SIDEBAR Fall 2017 - 20


Restaurant Review
Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza
Opens in Blue Bell
By Robert R. Watson, Jr., Esq.


or our family, the start of fall brings with it a torrent of
school and sports activities, which puts a sharp premium
on our free time - particularly on the weekends. If we
do manage to all be in one location for dinner, we want it to
be somewhere good. Having been to one of their locations in
Western PA last year without the whole family, I knew we needed
to hit Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza once they opened their newest
location in Centre Square Commons at Routes 202 & 73 in Blue
Anthony's is not your average chain restaurant, and it's not
your average pizza place. Self-described as "polished casual," the
Blue Bell location is both busy and intimate, with high ceilings,
warm lighting, and a full view of the
kitchen from every vantage point. It is
significantly smaller than the restaurant
I had previously visited - which was my
only disappointment in the evening -
but a very friendly and well-trained staff
keeps things organized and flowing. A
full bar is nestled into the front of the
store, and boasts a reputable selection
of local draft beers, plenty of seating
and doors opening onto an outdoor
patio. We might have enjoyed our entire
dinner there ourselves if the kids weren't
in tow.
Happy to be seated near the
kitchen so they could watch the daily fresh-made pizza dough
being tossed, grumpy kids turned frowns to smiles with Shirley
Temples and Wi-Fi (apparently a necessity for every child). Adult
beverages were not far behind, and we turned to the menu. Pizza
was certainly going to be the focus, but to start, our waitress
suggested meatballs for the boys. She soon was back with just that
- meatballs, ricotta cheese and focaccia bread. I managed to sneak
a bite from the kids, and they were slow-roasted and delicious -
don't tell my Italian mother-in-law, but almost as good as hers.


On the way in, I noted a sign claiming that
Anthony's only served "adult" chicken wings, and I had to
investigate. It turns out that "adult" chicken wings aren't sauced
or fried - they are oven roasted over the same coals which would
be yielding our pizzas. Marinated and touched with rosemary,
the flavor is charred-into these treats, which are served with
caramelized onions, fresh parsley and bread. We also shared
Anthony's classic Italian salad, a great choice with crumbled
You can choose from a selection of specialty pies or make
your own. Either way, the result will be a well-done, thin-crusted
pizza, cooked 4-5 minutes in an 800+ degree coal oven. The kids
picked cheese and prosciutto, and were thrilled.
The fresh prosciutto was crisp and salty, and
the sauce was highlighted by plum tomatoes,
olive oil and basil. We opted for the Paulie's Pie
specialty, served with signature meatballs, a truly
memorable Italian sausage, sweet peppers and
ricotta. Expect a slightly burnt crust from the
coal oven - thin, crispy and full of coal-fired
Other notable menu choices to try next
time we visit include the Eggplant Marino Pizza
(named after co-owner and PA legend Dan
Marino), coal oven roast beef sandwich, calzone,
and Italian tuna salad sandwich.
Admittedly, there are a lot of pizza choices in
Montgomery County - locally owned or chains, different styles,
different experiences, some good and some simply convenient. I'll
leave newspaper and social media "best of" ratings to others. For
a fun family night out with something for everyone, including
great food and service in a comfortable upscale atmosphere,
Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza brings another excellent option to the
Blue Bell is the newest of 3 Montgomery County Locations.
Be sure to use call-ahead seating if time is tight.

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