, which focuses on local fundraisers and other events. Additionally, Laura curates events online and copy edits print editions of the Life&Times and Weekend Times sections of the newspaper. She is a graduate of Haddonfield Memorial High School, New Jersey, and earned an English professional writing degree with a minor in mass communications from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5228; @laurarysz