Restaurant: Coals Grilled Pizza – 35 North Main Street, Port Chester, New York
Pizza can come in a bunch of varieties – from the famous Chicago deep dish to thin crust. Coals Grilled Pizza, with its original location in the Bronx and latest in Portchester, NY, serves up a unique variety of pizza, with a hand-stretched crust seemingly made of pita bread. I recently checked out the Portchester location.
The interior of Coals is fairly plain, with a quirkiness to it. A bar lines one side of the long and narrow restaurant, opposite a solid red-painted wall. The restaurant is definitely bright. Ample sunlight is let in through skylights dotting the high ceilings. Aside from a few random paintings strewn across the wall, a chalkboard menu and Presidential placemats, there isn’t much to the place. From what I’ve been told, the interior is fairly similar to that of the previous tenants.
On a Sunday afternoon, Coals was empty. I’ve heard this place is packed at night – mainly because of its “no reservations” policy – leaving diners to show up early in hopes of snagging a table.
For a pizza place, Coals has an extensive beer list, with beers on tap from across the country as well as from local breweries. I quickly ordered the sampler – a tasting a four beers of my choosing. This came out on a chalkboard-coated plank, allowing the bartender to transcribe the name of each beer. Nice presentation.
Up next was a pile of addictive Brussels sprouts, fried and tossed with some delicious sweet sauce (I wish I remembered what this was) as well as walnuts and raisins. These were delicious. They were very sweet, not too salty and had a nice crunch to them. For anyone that refuses to eat Brussels sprouts, I challenge them to try this dish and tell me they don’t like it. I need to figure out how to make this at home.
A plate of fresh house-made mozzarella, arugula and roasted red peppers added a touch of color to our table. This was all equally delicious. Whenever someone puts a huge ball of fresh mozzarella in front of me I’m not going to complain. I was very impressed with the portion size. I’d order this to start off the meal every time.
The pizza is where Coals really differentiates itself. We ordered two pizzas – margherita and smokey joe. The first thing I noticed was the crust. Coals uses hand-shaped grilled pita bread (if it wasn’t pita bread it sure looked and tasted like it) as its crust. This dough is rolled until it’s very thin and grilled over a coal fire so you can see the grill marks.
The pizzas seem to glow as they arrive at the table. The dough is clearly brushed with olive oil and this, along with the melted cheese, helps to give off this inviting sheen. They’re cut into long rectangular slices and are so thin I quickly over-indulged. So much so that I lost count as to how many slices I ate!
The pizza was incredible. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now. I can’t begin to tell you how good this crust was – the grilling gave it a nice charcoal flavor. The pizza is extremely light but packed with flavor. Loved it!
Our waitress, Samantha, never left our glasses empty and was at the ready to make sure everything was up to par. Since the place was empty we had the opportunity to really take our time, hang out and relax. There was never any pressure to wrap- up and leave.
Appetizers average around $10 and pizzas range from $11 to $15. The value is staring you right in the face. I would have expected the prices to be at least a solid $5 higher all around. Great value with extremely reasonable prices. Keep it up.
Coals takes pizza and gives it a twist with a unique version of your typical pizza crust. As I’m sure you can tell, I loved their version and thought it really helped allow you to taste all the ingredients of the pizza without having to chew on lots of dough. Kudos to Coals. I definitely will be back and recommend checking them out. I may just have to experiment in the kitchen and try to cook up some of this type of pizza myself.