Saturday, February 12, 2011

Searching for the best Neapolitan in town

Everty time I start to think I need to catch up on my posts on my Italy trip last year, I don’t know why, but I get this huge writer’s block. There is so much to tell and I don’t know where to start –that’s the trouble with long trips, I guess. I have an abyssimal 2 posts... So I am starting with 3 random experiences....or less, depending on when my word count runs out of steam.

* * *

One evening in Naples, we set off in search of the best Neapolitan pizza in Naples. We were recommended to Il Presidente in the centro storico (city center). The road was narrow, and quite deserted, but the Pizzeria was buzzing with people spilling out into the roads. It seemed a bit like Bade miaan (for those who are familiar with Mumbai).

As we queued up, we got a terribly huge token number. We first tried to find out how long that may be – everyone around us spoke only Italian, and we spoke only English. The token-giver would answer emphatically in a string of Italian with so much gusto that it could have been an ebullient answer just as it could have easily been a string of curses. Next we tried to enquire what pizzas were available in a mix of mime, English all in between sheepish laughter. The token-giver would reply and we would spend the next 10 minutes deciphering it. This went on for a bit. At some point, I think he understood what we were asking and made some reference to the pizzeria not being McD’s. We could hear the group around us breaking into laughter. We were lost – for the first time, ordering a pizza seemed like the most complicated thing.

We then tried to ask him if we could do a take away and he kept waving his hands and saying dopo, dopo. So far it had sounded like he was just being a loud, expressive man, and suddenly we wondered if he was insulting us – what with his multiple referrences to McD and him shooing us away. We were embarrassed slowly moving to being on the brink of serious frustration. And just like that my friend was suddenly incensed! We decided we didn't want the best pizza that bad after all if they couldn't even help us decently! And just like that we walked off in a huff!!!

So much for the perfect pizza!

Don’t worry.... in the last one hour on our last day, we decided we needed to give one more shot at having a true Neapolitan. We tracked down the second recommendation given to us – Da Michelle - which was spartan, white and almost like a hospital cafeteria in looks. Here, they serve only 2 types of pizzas (the Neapolitan and Margherita). We ordered the double cheese margherita , lightly flavoured in basil and oozing olive oil.... truly divine!!!

We later found out, the Dopo, dopo may have just meant later later!

Naples is considered the home of Pizza. The Neapolitan is particularly known for also the tomato toppings that goes on pizza (I understand). Both Il Presidente and Da Michelle are recommended in the lonely planet. Da Michelle is also the pizzeria featured in the Eat Pray Love movie.

PS: I swear, there were supposed to be 3... but will rein in word count on the next 2!

PS 2: Yes, I did put on a few kilos after the trip!!!

The crowds outside Da Michelle

A divine margherita

And so, we did a takeaway and ate by the roadside


Meera said...

Also heard about the buffalo ice cream experience in Italy.. when is that featuring?

Ms.N said...

Patience, patience!!! :)

Meena Venkataraman said...

Yummmmmmmmy! (Post) :)..

Strangely the perfect italian pizza did stay elusive for me (in Venice)... Dont know why.. Just wasn't happy with what we got :(

Anonymous said...

Love the photos- only the Italians can make perfectly simple food look like that.
@Meena V. food in Venice - particularly Pizzas - is awful. I think it's the only Italian destination where good food is not the norm. We did have one amazing meal there, but it was in one of those gourmet places.

Ms.N said...

@meena, neha- i agree... by far that had to be the best pizza on the trip...simple, but hot and totally tasty!!!!

I agrre that my pizza experience wasn't unique everytime (in venice and other placeS)... some places were ok, but the ones that were good, were truly yummmmmmm!!!

Siddhartha Joshi said...

What a coincidence...even I never manage to write a posts about my Italy trip!

I had an awesome experience with eating some great Pizza in Napoli. My friends knew a little Italian and would talk for me, while I would nod at everything she said :) But I ate some really amazing Pizzas there...

Thanks for sharing, your post took me back to the beautiful town :)

Ms.N said...

@ neha, meena -
i meant, by far that had to be the best pizza on this Naples trip...

Also - it is su

@ Sid, join the club!!!

I actually loved Naples too despite what a lot of people said. I would love to go back and do south o fNaples on another trip

Trotter said...

Hi Ms. N! No wonder the kilos... with all those pizze... ;)

Keen on modern art? Blogtrotter Two has it... Enjoy and have a great weekend. Hopefully sunny!!

Unknown said...

i noticed something interesting in the pictures you uploaded for this piece. the color blue seems to jump out of the screen. it's almost psychedelic, "on a sober head" - #cheers

Ms.N said...

@eyeamimran....yes, i did darken the photos a bit for effect hope u liked it!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.