As a child, I took for granted that pizza was baked in an oven. Since then, however, pizza preparation has become far more varied. On a recent visit with my family in the Bronx, I had occasion to try a grilled pie at Coals, near the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Morris Park.
Grilled pizza made its American debut in 1980 at Al Forno Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island. It's crisp, wafer-thin, with clearly visible grill marks, and bears a distinct, smoky-grilled flavor. It's lighter than most pizzas I've tried.
Coals offers several varieties including the requisite Margherita, the Rustic, the Pure Bliss, and even a vegan pizza. (Please click here for a menu.) I tried the Dean Martin (small $7.50; large $14), an exquisitely delicate pie made with fontinella, fresh mozzarella, tomato, pepperoni, and pecorino. (Two can share a large pie comfortably.)
In addition to pizza, Coals offers fine salads, a daily soup, Panini sandwiches, and burgers. The sandwiches bear such interesting names as the Barbarino, Wacky Jackie, Fonzarelli, and Ben Cohen. Some day I'd like to try the Muffuletta.
Unfortunately, I hadn't saved room for dessert, for I know what I'd have chosen: a slice of the Bronx's own S&S Cheesecake with warm butterscotch. Perhaps I should visit my family in Morris Park more often.
1888 Eastchester Road (near Morris Park Av), Morris Park, Bronx
By bus: Bx21, Bx31
From Manhattan: BxM10