Anthony’s Pizza & Grill – Downingtown, PA
My wife has been trying for a while now to get me to try a few different pizzas in the Downingtown, PA area. The places that she’s wanted me to try aren’t particularly well-known, but for some reason that’s what she wanted, and if she wants me to eat pizza I’ll be more than happy to oblige no matter where it is.
On a day when I had no plans or cares as to what I ate for dinner I decided that Anthony’s Pizza & Grill would be the subject of my next review. I ordered a small upside down pie as well as two regular cheese slices, and an order of chicken wings. The chicken wings were average. Don’t get me wrong, I have a couple favorite places in Chester County where I prefer to get my wings from, but as Northeast Pennsylvania’s famous NEPApizzaReview has pointed out recently, it’s hard to find good chicken wings outside of NEPA, and I couldn’t agree more.
There is no doubt that the dough was made in-house as it had a good flavor, a well-browned bottom, and a crispy handle. The sauce had a touch of savory to it; a perfect amount, the cheese was average to good mozzarella that had a nice array of browning, affecting both the aesthetics and flavor in a positive way. This pizza was a surprise, as it was good enough that my wife proclaimed “I like this pizza more than (insert name of her favorite pizzeria for regular cheese pizza).” A statement like that in our household is HUGE, and I agreed with her.
A lot of people don’t understand the upside-down pizza. I don’t think that upside-down pizza is worthy of a star on Hollywood Boulevard, but I think that it may be a little under-appreciated. Dough, cheese, and sauce; same ingredients as a “right-side-up” pizza, but the cheese and sauce are in reverse order. The difference? I believe there are three of them. (1) With the cheese sitting atop of the crust it protects the crust from the moisture of the sauce, thus helping it maintain its structural integrity and providing a sturdier slice, and depending on the dough and processes used, possibly a crispier crust. (2) It has been my experience that upside down pizzas usually have more sauce on them than their right-side-up counterparts. This, of course, is only a good thing if you happen to like the sauce being used. (3) I think that the order in which the ingredients are introduced to your palate with each bite play a role in the end flavor.
Anthony’s upside-down pizza was really good. I was very happy to see that Anthony’s cared enough to change the slightly savory sauce they used on their regular pizza to a sauce with more of a straight tomato flavor. The cheese seemed to be good quality mozzarella; no browning of course as it is beneath the sauce on this pizza. The crust on this pizza seemed different than that of the regular pizza. It seemed like it was slightly thinner, especially in the handle, and it was more crisp, like that of a cracker crust. On this pizza was sprinkled a small amount of parmesan cheese, which is not uncommon for an upside-down pie. Overall this pizza was really good and I can’t wait to have it again.
My wife and I were in agreement that both of the Anthony’s pizzas we had were extremely good, so solid that we ordered from Anthony’s again the next day. Since we each only had a single slice of cheese pizza the previous day we decide to get a large cheese pizza.
Upon having her first slice of cheese pizza my wife proclaimed that it didn’t taste the same as from the day before. After she had another slice I was told that she would have preferred spending those calories on some Halloween Oreo cookies instead of the pizza. I ate several slices and disagreed as to the extent that this pizza was qualitatively different from the slices we had a day earlier. I don’t know if the difference was from a change in the dough/sauce/cheese ratio (possibly more cheese?), a misstep in measuring the ingredients for the dough (it wasn’t crispy like it was a day earlier), or something else. The one thing I know for sure is that there was a difference, and it wasn’t as good as it was a day earlier.
Things happen. Every business has an off-day and that’s acceptable. However, with only having patronized Anthony’s twice there is no way to tell if they just had an off-day, or if they have actual problems with consistency. I asked my wife if she would recommend Anthony’s to others without knowing if ‘night one pizza’ would be served or ‘night two pizza’; she said that she’d recommend people go to Anthony’s and try the upside-down pizza. I on the hand have no qualms recommending Anthony’s Pizza & Grill. Sure, ‘night one pizza’ was better, but ‘night two pizza’ was still solid, and better than a lot of other pizzeria’s consistent product. As for the upside-down pizza… I’ll have to put myself out there for the people and try it again (oh darn :)) but after having it the first night I would absolutely recommend it. I have a feeling that my reviewing Anthony’s is a to-be-continued episode.