Where: Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, Ramsey, NJ
What: Lunch Size Pizza "Well Done for One".
I've been wrongfully resisting the patronage of this establishment for a while now, all because my brain is wired to think in only one dimension of food - burgers. I kept saying to myself, "although I absolutely love pizza, pizza is not a burger" then finally, a colleague at work was able to talk me down from the flat grill and off we went to sample Anthony's pizza this week. Very glad I did. This company-owned, (non franchise-able) business was a refreshing change from most pizza joints in the northern New Jersey region. It's fresh ingredients reminded me of some of the best pizzas I have ever eaten where quality not quantity is key and apparently the personal mantra of owner, Anthony Bruno. This delicate yet ample crust is baked to perfection with a few well-done areas that create a host of different flavors just in the crust alone. The tomatoes are very fresh tasting and not overly flavored with handfuls of dry Italian spices like so many pizza joints feel the need to do. The Mozzarella is a low moisture type which is perfect for this application and the sprinkle of Romano screams "game over, stick a fork in me, I'm done". Both the basil and olive oil flavors take turns peeking through the cheese and tomato which adds to the pizza bliss. This pie is a text book example of "keep it simple" and "less is more." Fresh ingredients cannot be made better by adding more flavors so (with the exception of baking desserts), why turn simple, delicious, fresh food into a science experiment? Isn't life complicated enough?
But I digress....
The pizza's are slid into the 800 degree oven and cook in one minute. (How nice is that when the place is packed and you need to bang out those pies?) Anthony Bruno's motto for the business is "I'm only as good as my last pizza" - So true and yet another very refreshing attitude to have in this world of finger pointing, self indulgent, lazy asses raised with an unrealistic sense of entitlement. Anthony's continues to receive very good-to-excellent ratings with the Zagat Survey (now I know why). Mr. Bruno first opened a coal fired pizza shop in Fort Lauderdale Florida where he was able to expand into many states and has never looked back. God bless.
Well done, Mr. Bruno, Well Done.
PS... The staff is as friendly as they are helpful at this Ramsey, NJ location... thanks Christa.