You can take the pizza fanatic out of Hazleton, but you can't take the Hazleton out of the pizza fanatic.
Marvin Graaf - who with his wife, Jess, owns Falls Taproom in East Falls and Cresheim Valley Grain Exchange in Mount Airy) - grew up in Luzerne County, where his grandparents Celeste and Aniello DeCocinis owned a pizzeria.
Although Graaf enjoys round, New York-style pizza, he was nostalgic for "pitz," that square pizza - usually served cold - that is a Northeast Pennsylvania signature.
He's turned his passion into Pizzeria Nonna, just up the street from Grumblethorpe at 5301 Germantown Ave. (267-766-6900).
It's what we in Philly would call a red-gravy operation all the way, complete with a charming, paneled dining room festooned with family photos. No bar; it's BYO.
He offers two tomato sauces - a classic and rustic chunky - on the pies, which are available as thin-crust, 18-inch rounds and somewhat thicker, 16-inch squares baked in an oiled pan, which caramelizes the bottom. He's serving all pies hot.
The pizza menu includes traditional and fancier pies - for example, an Italian veggie with local mushrooms, roasted red pepper, roasted eggplant, roasted garlic, and mozzarella, and a fig and prosciutto with fontina, arugula, and balsamic glaze. Graaf also heads up I-81 for an Old Forge, which has sauce and razor-thin-cut onions under a layer of mozzarella and cheddar. (Yes, they do cheddar on pizza upstate. For that matter, some shops up there also use American.)
He also serves pastas (a Sunday supper), hot and cold sandwiches, and salads. No burgers, chicken fingers, or fries. (Here's the rest of the menu.)
Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
NOTE: Closed Sunday, May 15 and Monday, May 16.