Big Ten Subs & Pizza – Lehman, PA

I graduated from Penn State University Park, but my first two years began at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, a satellite campus located in Lehman, PA. I used to drive past the location of what is now Big Ten Subs & Pizza every day, often several times per day, but unfortunately it had yet to become an option for in-between class grubbing. After having been open for over a decade coupled with a suggestion that I give Big Ten Subs & Pizza a try, it was time that I got to gettin’.

Big Ten Subs & Pizza was going to be my second pizza stop of the day, but because you beautiful, pizza loving people of Pennsylvania enjoy reading about PA pizzerias that you haven’t patronized yet, I wasn’t about to let myself fall short of your expectations and order a slice or two. Nope. I ordered one regular sized cheese pizza and one regular sized wood-fired oven pizza as well as three different orders of chicken wings.

I was picking up my order to take back home with me, so the atmosphere inside of Big Ten wasn’t all that concerning to me, but with that said I think that this is a situation where there could be certain expectations… let me fill you in. Though it didn’t matter to me, I was expecting to walk into a restaurant / bar that had a bunch of televisions with sports on. No. Upon walking through Big Ten’s door you’ll find yourself in a nice quiet restaurant. I don’t recall seeing any TV’s, and there surely wasn’t a bar. With that said, you can get beer to drink with your meal as well as 6-packs and 12-packs to go. I’m guessing that Big Ten Subs & Pizza chose its name because of its close proximity to the Penn State Wilkes-Barre campus as opposed to it being a theme for their business. I think they missed out by not tying their name to an appropriate theme, but anyway, the pizza…..

Big Ten Subs & Pizza - Lehman, PA - Regular Cheese Pizza

 

Big Ten Subs & Pizza - Lehman, PA - Cheese Pizza ProfileBig Ten Subs & Pizza - Lehman, PA - Cheese Pizza Underside

Regular Cheese Pizza

This pizza had good crust – sauce – cheese ratios. The sauce was much like a lot of sauces that have seasonings in it, it tasted like a pizza sauce; it was good. I’m guessing that the cheese was straight mozzarella but I can’t be certain; whatever the case it was good. The crust on this pizza was remarkably dry, I didn’t notice any seepage from the oils on the top. The underside was a little flakey while the handle sported a nice chew. This pizza easily fits into the range of average to above average.

Big Ten Subs & Pizza - Lehman, PA - Wood Fired Oven Pizza

 

Big Ten Subs & Pizza - Lehman, PA - Wood Fired Oven Pizza ProfileBig Ten Subs & Pizza - Lehman, PA - Wood Fired Oven Pizza Underside

Wood Fired Pizza

Yes, this place has two different types of ovens, and yes, they produce two very different types of crusts. As good as I thought that the regular pizza’s crust was it pales in comparison to the wood fired crust. This pizza also has a dry underside, but its handle is a soft pillow enveloped in a thin layer of crispness with nice varying tones of brown. The sauce on this pizza… there is none. Instead there are a generous amount of good tasting tomato chunks.  The cheese on this wood fired pizza is different than that on the regular cheese pizza. Again, I’m uncertain as to what type(s) of cheese(s) are used on this pizza, but it/they had a really good taste. Also adding to the awesome taste of this pizza is a nice supply of minced garlic. Minced garlic with fresh tomatoes and a really good cheese on a great crust… A to the K ya’ll, this pizza kills it. That said, some of my dinner mates weren’t as impressed with it as I was, but you know my opinion so go forth and have confidence with placing this pizza on your order.

Big Ten Subs & Pizza - Lehman, PA - Red Garlic Chicken Wings

The Wings

I don’t really review chicken wings but sometimes I’ll make a mention of them. This is one of those times. I placed three orders, one of mild blue cheese, one of honey Cajun, and an order of their red garlic. In future visits I will be happy to pass on the mild blue cheese and the honey Cajun wings and dive right into a couple orders of their red garlic wings, they are that good! In fact, with how they were when I had them, I can easily list them in my top five favorite wings list. Again, the company I was keeping for this review weren’t as impressed as I was with the red garlic wings; they said that they were good but that there is better to be had in the Wyoming Valley. Yeah maybe, but a spade is still a spade, and these wings deserve some love.

Parting Thoughts

Big Ten Subs & Pizza may have missed the mark in regards to tying their name into the theme of their restaurant, but they got a bulls eye where it counts, and that’s with their food. While they are becoming more popular there still aren’t a lot of wood fired ovens in the NEPA area and having one doesn’t necessarily mean that the people using it know how to make good pizza with it. Big Ten Subs & Pizza do.  I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like trying other menu items, but I know for sure that I’ll be going back to Big Ten Subs & Pizza for more wood fired pizza and red garlic wings. I recommend giving them a try!

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