Mind you, that was NOT the pizza we ate. I am sure that one was good too, though.
Our main quest in Napoli, was to eat pizza. Yes, I know it’s a shallow quest, not like searching for the Holy Grail, but it was OUR Holy Grail!!!
Our first day we wanted to go to Gino Sorbillo, which had been recommended to us by the hotel. After wandering aimlessly up and down the street (passing it a few times, mind you, and this was something of a recurrence on our trip) we finally found it, super excited because we had been told it was THE BEST pizza in Naples. It was closed. For two weeks. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! No problem, there are about 75,000 pizza places in Napoli.
Our next stop, either Da Michele or Di Matteo. We had read about both in the guide-book, but we chose Di Matteo because of proximity. Honestly, we walked right past this place and had not the guy at the door showed us where to go in, we would have missed it. A very small and unassuming place, no frills, no fuss. Just paper napkins, plastic cups and a fork and knife. I wanted to try the original, the Margherita, to have a base on what to make my further decisions on. But, I couldn’t help ordering it with Bufala mozzarella. Paolo chose to have the 4 Stagioni, with black olives, artichokes, ham and mushrooms. Normal mozzarella too.
Oh, my, God. What a pizza! This is not your crispy- crust- like- the- rest- of- Italy- Pizza. This is the original, soft, chewy dough, fluffier crust. You can like it better or not, but either way, this is the real deal. The tomato sauce was to die for, and needless to say, my Bufala mozzarella was just sublime. And at 4 euros……I think that is a steal! This was definitely a contender, a pizza to mark all other pizza’s we had by. My score: 9 out of 10
The next pizza, was only had by Paolo. That was my, I’m going to be good day. (Mind you it only lasted a day.) We went close to our hotel, to a place called O’Munaciello. There, Paolo decided he wanted to have the Alla Diavola, which had a spicy pepperoni on it.
This was good, but by no means the best. The crust was slightly thicker and puffier. It really reminded me of American pizza’s, in that sense. It was good, but as you can see, the cheese was kind of plopped in the middle, and the pepperoni was a bit dry after being in the oven. I would give it a 6 out of 10.
Our next pizza venture was at a place called Matozzi. Not to be confused with Matozzi Ristorante Europa, which apparently is very expensive, this was on a small square on Via Toledo. We sat outside, and ordered our pizza’s, Paolo choosing now the Bufala mozzarella with cherry tomatoes, and I chose the 4 Stagioni. Ok, so the problems started really early in this place. Paolo received his pizza and beer in like 5 minutes, and I was still waiting for my water. We asked the waiter several times, but he kept on blaming the pizzaiolo, which also turned out to be the owner of the restaurant. So, they finally brought my water out five minutes later, but they had forgotten to make my pizza. You know those cartoons when steam is coming out of someone’s ears? Well, that is me when I am hungry. And I was VERY hungry. But I played it cool. So I finally got my pizza, but Paolo was done with his. So much for eating together.
The pizza was good. But not my favorite, by far. The ham was great, it had a wonderful smoky flavor, but there wasn’t enough cheese, and too much crust. And since I think they forgot about it in the oven again, it was a bit burnt. So, for that, 5 out of 10.
Our last night there, a taxi driver asked us if we had eaten pizza, and we started to list off all the places where we had been. He said to us, that we couldn’t leave without trying Pizzeria Brandi, which is the birthplace of the Pizza Margherita, 150 years ago. Well….obviously we didn’t want to miss that!
The next day, off we went, not really expecting too much. I mean, a pizza is a pizza is a pizza. Whoa Nelly. We were so wrong. Ok, the place already was great. Real tablecloths. AIR CONDITIONING. Oh, yeah, a singer too. The pizza’s were slightly more expensive, the basic ones starting out at 7 euros, but that is still darn cheap in my book. So Paolo and I ordered a variation on one of our favorite Pizza’s, that is the Rucola and Prosciutto. The difference was, his had cherry tomatoes, mine had bufala mozzarella. So, we get our pizza’s, take the first bite………….
We both looked up at each other and made all sorts of silly faces, those that you do when your mouth is full and you know you are tasting the most amazing thing. HOLY. COW. THIS IS PIZZA. THIS IS PIZZA HEAVEN. PIZZA PERFECTION. PIZZA….ok, ok, you get the point. 10 out of 10. (just had to add that in)
You ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE TO GOTTA BETTER get yourself to Pizzeria Brandi on Via Chiaia in Naples. If you don’t, your trip will be wasted. Ok, maybe you aren’t a pizza nut like us and you came here for the art. But, if you remotely like pizza…..YOU MUST COME HERE!!!!! I wish I could teletransport myself there now. The first picture is the both of us congratulating the Pizzaiolo. They were so pleased that some waiters and staff got into the picture too.
So, that is our quest for pizza. And we found it. THE HOLY GRAIL OF PIZZAS.
Tomorrow my friends, I am hopping on a plane, destination…..Miami, my birthplace! So, I will be posting some local delicacies from there!
See you on the other side of the Atlantic!