The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
“Our pizza is well done,” the official motto of Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, is meant to convey not only the quality of the pies, but also the distinctive char they pick up in the chain's coal-fueled ovens. I’m a big fan of this style of pizza, but on a recent visit to Anthony’s in Woodbury, I found the pizza both too well done, and not well done at all.
To me, the soul of a pizza is its crust: There is no good pizza without a good crust. Otherwise you might as well have your tomatoes and cheese and what-have-you on an English muffin, a flour tortilla or a chicken breast for that matter. I like a bit of char on my crust, but at Anthony’s the other night, our crust seemed to have burned before it got a chance to to give that last, desparate “oven rise” that lends a good flatbread a proper crumb.
We ordered the roasted cauliflower pizza, which I have enjoyed in the past, but this time there was just too much soft cauliflower, cheese and breadcrumbs—a soggy casserole atop an incinerated crust. The “traditional” pie claimed to have been made with “the finest mozzarella” but to me it tasted like the regular low-moisture variety, and not fresh. This pie was even more criminally torched.
I don’t know if the fault here lies with the dough, the oven, the pizza makers or the day of the week, but I remember better pies at Anthony’s.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza is at 8063 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury, 516-367-2625.