|Before the re-heat|
The staff at my wife's office nearby often has pizza for lunch, and one day she brought home 5/8 of a pie. This was not a Sicilian, but a conventional round pie (and very ordinary-appearing crust) topped with a deep red sauce, big islands of white fresh mozzarella, and leaves of basil. It looked like an attempt at Neapolitan, even if the crust was more "New York" style than the leopard spotted puffy texture of an authentic Neapolitan pie.
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Because the crust looked so pedestrian, I was not optimistic about this pie. Before the re-heat, I removed the basil leaves so that I didn't end up with burned basil. I added pepperoni to much of it, but left some without so that I could taste it more as the pizzaiolo had crafted it.
|After the re-heat, with pepperoni added|
I pre-heated my oven to 425 and baked it for about 9 minutes on a perforated pizza pan. I'm pretty sure that these slices with this proper re-heat were better in most ways than when it first came from the oven, because the bottom of the crust took on a lovely crisp, even as the upper portions remained chewy and bendable (definitely a New York slice). The cheese got some lovely browning/caramelization, too. And the addition of the pepperoni gave it an extra measure of salty/savory essence that so reliably comes as the payload of cured meats.
The crust, despite its nice texture, had no distinct flavor and was pretty tasteless at the cornicione. The red sauce had much of the rich taste that its color promised, and I even found some big tomato chunks mixed in. The cheese was tasty enough, especially with some top browning, but came off in disconcertingly huge chunks with even small bites. Conventional mozz would have been better.
|Not a whole lot of character to the crust|
It's nice that a mom-and-pop shop would attempt a Neapolitan pie, but you cannot hide a dull crust by the use of creative toppings. The crust gets a 5 (and would have been lower absent the re-heat), the sauce earns a 7, the cheese a 4, the fresh basil earns a little extra credit. Overall, this pie is a 5.5. Tasty and filling, but pales in comparison to nearby Franzone's (review HERE).