By now you’d think that I would have visited all of the decent pizza joints in my hometown of Bayonne, New Jersey. Well, perhaps not. On my last trip home, I found another great place that I somehow overlooked. This was odd since my Pizza Compass shows it as one of the closest to my family’s home. In business since 1950, Naples Pizzeria & Restaurant isin the Bergen Point district on Broadway just a few blocks south of the 8th Street Bridge.
It was a Monday evening, and the thought of something new for takeout dinner made Naples a prime target for The Pizza Snob. Mom jumped right on the bandwagon telling me about their Mon-Wed-Sun special of two large thin pies for only $12.95. Dad was less excited telling me the hard-to-believe fact that he once got a pie from Naples, and they left off the cheese.
Still early in the evening when I arrived, only one couple was dining in the small darkened room. With no more than just a few tables and booths, the decor of white Christmas lights and Tiffany lampshades made the dining room look like a hip 1960s basement. The inside floor plan made me theorize that their business storefront was likely converted from a home.
The lady working the back kitchen came out and took my order of two plain cheese pies to go. She even gave me a gentle reminder that the pizza was thin. With such a small crowd, I was surprised that my pies took much longer than I expected, but I suspect there were quite a few deliveries being readied.
Naples’ pie is ultra-thin and light on all the basic ingredients. Although I lost count, I must have eaten at least eight slices of this “goes down nice & easy” tasty pizza. It is a bit tricky to eat though. Without much crust to support things, the slices are quite limp. You still can (and since this is Jersey, you of course must) eat them by hand, but you will need some help from both hands to get that first bite into your mouth.
The cheese and tomato sauce were a delicious blend atop the light tasty crust. The car smelled like garlic all the way home attesting to the source of the delightful seasoning added to the sauce. The narrow end crust was blackened and crunchy while the rest of the crust was not crispy. This may be more of a personal style point, but I would have preferred a crisper bottom which is my only knock on this otherwise perfectly unique, thin pizza.
I now understand how Dad once thought Naples forgot the cheese! Today, his story changed to “we got these pies cheap, since they cut back on the cheese!” Well, I for one am glad that they did since they have come up with a special pizza that should make Bayonne proud. I can’t wait to go back.
P.S. Be prepared, since Naples is cash only with no checks or cards accepted!
PIZZA SNOB RATING ****1/2 Nearer Perfection
Naples Pizzeria & Restaurant
191 Broadway Bayonne, NJ 07002