Thatsa bruciata!

Anthony's Is Busting Out All Over

I don't usually approve of chains, but Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza is definitely one of the good guys: Born in SoFla, where not long ago you couldn't get a decent slice of pie to save your soul, Anthony's has recently managed to put a coal fire pizza joint within reach of us all. Now that Anthony's has locations in Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton, Delray, Boca, Lauderdale, Weston, Pembroke Pines, Aventura, Pompano, Plantation, and Coral Springs, the famous "Our Pizza is Well Done" motto is much closer to the lips of purists who'll fight to the death over the question of crust consistency.

The crust pictured above is an example of what Anthony's can get up to: blackened and bubbly, chewy and crisp -- an ideal foil for the searingly hot finger peppers and salty prosciutto that top this monster. We had this one on my home turf in the new Boynton Beach location (same menu as always, and really sweet service) along with another topped with arugula salad:

and then, as if that weren't enough, we brought another one home with sausage and broccoli rabe:

The first two versions were perfectly balanced, heaven on a pizza peel. As for the third, that broccoli/sausage topping was too heavy and damp for Anthony's thin crust and ended up making it soggy (I've had this problem with Anthony's pizza before -- wetter toppings require a lighter hand). And as much as I love Anthony's, I'm still not convinced their crust beats the slightly sweetened coal-fire version served at Carolina's in Delray Beach (see this week's review of Carolina's here).

But I'm not looking to start any fights. The Boynton location has a lot to recommend it: great looking bar, flat screens tuned to the game, and plenty of eye candy on the walls, if not at the tables:

-- Gail Shepherd

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