South Florida definitely has its share of pizza joints. Coal-fired, wood-fired, gas-fired, whatever-fired, there’s a place to find a pie cooked in an oven that matches your taste!
Since moving here from the northeast more than a dozen years ago, I’ve struggled to find a pizza that rivals a slice from Old Forge or New York City. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of “good” spots to get a pizza here like Nick’s New Haven or the subject of today’s report, Tucci’s Fire N Coal Pizza in Boca Raton.
Tucked away just south of Mizner Park on 1st Ave in downtown Boca, Tucci’s is a small restaurant with a handful of tables inside and a few more out. They place isn’t fancy and the menu isn’t large, but the pizza is pretty damn good.
Let’s tackle the menu. Appetizers feature wings roasted in the restaurant’s coal oven, a few different salads, and greens like escarole and beans or broccoli rabe with sausage. One thing to remember, you’re coming here for the pizza, so don’t expect to find a menu full of Italian food (but there is spaghetti and meatballs as well as beer and wine).
Pizza comes in small and large and your typical toppings are available as well as some unique ones such as prosciutto, soppressata, broccoli rabe, and eggplant. You can start off with a classic cheese pizza with mozzarella and tomato sauce and start building your own, or choose one of their specialty pies. Some of them include an eggplant pie with baked eggplant, mozzarella, sauce, and basil or “The Chump” which is a five-cheese white pizza topped with meatballs and pepperoni and served with sauce on the side.
We started out with an order of meatballs ($9.95) that were cut in half, served in sauce and presented with a scoop of ricotta. The balls were moist with some parts of them having a bit of a crisp from the coal oven where they were finished off.
Next up was a tomato and mozzarella salad made served with arugula and a balsamic glaze ($12.95). A refreshing Italian favorite that’s definitely shareable.
Now it was time for the pizza. We went with a large pepperoni with 1/2 bacon. The crust wasn’t thick and it wasn’t thin. It may sound weird to say it was “just right,” but there are some places that either make a pizza paper thin or full of dough. In my opinion, this was the perfect thickness. Cheese and sauce went right to the edge, which I think is better than leaving an inch of crust that some may or may not eat. The bacon was not “bits” like you may get at other places, this was large pieces of real bacon.
There was a perfect cheese to sauce ratio and the toppings were plentiful. The crust had a nice flavor and char to it from the coal oven and it wasn’t soggy.
Tucci’s Pizza in Boca Raton should definitely be on your list to check out when you’re looking for a really good pizza… make that a really “great” pizza. It’s one of those hidden gems that you have to look for, but once you find it, you’re going to want to come back time and time again.
The place can get busy, especially on weekends, and there are not many tables, so plan accordingly. Parking can also be at a premium. They also offer delivery through Delivery Dudes.