Pizza Stop #28:
6237 Cermak Rd
Today’s pizza review, Anthony’s Pizza in Berwyn, IL (not to be confused with Michael Anthony’s which is also in Berwyn).
Me and this place share a lot of history so this review was a sad one for me to write. Going back to the early 2000s, this was in my opinion one of the best places to get pizza in Berwyn. Granted I was only 17 and did not know good pizza like I do now, this place’s pizza was like drugs to me. I was here all the time. For a short while, I became addicted to this place and not in a joking kind of way either. I was literally addicted!
I used to work up the street for a while at Dunkin Donuts in Berwyn. Along my path to work was Anthony’s so at one point I would always get a slice before work and then another after work. So, 2 slices a day, 5 days a week. Fast forward a few weeks and it was a weekend and I did not get any Anthony’s that day. I had already eaten but in the back of my mind I had this sort of feeling that my day felt off. Despite not being hungry and it being 10pm, I just had to have my slice to complete the day. So.. I walked over, bought a slice, went home, took a few bites, then finally felt at ease and went to sleep. Crazy, I know.
However, the next day I realized my addiction, accepted it, went into a self-driven pizza rehab and got clean. I almost went down a dark path, but I faced my troubles and now we’re all good!
Unrelated, Anthony’s pizza was also one of the first places I went to with my now wife to get pizza. I told you me and this place shared a lot of history didn’t I?
Fast forward to now and it has been 10+ years since I’ve last been here. I moved around a few times, eventually got married, had kids, etc and Anthony’s was just forgotten as my busy life changed and I no longer lived in the area.
With this page now going, I knew I had to stop in to review Anthony’s. Was it still good pizza? Was it ever good pizza or was it just comfort pizza? By Comfort Pizza, I am referring to the mediocre pizza we all have in our lives, but we grow accustom to and somewhere along the way becomes “our favorite pizza”.
Another memory I have is how this place puts their slices on a parchment paper, then into a bag. Often when it was too fresh and they bagged it anyways, you would take it home to realize the gooey and fresh cheese has now bonded itself to the paper and was nearly impossible to peel off. Sometimes it would, others you’d just say screw it and likely end up eating some paper embedded with your pizza after you took off whatever you could. Crazy, I know! However, I hope there is at least one of you as followers that know exactly what I’m talking about so I don’t sound too crazy here.. Lol.
I mention this only because I remember their cheese was always gooey with lots of stretch. I just got around to stopping in last week and unfortunately this was no longer the case. Despite it being a fresh pizza they just pulled out the oven, somehow it was still dry looking with absolutely no stretch in the cheese. Either they got cheap with the amount used or switched to lower quality ingredients, but it definitely wasn’t the same.
However, despite the cheese not being the same, the rest of the pizza still had the same familiar flavor I enjoyed. A nice thin but crispy crust and a good tasting sauce. More surprisingly, now 10+ years later their price has only gone up 50cents! For $4 you get a jumbo slice and a can of RC which is an excellent deal.
One thing I was reminded of that always used to irritate me was at this place they CHARGE YOU for parmesan cheese. It used to be 20 cents when they started shortly before I moved, but now they wanted 39cents. So, right before leaving I had to once again swipe my card to pay for a small tub of Parmesan cheese. Could this be one of the ways they’ve managed to keep their prices down? I’m not sure but it sure is a petty thing to charge for. It’s the equivalent of being charged for ketchup packets which would be crazy.
Up next, I can imagine this place as another feature on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. While this place was never the nicest, it wasn’t bad. Fast forward to this visit and man.. this place has really let itself go! It looked so unbelievably run down inside. Dirty white floors with cracked floor tiles everywhere. Cracking ceramic tiles on the counter sides and walls. How could a business owner let their place get this bad?
Even when I am having company over at my house, I think it’s a unspoken rule to feel the need to make your house sparkling clean before their arrival. I’d imagine if I owned a restaurant, I’d want to keep up the same appearances! Not only would I want to, I’d have to! I used to work managing a restaurant myself and remember how strict annual Health Department checks were and how you were docked for any little thing. I truly wonder how a place in this condition passes their yearly inspection.
Unsure if it was just me that thought this way or not, I looked at their google reviews and there is a few photos and bad reviews that echo my statements of this place looking unsanitary. So, if you are interested in seeing for yourself without actually going, that’s one way to do so.
Lastly and once again, please do not take my review as someone trying to shame or destroy a business’s reputation for the sake of an article. First and foremost, I am a normal paying customer and a reviewer second. My goal is to share my experience as yours will likely be; As the normal every day customer (well, with the exception of my histories of course).
All in all, Anthony’s Pizza was like the toxic relationship you have but are too blind to see or let go. Writing this review and reflecting, I realized there was many issues with this place, yet I still considered it the best. Thankfully, I have opened my eyes and moved on to better, more deserving pizzerias. I’m sorry Anthony’s, but maybe if you re-evaluate your operations and do better there just might be a chance for us to reunite in the future. Until then, I wish you well and hope you find your way back!
Click the link below and use Promo Code “AFF7” for $7 off orders of $12 or more (new customers only)