port alba - napoli, italy
Rating: 3 / 10
Old may very well be Gold, but in the case of Pizzeria Port Alba, I am left wondering how they stayed open so long serving such mediocre pizza.
Often spoken about on pizza shows as the oldest pizzeria in Napoli, it guarantees a throng of tourists daily based on that fact alone. Secondary is whether or not the pizza is actually good, and in my opinion it definitely isn't.
I ended up walking past a few times before popping in, mostly because I had a feeling it would be mediocre and wanted to try some better places first, but also because the family were on holiday for a period and it was shut. As fate would have it, another pizzeria I had left home to try also had vacation, so I decided to walk over to Alba since it wasn't a huge detour and finally give it a go.
As I waited I chatted to the cashier and asked her some recommendations for pizza in town, other than of course her place of employment. Her top 5 pizzeria's were all places I had already tried so she just smiled and said "You've had the best one's". That made me happy but also frightfully sad.
Pizza in hand I walked the short tunnel and sat on one of the communal tables full of spilling sunlight. I opened the box and dismay washed over me. I thought the pizza at Da Michele was wet, this was basically a soup. The entire surface of the pizza was a bubbling mess of mozzarella leak and olive oil. It was a tsunami of damp. A waterfall of moist. I recoiled as I snatched out a piece and took my first bite. No. No.
This is not it. This is not why people travel from all corners of the earth to eat pizza in Naples. This is a downright scandal. Crust was weak, sauce was bland, the less said about the puddle on top the better, this was a significant disaster.
If you are going to Napoli to eat pizza, then for the love of all gods, skip this!
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.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"