Thursday, June 7, 2012

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza
Edison, NJ
Final Grade: A
            It’s funny how things change, you know? You go from Chinese take-out for years to loving Thai or only eating spaghetti and meatballs to then insisting on penne.  For us it goes like this… my husband and I have always been a calamari & pizza couple. That has been one of our long-lasting dining combos that we seek out whenever we can. And if you didn’t already know, I must tell you that finding that combo with both items being exceptional is very difficult. And not to get even more off track, I will quickly tell you where we have found success….. Denino’s in Aberdeen and Esposito's in Matawan. But like I started this post, things change. We no longer are pizza and “cali” people, we are now pizza and wings people.
            This new trend started a bit back when we visited Tommy's Coal Fired Pizza in Red Bank and fell in love with their oven-roasted wings. There pizza was fab too and so we set out on another mission to find a coal fired pizza and wing place closer to home. And boy did we find it! Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, a quick parkway ride for us to Edison, is where we found our new duo dynasty.
Believe it or not, these are the wings covered in caramelized onions!

            And while some might say it could be a battle of the two coal fired joints, I have to stay neutral here and say the more the merrier. They both were great in their own respects, each has distinctiveness in décor and ambiance, yet both provide quality wings and pizza. Oh how beautiful does that sound!
            But again to get back on track, Anthony’s is what this review is about. Let’s start with their coal oven roasted wings. We went with the small (10 pieces) for $9.50. They arrived on top of smokey focaccia bread smothered with caramelized onions. Each piece was seasoned well and crispy just enough to taste not only the skin but the meat too. They were quite tender; though what we enjoyed the most was pairing each bite with a few sweet onion strands. The onions coated the skin just perfectly so that each piece had definitive textures and distinct flavors. The focaccia “bed” was a nice addition, although I rarely have a have problem with bread in any situation. Again though, the onions played yet another leading role here when placed atop the charred carb. An overall great 1st round that left us excited for round 2: pizza…

            Just as the sign reads, “Warning, Our Pizza is Well Done,” is just how it arrived. Our pie had black and scorched edges and was filled with browned and bubbling cheese. We went with the large traditional ($15.25) half sausage and couldn’t have been happier. Each slice, from our first to our last, had not only crunch but character as well. I was so amazed at how, after sitting on the tray for about 15 minutes, my second slice produced the same crunch as the first one did. I have only had that happen at one other place, my place, since I serve pizza right on the pizza stone. Again, I digress.  Anyway though, Anthony’s pizza was unique in that the sauce was placed thoughtfully so that some pieces were bursting with tomato flavor while others were like eating a white pie. The sausage was crumbled and, although a touch on the light side, provided a decent fennel finish. So after eating one too many slices each, we both didn’t know what to admire the most. We both agreed that the “burnt” nature of the pie was awesome and also that the sauce and cheese were spread about just perfectly. In other words, the pizza was dynamite.
            Beyond the food, it must be noted that the place itself was very attractive and comfortable. The walls are decorated with black and white photos that bring patrons back in time while the bar area is alive and kickin’ which brings them right back to the here and now.  To say the service was cordial would be an understatement; each staff member was mannered, courteous and smiling! It was a joy just to walk around this place, but that's not what we came here to do.  We came here to eat and I must say if you do only one thing here, it’s just that. More specifically of course, eat the wings and pizza, I’m sure you’ll be smiling with your waiterJ
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza is located at 80 Parsonage Road, Edison, NJ. They have other NJ locations including Ramsey and Clifton. More locations, including ones in NY, DE, and FL can be found on the website

Total score 22/25
Final Grade: A
A: 21-25    B: 16-20    C: 11-15   D: 6-10    F: 0-5
Restaurant Rubric

Food Taste
Bland, boring, overcooked, underdone
Very little flavor, not much aroma
Flavors apparent, basic ability to please palates
Flavor worth discussing, chef’s use of ingredients impressive
Great flavor, taste lingers and leaves diner wanting more
Restaurant service
Inattentive staff, no regard for wait time
Staff average in helpfulness, timing alright, either more/less needed
Staff knowledgeable and attentive to needs without asking, timing very well executed
Remarkable and noteworthy, service so good you forget it is ever an issue elsewhere
Food Presentation
Cover it up please
Sloppy and the eater can tell little thought went into it
Descent presentation: looks alright, not worth a picture but enough to make you hungry
Admirable, it is apparent the chef plated with a consideration for presentation
Presentational talents are here. Looks beautiful and too good to dig in
Prices match quality
Prices are too high for quality
Prices are still too high but not outrageously
Some items are priced accordingly but not all
Most items are priced accordingly
All items are matched accordingly
Would I go back?
Not a chance ever
Looking forward to it
What time should I arrive?!?


  1. I love your flare for words !! You are truly a pro with the English Language!!! Restaurant sounds delicious. My only question,"When Are we going to Anthonys'" Love you, Mom D

  2. If only I lived near Edison. A wing lover like me and a pizza lover like Papa need a place like Anthony's in Toms River. Perfect combo like "The Hunk" and me.

  3. the wings look fabulous!!!! a charred pizza is right up my food alley:)