Luigi’s Coal Oven Pizza Fort Lauderdale on Las Olas

4/ 8
Slice Rating

Luigi’s Coal Oven Pizza Fort Lauderdale on Las Olas

Posted By: Pizza Expert
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Ever since Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza opened up in Fort Lauderdale, and grew, it seems like everyone thinks they can hop on the bandwagon. Luigi's Coal Oven Pizza on Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale is the latest of places to open in hopes of cashing in on the coal craze. Luigi's Coal Oven Pizza I believe is owned by the same guys who serve some pretty great food at Tuscan Grill a little further west. Luigi's Coal Oven Pizza is a cute place tucked away in the back of a parking lot next to Rocco's Tacos. It was a quaint place, housing only 8 tables. I had tremendous hopes for this new place since the pizza at Tuscan Grill is pretty darn good with a wood oven.

Lets first look at why they might have chosen a coal oven to begin with.  Unlike a wood oven, cooking pizza with coal oven should come with a tremendous investment in first understanding the proper operation of the oven.  A coal fire is much harder to start (get hot) and is more difficult to manage than a wood fire or gas burner. Even the simple aspect of getting anthracite coal to burn right requires an ignition source in excess of 900 degrees (F) that is usually provided by a bed for burning charcoal or wood. Dry wood by comparison, burns more quickly and starts burning at around 450 F. Coal has roughly twice the heat/energy potential of wood (13,000 BTUs per pound for coal versus roughly 6,500 BTUs per pound for wood) so accessing and managing its potential energy when and where you need it can be challenging. (courtesy of woodstone-corp). So just hiring some regular pizza guy to run this oven is not enough to produce quality pizza. Just because you can cook with wood, does not mean you can cook with coal.

My friend had told me during his previous two visits that the pizza comes out undercooked, so he suggested we ordered it well done. It probably comes out undercooked since the pizza maker never worked with coal before and just because it looks well done on top, does not mean it cooked properly on the bottom. This is a tell tale sign of an oven that isn't calibrated properly. So we ordered a plain (margherita) pie, and I asked for no basil, since I just wanted to taste the pizza as is. I was informed by the server that Luigi's Coal Oven Pizza is an approved member of  VPN (vera pizza napoletana) and that they cannot make any changes to the pie!  Really guys, you cannot leave the basil you place on top of the pie after it is cooked off? Sorry to ask you to extend yourself to please a customer.

I thought the pizza was average at best, and I really expected more since  it was my favorite style. Thin crust, with light sauce and decent cheese ratio. The bottom of the crust was every color from black to brown to white which was nice to look at but shows how much flour this pizziola used while preparing it.  Wanna see just how much flour?  Look below:


And as if this wasn't enough proof, check out the mounds of flour left over on our pizza tray.  You cannot make this stuff up people!  I know lately I have done nothing but complain about the excess flour that most pizza places use, but this is overkill for sure.

This is just what everyone ordered right, some pizza and a side order of flour

So when I say that places use too much flour, I hope you all won't keep sending in the emails complaining that I speak about it too much. If Luigi's doesn't use too much flour, then maybe I am just always wrong when it comes to the excess flour discussion.

I didn't really hate the pizza but I certainly didn't love it either. The sauce was a bit bitter (clever play on words there). The cheese was good, but the pie didn't have enough of it applied, and since it was overloaded with basil, it was hard to taste anything but the basil, oh and the flour too. Maybe it was growing pains, maybe it was just lack of coal education, but I cannot say that I enjoyed this pizza as much as I should have. Personally, I even thought Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza was better than this.

Luigi's Coal Oven Pizza gets 4 out of 8 slices. I sure hope they fix some of their cooking issues, or it will be hard to compete against their other place up the road, or many of the other pizza places on Las Olas for that matter. We know the potential is there for them to be like Tuscan Grill, just relax, take a breath and put a little more care into the pie.

Irrelevant to the pizza, I did love the mozzarella carozza, tasted great. I really didn't like how close the tables were to the people behind me, the other patrons kept bumping into my chair, almost making me spill my soda a few times. Also the parking lot made me EXTREMELY nervous while eating, since the cars parking and pulling out almost hit the window throughout our dining experience.




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    (954) 990-8647

  • 1415 E Las Olas Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33301-2335

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13 Responses to “Luigi’s Coal Oven Pizza Fort Lauderdale on Las Olas”

  • john bates wrote:
    14 Jun 2011 at 11:46 am

    Just an FYI. According to your link the the VPN website, only wood burning establishments can become members.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    01 Jul 2011 at 1:58 am

    I spoke to someone as well in the industry who told me you need a wood oven to be VPN so someone is mistaken. I guess they could have left the basil off!

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    01 Jul 2011 at 1:58 am

    I spoke to someone as well in the industry who told me you need a wood oven to be VPN so someone is mistaken. I guess they could have left the basil off!

  • Edwardo Russo wrote:
    07 Jul 2011 at 10:50 am

    I think you should go back and try it again. don’t be so judgmental on one try. I personally tried it 3 times a week since it opened, and i think you hit a bad day.
    Luigi’s a very nice humble young man, he usually makes the rounds every few minutes, he visits my table all the time, because he already knows me as a regular, and we both come from the same town, except I moved to the US before he was born. Go Back, I’m pretty sure you probably got the wost pizza the place has ever served.

  • Edwardo Russo wrote:
    07 Jul 2011 at 10:53 am

    If you read Luigi’s web site, it clearly says that he follows MOST of the VPN Rules. The only rule he cant follow is burning all wood. Take a look at their web site.

  • Edwardo Russo wrote:
    07 Jul 2011 at 11:05 am

    I love this place so I must put my 2 cents in. He burns wood and coal to get his unique taste, just like the most famous places in Connecticut, like Frank Pepe of New Haven.
    & Sally’s.
    To ignite coal, Luigi explained to me he must use wood first, he also said he has had many people Google VPN.  In Napoli where he was living up till 2003, T he worked in a VPN Pizzeria since the age of 12.
    I love the guy, ( he is so real ) not some stuck up restaurant owner that you cant talk to. Check out his website it explains why he decided to do it his way.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    07 Jul 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Although I truly appreciate your support for Luigis, I am still quite upset that they couldn’t leave the basil off my pizza since, and I quote “we could lose our VPN certification if we do that”. The staff should know better than to give some stupid response like that to me, especially when they aren’t certified or following the true standards.

  • Louie wrote:
    01 Sep 2011 at 1:18 pm

    I ate here two nights ago and cannot wait to go back. I found the margherita pizza to be excellent. I think your origional visit was a bad night. I also had the meatballs and they were excellent. I’m not sure if it was the owner or not but the young man who waited on us could not have done a better job, it’s always a pleasure when you get excellent service in this town.

  • Happy2golucky wrote:
    31 Dec 2011 at 12:30 pm

    The writer of this website goes around and reviews pizza places to then offer his services of teaching you how to make pizza and training your staff! He is bullshit! He NEVER says anything good about new pizza places. Its a gimmick in hopes you’ll then use him for his services! Pah-lease, mary…….get a new job! Off their website “We work with the owners of independent pizza restaurants, and show them how they can implement “outside the pizza box” marketing techniques, that their competition haven’t even thought about trying yet.  The Pizza Experts can come to your location and work along side you, to help improve your brand loyalty, or we can even discuss your strategy on the phone.  Just fill out our form on the contact page and one of our experts will get back to you.
    Your restaurant will be marketed through viral campaigns by experts who know how to get people in your door.
    We will supply the engagement and content that you need to capture new customers, get them to try your food, and improve their loyalty to your brand.”

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    31 Dec 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Luigis claims to be VPN. VPN doesn’t burn coal. What does it matter of there is a separate marketing arm of the parent company?
    Sent From iPhone

  • Francis wrote:
    01 Mar 2012 at 9:48 am

    Went with my friend Joyce last night.

    $25 corkage fee

    No whole wheat/grain dough


    1 glass of white sauv blanc

    1 bottle of red Nero D’Avola

    We split a small salad

    Ordered Large Vege Neapolitan pie with sausage

    Total with tip: $70

    Service: was just ok, wine took a while to come out, had
    to ask for pepper twice, had to ask for olive oil

    Food: Salad good. Pizza: C+ grade. Well prepared but
    without the nutty, sweet flavored whole grain, it tasted a little ordinary.

    Wine: Not expecting anything great for $21, but the Nero
    D’Avola was the worst example I’ve ever drank — and I’ve drank many over the years. Hard to finish it.

    Ambiance: LOUD and no nice coziness whatsoever.

    Walked out feeling disappointed per the total bill given the quality grades of
    the food, wine and service. I see no reason to ever go back.

  • Craig (lapp) wrote:
    01 Mar 2012 at 10:22 am

    We haven’t gone back since it wasn’t memorable enough for us either

  • […] Luigi’s Pizza opened up months ago in Delray Beach, Fl on Atlantic Ave. They took the location of many a failed restaurant prior to them renovating this space. We have eaten at their other location in Fort Lauderdale, situated on Las Olas and really didn’t love it too much. You can read that review here. […]