My search for the best pizza in New York continues….
My understanding of Neapolitan pizza is that it must contain San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, type 00 wheat flour, must be rolled by hand, and must be baked in a wood-fired oven. These come from the long set of rules established by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. Sounds very Italian and very serious.
Neapolitan Express is not the first pizzeria in New York to advertise authentic Neapolitan Pizza without following all of the above criteria, but it’s the first food truck to falsely advertise this claim. And since we’ve become entrenched in many restaurants “legally” serving the real stuff, I expected a bit more from this promise.
That’s not to say the pizza from the city’s first food truck to run fully on compressed natural gas isn’t good. But it’s not authentically Neapolitan.
I have visited this truck three times now. Having been pretty disappointed by the undercooking of the dough on one of their early days on the streets, I decided to give them one more chance. They had enough time to work out the kinks and I’m glad to say they finally make pretty good pizza.
The thin crust on the Margherita pie was charred to a nice crunch and the rich, buttery mozzarella cheese was a nice foil to the tangy tomato sauce. I just wish there was a bit more of both the cheese and the fresh basil. The majority of the experience is tomato and dough.
Where they really veer from Neapolitan flavor is the lack of a wood oven. They do some nice work with their fancy, clean gas oven, but it’s missing the toasty woodsy flavor and the pillowy cornicione that separate places like Kesté and Motorino from the corner pizza spot.
Since the pizza is pretty tasty, I won’t be calling the pizza police anytime soon. But until they use some burning wood (which I doubt is possible on a truck), I call Neapolitan Express a misnomer.
Is Neapolitan Express the best pizza in NY? At this point, the truck is making pretty tasty pizza, but sadly it’s not fully the style it advertises. Nonetheless, the crisp charred crust earns a 7 out of 10.