Tony's N.Y. Pizza
3087 Fair Lakes Shopping Center
11:00AM - 11:00 PM - 7 Days a Week
Date of Visit:Monday, June 11, 2008
Time: Dinner - 6:30 PM
Number of Diners: 4
Food Quality: 7
I hooked up with three co-workers who were also working in Northern Virginia this week for a pizza treat. Our ringleader was "Longisland Guy" (LG) who was Jones-ing for a taste of his homeland. He had been to Tony's before and attested it was the real deal. There were a few tables outside in the 100 degree heat and 100% humidity, so we bypassed them and headed into the strip mall location. LG was quick to point out the portraits of the last three Popes hanging conspicuously over the cash register - a testimony to the authenticity of the place. Inside you stand in a line to place your order and pay, then you are given a number for your table. This number is called in semi-incoherent fashion over the loudspeaker so you can come fetch your food. The staff in the back yelling at each other indiscriminately added another layer of authenticity to the experience.
The Menu and what we had...
The menu was a full Italian slate on large overhead signboards. Probably a dozen pre-made pies were on display in a glass case for orders by the slice. On the last visit LG and another guy had put away two 14-inch pies, so we ordered three 16-inchers for the four of us, plus antipasto salad and bread. And a pitcher (or two) of Sam Adams beer. Our three pies were classic NY cheese, pepperoni, and (after considering mushroom for a minute) sausage. My suggestion to get a combo was quickly dismissed as impractical, testifying to my Midwestern ignorance. We found a fast-food style booth for four and crowded ourselves in. The beer and salad were ready very quickly, and we were privileged to have an authentic Italian staff member deliver the salad personally. It was a pile of iceberg, heavily dressed with oil and vinegar, plus Buffalo cheese balls and rolls of ham, artichokes, and Italian peppers. A side of bread was ignored in anticipation of the coming pies. Three of us had small portions of the salad, while LG abstained to save room for his precious NY pizza. When the pies were called, two went to retrieve them, and there was no room on the small table. Our earlier helpful friend returned with three pedestals, two of which fit on the table - the third being relegated to and adjoining high-top table.
The pies were blisteringly hot, and LG dove in immediately, while the rest of us were more circumspect. The cheese pie was topped with a semi-liquid sauce and a healthy amount of Mozzarella cheese. The crust was NY spec - lending itself to folding to hold most of the topping in a pocket for your eating pleasure. The Pepperoni pizza was identical to the cheese with the addition of spicy slices of bright red meat-byproducts. The sausage pizza was similar, but instead of crumbled sausage there were slices of brown sausage. The cheese pie was greasy, the pepperoni pie was very greasy, and the sausage pie was molto-molto-greasy, as demonstrated by the puddles on our paper plates - grease catchers. We charged through all four pizzas, three large piles of napkins, and two pitches of beer (for three of us - the fourth was a teetotaler). The pie was decent and a pleasure to eat, although NY is not my favorite style. LG proudly proclaimed that the roof of his mouth was blistered, shredded, and pleasantly numb - the rest of us had avoided such a fate. While nobody was keeping track, LG certainly was the consumer of the night - and we were all happy for him. And by unanimous vote, Pepperoni was the best of the three pizzas.
While we all sat and rested in a cheesy-greasy haze, somebody (might have been me) mentioned that they had cannoli. A lively conversation ensued concerning the compartmenting of the human stomach into food and dessert sections. A few minutes later a tray appeared with four beautiful cannoli. "Are you kidding me?" I asked. Bought and paid for, there was nothing for it but to proceed. These marscarpone-stuffed tubes of pastry were absolutely delightful, better than the last ones I'd had in Little Italy on Manhattan. The dessert raised this restaurant's food score by a full point. Overstuffed and wounded, we made our way back to our respective hotels for a well-earned comatose rest.
Tony's NY Pizza - RECOMMENDED for all New York pizza lovers and all who love to blister the roofs of their mouths!
Highs: Pepperoni pie, Cannoli
Lows: Self service, uncomfortable tables, noise
Bon Appétit! - W. Ego