Tag Archives: Chain Restaurant

Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza

11 Jan

Hubs and I attempted to make a decision this past weekend when going out. It was getting late, our stomachs were growling, and we were getting desperate. Quickly, we had to think of somewhere extremely close that was still new. I was demanding something new to be more exact. We ended up in Clay Terrace to try Tony Sacco’s. Every time we drive by, it is busy.I hopped out of the car to see how long the wait would be and with 20 minutes to go, we decided to give it a try on the Friday night.

I put our name in and began to observe.The space to wait is awkward. There are a few chairs near the hostess stand, but besides that, you stand in an open area trying to not be in anyone’s way or too close to the tables that are near the space. After all, nothing more horrible than people up in your meal while you are sipping your beverage and noshing on your food. The atmosphere is an unfinished feel. And that is being generous – almost like it done as cheaply and quickly as possible. The floors were uneven and original from the space prior, limited decorating on the walls, and open ceiling beams. It was just a colder feel – maybe done on purpose for the heat of the coal oven? It wasn’t too cold that it was uncomfortable, just not a warm cozy feel. Despite the two hostesses were awfully quiet (saying names at a level where everyone was trying to crowd the podium despite the space permitted to awkwardly stand in the doorway), we had a good position so we could hear our name be called within 15 minutes or so.

We were seated near the open kitchen area and quickly approached by our server. After a quick run down of the drinks, we each ordered a local brew and order of garlic rotolis. When our drinks were delivered, we also ordered a caprese salad and the Marco Polo pizza. A lot of food, but sometimes eyes are bigger than stomachs. And by sometimes, this is 90% of the time in my world.

Strangely enough, our caprese salad came before the rolls that we had ordered 5 minutes beforehand. I discovered, as we were close to the kitchen and within earshot, that our rolls were actually given to the table next to us. They had children, so I was fine with that because I’d prefer them to be happy rather than upset on having to wait a bit for food. And really, new rolls were produced within a matter of minutes, no biggie. The caprese salad was nothing special, and I should have known better to not order it. Tomatoes are clearly not in season and these were slightly mealy because of that very reason. The mozzarella, not fresh by any means. I would even say that it was taken out of a plastic wrapping – similar to the kinds you can buy at your local grocer. I did like the fresh basil and the garlic oil it was served with. Sure, it was a lot of oil, but I really loved the garlic flavor. A little balsamic vinegar on top also helped, but it still was a caprese not in season. As for the rolls, there were a lot for only $5. A big positive as hubs clearly enjoyed them. But, it once again, it was fresh. Tasted like a prepackaged dough, most likely made for the restaurant. They were once again completely swimming in the garlic oil and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. I wonder how much garlic oil this restaurant goes through…anyway, the rolls were expected, but nothing special.

As for the pizza, I was beyond impressed with how fast it was delivered to our table. But that is about where my positives stop. The sauce was a standard tomato based sauce hinted with (you guessed it) garlic and olive oil. Our particular pizza, the Marco Polo, was topped with chicken, sun dried tomatoes and artichokes. I liked the combination of the tomatoes and artichokes on the pizza – it is a earthy taste that I enjoy. But I did pick off the chicken. Unfortunately, it was so bland that it ruined the rest of the pizza. It didn’t taste as though it had any seasoning, but at the same time, it was all I could taste. And the crust, though good in flavor and texture on the ends, was completely flimsy in the middle. When you pick up the pizza, it immediately fell as did the toppings. I ended up picking off the chicken and eating half with two hands before it could support itself. And really, I’ve had much better.

I clearly didn’t have expectations of Tony’s. I figured it was a chain, but I just didn’t know how local or national of a chain it was. From my quick research, it looks like it started as a Midwestern chain. This particular location is in the middle of the outdoor shopping area, so I’m sure they get drop by business all the time. I think that is how many chain restaurants can survive – frequent foot traffic. I could see how it may be a step up from delivery pizza. Overall service was average and prices was reasonable ($40 before gratuity for the salad, appetizer, 12′ pizza and two beers), but I would rather take a few minutes and drive to the local pizzeria down the street – there are at least two that I enjoy within a few miles.

Tony Sacco’s * 14405 Clay Terrace Blvd, Suite 150 * Carmel, 46032 *317.574.3473