Now, your first question probably is, "What the frig is a friggitoria?" From Pupatella's website:
Friggitoria translates as “Fry Shop”. In Naples, it is a restaurant that specializes in stuffed fried pizzas (calzone or ripieno), stuffed risotto balls, zeppole (mini-doughnuts), panzarotti (stuffed potato croquettes).Sounds delicious, but we are a pizza blog, so we will stick to the pies and pass on the fried stuff for this review.
Your next question might be, "What makes a pizza a Neopolitan pizza?"
According to the good folks in Naples, Italy, a Neopolitan pizza has very specific ingredients. The dough is made from flour, water, yeast, and salt. The sauce is made from San Marzano tomatoes, and the cheese is buffalo mozzerella. Bake in a brick oven at high heat, add some basil and a little olive oil, and you have yourself a Neopolitan margherita pizza.
So, on the weekend of our two-year wedding anniversary, Gary, Molly and I ventured out to try out this newest incarnation of Neopolitan pizza. To Arlington we go...
Tag! Gary takes over the review from here...
Pupatella's is situated at the end of a strip mall on busy George Mason Drive in Arlington. We walked in and grabbed a table near the back so that lil' Molly would have plenty of room to soak in her surroundings and fuss if necesary. There were other families with babies, so kudos to Pupatella's for being baby friendly.
Looks like Pupatella's would be a good place for takeout, but on this day they did a good restaurant business as well. The place filled up right as the dinner hour arrived.
Liza wanted a margherita pizza. Again. This is all she ever wants to order. Sigh...
Gary dutifully walked up to the counter and put the order in. The hostess was friendly enough and she was cute wearing a blue fedora hat. We decided on a 12-inch margherita, but the hostess suggested that a 12-incher would not be enough for two people. Suspecting an upsell, I stood my ground.
After about 15 minutes, I picked up our pizza, fresh out of the oven, at the counter and brought it to the table. Molly was falling asleep--she's cute!
The pie proved plenty for two people to share, although it was cut into just four slices. Faithful readers of the blog know that this is another of my pet peeves. No pie should be cut into four slices--six minimum!
The pie was sprinkled with a good amount of sauce and mozzarella cheese, but just two small basil leaves. Liza was nonplussed. Why so skimpy with the basil? Is there a worldwide basil shortage? Hey Liza, better get your vegetable and spice garden growing in the back yard again! (Side note: what's going on with that garden anyway? It's over-run with weeds! We better get to work.)
The pizza sauce had a good tomato flavor and the crust was well-cooked and tasty. There was a little droop, but it wasn't an annoyance.
Overall, there was no wow factor with Pupatella's pizza. It was good, but it was also a bit ordinary. And the skimpiness of the basil suggested not much heart went into making it, either.
Best part of the dinner was the ice cream! Pupatella's has a nice selection of gelato, and Liza and I ordered coconut. (Yes, I wanted mint chocolate chip, but I didn't say anything.) On a hot summer evening, this ice cream hit the spot.
Pupatella's seems like it would be a nice neighborhood pizza joint, and perhaps we would go there more often if we lived closer. Unfortunately we were a little disappointed with their effort on our visit.
Gary's Rating: 2.5 stars
Liza's Rating 2.5 stars