I wanted to love everything Anthony’s N.Y. Pizza & Pasta House. It wasn’t quite everything I hoped it would be. But after thinking about it I don’t know what I was hoping for exactly then and now. I wanted good pizza and there was some of that. But that little extra oomph wasn’t there. And I really thought it would happen.
The beautiful thing is pizza is everywhere and it will always be everywhere. In every town, every city, and every neighborhood there’s going to be some semblance of a pizza parlor, pizzeria, or a restaurant. It makes my day discover a new one in a town I don’t always frequent, Bowie, MD.
What I’ve found fascinating is in talking to close friends who live in proximity have never heard of this place. In doing further research there is a similar sentiment. Maybe the location isn’t ideal or noticeable immediately. To me it’s perfect.
However, I wouldn’t say this is in the most folksy or most approachable part of town. Where that is in Bowie I don’t know, but when I see a pizza place, in particular, one with slices to go, the small town and romanticizing of a happy place and folksy folks (while a more-than-welcomed bonus) is not always going to be there. And that’s ok. I think.
I had come to find out that owner of this and the Clarksville (I’ll get to that later) locations are from New York, which means the N.Y. Style is actually more authentic and since than many of these places that say N.Y. Style as a cliche and the slices are bland and taste worse because they portray themselves as something they’re not.
So expectations were set a little higher. I didn’t expect this to be just like New York Pizza. To be honest, I could barely count on two hands how many times I’ve had N.Y. Style and it’s different. But you don’t have to be an expert to know the difference. There is an aura about it. There’s so many elements that make a pizza a pizza. And for with New York like any city, there is an aura about it.
Just like any other food, it’s going to be best served in the city or country of origin.
It could be the water, the universe, or just being there in that moment that makes it what it is.
And just because the location is different means the pizza will be a cheap imitation. It doesn’t necessarily have to match the authenticity of said location, but it can be great and it can even be a masterpiece.
I wanted to love the three slices I ordered. I don’t always feel like that about places. But this one had something else going for it I can’t put into words. That could be once again romanticizing the situation and only hoping for the best. Luckily, one slice really stood above all else. Maybe the title gave it away. I’ll save that for that.
First up was the Chicken and Spinach White with balsamic glaze. I’ve said it before that certain pizzas have that whole doesn’t equal the sum of its parts situation. This one also fits that bill.
This white pizza looked spectacular. And you’re going to get a theme from this and the next slice. It’s not a case of judging a book by its cover. But in the reverse sense. This had all the makings of an amazing pizza but something didn’t completely work.
I think there was too much going on. I never got a taste of the balsamic. And the cheese also seemed to vanish. The spinach was great. I enjoyed picking pieces of spinach off my slice and enjoyed them on their own. But that chicken was phenomenal. I would gladly eat pile of these blackened pieces of chicken on their own, or with a spinach salad. I mean it. The chicken was spectacular. I think the main take from this was the pizza crust didn’t work here. I think if the crust had more of that crunch you’d expect I might be telling a different story. But it didn’t necessarily need to be NY Style. Something was just off. This was ordered right at lunch time so the pizza was fresh. But something fell short.
The same goes for the Buffalo Chicken. It looked so beautiful. The celery was fantastic as was the breaded buffalo chicken. What went wrong for me was the blue cheese. It was bit too heavy for me. And equally as rough was the buffalo sauce. This is something that can easily be remedied. I’ve personally made foods with buffalo sauce and sometimes add a little too much. It happens. I think others will love it but this wasn’t as good as I hoped. Again that crust was the issue.
The cheese. It may look like a standard cheese slice, which is everything right. I don’t know if I planned it that way, but I did eat this one last. And I’ll tell you, you can always judge a place by how good their cheese is. This was fantastic. This is not the best cheese slice I’ve ever hard. And honestly, I don’t remember where that was. But this was tremendous. There is no special reason why this was. And I wouldn’t say this because it’s authentic N.Y. Style. I think there’s a bigger spirit and soulful element here. What that is I don’t know. And maybe I’m not supposed to. Not yet at least.
I don’t often do repeats. And if I do it may be a different location. It makes it exciting to do a compare and contrast.
I’m sentimental to the small town of Clarksville, MD and had no idea there was a second location there. Small business is a beautiful thing and I’m happy to support it. So when I get a chance to visit this will be revisited again.
And I look forward to sharing it with you.
Have a happy holiday weekend.