A new pizza place opened in Monroeville? Sure, I’ll give it a try. I do love pizza after all.
We arrived at 7:30 PM on Tuesday. To our surprise, the large restaurant was full. That’s OK, we were willing to wait. After 15 minutes, we were seated at a small table in the bar area. As I looked over the menu, I checked out the décor. Anthony’s furnishings are plain and tasteful. The tables are all wood, and the walls are decorated with understated sports memorabilia. Besides framed jerseys and other football periodicals, the interior design is traditional and tasteful.
While looking over the menu, we decided to wet our palates with white sangria, and munch on some salad. Anthony’s offers a Classic Italian Salad ($9.50). That sounds like a lot for a diner salad, but it’s meant for at least two people to share. The romaine and iceberg lettuce were crispy and fresh. The salad was topped with hard-boiled eggs, tomato wedges, red onions, and was dressed with tangy and flavorful house Italian vinaigrette. The white sangria was sweet and fragrant. Small pieces of apple and melon garnished the drink.
Our large pie ($15.25) arrived as we were finishing our salad. We opted for a veggie-style pizza with sweet peppers, onions, Kalamata olives, and Arugula. Traditional pies consist of mozzarella, Italian plum tomatoes, Romano cheese, basil and olive oil. Our pie was laughably HUGE- it was probably the enormous mound of fresh arugula that sat atop the pie that made it seem so overwhelming. As I scooped the first slice of pie for my dinner companion, a server approached our table and said, “Wow that was a fail… were supposed to serve the first piece sir, then you can do the rest…”
What? Did this server really just question my pizza-serving skills? I think so! Apparently I didn’t get enough of the toppings that lay beneath the mountain of arugula.
The pie was steaming hot. The crust was thin and crispy. All of the toppings were delicious. We enjoyed every bite, and could only have a few pieces each; they were quite large.
If you’re not in the mood for pizza, Anthony’s offers Coal Oven Roasted Wings (small, 10 pieces for $9.50, large, 20 pieces for $16.95). Other dishes include Pork Ribs with Vinegar Peppers (small- 6 ribs for $10.95,large-12 ribs for $17.95), Meatballs with Ricotta Cheese ($10.95), Eggplant Marino ($10.95), and Broccoli Rabe and Sausage ($11.95). Lunch specials are also offered.
I had never had coal-fired pizza before. Initially I thought a flavor component may be missing that wood-fired pizza ovens provide. I was wrong. Not only are the pizzas at Anthony’s delicious, the charred crusts and toppings are fresh and abundant.
If you consider yourself a pizza aficionado, put Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza at the top of your list.
Chef Chuck Kerber