A Hamburger Today
Daily Slice: Sapori di Napoli, Decatur, Georgia
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
The décor is sparse inside Sapori di Napoli in downtown Decatur, Georgia. That's OK. The true centerpiece is the massive Acunto oven. Naples-born brothers Daniele and Ambrogio Florio imported the fire-breathing behemoth from their hometown specifically to open Sapori. Now diehard pizzaheads pack the tiny joint most nights, waiting in line to sample the wood-fired Neapolitan pies.
You're SOL on single slices, but go during lunch hours for 12-inch versions of their full-size pies. They start with a crust made from 00 Caputo flour, natural yeast, and sea salt. The sauced pies (there are also five sauce-less varieties) get dressed with San Marzano tomatoes before the real fun begins.
The STG features mushrooms, smoked buffalo mozzarella, a few basil leaves, and speck. (Hardcore Slice'rs may be familiar with this smoked prosciutto, but if not, check out Gina DePalma's excellent SE post.) Truthfully, I didn't find the see-through shavings to have much taste. It seemed like the sort of exotic ingredient I was supposed to ooh and aah over simply because it was exotic... and therefore, must be amazing. It wasn't bad at all... just barely there for someone more used to overloaded mega-meat-feast pies. I loved the buffalo mozzarella's gentle smokiness, and the tomatoes' obvious freshness, but the crust was a revelation. Every time I hit a patch of just-blackened char on this chewy shell, I was reminded how top-flight pizza boutiques like Sapori di Napoli are playing a sport that's completely different than most American pizzerias.
The $10 price tag (for the 12-incher) also makes it a much different experience than running to the corner for a quick, cheap slice, but for Atlanta pizza fans amenable to the occasional high-end splurge, Sapori di Napoli is a worthy addition to the city's exploding pizza landscape.
Sapori di Napoli314 Church Street, Decatur, GA 30030 (Map)
About the author: Todd Brock lives the glamorous life of a stay-at-home freelance writer in the suburbs of Atlanta. Besides being paid to eat cheeseburgers for A Hamburger Today and pizza for Slice, he's written and produced over 1,000 hours of television and is the author of Building Chicken Coops for Dummies. When he grows up, he wants to be either the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys or the drummer for Hootie & the Blowfish. Or both.