Rating: 7 / 10
If they dished out awards for the cheeriest employees ever, Brandi would grab trophies. Entering this famous establishment and asking to photograph the woodfire oven was met with immediate smiling gestures and commands to not forget the staff in my picture-taking.
Once the rigmarole of pleasantries was over, it was time to get down to the job at hand. Was the pizza at Brandi as good as it's cracked up to be? Despite claiming to have invented the Margherita was this a case of the inventor being best or the newcomers improving on a classic? Time would tell.
Time ran at about seven minutes from putting in my order to clasping my hands around a piping hot box and exiting to much fanfare and emotion. I tucked around the corner and splayed out the contents on a suitable wall to photograph the flattering angles before diving in.
Alluring smells enveloped the insides of my mask before I had a chance to rip it off. The pizza steam hit hard reminding me that my mouth was a vulnerable cave of mastication and must be protected from the fiery daggers of melted cheese. I waited a couple minutes for it to cool before tearing off a slice and weighing in.
Without trying to get too carried away by the friendly chefs, I gave it my best go. The sauce and cheese on this pizza were nice and tangy and creamy at the same time. The crust was also fairly good, but if I'm going to be pedantic it was slightly too thick and doughy for my taste. If they had just stretched it a bit further it would probably have been an 8.
Small details matter when you've eaten more than 20 pizza's in Napoli, and you begin to truly understand the complex craft of making a perfect Margherita Pizza. Brandi may have invented it, but other's have improved on their recipe, however, there is still room for them in this glowing city of pizza worship.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"