At the end of March I received an email telling me about a new pizza shop opening in Clairemont. I glaced through it, but didn't really take note, for two reasons; first, I didn't know the sender, second the sender's "name" was "Tony", and the name of the shop was Fat Tony's. Just the way the email went, and the fact that I never got a response from the sender, sent instant S-H-I-L-L alarms. Those folks who have blogs will understand what I mean. In this case however, I was mistaken. After returning home from Guatemala, during my bi-weekly check of Chowhound, I read this thread, which instantly got my attention. Maybe "Tony" knew a thing or two.
In fact, I really had no reason not to check out Fat Tony's. The location on Diane Avenue, is right next to Ba Ren!
I love this sign.......you know who the gang at Fat Tony's is taking a shot at, don't you?
The interior is spotless, though pretty generic, with two plasma televisions going.
There's a refrigerator with the usual suspects, and four beers on tap.
From what I read on the CH post, it sounded like the thinner crust option was the way to go. So I went with the Tomato Garlic with Fresh Mozzarella ($18.00). I noticed that this pizza was cooked in a pan. Anthony, the really friendly namesake of the place, was nice and friendly, and apologized for the "pizza taking a bit longer because of the way we make it". Which really didn't seem that long!
Here's a view of the pizza that hit the table at home:
I enjoyed this pizza a bit more than the Missus, who thought it bland, and saying that the crust was indeed thin, but too much like a brittle cracker. The mozzarella added a nice mild semi-milky flavor to the pie, though I thought that more flavor could have been extracted from the tomato by roasting a bit longer. Of course, I'm not the pizza pro, and doing that may have been detrimental to the rest of the pie. Being a garlic head, I could have used a bit more garlic.
I returned recently, and decided to just get two cheese slices and a soda, which is priced right at 5 bucks. When my slices arrived, I took a good look at it. The first thing I noticed was that these weren't quite as greasy as those from Bronx. And though a friend of mine from "Jersey" tells me, "it ain't New Yauk style unless the oil is dripping down your arms", I thought this a good thing.
The pizza was well cheesed, which didn't overpower the pie.
I did find this crust to still be a bit too brittle. It snapped in half when I attempted "the fold". Personally, I enjoy a bit of pull (not sog, there's a difference) in my crust.
I found the sauce to be very mild. I enjoy a bit of tang, though the oregano flavor came through, it was the only thing that made this sauce distinctive. I tend toward the sauce at Luigi's.....mild spice, tanginess, and some sweetness.
Overall, I thought it to be a decent pie. It was nothing I'd really go out of my way for, but it is a great addition to the area.
I was recently having a conversation with a good FOY, when the subject of Fat Tony's came up. This FOY thought the pizza to be okay, but really didn't care for the crust, which made sense since he was a fan of Hoboken Pizza in Pacific Beach. However, when I asked the question, "name one pizza shop in the area that's better" he couldn't come up with a single one (though I used to like La Trattoria Firenze's sauce). Which in the end makes a great point. The sign in the front of Fat Tony's say "Your Neighborhood Pizzeria", which it does very well!
Fat Tony's Pizza
4973 Diane Avenue
San Diego, CA 92117
Open 11am - 930 pm Daily
For more pizza insanity, please read Howie's San Diego NY Style Pizza Showdown!
From the wouldn't you know it department. On my post on Big Fish Sea Grill, I mentioned how things around the intersection of Diane Avenue and Clairemont Mesa Boulevard are looking up. Wouldn't you know that the very next day, I read about this happening at that very intersection! Geeez...... Even more funny, when I mentioned this to Cathy, her response was, "at least they weren't using guns!" Huh? So I go home, and mention this to the Missus. Her response? "Hey, could be worse, they could have guns!" Okay......I guess I really don't get it.
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