I ventured south this past week.
No, not to sunny Florida or the Carolinas.
I ventured down to Hanover Township for what some call the best cheesesteak around (I expect to get e-mails informing me of other restaurants having spectacular cheesesteaks too).
A group of friends and I get together every once in a while to try new places. We love stopping at little neighborhood spots to see what’s happening. We like meeting new people, seeing hidden gems and sampling the dishes each place is known for.
On this occasion, we made the short jaunt from Downtown Wilkes-Barre to Chick’s on Boland Avenue in Hanover Township – a great little place I’m happy we heard about.
The bartender asked to see my ID to verify my age, which made me happy as could be, much to the dismay of my older accomplices who did not have to stand up, squeeze their wallet out of their pants and present it to the woman in command.
I noticed what appeared to be many locals enjoying after-work beverages or relaxing. In fact, when you think of a true neighborhood tavern, this would be it.
The reason we went, though, wasn’t for the bar. It was for the to-die-for cheesesteaks I’ve been hearing about for a few years. I was told they rivaled any cheesesteak in Philadelphia. My tipsters were correct; with the smothered cheese, tasty bun, and fresh steak and peppers, it was everything I wanted in a cheesesteak. The portions – whether you get a half or a full – are generous and enough to save for lunch the next day, which I considered. Add mushrooms and onions if you like as well (I chose to go without, but everyone’s palate is different).
If cheesesteaks aren’t your thing, though, Wednesday is burger night and Thursday is a wing special.
I likely won’t be back for a month or so, however, because on Oct. 6 I’m participating in the Paint Pittston Pink Gentlemen’s Dash and I’ll be busy training (maybe).
It’s part of the week of events that raise money for cancer funding. The money goes to Pennies in Action Fund which supports vaccine research.
I posted on Facebook the other day about my 146-foot rappel down the Scranton Bank Towers building in Scranton last year to raise dollars for NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania. I joked that my new personal goal is to do something different or unique each year for charity.
I wouldn’t normally jump from a 146-foot building or run down a street in high heels, so I consider those activities outlandish.
If you’re interested in donating to Paint Pittston Pink, which was formed in 2013, you can do so on raceroster.com. Search for “Color Me Pink 5K” and make a pledge. You can choose to donate to the organization or do so in support of a runner.
While I’d appreciate you supporting my mission and selecting my name when donating, donating without supporting one particular person is fine, too. It’s about the cause.
Paint Pittston Pink has become a celebration of sorts in Pittston with happy hours, yoga sessions, painting, runs and so much more. It will be previewed and covered throughout the Times Leader and our beloved sister paper, The Sunday Dispatch, as we get closer to October.
The first event, which takes place a few weeks before the week of activities is Paint Pittston Pink’s Rockin’ Roast at the F.M. Kirby Center at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22.
There’s a reputable lineup of honorees being roasted, so consider going on ticketmaster.com or calling the Kirby Center to learn more.
However, if you can only make it to one event for PPP, choose the Gentlemen’s Dash, because let’s face it: it’s going to be a hoot.
And, I may need you to pick me up off the street.
Mike McGinley is the Times Leader Media Group’s major accounts executive. Reach him at [email protected] or 570-704-3945.