Updated
Mar 22nd, 2019
First Posted
Sep 13th, 2018

Anthony's Pronto

656 N Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale FL, 33304
954 289-3685
Overall Rating
2.5
Food
Service
Ambiance
Value
Last Review
03/20/2019

Details

Hours: S-Thu 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm
Parking: Private Lot
CC: Yes
Alcohol: Wine and Beer
Outdoor: Not Really

Pros

Side Salad instead of Fries
Cheaper than a Restaurant

Cons

No eat-in Capability
Supermarket Dry Pasta
No late night service

Critic's Review

So Anthony Bruno has opened a pizzeria with no pizza; something only Anthony could think up. I thought I'd give it a try.

Italian food is pretty easy to make at home, so I don't usually feel the need to pay $20 for a bowl of pasta. The exception is eggplant parm, because buying an eggplant commits you to 3 meals in a week; plus it's hard to slice it really thin without a machine the way restaurants do. But no eggplant today.

I wanted to use their online ordering system, but not use my real name, because some people actually know who I am. I have gift cards for this. Pick a name, any name. Their system is actually pretty good; the only things I don't like is that they require both email and phone # (both bogus were supplied) and there's no option to pay when you get to the store. This guarantees a $0 tip, because who is going to tip before you find out if your order is ready on time or if they screwed it up?

The difference between this place and a pizzeria is that you can't just order an $8 meatball parm sandwich, you have to pay $11 and get a side with it. Who want's a side with a meatball sandwich? I ordered a salad, surmising that I could eat it later on.

They have some nice benches outside, but you can't eat on the benches. No outside place to eat the food here.

Inside is chaos. 3 guys at the register, 2 people waiting. It's kind of like a kitchen with a counter. Did I say Pizzeria? Assoluti Tomatoes (foodservice special) and DeCecco pasta; Good stuff, so you're plate of Rigatoni has a 25 cent per serving cost. Also available at the Fresh Market.

They have an espresso machine and wine up front, as if you're going to sit in this place and drink wine? How about a nice Sub-Zero chiller guys?

I guess you could sit on the couch and eat a plate of eggplant. Or maybe not.

Someone notices me in the back. "What's the Name?", "Jones; I ordered a Meatball Parm". The food is ready.

I grabbed to enormous bag and sped home. It took < 10 minutes to get home

A take out menu in the bag, but no napkins or utensils. I could see eating the sandwich without a fork but how would that work with the salad? If you're taking this back to your office make sure you get a fork.

I kind of expected a sub, but this is a sandwich on really big bread.

The ratio of meatball to bread was troubling. The bread was very soft and airy, so not as bad as I thought initially.

Something that bugs me about restaurants is the staged photos. It's much worse when the photos are nothing like the product they're actually offering.

This is the picture on their website of the "Meatball Sandwich":

As you can see it's completely different. These meatballs are sliced, kind of black on the outside, with a strange texture that brings into question what they're made with. Hardly any sauce.

These meatballs have a lot of filler; maybe half bread; they actually remind me of turkey meatballs. I had trouble keeping the sliced balls from falling out as I ate.

The salad was a good size for a side salad; certainly a better choice than fries. Ripe tomatoes; pretty much the same salad as at Anthony's CFP. His Italian dressing is very good; although it would be nice if they gave you a choice of dressing.

Conclusion

Anthony's Pronto is an idea that exudes arrogance; that Anthony's food is so superior that they can have a restaurant every 1/2 mile, and that people will pay $15 for a take out 1/2 chicken when they can get a whole chicken for $5 next door.

The sandwich I got was fine, but here's the rub. This is the restaurant's tagline:

Fresh, Classic Italian Dishes, MADE-TO-ORDER

but these meatballs were clearly sitting in a steam table for 1/2 a day. That sandwich on their web site was made to order; not this one. So why is this different than Mr Nick's or any other pizzeria or sandwich shop? The menu is really quite dull; Rigatoni 5 ways and a lot of chicken. Roast pork is the only thing that you can't get at 40 other places nearby; personally I'm not big on roast pork except maybe in a Cuban. Most notably there's no pizza; and pizza is where these types of places make all of their money.

This place will hurt Midici's take out business next door, but since there's no seating here it will have minimal impact on sit down restaurant business. This place is for people who can't cook; nobody who can boil water or open a jar of sauce is taking out most of this tuff. Gia Russa Tomato Basil sauce is better than this.

Comment Policy Add Comment
Administrator
Reply
Their online menu has the meatball parm here at $11, so I guess $10 wasn't enough as it is on the published menu? I was going to order it but the picture looks like its on hard bread; and I don't want hard bread.
Kay
Reply
No Pizza or Veal? Another partial menu from Anthony. Do people really order spaghetti with tomato sauce from a take out place?
Administrator
Reply
People take out $16 burgers that aren't half as good as slapping some ground chuck in a frying pan. You can't explain it.
Joel
Reply
In NYC you can still get really good Italian cooking in Little Italy, Corona Queens and some locations in Brooklyn. South Florida Italian restaurants serve Chef Boyardee, tasting dishes. Especially on Las Olas.
Administrator
Reply
Most Italian food is "OK" here but it's just not worth the NYC prices they charge. The difference in NY is you can go to a pizzeria to get a superb sub or ziti or eggplant parm on the cheap that's better than the stuff restaurants serve here for twice the price.
Judy
Reply
There are 50 restaurants I can order take out from. So unless their prices are lower, what's the difference? A restaurant with no seating option?
Arty
Reply
They have pictures of kids eating ziti off a plastic plate with a basil garnish. I think the garnish is what makes it special. We'll see how much it costs.
Pete
Reply
Anthony's exists because there are no good Pizzerias in Florida. Compared to Big Louie's it's great Italian food. I'm surprised their NY stores are surviving.
Administrator
Reply
About half the reviews for the Islip airport location are by knowledgable pizza people. But even Carrabba's packs them in on Long Island. There's a lot of stupid people in NY. There's also a lot of bad pizzeria's. Italian people all love their grandma's cooking, but not all grandmas can cook.

Anthony's isn't bad. It's just the arrogance of calling his sit down pizzeria food "restaurant quality".

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