The last few years have seen a major upgrade to the Westchester pizza scene. From brick oven (All’ Antica), to wood fired (Frankie & Fanucci’s, Tarry Lodge) to coal fired (Frank Pepe), there’s quality pizza to be found.
And I never turn down an opportunity to eat the stuff. So when reader and fellow food fan Cheryl (I try to avoid using the word “foodie” at all costs) suggested a White Plains pizza crawl, I was all for it. We decided to try spots with two very different styles of pizza: Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza and Three Boys From Italy Brick Oven Trattoria.
Anthony’s was first up.
I had high, high hopes for this place. After all, it’s right there in the name — “coal fired.” To me, the words scream blistered, blackened crust, with a distinct, smoky flavor. Basically, Frank Pepe crust.
You can’t order individual slices at Anthony’s, so Cheryl and I shared a small pie of sausage and mushrooms.
The verdict? I think we both agreed the pie was curiously lacking — which was strange because it looked right; the crust had developed a shade of black around the edges, and it had some char on the bottom. But it tasted insubstantial and flimsy. No chew, not a whole lot of flavor (needed more salt?), and a quickly developed sogginess. As pizza goes, it was okay, but with a coal oven I expected much more.
So that was disappointing.
We found greater success at our second stop, Three Boys From Italy. Here, individual slices were available, displayed behind a glass case.
Cheryl went for the unusual one — if I remember correctly, it had chicken and peppers… and ranch dressing. Sounded nasty (warm ranch dressing??), but I took a bite and it was pretty damn good; the ranch had turned kind of sweet. Not something I would have thought to put on a pizza, but it worked.
I went for a slice of fried eggplant, caramelized onions, and ricotta.
The eggplant was sliced thin, and the ricotta was soft and creamy. Yum. And the crust — more of your traditional type of pizza crust — was solid too, with some nice chew and crunch.
Three Boys won our approval as the superior pizza on this day. But I’ve read about the marvelous meatballs at Anthony’s, so maybe meatballs are really their thing. As far as coal fired goes, I’m still partial to Frank Pepe.
Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza
264 Main St.
White Plains, NY
Three Boys From Italy Brick Oven Trattoria
206 Mamaroneck Ave.
White Plains, NY