Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza – Wayne, PA
I have it as an unwritten rule for myself that when I review a pizza I should do so with a regular cheese slice or pie since that is the most common pizza ordered and thus the standard comparison, but I’m fallible. My most recent deviation away from the norm took place at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Wayne, PA. When scanning Anthony’s menu my eyes didn’t even register the ‘traditional pies’ section of the menu, but instead locked in on a specialty pie named “Paul & Young Ron”. When I returned home without any plain pizza for my vegetarian wife to try I was reminded that I “should have reviewed the plain pizza for the visitors to the blog.” So a second trip to Anthony’s was needed (for my wife readers), and that happened this past Saturday. Unlike on my first visit this time I ordered the traditional pizza as well as an order of Anthony’s chicken wings.
Paul & Young Ron
This pizza comes with meatballs, sausage, hot or sweet peppers, and ricotta cheese along with the red sauce and mozzarella cheese from their traditional pizza. There were a lot of toppings on this pizza but they all worked in perfect harmony to produce a flavor that I won’t soon forget. I opted to go with the hot peppers, and hot they were! I didn’t break into the sweats or anything, but these peppers packed a little heat and were very noticeable. The meatballs were small and plentiful and had a good flavor; just enough to taste them but not enough to occupy your taste buds for very long. The sausage on the other hand had a more dominant taste, but was applied more sparingly, thus maintaining the overall balance well. The interwoven dollops of the creamy textured ricotta cheese and the pleasant tomato taste of the red sauce pushed the flavor dial to eleven on this pie and we didn’t even get to the crust yet!
Before I tell you what I thought of the crust of this pie I must first offer you my viewpoint on a very subjective matter, that being blackening of the crust, or charring, if you will. There are people who view any blackening of the crust as the crust being burnt, and then there are people who draw distinctions between burnt crust and a desired charring of the crust. I am the type of person who desires some charring here and there on the crust as I enjoy the smoky tones it adds to the flavor. Having drawn those distinctions I have to say that I thought the crust on this pie was excellent! The undercarriage had leopard spots of char, felt soft to the touch, and had a thin layer of crispness enveloping a tender inside. The handles on this pie were well browned with an ideal char in areas. The areas on the handles that weren’t charred had a good flavor; the areas with charring were excellent and immediately placed this pie amongst the top of my memorable crusts.
Anthony’s menu proclaims their traditional pizzas are crafted from “the finest mozzarella, Italian plum tomatoes, Romano cheese, basil and olive oil.” I have no problem with their proclamation of ingredients, except maybe the presence of basil, but that’s splitting hairs.
The sauce had a good consistency as well as a good tomato taste; I didn’t detect any additives other than the black pepper flakes. The cheese, as advertised, was a quality mozzarella. For most people the dough / sauce / cheese ratios would probably be spot on, but my preferences would have liked to see a little less cheese and a little more sauce, that aside it was an enjoyable pie. Mostly. This is where the grey area between charred and burnt skewed its way towards black. Too black. Again, I love charring on a pizza, but for me the outer edge of this pie contained areas that surpassed an enjoyable char.
During my first visit to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza I experienced the Paul & Young Ron, which I found to be an excellent pizza because it was full of great flavors, textures, and the crust was perfect. My second visit to Anthony’s was for a traditional pizza. As I alluded to earlier, I think that most people will love the traditional pizza as it’s crafted with great tasting ingredients. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked because my taste prefers a different sauce and cheese ratio. And, on this particular pie the charring on the handles went beyond my personal definition of charring. With that said, I know that I’ll definitely be going back to Anthony’s for more Paul & Young Rons and to try some other specialty pies. I won’t hesitate to give the traditional pizza another try either. Verdict: I love Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and highly recommend you give them a try.
The chicken wings at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza are roasted in their coal oven with some light seasonings (that’s right, NO sauces of any kind), and served with caramelized onions and a piece of focaccia bread. When I first learned that this is how the wings were prepared & served I thought that it was a little weird, but I was intrigued. I’m not going to offer a full review of the wings, but I will say that they were damn good as was the pairing of focaccia bread with caramelized onions. If you enjoy eating chicken wings then I suggest giving Anthony’s a try.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza
321 E. Lancaster Ave.
Wayne, PA 19087
Dining: eat-in / take-out
Payment: cash or card
Other: 38 locations in 6 states w/4 in PA – a chain restaurant with great food!
Bang for the buck: Large 16” traditional pizza – $15.75 , Small 12” specialty pie – $16.95, 10 chicken wings w/ focaccia bread & caramelized onions – $9.95