AJ's Wood Grill Pizza - Anneke Jans (Kittery)
I looooooove Anneke Jans, but was disappointed with AJ's Wood Fired Pizza. I've been 6 times now (just to keep giving them a chance!!). The sauce has a raw onion flavor, the cheese has too much cheddar flavor, the crust is thin, boring and dry. I've tried a different pizza everytime, and each one has left me scratching my head. The salads are very good--all the dressings home made. The onion rings we had one night were terrible..soggy, coating fell right off. Same with fries...way too much pepper. I still think Anneke Jans is the best restaurant in the entire greater Portsmouth area, but AJ's needs work. Woody's in York Beach, also kind of new, is the best Pizza in Kittery/York area. Joe's NY is good when they consistent (rare) and Savario's has the best pizza for the price. My kid loves York House of Pizza...and Paul is the best. So there you have it! :)
60 Wallingford Sq., Kittery, ME 03904
238 State St, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Wow, what a disappointment. If I had not seen them grill the pizzas in front of me I would have sworn they were frozen. My wife and I both thought the same thing, it tasted like a frozen pizza. The crust had absolutely no rise or puff, just thin, dense and completely flavorless. We tried a small white and a small cheese. Decor is having an identity crisis, cold metal chairs, bamboo tables and an unfortunate giant tv on the wall. I will not be going back.
I'm a big fan of Anneke Jans so, on the recomendation of a friend and local wine rep with J Lohr, I tried AJ's tonight. The verdict...good pizza! Glad to have you in the area! Equal to Flatbread's Pizza in Portsmouth, NH. Better than the Gaslight. Way better than anything else the area has to offer.
They roll the dough fresh in front of you, grill it over smokey wood and brickets, then top it and bake it. Yum. The garlic spread "white sauce" is killer. The tomato sauce is fresh and zesty with pops of basil and rosemary. The pulled smoke chicken was fresh and tender. Actually, all ingredients were fresh and great quality. Also grabbed some chicken wings...very tender and delicious, but the "hot" wings offered a medium heat, at best. They need an XXX version for us heat junkies that like a little burn.
They offered two reds by the glass--both were delicous. Nice beer selection, too. Limited but thoughtful.
They're still working out the service kinks, but don't worry...they'll figure it out. They deliver...no menu online yet.
60 Wallingford Sq., Kittery, ME 03904
We tried it and agree with most that it's "not bad" (but that's in comparison to what's being offered in the area). As far as grilled pizza goes, there's not flavor of wood smoke in the pie and it doesn't come close to the pizza offered at Al Forno in Providence (who introduced grilled pizza to New England and is recognized for having perfected the style). The problem is that only the crust gets grilled, then the toppings are put on and the pie is finished in the oven. Thus, it's not a true "grilled pizza."
Just went for lunch...
Had a Mediterranean pizza (prosciutto, balsamic fig paste and arugula - 18" ~$18) and some wings (buffalo - medium - 10pcs ~$8). The pizza was quite good, thin and nicely grilled. Probably the best pizza that I've had in the area - Care, I'm a transplant from NYC so I hear ya... The wings weren't bad, though medium heat seemed like mild to us.
They are still working out the kinks for sure and don't yet have a good flow between ordering, service and customer traffic but the decor is nice and the service friendly. It was pretty full by the time we left (12:45). The tables seem a bit close together, but it makes it feel like a busy pizza shop (which I guess it actually is!).
Picked up a liverwurst sandwich (~$7) to go (I can't pass up handmade liverwurst... it's a weakness) and it's currently on my desk taunting me.
Would love to see some charcuterie on these pies to take it to the next level! In any case, definitely worth a try and a welcome break from the shite that is usually called "pizza" up here.