Author Topic: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"  (Read 10769 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« on: March 07, 2005, 06:46:20 PM »
I am in travel status attending a convention in Miami this week. I arrived a little early and decided to drive up to Fort Lauderdale and visit unquestionably the best pizzeria in Florida. What initially attracted my attention to Anthony's is the coal oven. In fact, they have two.

What I didn't expect to find was the owner who turned out to be a true pizzaiolo by the name of Michaelangelo. His only passion in life is pizza. He comes from Sicily but learned pizza making in northeast - I believe Connecticut and/or Rhode Island.

I arrived at about 4pm - just before the dinner rush and Michaelangelo greeted me warmly. Of course, I called in advance and made sure the owner was there and that he would be available to talk pizza. After he rightfully determined that I was not a commercial threat to his operation, he opened up to me and expressed his love for pizza. We spoke much longer than I had earned a right to but he seemed genuinely happy to share his love.

In that respect he may be very similar to Chris Bianco in Phoenix because the only thing Michaelangelo has on his menu besides pizza are chicken wings (served with foccacia), calzone, foccacia, and cheesecake. That's about as pure of a pizza concept as you can get.

He has two ovens, four pizza men who work the oven, turning pizzas, assembling ingredients, and helping support his every need. He however, is the only one who "makes" the pizza. They do it all in a very small space considering how large the restaurant is. The ovens are really converted from wood burning models and are modular not brick. I asked why he would use coal and not wood. His thoughts were that Pepe's and Sally's Apizza in New Haven use coal and those two pizzeria's were his inspiration. Another factor was that he was looking to have a competitive edge in the local marketplace and coal fit the bill.

Now on to the pizza. I suggested that I wanted his best Margherita. An example of his love for the trade. He humbly suggested the fresh mozzarella with sliced tomato and fresh basil. There was no sauce on the pie at all. Fresh sliced tomatoes were used instead. I will post all the pictures I took as soon as I get home. But know this, the pie was good. Very good. And very well done I might add. I like char and my pizza had it in spades.

I inquired as to the use of a biga and the reply was no. His family recipe didn't use one and that was that. When I suggested that some of the artisanal pizzerias were beginning to incorporate their use he seemed quite interested. He didn't use 00 flour but wouldn't confirm if it was high gluten. He did say it wasn't a hard flour but he didn't elaborate any further on that point.

Michaelangelo struck me as quite the businessman. He told me that they pump out an enormous number of pizzas a night from the two ovens which are both on the smallish side. Frank Pepe's can hold 25 pies at a time, his can hold only 6-7 each. He also let me know that his ovens lose about 125-150 degrees during the dinner rush hour so the best time to visit any pizzeria is just before dinner time. The ovens are fully stoked and really hot. I found that portion of our conversation facinating as you can well imagine.

I hope to post the beautiful pictures this Friday. I also invited Michaelangelo to vist our special community and contribute if he felt so inclined. He promised he would.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2005, 10:20:34 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com


Offline D.C. Pizza Master

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 67
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2005, 10:15:19 PM »
great story man...look foward to the pics

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2005, 12:59:19 PM »
As promised, here are the pictures of an artisan coal-fired pie. I thought it might also be appropriate to share a few more thoughts on Michaelangelo's singular focus with pizza. When he came to this country, the only job he could get was washing dishes in Providence. Pizza making to him was a prestige form of employment. He treats it as such. He has never lost the memory of his humble beginnings and consequently views his efforts in pizza making to be of the highest calling. He is doing exactly what he loves to do. I couldn't help but think about all the people I personally know who literally hate their job. I couldn't agree more with his view and frankly I admire it greatly. He also has signs prominently displayed throughout his restaurant with the slogan "Our Pizza is Well Done." He claims the average new customer comes in expecting a light colored pie and that's his way of educating them that he is different. The dual meaning is lost on some but he wants to attract customers who "get it." He claims that now after 3 years of making "well done" pies, he has finally educated his customer base.

In comparison to my home efforts this pie had much drier crust with considerably less oven spring in the rim. The rim was puffy but once cut, it didn't puff back up. Yet, on the whole, it was a much more competent crust than mine. It exhibited all the foldability and other handling characteristics one would expect from a master pizzaiolo.

I had fleeting thoughts of suggesting he try a biga to add more flavor but that clearly would have overstepped my bounds. His crust had an intoxicatingly smoky flavor to it so I wondered privately to myself if more flavor could be extracted from his dough from the use of a biga.

This was my first pie with whole sliced Italian plum tomato but it won't be my last. A neat trick was the pie came served on a peel which added to the sensation of it just being removed from the coal oven. Oh, I almost forgot. I did eat the whole pie and I burned my mouth. Coal oven pizzas come out real hot.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2005, 10:25:42 AM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline pftaylor

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1113
  • Location: Tampa, FL
  • Life's Short. Get Wood Fired Up!
Re: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2005, 01:00:09 PM »
Here is the "money" shot for oven spring. Not as much there as I would have expected from such a light dough...but otherwise the pie was delicious. Michaelangelo did state that his customers don't really like bubbles as much as he or I do.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2005, 01:03:59 PM by pftaylor »
Pizza Raquel is Simply Everything You’d Want.
www.wood-firedpizza.com

Offline BobS

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 12
  • Age: 63
  • Location: Wilmington, DE
Re: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010, 08:26:35 AM »
We have a new Anthony's, that just opened this month in Wilmington, DE and my wife and I went there last night. 

It was very good, but my ego got a boost when my wife volunteered that she liked mine better. 

I talked to the manager, but did not get his name.  I went up to look at the ovens and they were really roaring with a larger pile of coal than I expected.  I could not read the temp, but they said they ran between 850 and 900. 

I told the manager about my interest in pizza and cooking on a ceramic grill at 700 and he seemed to open up with information.  He said that during the dinner hour, even though the ovens are at 850-900, the floor does cool off and that it takes about 4 minutes to cook a pie. 


Offline pcampbell

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 767
  • Age: 33
  • Location: VT & NJ
Re: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2010, 02:05:34 PM »
funny we just went to Anthony's in Delray last night.  now this place is getting to be quite a little chain, 15+ restaurants now? 

i thought it was decent pizza.  we went for the regular pizza, with dry mozzarella and sauce. 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010, 02:07:31 PM by pcampbell »
Patrick

Offline soflnoles

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 34
  • Location: North Potomac Maryland
Re: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 11:34:26 AM »
I have had Anthony's in Las Vegas, Coral Springs and Palm Beach Gardens.  Excellent pies. 

Anthony's father owns Anthony's Runway84 in Fort Lauderdale.  Excellent restaurant.

Offline hllywd

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 4
Re: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2010, 11:56:17 PM »
It's not a real trip to Florida unless we make a stop at Anthony's in Pompano. Their pizza may not be my absolute favorite, but it's close. We were there a couple weeks ago and they had added ribs with hot peepers in vinegar to the menu since our last visit... not bad, but nowhere as good as the wings! My personal favorite is the broccoli rabbe and Italian sausage!!!

Our other favorite coal fired pizza extravaganzas are in Florida as well; Mona Lisa in Deerfield Beach, and Carolina's in Delray!

Tim

Offline Bobino414

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 287
  • Location: Florida
Re: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza - Our Pizza is "Well Done"
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2010, 09:42:09 PM »

It is curious  that this thread was started by PFTaylor.  Having tasted Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza and Peter's Wood Fired pizza, both in Tampa, Peter, in my humble opinion produces a far better product.  If you have to go to Anthony's try the wings !!



 

pizzapan