Hankering for pizza tonight? Don’t know if it’s exactly pizza you’re craving or delicious meatballs and a mound of fresh ricotta cheese? Really into focaccia bread? Then, do yourself a really big favor and treat yourself to Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza located on Parsonage Hill Road, in Edison.

The founder, Anthony Bruno attributes the success of his restaurants “to a combination of top-quality ingredients, authentic coal burning ovens, and personal service.”

As the owner of Anthony’s Runway 84, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Bruno decided to introduce the taste of coal-fired pizza to South Florida. As a food writer, I have to believe he wanted to create the flavor of Brooklyn pizza for folks who not only live in South Florida, but for the “Snowbirds” who visit, as well.

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Perhaps, like bagels that require special water to create that delicious warm and crusty taste, or the tomatoes, or the hand rolled meatballs, or the focaccia bread, or all of the above, I have to say, that I have been to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza in Boca Raton and other locations...and not one that I visited in South Florida compares to the taste found in Edison at their first New Jersey location. All I can say is I’m looking forward to returning.

“Every pizza that’s served at Anthony’s restaurants is cooked in a proprietary 850 to 900 degree, coal-burning oven that provides a “well done” flavor which is the chain’s trademark,” said  Joshua Cooper, General Manager.

Upon arriving in a most unbelievable downpour, the well-trained staff invited us to wait a bit for our table.  In not more than fifteen minutes, we were escorted to a table for four, where Monica, our server, introduced herself and asked if we were first time visitors. Since we were, she distributed menus, and explained that we were entitled to a “Free” portion of chicken wings. Regardless of whether or not you are, or are not a first time visitor, you’ll really enjoy Anthony’s Original Coal Oven Roasted Chicken Wings served with caramelized onions and Focaccia bread. (Small 10 pieces, $9.50; large, (20 pieces), $15.50). (A first time taster portion is more than enough...4 pieces).

From there we tried Anthony’s Classic Italian Salad, certainly enough for three, and in our case, it served four, ($9.25). And then it was time for the large hand-rolled Meatballs which are slow-cooked in their house-prepared tomato sauce, and served with a large dollop of ricotta cheese. (small: 2 meatballs, $5.95; large: 4 meatballs, $10.95).  And then after all of this food, we actually ordered small pizzas. Flavors include: White Pizza with Ricotta, Mozzarella and Romano Cheese, Fresh Mozzarella, Sliced Tomato and Basil, Roasted Cauliflower Pizza, Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, and of course traditional pies that consist of mozzarella cheese, Italian plum tomatoes, Romano cheese, basil, and olive oil. (Small: 12" $12.95; Large: $19.95)

The menu also includes Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, Pork Ribs with vinegar peppers, a selection of sandwiches, and a sausage and pepper burger which is served at lunch. ($7.95).

Should you have room for dessert, the menu features Espresso, Cappuccino and a New York style cheesecake. ($4.75). 

And...don't forget to cast your vote for your ten most favorite restaurants - - email the names of your favorite restaurants in New Jersey to Mkbrody@thealternativepress.com

Location: Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza of Edison, PIZZA WELL DONE, 80 Parsonage Road, Edison

Call: 732.744.1500

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

FYI: Major credit cards accepted. Parking on the premises. Casual dress. Featuring a la carte catering for groups of ten or more. Call to get your party started. 732.744.1500. 

Wednesdays only: From 5 to 7:30 p.m. Food sampling at the bar with $5 Martinis all night long.