Quite some time ago in a Blog about Pizza, I read about Pizzerias with coal brick ovens. Naturally I did discuss this back then with my resident genius in all matters Italian, Chef BRUNO.
But even he has never heard of it. Forgot all about it until my last trip to Vegas, where I saw the Grimaldi's sign on Eastern and Silverado Ranch. That was the Pizzeria in New York I read about.
Perfect. Victoria did not travel with me, so no worries about gluten free Pizza (they don't have any), I could indulge in Italian food without feeling too bad for Victoria eating salad.....
Before you go completely Al Gore on this place, let me tell you that they use Anthracite coal which apparently burns cleaner than wood. So that's my disclaimer....Fans of coal brick oven Pizza claim it is superior to all other pies out there. I wondered where the coal goes and just as with a wood fired oven, right inside, not below.
The place itself is decorated with a heavy Brooklyn accent, checkered table cloth, exposed brick, B&W images of times gone by and some other gimmicky wall decor. Interesting light fixtures.
The bar with an opening to the outside was a perfect spot for the lone road warrior in me. The barkeeper however has never heard the word Celiac. Funny really. Or not, if you are Celiac.
I ordered my standard Pizza when I first go to a new place, Margarita with Anchovies. A simple, tasty pie that tells me all about a Pizzeria. Side of Caesar Salad, no croutons (just for Victoria)
Big surprise. The Pizza took way longer than in a wood fired oven. 5 minutes. Yes, I timed it. You do get bored travelling alone....what can I say.
Anyway, since this is a gluten post (sorry, Celiacs) and I am no critic to begin with, let's just say it was a very very good Pizza, but not the best. Personally, the difference in flavor from wood to coal was miniscule, if even noticeable. The dough was good, but a touch too crispy for my personal taste buds.
The toppings were very good, plenty of anchovies and good quality sauce and cheese. Basil added AFTER baking, an important detail that even FAMOSO screws up for me. I would go back for sure, but would not fly to Vegas specifically for a coal oven Pizza.
WHAT AN OVEN. LOVE THE STYLE